Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)

Chorales are not nearly so prominent in Schütz as in Bach. When they are the basis for a motet in Schütz they are always something special. “So fahr ich hin” is so subtle and exquisitely colored that the tune itself is mostly disguised. What remains is an amazing pure rendering of the moving text. Notice how the music stretches out at the description of the arm stretching. The dropping of the harmony at the mention of “sleep” is unbearably poignant. On a personal note, I believe that if I were on a desert island and could choose only one Schütz piece, this would be the one.

©Craig Smith

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