|Title:||ES IST EIN ROS (5556553)|
|Incipit:||55565 53432 17155|
|Source:||Alte Catholische Geisliche Kirchengasäng, Cologne, 1599|
Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming
As men of old have sung.
It came, a flower bright,
Amid the cold of winter
When half-gone was the night.
First published with the text in the Cologne Gesangbuch of 1599 (see above), ES IST EIN ROS is a rounded bar form tune (AABA). The tune has characteristics of a Renaissance madrigal; it invites performance by an unaccompanied choir so that all the fine part writing and subtle rhythms can be clearly heard. ES IST EIN ROS is also a fine congregational tune or a children's choir anthem. Sing in unison with delicate accompaniment. Be sure to articulate carefully on the organ or piano those repeated melody tones.
The revised text and new harmonization by Michael Praetorius (b. Kreutzburg, Thuringia, Germany, 1571; d. Wolfenbiittel, near Brunswick, Germany, 1621) turned "Lo, How a Rose" into a beautiful and popular hymn. Born into a staunchly Lutheran family, Praetorius was educated at the University of Frankfort-an-der-Oder. In 1595 he began a long association with Duke Heinrich Julius of Brunswick, when he was appoint¬ed court organist and later music director and secretary. The duke resided in Wolfenbüttel, and Praetorius spent much of his time at the court there, eventually establishing his own residence in Wolfenbüttel as well. When the duke died, Praetorius officially retained his position, but he spent long periods of time engaged in various musical appointments in Dresden, Magdeburg, and Halle. Praetorius produced a prodigious amount of music and music theory. His church music consists of over one thousand titles, including the sixteen-volume Musae Sionae (1605-1612), which contains Lutheran hymns in settings ranging from two voices to multiple choirs. His Syntagma Musicum (1614-1619) is a veritable encyclopedia of music and includes valuable information about the musical instruments of his time.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987