Christmas in Switzerland


The most beautiful carols and tunes, sung by the Basler Madrigalisten under conductor Fritz Näf. With instrumental accompaniment by the Ensemble Galliarda Basel.

This content was published on November 24, 2003 minutes

Switzerland, due to its geographical position in the heart of Europe as well its multi-cultural, multilingual stature enjoys a particularly diverse and rich tradition of Christmas carols and tunes.

This recording offers a varied selection representing all parts of Switzerland. The selection reflects both Switzerland's ties to a broader European tradition as well as its own unique heritage.

The carols and tunes on this recording span a number of centuries, including the present, but the emphasis is clearly on works from the 15th to the 18th centuries.

Basler Madrigalisten

The Basler Madrigalisten, an ensemble of 12 to 32 trained singers under the spirited direction of singer and conductor Fritz Näf, have established a distinguished reputation based on a broad repertoire ranging from music of the Renaissance to the present day. Special emphasis has been placed on the interpretation of madrigals, songs and chansons from the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as the performance of contemporary works. Performances led The Basler Madrigalisten all across Europe and overseas to Australia, Hong Kong or South-Korea.

Fritz Näf

Fritz Näf received his vocal training in Zurich and Freiburg (Germany). He also participated in master classes with J.Torel (New York), Ernst Häfliger (Munich) and Kurt Equiluz (Stuttgart). As a soloist, he was much engaged throughout Europe. During the same time he also studied choral and orchestral conducting. Subsequently he taught voice and vocal ensemble at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.

Näf was dean of the Winterthur Conservatory (1986-2000), and of the "Hochschule für Musik und Theater Zürich". Since 2001 he is full time leader of the "Basler Madrigalisten" and of the "Schweizer Kammerchor".

Ensemble Galliarda

The flute and recorder players on this recording form the core of the Ensemble Galliarda Basel, which was founded by Marianne Lüthi in 1974.
The musicians in the ensemble were all trained at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel. The flutists perform on Renaissance recorders.

The Ensemble Galliarda flutists perform on Rennaisance recorders built by Andreas Schöni in his atelier for historical instruments in Berne.
The chest organ used for this recording is from the atelier of Bernhard Fleig, Basel.

Production information

Christmas Carols and Tunes in Switzerland (1996). Musica Helvetica MH CD 87.2. Produced for SRI and Swiss Radio DRS2 by Patrick Linder and Rolf Grolimund. Associate producer: Malcolm Bruno, London. Musical direction: Fritz Näf.

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