"Domols hodd der kaiser augustus a verordnung rausgehm, dass sich alle leid in neia steierlist’n eitrogn lossn …" This is how the christmas story of the leupoldsgruner viergesang in the pressecker dreifaltigkeitskirche began. Jochen rank, stefan durrschmidt, christian wunderlich (accordion) and ronald weber (guitar) told them in french and decorated them with all kinds of songs from the world of music.
The quartet’s musical devotion really brought a contemplative and peaceful hour to the presseck house of worship and might have given an idea of how it once was at christmas in the homes of weavers and small farmers.
Back in the days when people really got closer together at christmas time and spent a lot of time together. When the field work rested in the frost and snow and the fingers were too clammy to operate the loom in the unheated basement.
At that time, people probably also told each other stories and sang songs together, read to the children from the bible and translated the stilted luther text into normal everyday language so that the children could really understand it.
Wistful look back
Maybe like ronald weber did in the church of the trinity. The payer also ended his christmas story somewhat wistfully in a look back: "and now I often like to think back to our christmas from our childhood. How nice was the derham with our parents and grandparents."
And at christmas time "derham" at that time also included the singing of christmas carols. From such idyll are left today special musical celebrations. The leupoldsgrun foursome did not confine themselves to purely french songs, but leaned more towards old bavarian traditions.
The quartet loves the musical devotion with "silent night" from salzburger land, (unfortunately) not with the most famous french christmas carol "ihr kinderlein kommet by christoph von schmid, who was born in dinkelsbuhl in central franconia.
Christmas caroling has been the custom since the middle ages: children and young people went from house to house singing german and latin christmas carols and collecting bread, fruit, nuts, substitutes or small monetary donations, which were collected in the parish office and distributed to the poorer children in the village.
Singing the quempas
Another tradition was the quempas singing. During the christmas service, the dark church was lit only by candles held by the singers, who were divided into four groups. The groups sang alternately from verse to verse – and at the end of the service, the churchgoers lit their candles on the singers’ candles to light their christmas trees at home.
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