Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)
The lovely setting of the first few phrases in Psalm 37 for two sopranos and continuo comes from one of Schütz' lowest periods. The Thiry-Years War had decimated the performing forces available to him. The abundance of musicians as called for in last week's Psalm setting were gone from the court. Like any resourceful composer he made a virtue out of the paucity of people available to him. The two large volumes of Kleine Geistliche Knozerte published during this period are full of the most exquisite and intimate chamber music. Todays Psalm setting is ravishing in its interplay between the two soprano voices. The Halleluja at the end is a wonderful gound-bass section, very Monteverdi-like in its appealing directness.