The Complete Heinrich Schutz, continued

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Program: #18-34, Air Date: 08/09/18

The amazing series on the Carus label continues with a two CD set of part 2 of the Little Sacred Concertos (“My best musical things,” as Schütz said of these).

NOTE: All of the music on this program comes from the extraordinary multi-disc series on the Carus label of the complete music of Heinrich Schütz. This 17th volume includes part two of the Little Sacred Concertos..

Heinrich Schütz: Kleine geistliche Konzerte II   (soloists/Ludger Rémy). Carus CD 83.271.

Heinrich Schütz’s compositions were hugely influenced by the horrors of the Thirty Years’ War. He continually assimilated his anxious and painful experiences into his works, but in the process created an optimistic, peaceful view of the future. His Kleine geistliche Konzerte II are also a highly sensitive response to the social conditions of the time. A CD recording of these works is now being released as part of the Schütz Complete Recording. This is one of the last recordings with the harpsichordist, organist, and conductor Ludger Rémy, who died in 2017 after a long illness. Hans-Christoph Rademann pays tribute to his long-time colleague in a personal foreword. 

From AllMusic.com:  Schütz published his second volume of "little spiritual concerts" in 1639, three years after the first. It's a remarkable collection of sacred works, full of inventiveness and variety.

Schütz spent some time in Venice studying with Giovanni Gabrielli. There are some indications he also studied with -- or at least studied the music of -- Claudio Monteverdi. The works in this volume show Monteverdi's predilection for illustrating text with music.

The Holy Spirit is depicted in long, drawn-out tones -- appropriate for the Breath of God. Basses sing at their extreme low register to illustrate the depths of despair. A quickening of the heart prompts a flurry of rapid 16th note passages, and so on.

Like Monteverdi, Schütz doesn't let the text shape the music superficially. Each work has an emotional center that's paramount to understanding the import of the text.

The program groups the pieces by theme: Christmastide, Easter, God's Love, etc. When I listened straight through, it was as if I was hearing a series of suites rather than a parade of very short selections.

The selections are beautifully sung. There's a quiet intimacy to these works that Ludger Rémy and his musicians successfully capture. It would be his final recording in this series before Rémy's death. It's an appropriate legacy.                 

  1. Veni, Sancte Spiritus Swv 328
  2. Habe Deine Lust An Dem Herren Swv 311
  3. Rorate Coeli Desuper Swv 322
  4. Sei Gegrüßet, Maria, Du Holdselige Swv 333
  5. Joseph, Du Sohn David Swv 323
  6. Verbum Caro Factum Est Swv 314
  7. Hodie Christus Natus Est Swv 315
  8. Allein Gott In Der Höh Sei Ehr Swv 327
  9. Ich Liege Und Schlafe Swv 310
  10. Meister, Wir Haben Die Ganze Nacht Swv 317
  11. Bone Jesu, Verbum Patris Swv 313
  12. Wann Unsre Augen Schlafen Ein Swv 316
  13. Ist Gott Für Uns, Wer Mag Wider Uns Sein Swv 329
  14. Was Hast Du Verwirket Swv 307
  15. Jesu, Nomen Dulce Swv 308
  16. Aufer Immensam, Deus, Aufer Iram Swv 337

Disc 2

  1. Jubilate Deo Omnis Terra Swv 332
  2. Ich Beuge Meine Knie Gegen Den Vater Swv 319
  3. Ich Will Den Herren Loben Allezeit Swv 306
  4. Die Furcht Des Herren Swv 318
  5. Die Stimm Des Herren Swv 331
  6. Quemadmodum Desiderat Cervus Swv 336
  7. Ich Ruf Zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ Swv 326
  8. Was Betrübst Du Dich, Meine Seele Swv 335
  9. Herr, Ich Hoffe Darauf Swv 312
  10. Herr, Wann Ich Nur Dich Habe Swv 321
  11. Wer Will Uns Scheiden Swv 330
  12. Misericordissime Jesu Swv 309
  13. Ich Bin Jung Gewesen Und Bin Alt Worden Swv 320
  14. Die Seele Christi Heilige Mich Swv 325
  15. Ich Bin Die Auferstehung Und Das Leben Swv 324

Composer Info

Heinrich Schütz,

CD Info

Carus CD 83.271.