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Work

Heinrich Schütz

Heinrich Schütz Composer

Geistliche Chormusik, 29 motets for voices and continuo, SWV 369-397, Op.11   

Performances: 23
Tracks: 113
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Musicology:
  • Geistliche Chormusik, 29 motets for voices and continuo, SWV 369-397, Op.11
    Genre: Motet
    Pr. Instrument: Chorus/Choir
    • 1.Erster Teil: Es wird das Scepter von Juda nicht entwendet werden , SWV 369
    • 2.Anderer Teil: Er wird sein Kleid in Wein waschen, SWV 370
    • 3.Es ist erschienen die heilsame Gnade Gottes, SWV 371
    • 4.Erster Teil: Verleih uns Frieden genädglich, SWV 372
    • 5.Anderer Teil: Gib unsern Fürsten und aller Obrigkeit, SWV 373
    • 6.Unser keiner lebet ihm selber, SWV 374
    • 7.Viel werden kommen von Morgen und von Abend, SWV 375
    • 8.Sammlet zuvor das Unkraut, SWV 376
    • 9.Herr, auf dich traue ich, SWV 377
    • 10.Die mit Tänen säen, SWV 378
    • 11.So fahr ich hin zu Jesu Christ, SWV 379
    • 12.ALso hat Gott die Welt geliebt, SWV 380
    • 13.O lieber Herre Gott, SWV 381
    • 14.Tröstet, tröstet mein Volk, SWV 382
    • 15.Ich bin eine rufende Stimme,SWV 383
    • 16.Ein Kind ist uns geboren, SWV 384
    • 17.Das Wort ward Fleisch und wohnet unter uns, SWV 385
    • 18.Die himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes, SWV 386
    • 19.Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr,SWV 387
    • 20.Das ist je gewißlich wahr, SWV 388
    • 21.Ich bin ein rechter Weinstock, SWV 389
    • 22.Unser Wandel ist im Himmel, SWV 390
    • 23.Selig sind die Toten, SWV 391
    • 24.Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit, SWV 392
    • 25.Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebt, SWV 393
    • 26.Sehet an den Feignebaum und all Bäume, SWV 394
    • 27.Der Engel sprach zu den Hirten, SWV 395
    • 28.Auf dem Gebirge hat man ein Geschrei gehöret, SWV 396
    • 29.Du Schalksknecht, alle diese Schuld hab ich dir erlassen, SWV 397
By 1648, when he published his Geistliche Chormusik (Spiritual Choral Music), Heinrich Schütz had already been musical director of the famous Dresden court for nearly 35 years. Most of that period had been overshadowed by the calamitous Thirty Years' War, which had a devastating effect on life in many parts of Europe. The war, which ended the same year as Schütz's publication appeared, had a considerable effect on musical life in Dresden, where the chapel had worked on a greatly reduced number of musicians. The 29 motets that form the Geistliche Chormusik reflect such economy of means. There is some dispute among scholars as to whether the collection was planned as a cycle or is simply a collection of pre-existing material brought together for publication. There certainly is a coherent pattern evident in that the first 12 motets are scored in five parts, the second consisting of motets 13 to 24 in six parts, while the concluding five motets are composed in seven parts. In an important preface, Schütz makes clear that he did not necessarily intend the motets to be performed entirely with vocal forces ("this style of church music...is not always homogenous") and the works are generally performed by a mixture of voices and instruments. The texts are mainly drawn from the Old and New Testaments in Martin Luther's German translation, but some chorale texts are also included. It was noted by Bach's biographer Philipp Spitta that each of the three groups' works makes a traversal of the church's year from Advent through to Remembrance Sunday, the last Sunday before Trinity. In his preface, Schütz stresses the importance of composers being thoroughly conversant with the old "motet" or polyphonic style before attempting the influential new Italian continuo style that has become "most popular here [in Germany] and, in fact, has gained more supporters than any other style." Schütz goes on to point out he has no objections to a style he had indeed used before, but the pieces of the Geistliche Chormusik have the specific didactic purpose of encouraging Schütz's younger fellow composers to master the fundamentals of polyphony. This should not be taken to imply that the motets are in any way archaic, but in their eschewal of continuo bass, overt madrigalisms, or word painting, they return to the purer, non-dramatic motet style. In consequence, the music is characterized by a directness of utterance that eschews gesture in favor of a deceptive simplicity that goes directly to the heart.

© Brian Robins, All Music Guide
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