Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630)

Johann Hermann Schein's Cymbalum Sionium is a collection of Italianate poly choral pieces.  It actually predates Schütz' Psalmen Davids, a collection in a similar style, by several years.  While less brilliant and "Venetian" in character than the Schütz collection, the Schein pieces have a grave beauty all of their own.  Today's eight-voice setting of the great passage from the third chapter of the Gospel according to John is appropriately dark and serious. The two 4 voice choruses alternate and expressively punctuate the poignant text. 

©Craig Smith

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