Article

Heinrich Schütz

Stephen Rose

in Music

ISBN: 9780199757824
Published online June 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199757824-0033
Heinrich Schütz

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Heinrich Schütz (b. 1585–d. 1672) was the leading German composer of the first half of the 17th century. He was Kapellmeister at the Dresden court from c. 1617 to 1657 and also served as guest director of music at the courts of Copenhagen and Wolfenbüttel. Schütz was an important figure in the transmission of Italian styles to German-speaking lands, and he established a compositional technique that combined firm contrapuntal foundations with vivid settings of German words. Few of Schütz’s secular compositions survive, and consequently he is best known as a composer of sacred music. His religious output encompasses all the styles and genres found in Lutheran vocal music of the early Baroque, including concerted works for voices and obbligato instruments (such as the Psalmen Davids, 1619, and the three parts of Symphoniae sacrae, 1629, 1647, 1650), as well as polyphonic motets for choir with optional accompaniment (such as the Geistliche Chor-Music, 1648). Particularly notable are his settings of Gospel narratives, including his three Passions and his Historia der Geburt Jesu Christi (1664). Studies of Schütz have been dominated by German scholars, who for much of the 20th century celebrated him as a devout Lutheran who preached via music. More recently, researchers have exposed the nationalist preoccupations behind earlier German revivals of Schütz and have instead emphasized the composer’s role within the courtly cultures of 17th-century Europe.

Article.  7436 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Applied Music ; Ethnomusicology ; Music Theory and Analysis ; Musicology and Music History ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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