Heinrich Schütz lived a long and successful life, and studied with some of the greatest masters of the time, including Monteverdi and Giovanni Gabrieli. He is generally considered to be the greatest German composer of the early Baroque.
Travelling between positions in Copenhagen, Kassel and Dresden, his life was hit by personal tragedies – he outlived his wife and all his children, and the Thirty Years War severely disrupted his employment.
This CD contains selections from two of his three sets of Symphoniae Sacrae. The first set, composed in 1629, uses Latin texts, whilst the second and third sets are set to German texts. Schütz’s genius lay in his ability to set words to music. The rhythmic strength of his music lies in his ability to capture the nuances of the words, and this skill enabled him to make a major contribution to Luther’s aim of establishing the vernacular as the literary and liturgical language of the Protestant religion. A similar move had been made in England with the adoption of English rather than Latin in sacred music with the introduction of The Book of Common Prayer in the mid-16th century.
- Recorded in 2003.
- Capella Augustana has recorded the complete works of Schütz (BC94361).
- Comprehensive booklet essay and sung texts included.