A Composer for All Seasons (But Especially for Christmas)

THE shadows of Christmas Eve stretch across the cobblestone court yard of the St. Thomas school in Leipzig. Along the first floor, where the choirmaster lives, the windows glow with candlelight. A young Hausfrau, surrounded by half a dozen children and pregnant with another, bustles through the cluttered rooms preparing dinner. Her husband is busy copying the parts of his latest cantata, which he must soon rehearse with his musicians and singers for next morning's service, at the church across the courtyard.

First, though, there are prayers to be said, friends to chat...

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