Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)

There are three settings of the 23rd Psalm by Schütz. Today we perform the first, a large polychoral work in the style of Gabrieli.  Four vocal soloists perform the body of the work, while two four-voice choirs punctuate and intensify the main points.  One choir is doubled by strings, one by brass in our performance today.  Schütz leaves the doubling up to the performer.  As is typical of his early Psalm settings, the grand Gabrieli style is leavened by an already unusual interest in precise characterization of the words.  

©Craig Smith

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