Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)

The two part Advent motet "Es wird das Scepter" that opens Schütz' 1648 collection Geistliche Chormusik is in a way the most inward and least profiled of all of the motets in this collection. It is almost as if Schütz begins the church year delicately, almost carefully. A brief moment of forthrightness "bis der Held komme" (until the hero appears) brightens part one, and the fragmentary projection of the colorful final lines of part two prefigure some of the more graphic moments in subsequent motets. Even the portrayal of the drunken donkey is muted and tasteful.

©Craig Smith and John Harbison

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