Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1930)

Today’s motet is one of the shortest and simplest in Schein’s collection of “madrigals for five voices.”
The four key verbs in the text are presented in four musical paragraphs.
1) remain: a melody presented in a syncopated counterpoint, then twice as slow
2) hold: two sustained low pedal points below a lagging soprano descant
3) lead: three gliding downward sequences (reminiscent of Monteverdi)
4) take (me up): a rhythm four times emphatically repeated.
A considerable repertoire of graphic gestures in a short space of time.

©John Harbison

Back to Other Notes & Translations