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It is appropriate on this first Sunday after Epiphany to join with the congregation of St. Peter’s Church in Bremerhaven, Germany, in singing Philipp Nicolai’s immortal chorale, How Brightly Shines the Morning Star, or in the Plattdeutsch native to this particular community, Wo hell schient us de nee’e Steern. So frequently do we hear this chorale in the forms given us by such baroque composers as Bach that we tend to forget what it sounds like in its pre-baroque form. This is a good reminder.

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