Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)
The Cantiones sacrae of 1625 stands apart from Schütz’s other works. A collection of forty four-voice motets in Latin, the stylistic traits are a melding of Garbrieli influenced Italian polychoral writing and a more rigorous Germanic structure. Intense expression, chromaticism and madrigalian text painting characterize these inward, meditative texts adapted from the Bible. Our motet, "In te, domine, speravi," a setting of Psalm 31, begins in a manner that is reminiscent of Palestrina’s sacred motets but quickly becomes more text driven. A brief moment of patience on the text "Inclina aurem tuam" (incline your ear to me) is interrupted by the urgent plea to be saved. However, as is typical in Schütz, these two musical and textual ideas are presented simultaneously with great clarity.