Haydn, M.: Weihnachtsresponsorien by Michael Haydn (1737-1806). Edited by Armin Kircher. This edition: Paperbound. German title: Weihnachtsresponsorien MH 639. Full score. 32 pages. Published by Carus Verlag (CA.5463900).
The Christmas responsories belong to a particular tradition of choral settings of responsoria which had developed since the middle ot the 16th century. The entirely homophonic style of composition make the words easily understandable. The forward flow of the words - Haydn did not repeat words - is intensified and accentuated by harmonic means. In contrast to hias Holy Week Responsories, which are indebted to the more ancient style of writing, his Weihnachts-Responsorein are in the concertante style with independent instrumental accompaniment to the voices, played by two violins and basso continuo.