Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)

The two part Schütz setting of the Luther double chorale "Verleih uns Frieden-Gib unsern Fürsten" was first published in that composer's German motet collection Geistliche Chormusik. The passionate Luther plea for peace must have had a special resonance in war-torn Germany. The Geistliche Chormusik was published in 1648, the year of the Peace of Westphalia, that brought the horrific Thirty Years' War to a close. Schütz' setting is so subtle and sophisticated that the tune is for the most part buried in the complicated five-voice texture. The color and sentiment of the words are, however, brought to the fore in the most vivid way.

©Craig Smith

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