Hugo Distler's Der Jahrkreis: A Pedagogical Journey through the Church Year



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In the early twentieth century, a religious and cultural renewal movement took hold in the Evangelical Church (Lutheran) in Germany. As a result, music from the masters of the Renaissance and Baroque period saw new popularity in the church. Upon winning his first church position, Hugo Distler (1908-1942) found his choir unable to sing the rich harmonic structures of the time and the intricate rhythmic structures of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Through his collection of motets for three voices (mixed and treble), Der Jahrkreis, Distler sought to provide tools for his choir to learn both the harmonic and rhythmic structures that he and his contemporaries were utilizing in their music. This document provides both an explanation of Distler’s pedagogical structure as well as detailed Guides for Conducting and Teaching to assist conductors with teaching these motets. A set of newly engraved editions of selected motets with English texts is also provided.