Hanseatic Wedding Music • Weddings have always been very special occasions, and on special occasions we human beings need some music. Firmly established rules existed for musical contributions to the wedding ceremonies in churches that became the norm everywhere around 1600 as well as for the celebrations of this event in the private sphere in the urban environment of the seventeenth century, and the various luxury and wedding ordinances prescribed different forms of display for the various social classes. However, these rules were seldom observed because weddings represented one of the few occasions on which middle-class city dwellers could lavishly indulge in their need for personal displays of their wealth. The wedding compositions written especially for these occasions were mostly friendship gifts by the poet or the composer to the nuptial couple. We have this gift character to thank for the survival of numerous compositions inasmuch as they were presented as manuscript copies penned with special care. Accordingly, the richest transmission of printed wedding compositions also comes from the prosperous Hanseatic cities. From this rich trove we have now recorded for the first time a marvelous selection in interpretations by Manfred Cordes and his WESER RENAISSANCE ensemble: motets, sacred concertos, and ensemble songs by Johan Schop, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelink, Johann Stobäus, Johann Eccard, and others, true to the motto: »The wedded state originated in an ancient land; it was instituted in Paradise by God’s command.«
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