Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630)

The melody "Es ist das Heil" was already an old classic when Johann Hermann Schein included an arrangement of it for two sopranos and continuo in his Opella Nova I.  These wonderful chamber settings of familiar chorales caused a sensation in Saxony when they were published in 1623. Schein was, at that time, the cantor at Thomaskirche in Leipzig so that it is possible that Bach saw these pieces when he arrived there exactly one hundred years later. 

©Craig Smith

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