Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)

In the 1630's Schütz' ambitions as a composer were thwarted by the decimation of all courtly activity by the Thirty Years War. Very few musicians were actually left to perform chapel duties. In 1619, Schütz had published large-scale collections for performances of up to forty players and singers. In both books of the Kleine Geistliche Konzerte, virtually his only published works from the 1630's, the most performers called for in any of the pieces are eight.  Although Schütz's second collection of Symphoniae Sacrae appeared in print in 1647, he began work on this project as early as 1629 while he was in Italy.

"Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden" sets text from Psalm 117 for alto, tenor and bass soloist with two solo violins and continuo. He makes the same demands from the violins and the voices, treating the voice instrumentally much as in Monteverdi's music. The motet ends with a joyful Alleluia – the last time we hear an “Alleluia” until Easter Sunday.

©Ryan Turner

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