Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Wed, 07 Jun 2023 10:33:50 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Heinrich Schutz - Lamenti Et Concerti (1996) Heinrich Schutz - Lamenti Et Concerti (1996)

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1. Freue dich des Weiges deiner Jugend a9, SWV 435
2. Weib, was weinest du (Dialogo per la Pascua) a4, SWV 443
3. In lectulo per noctes (prima pars) a5, SWV 272
4. Invenerunt me custodes civitatis (secunda pars), SWV 273
5. Anima mea liquefacta est (prima pars) a4, SWV 263
6. Adiuro vos, Filiae Hierusalem (secunda pars), SWV 264
7. Wohl dem, der ein tugendsam Weib hat a8, SWV 20
8. Ich beschwöre euch, ihr Töchter zu Jerusalem (Dialogo) a7, SWV 339
9. Veni dilecte mi a6, SWV 174
10. Haus und Güter erbet man von seinen Eltern a11, SWV 21

Musicalische Compagney (Ensemble)


”The Musicalische Compagney tackle this imaginative selection with enthusiasm. "... The recording is clean and efficient, and the accoustic, which is richly but not overpoweringly vibrant, is appropriate." --- Gramophone


During his long life Heinrich Schütz produced many pieces of music which introduced new techniques and idioms into Germany, while promoting the use of the German language as a medium for music of all sorts. As such he was one of the first composers and he exerted considerable influence over later generations. He did most of this as Kapellmeister to the Elector of Saxony in Dresden. Approximately 500 pieces by Schütz survive, though many more are known to be lost; they are overwhelmingly sacred in character and were mainly published in a number of large collections, of which some of the main ones are the Madrigals (1611), Psalms of David (1619), Cantiones Sacrae (1625), Symphoniæ Sacæ I, II and III (1629, 1647 and 1650), Kleine Geistliche Konzerte I and II (1636 and 1638) and the Geistliche Chormusik (1648).

During two stays in Venice (1609-13 and 1629) Schütz absorbed many of the developments taking place in Italy, which he put to use subsequently in his works. For example the Psalms of David started his polychoral settings of (predominantly) psalms, while the Cantiones Sacrae and Symphoniæ Sacæ illustrate his successive adaptations of the monodic style to German needs. In contrast to these the Geistliche Chormusik contains 29 German polyphonic motets in a more traditional idiom. During the thirty years' war (1618-1648), Schütz' circumstances worsened dramatically particularly after 1630, which led to him travelling to a number of other courts as well as Denmark. During these years he wrote pieces for reduced forces, reflecting hard times, published in the Kleine Geistliche Konzerte I and II and Symphoniæ Sacæ II. After the end of the war he repeatedly petitioned for retirement, which was granted eventually. Of miscellaneous later works, the three passions (St John, Luke and Matthew) and the Christmas story were notable. Schütz made little use of chorales in his compositions, and no instrumental music by him survives. Of some dramatic works known to have been written, none survive. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Schutz Heinrich Wed, 11 Mar 2015 17:12:18 +0000
Heinrich Schütz - Musikalische Exequien (Herreweghe) [1992] Heinrich Schütz - Musikalische Exequien (Herreweghe) [1992]

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1 I. Concert In Form Einer Teutschen Begräbnis-Messe 	25:59 	
2 II. Motette "Herr, Wenn Ich Nur Dich Habe" 	3:39 	
3 III. Canticum B. Simeonis "Herr, Nun Lässest Du Deinen Diener" 	4:55 	
4 "Also Hat Gott Die Welt Geliebt", SWV 380 (Motet) 	3:04 	
5 "Selig Sind Die Toten", SWV 391 (Motet) 	4:21 	
6 "So Fahr Ich Hin Zu Jesu Christ", SWV 379 (Motet) 	3:13 	
7 "Ich Bin Die Auferstehung", SWV 324 (Petis Concerts Spirituels II) 	4:02 	
8 "O Lieber Herre Gott", BWV 287 (Petits Concert Spirituels I) 	3:35 	
9 "Die Himmel Erzählen", SWV 386 (Motet) 	5:01

Agnès Mellon - Soprano 
Greta de Reyghère - Soprano 
Monique Zanetti - Soprano 
Ageet Zweistra - Cello
Howard Crook - Alto
Jean-Paul Fouchécourt - Tenor 
Peter Kooij - Bass 
Hervé Lamy - Tenor 
Peter Lika - Bass 
Renaud Machart - Bass 
Jonathan Cable - Violone
Jan Willem Jansen - Orgue Positif
Konrad Junghanel – Theorbo

La Chapelle Royale
Philippe Herreweghe – conductor


Belgian conductor Philippe Herreweghe founded the vocal ensemble La Chapelle Royale in 1977 with a primary focus on music of the French Baroque, but the group has since branched into the repertoires of other countries and eras. In this release, the group sings Heinrich Schütz's three-movement Musikalische Exequien (Musical Funeral Rites) of 1635, as well as several motets. Schütz wrote the Musikalische Exequien for a Protestant nobleman who wanted it to be performed at his funeral. (The German language texts came from Biblical and liturgical texts the nobleman had had inscribed inside his coffin.) The time and places in which Schütz lived were dominated by war, pestilence, and violence, and the composer's personal life was marked by great losses, so it's not surprising that he poured such deep feeling into these texts dealing with death and the hope of a better life hereafter, and the texts he chose for his motets frequently deal with the same subjects. Schütz had been a student of Giovanni Gabrieli's in Venice, and some of the funeral music uses an antiphonal deployment of choirs around the church. The tone of most of the works recorded here is indeed sober and mournful, but the composer's ingenuity gives it variety through his use of differently constituted ensembles alternating with soloists, and the interweaving of monophonic and polyphonic textures. The members of La Chapelle Royale sing with exceptionally pure and warm sound, and the tonal variety and vitality they bring to the motets keep the music from seeming lugubrious, in spite of the dark subject matter. A small ensemble of strings and organ provides a chaste and circumspect continuo accompaniment. --- Stephen Eddins,

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]]> (bluesever) Schutz Heinrich Sun, 25 Oct 2009 22:51:48 +0000
Heinrich Schütz - Opus ultimum, op. 13 ‘Schwanengesang’ (2017) Heinrich Schütz - Opus ultimum, op. 13 ‘Schwanengesang’ (2017)

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1. Psalm 119. Aleph und Beth. "Wohl denen, die ohne Wandel leben", SWV 482 
2. Psalm 119. Gimel und Daleth. "Tue wohl deinem Knechte, daß ich lebe", SWV 483
3. Psalm 119. He und Vav. "Zeige mir, Herr, den Weg deiner Rechte", SWV 484 
4. Psalm 119. Dsaïn und Chet. "Gedenke deinem Knechte an dein Wort", SWV 485 
5. Psalm 119. Thet und Jod. "Du tust Guts deinem Knechte", SWV 486 
6. Psalm 119. Caph und Lamed. "Meine Seele verlanget nach deinem Heil", SWV 487 
7. Psalm 119. Mem und Nun. "Wie habe ich dein Gesetze so lieb", SWV 488 
8. Psalm 119. Samech und Aïn. "Ich hasse die Flattergeister", SWV 489
9. Psalm 119. Pe und Zade. "Deine Zeugnisse sind wunderbarlich", SWV 490 
10. Psalm 119. Koph und Resch. "Ich rufe von ganzem Herzen", SWV 491
11. Psalm 119. Schin und Tav. "Die Fürsten verfolgen mich ohn Ursach", SWV 492 
12. Psalm 100. "Jauchzet dem Herren, alle Welt", SWV 493
13. Deutsches Magnificat. "Meine Seele erhebt den Herren", SWV 494
14. Applause

Dorothee Mields - Soprano
Gerlinde Sämann - Soprano
David Erler - Alto
Stefan Kunath - Alto
Georg Poplutz - Tenor
Tobias Mäthger - Tenor
Martin Schicketanz -  Bass
Felix Schwandtke - Bass

Dresdner Kammerchor
Dresdner Barockorchester 
Hans Christoph Rademann – director

Heilsbronn Abbey, 01.08.2017


If not texturally pared down, this is a journey where the 86-year-old Schütz withdraws from the world in a lexicon of finely drawn plainchants, antique modes, taut contrapuntal and antiphonal exchanges, melodic swathes and quicksilver declamations. Herreweghe illuminates each verse with a considered and gentle ear for the progression from the “statutes” of faith towards a sense of hope and salvation as we move towards a new Covenant, revealed in the final motet with its assuaging supplications and rock-like assurance. Here we sense, above all, Schütz’s mix of defiance and resignation for the gradual passing of a self-contained sacred tradition threatened by radical worldly things (like operas).

That we have these works at all is a minor miracle. Schütz’s Opus ultimum was discovered in 1900 and then assumed destroyed in the Second World War, before reappearing in the mid-1970s. Can a greater work have been completed by an octogenarian? This recording urges us, very persuasively, to think perhaps not. --- Jonathan Freeman-Attwood,


Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672), born 100 years before Johann Sebastian Bach, was the greatest German composer of his time, bridging the Renaissance and the Baroque. The choral work Schwanengesang is his musical and spiritual testament. It comprises 11 motets for double choir, settings of Psalm 119, complemented by a setting of Psalm 100 and of the Magnificat.

Conductor Hans-Christoph Rademann is an expert for performing Schütz's compositions. "Not powerful with 100 choir singers, but always very clean and transparent in the voices" - this is the (more difficult) right way to perform Schütz's compositions.


Johann Sebastian Bachs letztes Werk ist die »h-Moll-Messe«, Heinrich Schütz’ opus ultimum der »Schwanengesang«, eine erst 1984 wieder aufgefundene, elfteilige Vertonung des Psalms 119, des Psalms 100 und des »Magnificat « in deutscher Sprache.

Mit dem »Schwanengesang« setzt die Bachwoche die 2011 begonnene Reihe mit großen Sammlungen des »Sagittarius« (so nannte sich Schütz in gelehrtem Latein) fort. Hans Christoph Rademann und seine Dresdener Ensembles widmen sich seit vielen Jahren dem Schützschen Gesamtwerk; sie haben sich in diese Materie, die Geheimnisse und Ausdruckskraft seiner Musik hineingearbeitet wie sonst niemand.

Wie immer seit 1948, als hier die »Kunst der Fuge« gespielt wurde, bietet das Münster Heilsbronn, die Grablege der fränkischen Hohenzollern, einen wunderbaren spirituellen Rahmen für solche Meisterwerke. 1578, nur wenige Jahre vor Schütz’ Geburt, war das stille Zisterzienserkloster aufgelöst und in eine Fürstenschule umgewandelt worden. Zeit, Raum und Musik – hier finden sie wunderbar zu einer Einheit. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Schutz Heinrich Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:15:05 +0000
Heinrich Schütz - Psalmen Davids (1994) Heinrich Schütz - Psalmen Davids (1994)

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1.   		An den Wassern zu Babel 00:06:05
2.   		Ach Herr, straf mich nicht mit deinem Zorn 00:05:07
3.   		Erhore mich, wenn ich rufe (SWV 289) 00:02:58
4.   		Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied 00:06:10
5.   		Wohl dem, der nicht wandelt im Rat der Gottlosen 00:06:21
6.   		Ich liege und schlafe (SWV 310) 00:03:21
7.   		Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen 00:07:55
8.   		Lobe den Herren, meine Seele 00:06:27
9.   		Schein: Pavan (Suite XII) 00:03:27
10.   		Das ist je gewisslich wahr (SWV 277) 00:05:54
11.   		Schein: Pavan (Suite XVII) 00:02:44
12.   		Meine Seele erhebt den Herren 00:07:37

Oxford Camerata
Laurence Cummings – organ
Jeremy Summerly - conductor


At the age of 85 Heinrich Schutz (1585-1672) wrote his exuberant 'German Magnificat' as a thanksgiving for the grace of God manifest in his life. His Latin epitaph pays fitting tribute to him as "the Christian singer of psalms, a joy for foreigners, and a light for Germany".

At a time when the preferred religious texts for musical use were of either a devotional or introspective nature, Schutz was attracted to the dramatic aspects of sacred texts, especially from the Bible. Thus, in 1619 he produced a collection of 26 Anthems, the 'Psalmen Davids', explicitly stating his indebtedness to Gabrieli and using a variety of colors and textures for his settings, which followed the recent local fashion of using German for psalm texts in preference to prevailing Latin. Moreover, Schutz provided detailed instructions on the disposition of voices and the use of instruments; the choirs sometimes have parallel ranges, sometimes they are divided into high and low sections, and on occasion soloists are required.

The Italian influence is evident not only in the vocal textures but also in Schutz's transformation of poetry into music. The following traits are evident: declamatory characteristics of individual phrases thus varying the pace from solemn stateliness to vigorous insistence sometimes using repetition and echo; Schutz also utilizes the rich qualities of the German vowel sounds and the sparkle of the consonents to strong emotional effect.

The Oxford Camerata, under the capable direction of Jeremy Summerly, consists of twelve members on this recording; it is a mixed group made up basically of singers who have already made somewhat of a name for themselves on an individual basis; some of whom are notable such as Robin Blaze, Rebecca Outram, Andrew Carwood, James Gilchrist and Michael McCarthy, to name a few. Their performance is beyond reproach: it is emotionally moving, displays a balanced blend of voices, dictionally perfect and certainly more that does justice to this powerful program. I prefer not to pick at what isn't or is here in the selections.

Some quotations concerning this recording are: GRAMOPHONE: "Oxford Camerata" rises excellently to the challenge". FANFARE: "The singing and interpretations are lovely, as is the engineering". THE SUNDAY TIMES,SEPT.1996: "...a fine introduction to the historically crucial - and very beautiful music of Heinrich Schutz...The disc ends with the great German Magnificat, which here makes an impact of magnificent but confidential immensity, which is surely right." --- Matyas Becvarov,

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]]> (bluesever) Schutz Heinrich Fri, 04 Mar 2016 17:09:32 +0000
Heinrich Schütz - Psalmen Davids (Herreweghe) [2013] Heinrich Schütz - Psalmen Davids (Herreweghe) [2013]

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Heinrich SCHÜTZ

(01) Der Herr sprach zu meinem Herren (SWV 22) [03'08"]
(02) Warum toben die Heiden (SWV 23) [04'09"]
(03) Ach Herr, straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn (SWV 24) [04'41"]

Giovanni GABRIELI (1554-1612)

(04) Canzon VI a 7 (C 200) [04'39"]

Heinrich SCHÜTZ

(05) Aus der Tiefe ruf ich, Herr, zu dir (SWV 25) [03'52"]
(06) Ich hebe meine Augen auf (SWV 31) [07'27"]

Michael PRAETORIUS (c1571-1621)

(07) Meine Seel erhebt den Herren [16'41"]

Heinrich SCHÜTZ

(08) Ich freu mich des, das mir geredt ist (SWV 26) [04'05"]
(09) Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen (SWV 29) [06'30"]
(10) An den Wassern zu Babel (SWV 37) [05'07"]


(11) Canzon 12. toni a 10 (C 178) [03'35"]

Heinrich SCHÜTZ

(12) Lobe den Herren, meine Seele (SWV 39) [05'08"]
(13) Ist nicht Ephraim mein teurer Sohn (SWV 40) [04'59"]
(14) Die mit Tränen säen (SWV 42) [04'16"]
(15) Meine Seele erhebt den Herren (SWV 494) [06'25"]

Hana Blaziková, soprano
Dorothee Mields, soprano
Damien Guillon, alto
Marnix De Cat, alto
Thomas Hobbs, tenor
David Munderloh, tenor
Peter Kooij, bass
Stephan MacLeod, bass

Collegium Vocale Gent
Concerto Palatino

Philippe Herreweghe – conductor


Acclaimed in all repertoire, Philippe Herreweghe tends to program an eclectic selection of works - and this season is no exception. At the head of three renowned ensembles - the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Collegium Vocale Gent, and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic (deFilharmonie) - the Ghent conductor presents works by, among others, Schütz, Weber, Poulenc, and Haydn, whose Creation marked the opening, more than twenty years ago, of a long-term collaboration between Herreweghe and the Centre for Fine Arts.

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]]> (bluesever) Schutz Heinrich Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:59:16 +0000
Heinrich Schutz - St. Matthew Passion Heinrich Schutz - St. Matthew Passion

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St.Matthew Passion - History of the suffering and death of our Lord and Saviour

Karine Serafin (Soprano), Sophie Toussaint (Alto), Cécile Kempenaers (Mezzo Soprano), Philippe Roche (Bass), Damien Guillon (Countertenor), Hervé Lamy (Tenor), Jan Van Elsacker (Tenor), Matthew Baker (Tenor), François Roche (Tenor), Emmanuel Mandrin (Organ) Akademia Ensemble Francoise Lasserre – conductor


'Our work on the St Matthew Passion of Schütz repeatedly placed us in a quandor: how to disregard the major work composed by Bach on the same Gospel narrative? The singers, confronted with the temptation of adopting the rhythmic inflections of the later composer's recitative, concentrated their attention on all the expressive resources provided by figuralism and modulation. But...Bach unexpectedly caught up with me again when, at the stage of deciding the order of the pieces on the CD, far removed from any musicological preoccupation, I felt the need to introduce in the course of the Passion two of the works that fill out the recording. Thus they appear here as a commentary on the Last Supper and on Peter's remorse, and play the same predicatory role as the arias in a Bach Passion.' --- Françoise Lasserre

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]]> (bluesever) Schutz Heinrich Sat, 13 Mar 2010 21:49:22 +0000
Heinrich Schutz - Symphonaie Sacrae (1968) Heinrich Schutz - Symphonaie Sacrae (1968)

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1. Fili mi Absalom 6:45
2. Venite ad me 8:05
3. Buccinate in Neomenia Tuba – Jubilate Deo 7:14
4. O Quam tu Pulchra es – Veni de Libano 4:40
5. In te, Domine, Speravi 10:10
6. Anima mea liquefacta est – Adjura vos, Filiae Jerusalem 8:37

Lothar Brandes - Cornett 
Alfred Sous, Willy Schnell - Oboe 
Jürgen Gode - Bassoon 
Hannelore Michel - Cello 
Georg Hörtnagel - Double Bass 
Martin Galling - Harpsichord
Gerhard Braun, Hartmut Strebel - Recorder 
Helmuth Heincke, Richard Zettler - Trombone 
Robert Bodenröder - Trumpet [Clarino] 
Edward H. Tarr - Trumpet [Clarino], Cornett 
Susanne Lautenbacher, Werner Keltsch - Violin 
Helmuth Rilling - conductor


Heinrich [Henrich] Schütz was a German composer and organist, generally regarded as the most important German composer before J.S. Bach and is often considered to be one of the most important composers of the 17th century along with Claudio Monteverdi. He wrote what is thought to be the first German opera, Dafne, performed at Torgau in 1627; however, the music has since been lost.

Heinrich Schütz was one of the last composers to write in a modal style, with non-functional harmonies often resulting from the interplay of voices; contrastingly, much of his music shows a strong tonal pull when approaching cadences. His music makes extensive use of imitation, in which entries often come in irregular order and at varied intervals. Fairly characteristic of Schütz's writing are intense dissonances caused by two or more voices moving correctly through dissonances against the implied harmony. Above all, his music displays extreme sensitivity to the accents and meaning of the text, which is often conveyed using special technical figures drawn from musica poetica, themselves drawn from or created in analogy to the verbal figures of Classical Rhetoric.

Almost no secular music by Heinrich Schütz has survived, save for a few domestic songs (arien) and no purely instrumental music at all (unless one counts the short instrumental movement entitled "sinfonia" that encloses the dialogue of Die sieben Worte), even though he had a reputation as one of the finest organists in Germany.

Heinrich Schütz was of great importance in bringing new musical ideas to Germany from Italy, and as such had a large influence on the German music which was to follow. The style of the north German organ school derives largely from Schütz (as well as from Netherlander Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck); a century later this music was to culminate in the work of J.S. Bach.

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]]> (bluesever) Schutz Heinrich Thu, 26 Jul 2012 16:29:14 +0000
Heinrich Schütz - The Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ on the Cross SWV 478 (1987) Heinrich Schütz - The Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ on the Cross SWV 478 (1987)

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1. Magnificat anima mea for soloists, 2 violins, 3 trombones & continuo, SWV 468
2. Erbarm Dich mein, O Herre Gott, for soloists, 2 violins, violone & continuo, SWV 447
3. Kleine geistliche Konzerte, Part 2, "Quemadmodum desiderat", SWV 336
4. Symphoniae Sacrae Book 1, Op 6, "Anima mea liquefacta est," a 4, SWV 263 
&  Symphoniae Sacrae Book 1, Op 6, "Adjuro vos, filiae Jerusalem" (2eme part), SWV 264
5. Ach Herr, du Schöpfer aller Ding, for soloists & continuo, SWV 450
6. Die Sieben Worte Unsers Lieben Erlösers for soloists, 5 instruments, continuo, SWV 478
7. Symphoniae Sacrae Book 2, No. 4, "Meine Seele erhebt den Herren" ŕ 3, SWV. 344
8. Die mit Tränen säen, motet for soprano & tenor voices, trombones & continuo, SWV 42 (Op. 2) (Psaumes de David)

Ensemble Clement Janequin 
Les Sacqueboutiers de Toulouse
Dominique Visse – Conductor


Compared with a genuine Baroque theatrical style, the Seven Words from the Cross is a paradox. This Historia ofthe Passion seems to be at the very opposite pole of the great BaroquePassions like the oratorios of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. On thecontrary, everything contributes to interiorise the Seven Last Words of Christi ina serene meditation which the music raises to the level ofcontemplation: “The Seven Words of Jesus on the Cross, keep them closein your heart”, the five voices sing in the exordium. The vision, soindividual, can only be interior. ---Jean-Pierre Ouvrard,


Schütz never published "Die Sieben Wortte unsers lieben Erlösers und Seeligmachers Jesu Christi" as he did his Resurrection and Christmas Historias, and the work is known only in a set of performing parts whose connection to the composer is uncertain. We do not know whether the piece was intended for liturgical use in Dresden (though this is possible), and our only clue to its date is an inventory of music once found in Naumburg that evidently cites the piece; if the work listed is indeed Schütz's setting then the piece must have been composed before 1657/8, when the inventory was compiled. We do not know exactly how Schütz expected the work to be presented; the surviving set of performing parts represents one realization of the piece from the 17th century, but presumably was not the only possibility.

The text of the Seven Words deals with the passion story but it is not a narration of the crucifixion, nor does it present only one of the four gospels. Rather it is a compilation of Jesus' utterances from the cross drawn from all four evangelists, sometimes quoted one at a time and sometimes in combination. Each of the "words" has the same structure: Narrative material in the voice of an evangelist introduces the words of Jesus' direct speech, which are the high points of each section. (The second and last sections each add a brief narrative tag.) Schütz realized this structure musically by clearly distinguishing the two kinds of material, making an audible contrast between the narrated portion (evangelist) and the spoken words (Jesus).

Schütz distinguishes the narration from the quoted words by vocal scoring. Jesus' words are sung by the same tenor voice throughout, whereas the words of the narrator are sung by various other voices: soprano, or alto, or another tenor, or (in two cases) by a four-voice ensemble. That is, the voice of Jesus is associated with a particular singer but that of the evangelist is passed among three different voices, and even entrusted to a four-voice ensemble for the fourth (central) word and the last one. The constantly-changing narrating voice is less dramatically realistic than in Schütz's passion settings, but the changes in narrator help distinguish sections of the piece, which are more episodic than dramatically continuous - more a series of tableaux than a sequence of events.

Schütz also distinguishes the two kinds of text by musical style. The evangelist's words are presented primarily in narrative recitation that draws both on the traditional chanting of gospel texts and on theatrical recitative. The tendency towards recitation on one note over a static bass line is most clearly audible at the beginning of sections; as each develops, the narrator's vocal line tends to take more expressive turns. Jesus' words are set in a very different style entrusted to one singer in the texture of the modern vocal concerto, setting an expressive line against an independent basso continuo. The vocal lines in these sections, in contrast to the evangelist's recitation, are characterized by musical and textual repetition including so-called sequences, passages in which a small musical and textual idea is repeated successively at several pitch levels (rising or falling) for intensification. In fact, text repetition in the passages of direct speech, mostly absent in the narration, is among the most important differences and helps make the organization of the text clear. ---

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]]> (bluesever) Schutz Heinrich Sun, 06 Mar 2016 17:10:39 +0000
Heinrich Schutz – Weihnachts-Historie (Jacobs) [2011] Heinrich Schutz – Weihnachts-Historie (Jacobs) [2011]

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0. Weihnachts-Historie - Sinfonia
1. Weihnachts-Historie - Evangelist "Es Begab Sich Aber Zu Derselbigen Zeit"
2. Weihnachts-Historie - Der Engel "Fürchtet Euch Nicht"
3. Weihnachts-Historie - Evangelist "Und Alsbald War Da Bei Dem Engel"
4. Weihnachts-Historie - Die Menge Der Engel "Ehre Sei Gott In Der Höhe"
5. Weihnachts-Historie - Evangelist "Und Da Die Engel Von Ihnen Gen Himmel Fuhren"
6. Weihnachts-Historie - Die Hirten Auf Dem Felde "Lasset Uns Nun Gehen Gen Bethlehem"
7. Weihnachts-Historie - Evangelist "Und Sie Kamen Eilend"
8. Weihnachts-Historie - Die Weisen Aus Morgenlande "Wo Ist Der Neugeborne König Der Juden?"
9. Weihnachts-Historie - Evangelist "Da Das Der König Herodes Hörete"
10. Weihnachts-Historie - Hohepriester Und Schriftgelehrte "Zu Bethlehem Im Jüdischen Lande"
11. Weihnachts-Historie - Evangelist "Da Berief Herodes Die Weisen"
12. Weihnachts-Historie - Herodes "Ziehet Hin"
13. Weihnachts-Historie - Evangelist "Als Sie Nun Den König Gehöret Hatten"
14. Weihnachts-Historie - Der Engel "Stehe Auf, Joseph"
15. Weihnachts-Historie - Evangelist "Und Er Stund Auf"
16. Weihnachts-Historie - Der Engel "Stehe Auf, Joseph"
17. Weihnachts-Historie - Evangelist "Und Er Stund Auf"
18. Weihnachts-Historie - Beschluß "Dank Sagen Wir"
19. Sei Gegrüsset, Maria, SWV 333
20. Rorate Coeli Desuper, SWV 322
21. Joseph, Du Sohn David, SWV 323
22. Hodie Christus Natus Est, SWV 315
23. Heute Ist Christus Geboren, SWV 439

Martin Hummel (Tenor)
Maria Cristina Kiehr (Soprano)
Ulrich Messthaler (Bass) 
Andreas Scholl (Countertenor)
Akira Tachikawa (Countertenor)

Concerto Vocale
René Jacobs – conductor


René Jacobs invites you to rediscover this Christmas History, probably the most popular work of Heinrich Schütz. In his twilight years, the greatest 17th-century German composer brilliantly combined Lutheran fervour with Italianate recitative. This title was released for the first time in 1990 and just look at the singers involved! ---

The music is delicate and extremely fine. The polyphony is used at once but in two different ways, with repetitions of some words from one voice to another and with the vocalizing of some vowels in some strategic words. The form this polyphony takes is most often that of a canon or a fugue. It announces further developments but remains very simple. The instruments, when they are not used as plain accompaniment, are also used as voices in a way and they enter the canon and fugue form along with the voices themselves. But once again it all remains simple and the performing is very clear, light and in a way un-amplified. And at the same time the composer does not hesitate to use some high dives or high jumps in the music or the singing, one high-pitched voice suddenly climbing high on the scale from a lower-pitched voice or note. But these vocalizations and effects are delicately and simply wrought out avoiding all excessive ornamentation, each case aiming at emphasizing one syllable or word and not at showing the virtuosity of the singer or musician. It gives a very pleasant musical evocation of the birth of Jesus that does not want to conjure any awe or excessive admiration in us : it is more a beautidul story than an impressive miracle. But these pieces of music are also tales and the main interest is the vision of Mary given in this recording. In the Christmas Story Mary is in a totally secondary position. She is the mother and that's all. After the birth, the danger coming from Herod is emphasized by the fact that the three Magi go to Jerusalem and Herod to announce the birth of a new King of the Jews. It is then Herod that entrust the Magi with finding the child. They will do so but will not return to Jerusalem. Another element gives Joseph a very important role in the story. He is the one who is in touch with God through an angel in his dreams. Thus he learns that he has to get away to Egypt and then later on to come back. Mary is thus erased from the picture. In the next piece (SWV 333) we have the Annunciation, a double annunciation since Mary gets the message of her future pregnancy and at the same time she learns that Elizabeth is also pregnant (the future John the Baptist) after an intervention of the Holy Ghost who is going to visit Mary later on. But no mention whatsoever of the redeeming mission Mary gets then to free humanity of Eve's sin. The next piece given by René Jacobs (SWV 322) goes even farther since it is the evocation of the visitation by the Holy Spirit. It is reduced to dew and a rain of justice that plants a seed in the earth where it can germinate and grow into the Saviour. Mary has completely disappeared and been replaced by earth. Then in piece SWV 323 Mary is reduced to « dein Gewahl » for Joseph, that is to say his spouse (normally and today it is a masculine noun, but here it is used as a neutral noun that can generically cover either wife or husband), and the Angel explains to Joseph that Mary is pregnant with a son that was brought to her by the Holy Spirit. Joseph is thus valorised by being the only character of importance in this story but also by being called the son of David. The recording ends with two small pieces that just sing the birth of Christ. This general picture in this recording of an erased Mary and a Joseph who is pushed forward seems to represent a Protestant approach of Christmas. We could compare with the vision of the Virgin in Hildegard von Bingen for instance which is completely different since Mary becomes the essential character of the story because she redeems humanity of their sinful fate. ---Dr Jacques COULARDEAU,

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]]> (bluesever) Schutz Heinrich Fri, 20 Dec 2013 17:07:48 +0000
Schutz - Musicalische Vesper (Peter Neumann) [2004] Schutz - Musicalische Vesper (Peter Neumann) [2004]

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01 - Ingressus: Eile mich Gott zu erretten SWV 282 
02 - Psalm 110: Der Herr sprach zu meinem Herrn SWV 22 
03 - Concert: O Jesu, nomen dulce SWV 308 
04 - Psalm 19: Die Himmel erzhlen die Ehre Gottes SWV 386 
05 - Concert: Anima mea liquefacta est SWV 263, 264 
06 - Psalm 133: Siehe, wie fein und lieblich SVW 412 
07 - Concert: Spes mea, Christus Deus SWV 69 
08 - Psalm 84: Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen SWV 29 
09 - Concert: Freuet euch des Herren, ihr Gerechten SWV 367 
10 - Psalm 8: Herr, unser Herrscher SWV 27 
11 - Responsorium: Saul, Saul, was verfolgst du mich SWV 415 
12 - Hymnus: Nun will sich scheiden Nacht und Tag (after SWV 138 and 233) 
13 - Concert: Benedicam Dominum SWV 267 
14 - Magnificat: Magnificat anima mea Dominum SWV

Collegium Cartusianum 
Kölner Kammerchor 
Peter Neumann – conductor


The title of this disc suggests it contains a 'liturgical reconstruction'. This kind of recording can be useful to remind a present-day audience of the context in which composers usually wrote their works. It doesn't happen very often that we know exactly what music was performed during a specific liturgical event. Therefore most reconstructions can't pretend more than to present a celebration "as it could have taken place" at a certain time and place. But this recording can't - and apparently doesn't - even pretend that.

In her liner notes Claudia Theis refers to this programme as "a kind of idealized musical vespers". In this respect she compares it with the Vespers of 1610 by Claudio Monteverdi. But that seems incorrect to me. Monteverdi's collection contains the fixed parts of the Vesper liturgy. The antiphons were chosen in connection with the feast at which the Vespers were performed. But in Protestant Germany at the time of Schütz there was no fixed structure of the Vespers. Paul McCreesh and his Gabrieli Consort and Players recorded Christmas Vespers, which included the complete 'Christmas Story' by Schütz. There was no place for such music in the traditional Vespers.

There is another difference: the pieces in Monteverdi's Vespers were all composed at about the same time. But the compositions chosen here come from very different periods in Schütz's career, from 1619 (Psalmen Davids) to 1650 (Symphoniae Sacrae III). This, and the fact that these 'Vespers' are not connected to any specific feast make this recording lack inner coherence. One even can't be sure the items on this programme could have been part of a Vesper liturgy at all. The liner notes don’t explain why these have been selected.

Therefore it is better to take this recording as what it in fact is: a cross-section of the sacred music of Schütz, reflecting the different styles he practised. It brings some works in polychoral style which are influenced by Giovanni Gabrieli, who was his teacher during his first stay in Venice from 1609 to 1617. The smaller-scale works show the influence of the 'seconda prattica'. Schütz himself refers to the 'stylo recitativo' in regard to the performance of these works. In doing so he underlines the importance of a distinct declamation of the text. It is unclear to what extent he has been influenced by Monteverdi here. When Schütz travelled to Venice a second time in 1628/29 he certainly will have met Monteverdi. It is very likely that during his stay he composed the 'Symphoniae Sacrae I', which were published in Venice in 1629, but in the preface he praises his first teacher Giovanni Gabrieli, whereas Monteverdi isn't even mentioned. It was only in 1647, in the preface to his 'Symphoniae Sacrae II', that he refers to Monteverdi.

The fact that Schütz was influenced by the 'seconda prattica' didn't keep him from holding the 'prima prattica' in high esteem. In the preface to his collection 'Geistliche Chormusik' from 1648 he urged young composers not to neglect counterpoint: they should learn "the true foundation of good counterpoint" before getting involved with writing in the concertante style.

Having heard many recordings with music by Schütz it is my experience that performing his music is anything but easy. The main challenge is to find the right way of expressing the words on the one hand and avoid 'extreme word-painting' on the other. Not every collection of music has to be treated the same way, of course. The pieces which are written in the 'stylo recitativo' require a stronger contrast between words and more differentiation within phrases than the polychoral works and motets.

In this recording there is a lot to enjoy. On the whole the singing and playing is pretty good. A positive aspect is the congeniality between the solo voices and the choir. The texts are always understandable, which is one of the most important parts of any performance of Schütz's music.

At the same time the expression in the concertante works could be stronger. The opening item is sung well by Markus Brutscher, but he should have used more ornamentation and stronger declamation. That is even more the case in 'O Jesu, nomen dulce': a text which so strongly reflects a deep personal piety should be sung with more commitment and feeling than Nele Gramß does. Another example is 'Anima mea liquefacta est' (My soul is melting) on texts from the Song of Songs. The closing phrase: "quia amore langueo" (that I languish in my love) reflects a kind of exaltation which contrasts with the too down-to-earth performance. Other pieces are done a lot better, like ‘Freuet euch des Herren, ihr Gerechten'.

The larger-scale works are done rather well most of the time. Very impressive is one of Schütz's most dramatic pieces in the programme, 'Saul, Saul, was verfolgst du mich', a setting of the words of Christ who appears to Saul on his way to Damascus which led to his conversion to the Christian faith. The explosive dynamic contrasts Schütz asks for are realised very well here by soloists and choir. In the psalms from the 'Psalmen Davids' I could imagine some stronger differentation in dynamics and articulation, though.

Of all the items on the programme the only really unknown item is the four-part Psalm setting 'Nun will ich scheiden Tag und Nacht'. It comes from the collection of Psalm settings based on the rhymed version of the Psalms by Cornelius Becker. Hardly any piece of this collection has ever been recorded. The fact that one of them is included here is perhaps meant as compensation for the lack of congregational singing which is an essential part of any service in Protestant Germany.

The programme ends with a setting of the Magnificat for solo voices, double choir and instruments. It is a most impressive piece which contains a great variety of compositional techniques.

If we forget the liturgical aspirations of this release and take it as a cross-section of the musical heritage of Schütz this release is recommendable, even though it doesn't come up to all expectations. One aspect I haven't mentioned yet is the use of the Italian pronunciation of Latin, for which I can't find any excuse.

The review copy which was sent to me was a DVD-Audio/Video. I couldn't play it, so I borrowed a copy from the public library to listen to. That is what this review is based upon. There is one thing that should be noted: the booklet of the CD contains the lyrics, although without an English translation. But the booklet of the DVD-Audio/Video version has no lyrics at all. Instead the buyer gets a detailed explanation of the technique of a DVD-Audio/Video. A matter of wrong priorities, I'm afraid. ---Johan van Veen,

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]]> (bluesever) Schutz Heinrich Sun, 05 Feb 2017 15:03:39 +0000