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Praetorius Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming Arranged for Cello Quartet

Arranged by Hans Erik Deckert

Title: Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (for Cello Quartet)
Composer: Michael Praetorius
Instrument: Violoncello
Edited By: Hans Erik Deckert
Instrumentation: Violoncello Ensemble
Pages: 1 for the score and 4 for the violoncello parts

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This this world-famous arrangement by Praetorius of a well known Christmas carol has been transcribed for cello quartet. Arranged in F major, it can be transposed up a whole tone to G major or a down a fourth to C major depending on the players’ abilities. 

Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, most commonly translated to English as Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming or A Spotless Rose, is a Christmas carol and Marian Hymn of German origin. The piece first appeared in print in the late 16th century, and the text is thought to be written by an anonymous author. Both Catholics and Protestants have used the hymn, with the focus of the song being Mary or Jesus, respectively. In addition, there have been numerous versions of the hymn with varying texts and lengths.

The tune most popular today appears in the Speyer Hymnal (printed in Cologne in 1599), and German composer Michael Praetorius wrote the harmonization in 1609. The tune was used by Brahms as the inspiration for a chorale fantasy for organ. The carol was later transcribed for orchestra by Erich Leinsdorf and Hugo Distler and used as the basis for his 1933 oratorio Weihnachtsgeschichte ("Christmas story").

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Violoncello I
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Original German text (from Wikipedia):
1. Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen,
aus einer Wurzel zart.

Wie uns die Alten sungen,

von Jesse war die Art.

Und hat ein Blüm'lein 'bracht;

mitten im kalten Winter,

wohl zu der halben Nacht.
2. Das Röslein, das ich meine,
davon Jesaia sagt:

ist Maria die Reine

die uns das Blümlein bracht.

Aus Gottes ew'gem Rat,

Hat sie ein Kind geboren,

Und bleib ein reine Magd.
or: Welches uns selig macht. 

Literal translation of the German text:
1. A rose has sprung up,
from a tender root.

As the old ones sang to us,

Its lineage was from Jesse.

And it has brought forth a floweret

In the middle of the cold winter

Right upon midnight.
2. The rosebud that I mean,
Of which Isaiah told

Is Mary, the pure,

Who brought us the floweret.

At God’s immortal word,

She has borne a child

Remaining a pure maid.

or: Who makes us blessed. 

Winkworth's English version:
1. A Spotless Rose is growing,
Sprung from a tender root,

Of ancient seers' foreshowing,

Of Jesse promised fruit;

Its fairest bud unfolds to light

Amid the cold, cold winter,

And in the dark midnight.
2.The Rose which I am singing,
Whereof Isaiah said,

Is from its sweet root springing

In Mary, purest Maid;

Through God's great love and might

The Blessed Babe she bare us

In a cold, cold winter's night.