Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630)

Johann Hermann Schein was a contemporary of Schütz but died young.  He was the only colleague really in Schütz' league. His last published work was a second set of sacred concerti Opella Nova II following up on his enormously successful Opella Nova I.  The first Opella Nova were all concerti on familiar chorales.  The second set has some chorale settings but also some musically independent biblical settings.  While our two-part concerto is based upon a New Year's chorale it is musically unrelated to that chorale.  It is a treasurable and childlike duet for two sopranos.  This is the strongest side of Schein combining his innate Italianate sensibility with the most exquisite setting of the German language. 

©Craig Smith

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