COMPOSER, PIANIST, CHURCH MUSICIAN MICHAEL STENOV
Imprint: Michael Stenov (composer), P.O. Box 9, A-4623 Gunskirchen, Austria, email
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The   opening   chorus   with   the   text   from   the   Gospel   of   St.   John   lets   you   feel   the   mystery,   the   love   and   the   glory   of   the   Holy   Trinity   before   the foundation   of   the   world   through   the   Word,   i.e.   Jesus   Christ :   EVERYTHING   was   made   through   Him,   and   the   Triune   God,   who   is   the   light,   has nothing   in   common   with   darkness.   Both   storylines   concerning   John   the   Baptist    and   Jesus   are   closely   interwoven.   Each   of   the   two   resulting   large parts Advent   and   Christmas   consists   of   four   smaller   parts,   which   are   finished   with   known   chorales.   The Annunciation ,   the   long   waiting   and   finally the   birth   of   first   precursor   John   and   finally   the   Saviour   and   Redeemer   Jesus   Christ   clearly   show   what   a   special   gift   of   God   an   innocent   child   in   the world has always been, is and will remain. All   names   of   people   occurring   in   the   Christmas   story   have   a   special   meaning   in   Hebrew   (you   can   find   the   names   and   their   equivalents   in   the booklet):   Zacharias   –   the   name   expresses:   Jahweh    remembers“   –   despite   the   message   of   the   Archangel   Gabriel   unable   to   believe   that   his   and Elisabeth’s   intimate   prayers   for   a   child   are   still   heard   because   it   is   impossible   from   a   human   perspective;   Mary   (the   beloved),   however,   believes   the in   her   case   much   more   incredible   word   of   the   angel,   although   she   does   not   understand   everything   immediately.   In   her   meeting   with   Elizabeth,   the Holy   Spirit   fills   her   with   praise   of   God,   the   Magnificat .   When   Zacharias   confirms   the   name   John   -   which   means   "God   has   shown   grace"   -   in   the circumcision   of   his   son   and   thus   affirms   the   word   of   the   angel,   he   gets   back   his   ability   to   speak,   praises   God   in   the   Benedictus   full   of   the   Holy   Spirit and prophesies great things to his child. All present marvel at the grace of God and his wonderful deeds. The   real   Christmas   story   happens   in   the   second   part:   Jesus ,   after   the   fall   of   the   whole   sighing   and   in   labour   lying   creation   the   long   and   eagerly awaited   saviour   of   mankind   from   eternal   death   and   destruction,   is   born   by   the Virgin   Mary   in   Bethlehem.   Bethlehem   is   translated   "House   of   Bread", which   already   points   to   Jesus   Christ   as   the   living   bread,   the   Eucharist .   So   the   creator   of   the   universe   (the Word )   actually   comes   to   the   world   to   save us   sinners   as   a   person   (in   the   flesh),   hidden   and   concealed   in   a   stable,   because   God   knows   that   the   highly   placed   of   his   people   would   not   accept   him as   a   child   of   poor   people. The   jubilant   chorus   of   angels   discloses   to   the   simple   people,   the   shepherds   that   the   Messiah,   the   Saviour,   is   born,   and   they worship   him   as   representatives   of   the   Jewish   people.   In   the   presentation   in   the   temple   the   aged   priest   Simeon   confesses   him   as   the   Messiah , bringing   fulfilment   of   the   prophecy   that   he   will   see   the   saviour   of   the   world   before   his   death.   The   Hl.   Three   Kings   represent   the   acceptance   of   the Messiah   by   the   Gentiles,   which   already   shows   that   Jesus   was   born   not   only   for   the   salvation   of   the   Jews   but   of ALL   people.   The   chief   priests   and Scribes   know   from   the   Torah    that   the   time   of   the   appearance   of   the   Messiah   is   here   and   refer   rightly   to   Bethlehem.   Herod   immediately   sees   his power   as   ruler   threatened   and   had   have   murdered    all   the   boys   of   the   specified   age   by   the   three   kings   in   Bethlehem   so   as   to   kill   also   the   Chosen Child,   that   -   warned   by   the   angel   -   succeeds   in   fleeing   to   Egypt   with   Joseph   and   his   mother,   Mary.   This   is   probably   a   bitter   foretaste   of   future suffering   and   death   of   Jesus    himself   and   global   distress   and   persecution   of   many   professing   Christians   in   the   further   course   of   history.   In   the   last choir resonates that god's plan  may be indeed disturbed by the adversary and mankind, but ultimately can not be prevented. With   this   oratorio ,   I   wholeheartedly   wish   you   a   deep   spiritual   and   psychological   understanding   of   the   most   important   story   of   a   child's   birth   which the world has ever experienced.     Michael Stenov
Both   PAL- DVD   and   double   CD    contain   a   booklet   (24   resp.   28   pages)   with   an   introduction   to   the   subject,   the   entire German   text   of   the   composition   and   an   epilogue   of   the   composer,   which   gives   an   insight   into   his   musical   world   of thought,   also   detailing   the   instrumentation   and   a   glossary   of   Jewish   names   along   with   their   meaning.   For   the   two- part TV interview  with Prof. Andreas Schnee and the composer about his work, see GLORIA-TV .
The recording took place in the Imperial Hall at Kremsmünster on 24th of September, 2011. The 90-minute two-part work was filmed by the Upper Austrian camera crew with Franz Gangl, Anton Grabmann and Heinz Reitstätter. Editor: Michael Stenov Sound: Tonstudio Andreas Schwarzgruber. NEW: Reviews on Amazon: double-CD! To the CD-DVD-Shop! To the videos! To the music! To the pictures!
The OTHER CHRISTMAS ORATORIO  on Double-CD, PAL-VD and Blu-ray-DVD! SCORE (A4- resp. A3), Piano reduction, choral score and parts material have been published by DANIEL KUNERT - BUCH & NOTE in 2014! To the Shop!
In   addition   to   the   Orchestra   (members   of   the   Bruckner   Orchestra   Linz   and   others)   and   five   soloists   (Tanja   and   Daniela   Höfer   (PAL- DVD/CD)    resp.    Regina    Riel     and    Michaela    Diermeier    (First    Performance) ,    Martin    Kiener ,    Joachim    Roth    and    Dr.    Bert Brandstetter )   a   large   choir   participated   in   the   work,   which   sees   itself   as   a   comprehensive   Christmas   synopsis   ( CANTORES CARMELI   LINZ ).   Music   students   and   professors   mainly   from   Upper Austria   formed   the   choir.   The   composer   himself   was   also   the conductor of the recording and the first performance.
the   famous   Christmas   Oratorio   by   J.   S.   Bach.   It   shows   the   flow   of   the   Christmas   events   with   the   full German   text   of   all   four   gospels .   Michael   Stenov ,   therefore,   speaks   of   a   harmony   of   all   four Gospels.   The   first   part   (ADVENT)   of   the   oratorio   starts   with   the   spiritual   interpretation   of   John   the Evangelist and includes proclamation and birth of John the Baptist. The    second    part    (CHRISTMAS)     turns    to    the    birth    of    Christ    and    illuminates    it    including    the presentation in the temple, the visit of the Holy Magi and the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt.
in   the   Imperial   Hall   of   Kremsmünster   in   autumn   2011.   The PUBLIC   PREMIERE    took   place   on   Sunday,   December   11, 2011,      at      19.30       in      the      Mühlviertler      Dom       (Parish Niederkappel). The   composer   used   biblical   texts   almost   exclusively   that   make the   Christmas   story   more   a   full   experience,   as   it   is   the   case   with
The other Christmas Oratorio from Upper Austria   The   Upper   Austrian   composer   Michael   Stenov    wrote   a   great   Christmas   Oratorio   (90'), entitled   "Das   Wort   ward   Fleisch   -   Die   Geburt   Christi”   (The   Word   became   flesh   -   The Nativity)    Op   11   which   was   recorded   (without   audience)   for   a   PAL- DVD   and   double   CD  
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