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Music Heinrich Schütz
by
Stephen Rose

Introduction

Heinrich Schütz (b. 1585–d. 1672) was the leading German composer of the first half of the 17th century. He was Kapellmeister at the Dresden court from c. 1617 to 1657 and also served as guest director of music at the courts of Copenhagen and Wolfenbüttel. Schütz was an important figure in the transmission of Italian styles to German-speaking lands, and he established a compositional technique that combined firm contrapuntal foundations with vivid settings of German words. Few of Schütz’s secular compositions survive, and consequently he is best known as a composer of sacred music. His religious output encompasses all the styles and genres found in Lutheran vocal music of the early Baroque, including concerted works for voices and obbligato instruments (such as the Psalmen Davids, 1619, and the three parts of Symphoniae sacrae, 1629, 1647, 1650), as well as polyphonic motets for choir with optional accompaniment (such as the Geistliche Chor-Music, 1648). Particularly notable are his settings of Gospel narratives, including his three Passions and his Historia der Geburt Jesu Christi (1664). Studies of Schütz have been dominated by German scholars, who for much of the 20th century celebrated him as a devout Lutheran who preached via music. More recently, researchers have exposed the nationalist preoccupations behind earlier German revivals of Schütz and have instead emphasized the composer’s role within the courtly cultures of 17th-century Europe.

General Overviews

Rifkin and Linfield 2001 is the starting-point for all serious research; it is the most authoritative and easily obtainable overview of Schütz’s life and music for English speakers. Breig 2006 is the equivalent overview for German speakers. Smallman 2000 offers a reliable and reasonably up-to-date introduction to Schütz’s music for the English-speaking general reader or student. Moser 1959 is an extremely detailed life-and-works study, tainted by the author’s Nazism, yet still worth reading for its contextual information. Breaking away from the standard life-and-works format, Heinemann 1993 offers new perspectives on Schütz’s musical achievements.

  • Breig, Werner. “Schütz, Heinrich.” In Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Personenteil. Vol.15. Edited by Ludwig Finscher, 358–407. Stuttgart, Germany: Metzler, 2006.

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    An overview of the composer’s life and music by the doyen of German scholars of Schütz. Includes an up-to-date works list and a bibliography that focuses on post-1980 texts.

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  • Heinemann, Michael. Heinrich Schütz und seine Zeit. Laaber, Germany: Laaber-Verlag, 1993.

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    Starts with a detailed chronology of Schütz’s life, then six chapters address themes both familiar (such as Schütz’s relationship to Italian music, or the balance of order and expression in his music) and unfamiliar (such as Schütz’s work as an organist and composer of instrumental music).

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  • Moser, Hans Joachim. Heinrich Schütz. His Life and Work. Translated by Carl F. Pfatteicher. St. Louis, MO: Concordia, 1959.

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    Moser’s discursive tome stems from the Schütz revival of the early 20th century and embodies a nationalism that was fueled by Nazism. It venerates the composer as a quintessential German who had an unrivalled ability to set biblical words to music. Refers to a wide range of contextual material, including documents and compositions lost since the World War II. Originally published as Heinrich Schütz: Sein Leben und Werk (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1936).

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  • Rifkin, Joshua, and Eva Linfield. “Schütz, Heinrich.” In The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2d ed. Vol. 22. Edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell, 826–860. London: Macmillan, 2001.

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    Contains the most detailed and accurate account of Schütz’s life, plus a brief survey of his principal compositions. Particularly useful is the comprehensive bibliography (which covers all Schütz scholarship up to 2000) and the works list (which also includes lost music). Available online.

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  • Smallman, Basil. Schütz. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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    An account of Schütz’s life and works for the general reader. Includes a detailed introduction to his music, although Smallman avoids using terms from 17th-century music theory that would have helped him accurately describe Schütz’s pitch organization.

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Reference Works and Serials

A comprehensive catalogue of Schütz’s compositions and their sources is badly needed. Bittinger 1960 was adequate by the standards of its day but is now seriously dated; it should be read in conjunction with the information in Breig 1979. The most up-to-date lists of Schütz’s works are the summaries given in Rifkin and Linfield 2001 and Breig 2006 (both listed under General Overviews). Miller and Highsmith 1986 is a useful bibliographical aid for performers seeking editions of individual pieces, while the database VD17 is essential for any specialist research into the printed output of Schütz’s colleagues and collaborators. Alongside these reference works, two serials are important outlets for German research on Schütz and his time. Schütz-Jahrbuch 1979– is the main forum for scholarship on the composer. The archival investigations of German musicologists to uncover the activities of Schütz and his contemporaries are published in the series Beiträge zur musikalischen Quellenforschung 1988–2005.

  • Beiträge zur musikalischen Quellenforschung. Bad Köstritz, Germany: Protokoll-Bänder Kolloquium im Rahmen der Köstritzer Schütz-Täge, 1988–2005.

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    An occasional publication containing papers in German delivered at conferences at the Heinrich-Schütz-Haus in Bad Köstritz. Most relate to aspects of central German music history with a focus on Schütz. Contents of these volumes can be found online.

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    • Bittinger, Werner. Schütz-Werke-Verzeichnis (SWV). Kleine Ausgabe. Kassel, Germany: Bärenreiter, 1960.

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      The standard catalogue of Schütz’s works, now heavily outdated. It was conceived as a “kleine Ausgabe” (small edition), a prelude to a proposed larger volume that so far has not appeared.

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    • Breig, Werner. “Schützfunde und -zuschreibungen seit 1960. Auf dem Wege zur Großen Ausgabe des Schütz-Werke-Verzeichnisses.” Schütz-Jahrbuch 1 (1979): 63–92.

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      Updates Bittinger 1960 with entries for subsequently discovered compositions and sources.

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    • Miller, D. Douglas, and Anne L. Highsmith. Heinrich Schütz. A Bibliography of the Collected Works and Performing Editions. Music Reference Collection 9. New York: Greenwood, 1986.

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      A bibliography of modern editions of Schütz’s music. Particularly useful for its comprehensive list of the many performing editions of individual pieces.

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    • Schütz-Jahrbuch. 1979–.

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      The scholarly journal of the Internationale Heinrich-Schütz-Gesellschaft, this annual publication contains predominantly German scholarship. Articles in the early issues focused on the sources and style of Schütz’s music; from the 1990s the journal widened its remit to cover all German music of the 17th century. A cumulative index of articles can be found online.

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    • Verzeichnis der im deutschen Sprachraum erschienenen Drucke des 17. Jahrhunderts (VD17).

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      The online national bibliography of printed books from German-speaking lands in the 17th century, with links to digitized versions of the original texts where available. At present it excludes most printed music, with the exception of hymnals, musical settings of poetry, and occasional music written for weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies. Its database of personal names is an invaluable tool for scholars seeking to identify the musicians, patrons, and poets associated with Schütz.

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      Editions of Schütz’s Music

      Most of Schütz’s extant music was printed in his lifetime, and these printed sources generally pose fewer editorial problems than 17th-century works transmitted in manuscript. But each of the three collected editions modernizes Schütz’s notation to a different extent. Spitta 1885–1927 retains its scholarly value as a generally faithful transcription of the original sources. Schütz 1955– is the most widely available edition, but its earlier installments take undue liberties in modernizing Schütz’s notation. Graulich 1971– strikes the best balance between the needs of scholars and performers, but as yet it covers only a small proportion of Schütz’s output.

      • Graulich, Günter, ed. Heinrich Schütz: Sämtliche Werke. Stuttgarter Schütz-Ausgabe. Neuhausen-Stuttgart, Germany: Hänssler, 1971–.

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        The Stuttgarter Schütz-Ausgabe provides readable and reliable texts without undue editorial intervention. Its detailed introductions include useful advice on performance and English translations of the sung texts and Schütz’s prefaces. To date, the edition has only covered a few items in Schütz’s output: the Italienische Madrigale, Historia der Auferstehung, Symphoniae sacrae I, Musicalische Exequien, and Zwölf geistliche Gesänge.

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      • Schütz, Heinrich. Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke. Internationale Heinrich-Schütz-Gesellschaft. Kassel, Germany: Bärenreiter, 1955–.

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        Earlier volumes in the Neue Schütz-Ausgabe—such as Gottfried Grote’s 1960 edition of the Cantiones sacrae—sought to make the music accessible for modern ensembles by transposing it into anachronistic keys, halving note values, and using modern time signatures. Later volumes in the series retain more features of the original notation, and indeed revised versions of several of the earlier volumes have now been issued.

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      • Spitta, Philipp, ed. Heinrich Schütz: Sämmtliche Werke. 16 vols. Leipzig, Germany: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1885–1927.

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        The first complete edition of Schütz’s music, this continues to be valuable for scholars. Spitta had access to sources destroyed or lost in World War II, and his edition retains the original clefs, note values, and mensuration signs. Yet the lack of modern clefs and the large format of the volumes make this edition unsuitable for use in performance.

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      Documents

      Schütz is one of the best documented of all 17th-century composers, with almost two hundred extant letters and other documents written by him. For most of the 20th century, Müller 1931 was the only available edition of documents written by Schütz, despite its many errors and omissions. An updated, expanded, and corrected set of transcriptions appears in Heinemann 2010, the first installment of the projected Schütz-Dokumente series. A more inclusive approach to documents—including not just those written by Schütz but also correspondence addressed to him and official court documents about music—can be found in Kobuch 1986 and Spagnoli 1992. Throughout the 20th century, German scholars reported finding new documents on Schütz: Möller 1984 introduces one of the most spectacular set of such discoveries. At the time of writing, few of the documents about Schütz have been translated into English, with the exception of Leaver 1973 and the important selection contained in Spagnoli 1992. Petzoldt 1972 is a useful anthology of pictorial documents concerning the composer and his environment. Finally, the SLUB Dresden Digitale Bibliothek offers online access to relevant manuscript and printed documents from the Dresden libraries.

      • Heinemann, Michael, ed. Schriftstücke von Heinrich Schütz. Schütz-Dokumente 1. Cologne: Dohr, 2010.

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        A new scholarly edition of Schütz’s letters and other writings. It contains almost twice as many documents as Müller 1931, reflecting the many discoveries made in Schütz studies since the 1930s.

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      • Kobuch, Agatha. “Neue Sagittariana im Staatsarchiv Dresden: Ermittlungen unbekannter Quellen über den kursächsischen Hofkapellmeister Heinrich Schütz.” Jahrbuch für Regionalgeschichte 13 (1986): 79–124.

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        A selection of documents from the Dresden archives, illuminating Schütz’s courtly duties and his efforts to publish his music.

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      • Leaver, Robin A. “The Funeral Sermon for Heinrich Schütz.” Bach IV.4 (1973): 3–17.

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        An annotated translation of Martin Geier’s 1672 sermon at Schütz’s funeral. Includes the obituary of Schütz, plus extensive material about Lutheran attitudes to music. Continued in Bach V.1 (1974): 9–22; V.2 (1974): 22–35; V.3 (1974): 13–20. Reprint, XXV/2 (1994): 115-129.

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      • Möller, Eberhard. “Neue Schütz-Funde in der Ratsschulbibliothek und im Stadtarchiv Zwickau.” Schïtz-Jahrbuch 6 (1984): 5–22.

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        Describes documents and compositions discovered in the Ratsschulbibliothek and Stadtarchiv of Zwickau, including a portrait of the forty-two-year-old Schütz and his Klaglied (1625) on the death of his wife.

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      • Müller, Erich H., ed. Heinrich Schütz: Gesammelte Briefe und Schriften. Regensburg: Bosse, 1931.

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        Until recently this was the standard edition of Schütz’s letters and other writings, but it is marred by errors and omissions, and its explanatory notes are inadequate by modern standards.

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      • Petzoldt, Richard. Heinrich Schütz und seine Zeit in Bildern. Introduction by Dietrich Berke. Kassel, Germany: Bärenreiter, 1972.

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        Includes 17th-century engravings of Schütz’s workplaces and of Dresden court festivities; portraits of his patrons and colleagues; and facsimiles of his letters, music manuscripts, and printed compositions. The commentary is in parallel German/English.

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      • SLUB Dresden Digitale Bibliothek. Sächsische Landesbibliothek, Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden.

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        The portal to digitized collections at the Saxon state library, including manuscript and printed music by Dresden composers, the 1672 funeral sermon for Schütz, and official documents from the Dresden court.

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        • Spagnoli, Gina. Letters and Documents of Heinrich Schütz 1656–1672. An Annotated Translation. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 1992.

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          Letters and court documents from the last twenty years of Schütz’s life, presented in accurate German transcriptions and parallel English translations. The documents mostly relate to Schütz’s ongoing activities at the Dresden court and his role as Kapellmeister in absentia at the Wolfenbüttel court. The detailed introduction includes a useful summary of the duties of the various types of court musicians.

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        Schütz as Court Composer

        Schütz was predominantly a court composer, writing grand sacred music and secular entertainments whose splendor enhanced that of his princely patrons. For almost his entire career he was Kapellmeister at the Dresden court at the Electors of Saxony. Fürstenau 1861 remains the basic chronicle of the musical personnel at the Dresden court, despite its age and inaccuracies. Schmidt 1961 outlines the role of music in the liturgy at the Dresden court chapel. With the reunification of Germany in 1990, the Dresden archives became fully accessible to Western scholars, leading to an efflorescence of Anglo-American scholarship. Watanabe O’Kelly 2002 is an interdisciplinary overview of the artistic and intellectual world of the Electors of Saxony from the mid-16th to early 18th centuries. Frandsen 2000 and Frandsen 2006 are detailed accounts of how Elector Johann Georg II cultivated Italian music, a topic overlooked by many previous German scholars for nationalistic reasons. Schütz’s activities at other courts are discussed in Wade 1996 (on the royal wedding at Copenhagen in 1634) and Geck 1992 (on Schütz’s female patron in Wolfenbüttel). Breig 1981 offers case studies in how three pieces by Schütz might have bolstered princely prestige. Further discussion of the courtly contexts for Schütz’s works can be found in Spagnoli 1992 (listed under Documents).

        • Breig, Werner. “Höfische Festmusik im Werk von Heinrich Schütz.” Daphnis: Zeitschrift für Mittlere Deutsche Literatur 10 (1981): 711–734.

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          Considers how three of Schütz’s compositions functioned at princely festivities: Jauchzet dem Herren, SWV 47 (for the Reformation Centenary, 1617), Da pacem, Domine, SWV 465 (for the electoral assembly at Mühlhausen, 1627), and Gesang der Venus-Kinder, SWV 278 (for the royal wedding at Copenhagen, 1634).

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        • Frandsen, Mary E. “Allies in the Cause of Italian Music: Schütz, Prince Johann Georg II and Musical Politics in Dresden.” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 125 (2000): 1–40.

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          Covers an earlier period to that described in Frandsen 2006. Shows how in 1647–1650 Schütz collaborated with Prince Johann Georg II to try to get Elector Johann Georg I to hire an Italian (or Italian-trained) vice-Kapellmeister. Exposes the political manoeuvring involved in musical patronage, and Schütz’s ongoing advocacy of Italian styles at Dresden. Also available online.

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        • Frandsen, Mary E. Crossing Confessional Boundaries. The Patronage of Italian Sacred Music in Seventeenth-Century Dresden. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

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          Discusses the import of Italian musicians and repertory into Dresden by Johann Georg II (initially as crown prince in the early 1650s, then from 1657 as Elector). Provides a context for Schütz’s complaints about the ill-treatment of the German musicians at Dresden in 1652–1654 and his gradual retirement from the court after 1657.

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        • Fürstenau, Moritz. Zur Geschichte der Musik und des Theaters am Hofe zu Dresden. 2 vols. Dresden: Rudolf Kuntze, 1861.

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          This history of Dresden court music up to 1763 remains a useful resource for modern scholars. Fürstenau had unrivalled access to the Dresden archives of his day, including documents apparently unavailable today; but unfortunately his account is often inaccurate, and he rarely reveals his sources. Also available in facsimile reprint with afterword by Wolfgang Reich (Leipzig: Edition Peters, 1971).

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        • Geck, Karl Wilhelm. Sophie Elisabeth, Herzogin zu Braunschweig und Lüneburg (1613–1676) als Musikerin. Saarbrücker Studien zur Musikwissenschaft, Neue Folge 6. Saarbrücken, Germany: Saarbrücker Druckerei und Verlag, 1992.

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          Revised version of 1991 doctoral dissertation. Exposes the musical world of Schütz’s pupil and patron, Sophie Elisabeth of Braunschweig-Lüneburg (b. 1613–d. 1676). Describes how Schütz advised her on the rebuilding of the Wolfenbüttel court ensemble.

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        • Schmidt, Eberhard. Der Gottesdienst am Kurfürstlichen Hofe zu Dresden. Veröffentlichungen der evangelischen Gesellschaft für Liturgieforschung 12. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht, 1961.

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          Describes the forms of worship at the Dresden court chapel between about 1570 and 1670. Of particular interest to musicologists are the sections on the liturgical use of hymns; on the changing roles of the Kapellmeister, organists and other musicians; and on the possible liturgical functions of Schütz’s sacred compositions.

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        • Wade, Mara R. Triumphus Nuptialis Danicus. German Court Culture and Denmark. Wolfenbütteler Arbeiten zur Barockforschung 27. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz Verlag, 1996.

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          A lavishly illustrated account of the 1634 celebrations of the wedding of the Danish prince-elect Christian V and the Saxon princess Magdalena Sibylle in Copenhagen. Argues that Schütz was artistic director of the entire festivities and thus gives insights into his activities outside the sphere of sacred music.

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        • Watanabe O’Kelly, Helen. Court Culture in Dresden: From Renaissance to Baroque. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave, 2002.

          DOI: 10.1057/9780230514492Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          A cultural history of the Dresden court between 1553 and 1733, outlining the patronage of each Elector of Saxony in the period. Discusses the Electors’ recurring fascination with Italian culture, including music. The best starting point for students and researchers exploring the artistic and intellectual milieu of Schütz’s workplace.

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        The Thirty Years’ War

        For most of Schütz’s time at Dresden, the German-speaking lands were afflicted by the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648). This military and religious conflict affected Schütz’s working conditions, interrupting the pay of the Dresden court musicians and depleting the ensembles available to the composer; but music also had an important role to play as a bringer of harmony in troubled times. For an overview of the cultural impact of the war, see the essays in Bussmann and Schilling 1998. Heidrich 1996 and Schmalzriedt 1984 interpret specific pieces by Schütz as responses to the political, military, and religious strife of the period.

        • Bussmann, Klaus, and Heinz Schilling, eds. 1648: War and Peace in Europe. 3 vols. Münster, Germany: Veranstaltungsgesellschaft 350 Jahre Westfälischer Friede, 1998.

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          A lavishly illustrated book accompanying an exhibition marking the 350th anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia. Volume 2 discusses how the arts were affected by the war. Includes Wolfram Steude’s essay on Schütz, plus articles by Klaus Hortschansky, Eberhard Nehlsen, Werner Braun, and Stefan Hanheide that provide further musical contexts for the conflict. Also published in German as 1648: Krieg und Frieden in Europa. 3 vols. (Münster, Germany: Veranstaltungsgesellschaft 350 Jahre Westfälischer Friede, 1998).

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        • Heidrich, Jürgen. “Die Cantiones sacrae von Heinrich Schütz vor dem Hintergrund reichspolitischer und konfessioneller Auseinandersetzung.” Schütz–Jahrbuch 18 (1996): 53–64.

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          Interprets Schütz’s Cantiones sacrae (1625) as a conciliatory gesture toward Emperor Ferdinand II, on account of the ecumenical nature of its Latin devotional texts and the collection’s dedication to the imperial councillor Count Ulrich von Eggenberg.

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        • Schmalzriedt, Siegfried. “Friedenssehnsucht und göttliche Ordnung: Heinrich Schütz’ Motette O lieber Herre Gott zu sechs Stimmen aus der Geistlichen Chormusik (Dresden 1648).” In Analysen: Beiträgen zu einer Problemgeschichte des Komponierens. Festschrift für Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht zum 65. Geburtstag. Edited by Reinhold Brinkmann, Elmar Budde, and Werner Breig, 110–127. Beihefte zum Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 23. Stuttgart, Germany: Steiner, 1984.

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          Examines Schütz’s techniques of regulirten composition (“regulated composition”) as used in his Geistliche Chor-Music (1648) and described in its preface. Argues that the controlled polyphony of this motet collection expressed Schütz’s longing for order after the decades of turmoil caused by war.

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        Schütz and Italian Music

        Schütz visited Italy in 1609–1613 to study with Giovanni Gabrieli, and visited again in 1628–1629. Küster 1995 compares Schütz’s Italian madrigals (opus 1, 1611), the first fruits of his study with Gabrieli, with similar collections by Italians and other northern pupils of Gabrieli. Several insightful studies of Schütz’s Italian connections have been written by Anglo-American musicologists specializing in early modern Italy: Arnold 1972 examines Schütz’s Psalmen Davids 1619 in the light of Gabrieli’s influence; Roche 1972 and Arnold 1985 trace the likely music encountered by Schütz on his second visit; and Kendrick 1997 reappraises the Italianate elements in the Symphoniae sacrae I (1629), countering the hagiographic tone common in German studies of Schütz. Ossi 1998 and Frandsen 2004 analyze the similarities between specific pieces by Schütz and their Italian models.

        • Arnold, Denis. “The Second Venetian Visit of Heinrich Schütz.” Musical Quarterly 71 (1985): 359–374.

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          Describes the Venetian musical scene that Schütz would have encountered during his visit of 1628–1629. Follows Roche 1972 in emphasizing the influence of the music of Alessandro Grandi. Available online.

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        • Arnold, Denis. “Schütz’s ‘Venetian’ Psalms.” Musical Times 113 (1972): 1071–1073.

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          Describes the vogue for Giovanni Gabrieli’s music in German-speaking lands, and traces Gabrielian features in Schütz’s Psalmen Davids (1619). Available online.

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        • Frandsen, Mary E. “ ‘Schütz and the Young Italians at the Dresden Court’ Revisited: Roman Influences in O bone Jesu, fili Mariae virginis (SWV 471).” Schütz-Jahrbuch 26 (2004): 133–154.

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          Argues that Schütz’s O bone Jesu, fili Mariae virginis (SWV 471, c.1666) shows the influence of the Roman composers, such as Giuseppe Peranda, who were employed at the Dresden court from the 1650s, notably in its devotional text and its alternation of recitative and strophic aria.

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        • Kendrick, Robert. “Schütz’s Symphoniae sacrae I and its Non-Reception in Italy.” In Relazioni musicali tra Italia e Germania nell’età barocca: Atti del VI Convegno Internazionale sulla Musica Italiana nei Secoli XVII–XVIII. Edited by Alberto Colzani, 45–60. Como, Italy: Antiquae Musicae Italicae Studiosi, 1997.

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          An analysis of selected pieces from Schütz’s Symphoniae sacrae I (Venice, 1629), noting how they use Italianate features that would have seemed outdated to Italian audiences.

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        • Küster, Konrad. Opus primum in Venedig. Traditionen des Vokalsatzes 1590–1650. Laaber, Germany: Laaber-Verlag, 1995.

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          Comparative analyses of vocal music from the “opus 1” collections published in Venice, including the madrigal collections of Schütz and other northern European pupils of Giovanni Gabrieli such as Gregor Aichinger, Hans Nielsen, and Johann Grabbe.

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        • Ossi, Massimo. “L’armonia raddoppiata: On Claudio Monteverdi’s Zefiro torna, Heinrich Schütz’s Es steh Gott auf, and Other Early Seventeenth-Century Ciaccone.” Studi musicali 17 (1988): 225–253.

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          Analyzes how three pieces (including Schütz’s Es steh Gott auf, SWV 356, from Symphoniae sacrae II, 1647) borrow elements of Monteverdi’s ciaccona Zefiro torna.

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        • Roche, Jerome. “What Schütz Learnt from Grandi in 1629.” Musical Times 113 (1972): 1074–1075.

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          Argues that the main musical influence on Schütz during his second visit to Venice was not Claudio Monteverdi (as previously assumed), but the small-scale motets of Alessandro Grandi. Available online.

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        Compositional Process

        Many of Schütz’s compositions circulated in early versions in manuscript before appearing in printed editions. As yet there is no comprehensive study of how Schütz revised his music for printed publication. Breig 1989 gains many insights into Schütz’s compositional priorities by studying his revisions as he assembled the Kleine geistliche Concerte (1636, 1639). Steude 1967 describes some of the early versions of Schütz’s music and could be used as the basis for further research into Schütz’s compositional process.

        • Breig, Werner. “Zur Werkgeschichte der Kleinen geistlichen Konzerte von Heinrich Schütz.” In Heinrich Schütz und die Musik in Dänemark zur Zeit Christians IV: Bericht über die wissenschaftliche Konferenz in Kopenhagen 10.-14. November 1985. Edited by Anne Ørbæk Jensen and Ole Kongsted, 95–116. Copenhagen: Engstrøm & Sødring, 1989.

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          Compares pieces published in the two volumes of Kleine geistliche Concerte (1636, 1639) with initial versions from as early as 1620, in order to shed light on Schütz’s changing attitudes to the small-scale vocal concerto.

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        • Steude, Wolfram. “Neue Schütz-Ermittlungen.” Deutsches Jahrbuch der Musikwissenschaft 12 (1967): 40–74.

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          Describes the discovery of letters and music by Schütz, including early versions and undated variants of his vocal works in manuscripts originally owned by the Pirna musicians Johann Cadner and Johann Heinrich Richter.

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        Sacred Music

        Schütz’s sacred output includes examples of all the styles and genres found in Lutheran vocal music of the early 17th century. Bianconi 1987 offers a vivid introduction to Schütz’s church output for the undergraduate or general reader. Blankenburg 1984 draws attention to the devotional texts that Schütz frequently set to music from the 1620s onward. Smither 1977 introduces Schütz’s various settings of Gospel narratives (including the Historia der Geburt Jesu Christi, the Historia der Auferstehung, and his three Passions). Wiermann 2005 explores Schütz’s sacred compositions for voices and obbligato instruments in the context of similar pieces by such composers as Thomas Selle and Michael Praetorius. Steude 1982–1983 describes the austere style of Schütz’s last motets, his Schwanengesang (“swan-song”). A particular focus of scholarship has been Schütz’s Musicalische Exequien (1636), written for the funeral of Prince Heinrich Posthumus von Reuss. Johnston 1991a and Johnston 1991b are the most accessible introductions for English speakers to the genesis and meanings of the work. Stein 1998 summarizes the latest discoveries about the origins of the Musicalische Exequien. See also Schmidt 1961 (under Schütz as Court Composer) and the analytical accounts of individual compositions listed under Schütz’s Musical Language.

        • Bianconi, Lorenzo. Music in the Seventeenth Century. Translation by David Bryant. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

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          Chapter 17, “The Music of the Lutheran Church: Heinrich Schütz,” surveys Schütz’s sacred music, examining both its religious context and its text-setting. Originally published as Il Seicento (Turin, Italy: Edizioni di Torino, 1982).

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        • Blankenburg, Walter. “Zur Bedeutung der Andachtstexte im Werk von Heinrich Schütz.” Schütz-Jahrbuch 6 (1984): 62–72.

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          Examines Schütz’s use of nonbiblical texts in his sacred works from the 1620s to 1650s. Many of these devotional texts voice an intimate, first-person expression of faith. Blankenburg suggests that much of Schütz’s sacred music had only a loose relationship with the Lutheran liturgy.

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        • Johnston, Gregory S. “Rhetorical Personification of the Dead in 17th-Century German Funeral Music: Heinrich Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien (1636) and Three Works by Michael Wiedemann (1693).” Journal of Musicology 9 (1991a): 186–213.

          DOI: 10.1525/jm.1991.9.2.03a00040Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Argues that Schütz’s Musicalische Exequien uses the rhetorical technique of prosopopoeia (personification) to represent the voice of the deceased Prince Heinrich Posthumus von Reuss in music. Available online.

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        • Johnston, Gregory S. “Textual Symmetries and the Origins of Heinrich Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien.” Early Music 19 (1991b): 213–225.

          DOI: 10.1093/earlyj/XIX.2.213Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Shows how the texts used in Schütz’s Musicalische Exequien correspond to those chosen by Prince Heinrich Posthumus von Reuss as part of his preparations for death, and engraved on his coffin. Johnston’s hypotheses are verified by evidence uncovered in Stein 1998. Available online. A correction was published in Early Music 19 (1991), 687 (available online.

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        • Smither, Howard E. A History of the Oratorio. Vol. 2. The Oratorio in the Baroque Era: Protestant Germany and England. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1977.

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          An overview of Schütz’s historiae and Passions (pp. 9–28) and his sacred dialogues (pp. 45–66), with references to the compositions of his predecessors, contemporaries, and pupils.

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        • Stein, Ingeborg. Christus, dir lebe ich. Die Sterbenserinnerung des Heinrich Posthumus Reuss in Musik versetzt durch Heinrich Schütz. Bad Köstritz, Germany: Heinrich-Schütz-Haus, 1998.

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          The most up-to-date account of the genesis of the Musicalische Exequien, using archival evidence and the newly accessible sarcophagus to prove that the texts for the piece were chosen by Prince Heinrich Posthumus von Reuss.

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        • Steude, Wolfram. “Das wiedergefundene Opus Ultimum von Heinrich Schütz. Bemerkungen zur Quelle und zum Werk.” Schütz-Jahrbuch 4–5 (1982–1983): 9–18.

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          Describes Schütz’s Schwanengesang (“swan-song,” a group of settings of Psalm 119, Psalm 100, and the Magnificat, SWV 482–494), reconstructed by Steude following his discovery of some of the missing vocal parts in the Sächsische Landesbibliothek, Dresden.

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        • Wiermann, Barbara. Die Entwicklung vocal-instrumentalen Komponierens im protestantischen Deutschland bis zur Mitte des 17. Jahrhunderts. Abhandlungen zur Musikgeschichte 14. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2005.

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          A revised version of a 2002 doctoral dissertation on the development of vocal compositions with obligatory instrumental parts. Analyzes pieces from Schütz’s Psalmen Davids (1619) and Symphoniae sacrae (1629, 1647, 1650) in the context of music from southern, central, and northern Germany. Invaluable for researchers are the extensive bibliographies, lists of inventories of 17th-century music libraries, and many extracts from little-known compositions.

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        Secular Music

        Little of Schütz’s secular music has survived, a quirk of fate that has allowed the image of him as an ardent Lutheran composer to flourish. Yet his post as a court composer required him to create theatrical entertainments for court festivities, including Dafne (1627, to a libretto by Martin Opitz) and the ballet-opera Orpheus und Euridice (1638, to a libretto by Augustus Buchner). Studies of these works must in part be speculative owing to the absence of the music. Aikin 2002 is an English-language overview of the efforts of 17th-century German poets and musicians to write stage works with recitative. Rothmund 2004 is a detailed study of Schütz’s settings of secular German texts and his relationship with those poets who sought a new prestige for vernacular verse. Steude 1991 demolishes previous misconceptions that Dafne was an all-sung opera. See also Varwig 2006, listed under Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Revivals.

        • Aikin, Judith. A Language for German Opera. The Development of Forms and Formulas for Recitative and Aria in Seventeenth-Century German Libretti. Wolfenbütteler Arbeiten zur Barockforschung 37. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2002.

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          Traces the efforts of 17th-century German poets to devise verse forms suitable for operatic recitative. Considers Schütz’s style of recitative with reference to his surviving sacred works and also the libretti of his lost secular works.

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        • Rothmund, Elisabeth. Heinrich Schütz (1585–1672): Kulturpatriotismus und deutsche weltliche Vokalmusik. “Zum Auffnehmen der Music, auch Vermehrung unserer Nation Ruhm.” Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, 2004.

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          A revised version of a 1994 doctoral dissertation. Discusses Schütz’s attitude to setting German texts and his collaboration with Martin Opitz, within the context of the patriotic efforts of German poets to boost the prestige of vernacular verse.

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        • Steude, Wolfram. “Heinrich Schütz und die erste deutsche Oper.” In Von Isaac bis Bach—Studien zur älteren deutschen Musikgeschichte: Festschrift Martin Just zum 60. Geburtstag. Edited by Frank Heidlberger, Wolfgang Osthoff, and Reinhard Wiesand, 169–179. Kassel, Germany: Bärenreiter, 1991.

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          Refutes the assumptions of earlier scholars that Schütz’s Dafne was an all-sung opera, instead suggesting that it was a spoken play with incidental music. Also published in Wolfram Steude, Annäherung durch Distanz. Texte zur älteren mitteldeutschen Musik und Musikgeschichte (Altenburg: Klaus-Jürgen Kamprad, 2001).

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        Schütz’s Musical Language

        Analytical studies of Schütz’s musical language can be divided into two categories: firstly, studies that draw on the discipline of rhetoric, particularly to explain the power of Schütz’s text-setting; secondly, there are studies that draw on 16th- and 17th-century theories of modality and counterpoint.

        Musical-Rhetorical Analyses

        Rhetoric, the art of persuasive speaking, supplied 17th-century writers with a ready-made terminology for analyzing musical structure and contrapuntal features. Bartel 1997 is a useful anthology of translated excerpts from 17th-century treatises that analyze music in rhetorical terms. Building on this way of thinking, German musicologists in the early 20th century analyzed 17th- and 18th-century music as a series of rhetorical figures carrying semantic or affective meaning, as in Unger 1941. This approach was modified by Eggebrecht 1959, who considered Schütz’s text-setting in terms of contrapuntal figures that not only ornament and portray the text but also act as building blocks of the music. The work of Unger and Eggebrecht has subsequently been criticized by German and Anglo-American scholars, as in Forchert 1993 and Vickers 1984. Varwig 2009 pioneers a new type of rhetorical analysis of Schütz’s vocal concertos, emphasizing not the semantic content of the music but instead the rhetorical principles of amplification and variation.

        • Bartel, Dietrich. Musica Poetica: Musical-Rhetorical Figures in German Baroque Music. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997.

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          Translated excerpts from 17th-century music theorists (including Schütz’s pupil Christoph Bernhard) who used rhetorical terminology to describe contrapuntal deviations or other musical features. A useful introduction to the subject for undergraduates. Originally published in a shorter German version as Handbuch der musikalischen Figurenlehre (Laaber, Germany: Laaber-Verlag, 1985).

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        • Eggebrecht, Hans Heinrich. Heinrich Schütz: Musicus Poeticus. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1959.

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          A short but influential book, creating the image of Schütz as a poet-musician whose compositions supremely enhance their German sacred texts. Discusses the role of musical-rhetorical figures in intensifying the text and as structural components of a motet or vocal concerto.

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        • Forchert, Arno. “Heinrich Schütz und die Musica Poetica.” Schütz-Jahrbuch 15 (1993): 7–23.

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          Challenges Eggebrecht’s notion of musica poetica as a specifically Lutheran tradition, instead arguing that Schütz’s combination of counterpoint and expressive text-setting is characteristic of Italians such as his teacher Giovanni Gabrieli and the theorist Gioseffo Zarlino.

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        • Unger, Hans-Heinrich. Die Beziehungen zwischen Musik und Rhetorik im 16.–18. Jahrhundert. Würzburg: Konrad Triltsch, 1941.

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          Analyses Schütz’s Saul, Saul, was verfolgst du mich, SWV 415 (from Symphoniae sacrae III, 1650) as a series of figures (labeled with names taken from rhetoric) that express the sentiments of the text.

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        • Varwig, Bettina. “‘Mutato Semper Habitu’: Heinrich Schütz and the Culture of Rhetoric.” Music & Letters 90 (2009): 215–239.

          DOI: 10.1093/ml/gcn092Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Relates Schütz’s music to Erasmus’s rhetorical principles of variation and amplification. Shows how Schütz repeats and varies nonperiodic phrases in order to create momentum and intensification in his vocal concertos. Available online.

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        • Vickers, Brian. “Figures of Rhetoric/Figures of Music?” Rhetorica 2 (1984): 1–44.

          DOI: 10.1525/rh.1984.2.1.1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Questions whether the terminology of rhetoric can be legitimately applied to the non-linguistic realm of music. Available online.

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        Contrapuntal and Modal Analyses

        Other analytical approaches have focused on Schütz’s pitch organization and counterpoint. Linfield 1991, Linfield 1992, and Linfield 1993 are succinct case studies analyzing different aspects of Schütz’s musical language in the light of compositional theory of the early 17th century. Sixteenth-century theories of modality underpin the lengthy analyses of Schütz’s Cantiones sacrae (1625) in Volckmar-Waschk 2001. Rifkin 1972 is a thought-provoking demonstration of a contrapuntal-reductive approach to Schütz’s vocal concertos.

        • Linfield, Eva. “Formal and Tonal Organization in a 17th-Century Ritornello/Ripieno Structure.” Journal of Musicology 9 (1991): 145–164.

          DOI: 10.1525/jm.1991.9.2.03a00020Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Discusses Schütz’s use of repetition to structure his music, with an analysis of the use of the refrain in Es ging ein Sämann aus (SWV 408, from Symphoniae sacrae III, 1650). Also available online.

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        • Linfield, Eva. “Modal and Tonal Aspects in Two Compositions by Heinrich Schütz.” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 117 (1992): 86–122.

          DOI: 10.1093/jrma/117.1.86Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Analyses Schütz’s Ich beschwöre euch, ihr Töchter zu Jerusalem (SWV 339) and Das ist je gewisslich wahr (SWV 388) for aspects of pitch organization emanating from sixteenth-century notions of modality and other aspects that could be interpreted as leaning towards functional tonality. Also available online.

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        • Linfield, Eva. “Modulatory Techniques in Seventeenth-Century Music: Schütz, a Case in Point.” Music Analysis 12 (1993): 197–214.

          DOI: 10.2307/854272Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Considers the different techniques used by Schütz to create tonal movement in his vocal music. Emphasizes that such techniques cannot be considered in isolation from the text being set. Also available online.

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        • Rifkin, Joshua. “Schütz and Musical Logic.” Musical Times 113 (1972): 1067–1070.

          DOI: 10.2307/956071Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Draws on Christoph Bernhard’s notion of musical figures as dissonances that elaborate an underlying contrapuntal framework. Analyses the relationship of surface dissonance and contrapuntal foundation in Schütz’s Anima mea liquefacta est / Adjuro vos, filiae Hierusalem (SWV 263–264, from Symphoniae sacrae I, 1629) and Meister, wir haben die ganze Nacht gearbeitet (SWV 317, from Kleine geistliche Concerte II, 1639). Also available online.

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        • Volckmar-Waschk, Heide. Die Cantiones sacrae von Heinrich Schütz. Entstehung—Texte—Analysen. Kassel, Germany: Bärenreiter, 2001.

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          Examines how Schütz’s choice of mode reflects the text in selected pieces in his Cantiones sacrae (1625).

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        Performance Practices

        There is no comprehensive guide to the performance practices suitable for Schütz’s music. The composer’s prefaces to his printed editions are invaluable sources of information about the scoring of his works, placement of performers, and choice of tempos. Annotated translations of these prefaces are available in Buelow 1985; the original German texts are transcribed in Müller 1931 and Heinemann 2010 (see under Documents) and in the various editions of Schütz’s music (see Editions of Schütz’s Music). Earlier studies of performance practice, such as Kirchner 1960 on continuo realization, tended to be somewhat prescriptive in their recommendations. More recent studies recognize the plurality of performance traditions in Schütz’s Germany, as in Johnston 1998 on the practice of polyphonic keyboard accompaniment. Butt 1994 offers an overview of the training and performance techniques of German singers in the period. Specialized studies include Mendel 1948 and Brainard 1992 on the tempo relationships in Schütz’s multisectional works, and Linfield 1982–1983 on the scorings of the Historia der Geburt Jesu Christi (1664).

        Reception

        Schütz’s music has had mixed fortunes in its reception. Around 1650 he was recognized as the foremost composer of his age, but within a few decades his compositions had fallen into oblivion. The revival of Schütz’s music in 19th- and early-20th-century Germany was fueled by religious renewal and rising nationalism. As yet there is no overview of the reception of Schütz’s music.

        Seventeenth-Century Reception

        Rose 2005 describes how Schütz’s printed works were widely disseminated during his lifetime, often via the publishing efforts of the composer and his Dresden colleagues. Herrmann 1990 and Waczkat 2001 offer case studies in how Schütz’s compositions were reworked to suit local traditions. Schütz was also a respected teacher, whose pupils included many of the subsequent generation of composers. Küster 1995 and Krummacher 1989 evaluate the works of Schütz’s pupils in the light of his own precepts and music. Krummacher 2007 challenges the reverent atmosphere of much Schütz scholarship, arguing that his music was largely forgotten from the mid-17th century onward.

        • Herrmann, Matthias. “Bemerkungen zur Schütz-Rezeption im 17. Jahrhundert am Beispiel der ‘Breslauer Varianten’ der Auferstehungshistorie SWV 50.” Schütz-Jahrbuch 12 (1990): 83–111.

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          Traces how Schütz’s Historia der Auferstehung (1623) was adapted to suit local ecclesiastical traditions and changing musical tastes in Breslau (modern-day Wrocław).

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        • Krummacher, Friedhelm. “Spätwerk und Moderne: Über Schütz und seine Schüler.” In Heinrich Schütz und die Musik in Dänemark zur Zeit Christians IV: Bericht über die wissenschaftliche Konferenz in Kopenhagen 10–14. November 1985. Edited by Anne Ørbæk Jensen and Ole Kongsted, 155–175. Copenhagen: Engstrøm & Sødring, 1989.

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          Contrasts the archaic style of Schütz’s Schwanengesang (SWV 482–94, 1671) with the modern vocal concertos being composed by his pupils Christoph Bernhard and Matthias Weckmann in the 1660s. Argues that the elderly Schütz was distant from, yet tolerant of, the musical developments of the later 17th century.

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        • Krummacher, Friedhelm. “Wirkung als Problem: Zur historischen Geltung von Heinrich Schütz.” Schütz-Jahrbuch 29 (2007): 111–122.

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          A provocative article, contrasting the high esteem in which Schütz was held in his lifetime with the oblivion into which his music fell after his death. Argues that Schütz’s compositions are not representative of the wider state of 17th-century German music.

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        • Küster, Konrad. “Weckmann und Mölich als Schütz-Schüler.” Schütz-Jahrbuch 17 (1995): 39–62.

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          Argues that Schütz’s teaching emphasized mastery of counterpoint and of the concertato style and evaluates works by his pupils Matthias Weckmann and Gabriel Mölich in this light.

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        • Rose, Stephen. “The Mechanisms of the Music Trade in Central Germany, 1600–1640.” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 130 (2005): 1–48.

          DOI: 10.1093/jrma/fki004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          An overview of how printed music reached its market, with a detailed discussion of Schütz’s efforts to publish his own music. Also available for download.

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        • Waczkat, Andreas. “‘Ad imitationem H. Schützen.’ Zwei Parodiemessen nach Vorlagen von Heinrich Schütz.” Schütz-Jahrbuch 23 (2001): 107–122.

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          Considers manuscripts from Danzig (modern-day Gdańsk) and Breslau (modern-day Wrocław) that rework motets from Schütz’s Psalmen Davids (1619) as Mass movements. See also afterword in Schütz-Jahrbuch 24 (2002): 141.

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        Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Revivals

        The first scholarly rediscoveries of Schütz’s music were by-products of research into other composers. Carl von Winterfeld investigated Schütz as part of his monograph on Giovanni Gabrieli, Johannes Gabrieli und sein Zeitalter (Berlin, 1834). Philipp Spitta began his edition of Schütz’s music as a sequel to his extensive research on Johann Sebastian Bach. Spitta 1892 is one of the first portrayals of Schütz as a specifically German composer, elevated to a pantheon with Bach and Handel. Many 19th-century performances of Schütz’s music were fostered by attempts to renew Lutheran spirituality and church music, as shown in Robinson 1990 and Klek 2009. By the early 20th century, nationalism was the driving force behind the German revival of Schütz’s music. Varwig 2006 exposes how attitudes to Schütz’s Dafne were shaped by the nationalistic agenda of German musicology. Eckart-Bäcker 1987 traces how the Schütz revival of the 1920s and 1930s was led by the Singbewegung (“singing movement”) and Jugendmusikbewegung (“youth music movement”), which were important cultural forces in the Nazi era. Rifkin 1985 argues that the Nazi connotations of the 1930s Schütz revival deterred German performances of his music in the 1960s and 1970s. Other essays on the 20th-century reception of Schütz are found in Böcher 2005, while Grass 1981 epitomizes the mid-20th-century image of Schütz as an austere composer who valued good text-setting above all else.

        • Böcher, Friederike, ed. Schütz-Rezeption im Wandel der Zeit: Kolloquium anlässlich des Festwochenendes “50 Jahre Ausstellungen zu Heinrich Schütz in seinem Geburtshaus.” Köstritzer Schriften 4. Bad Köstritz, Germany: Heinrich-Schütz-Haus, 2005.

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          Contains six essays on aspects of the reception of Schütz’s music since the mid-18th century, including Werner Breig’s reflections on Günter Grass’s portrayal of Schütz; Thomas Schipperges’s analysis of how the Nazis appropriated Schütz as the acme of German music; and Walter Werbeck’s account of images of Schütz in the communist regime of the German Democratic Republic.

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        • Eckart-Bäcker, Ursula. Die Schütz-Bewegung. Zur musikgeschichtlichen Bedeutung des “Heinrich-Schütz-Kreises” unter Wilhelm Kamlah. Vaduz, Germany: Prisca, 1987.

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          Describes the participants in the Schütz revival of the 1920s and 1930s, notably the philosophy student and teacher Wilhem Kamlah (b. 1905–d. 1976). Includes an extensive appendix of newspaper reports and letters from the period.

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        • Grass, Günter. The Meeting at Telgte. Translated by Ralph Mannheim. London: Secker & Warburg, 1981.

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          Describes a fictional meeting of German poets and musicians in 1647, and perpetuates the stereotype of Schütz as an austere figure of impeccable morals, who “attached more importance than did any other composer to the written word” (p. 41). Originally published as Das Treffen in Telgte (Darmstadt: Luchterhand, 1979).

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        • Klek, Konrad. “Die Schütz-Rezeption im Umfeld von Friedrich Spitta.” Schütz-Jahrbuch 31 (2009): 121–145.

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          Chronicles the efforts of the Strasburg theologian Friedrich Spitta (b. 1852–d. 1924) to revive Schütz’s music as part of a renewal of Lutheran church music in the period.

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        • Rifkin, Joshua. “Whatever Happened to Heinrich Schütz?” Opus 1.6 (1985): 10–14, 49.

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          Hard-to-obtain but provocative article, arguing that the neglect of Schütz’s music by German performers since the 1960s partly reflects discomfort at the Nazi connotations of the Schütz revival of the 1930s.

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        • Robinson, Ray. “Heinrich Schütz’s Passions and Historiae in Editions of the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries.” Schütz-Jahrbuch 12 (1990): 112–130.

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          Traces the efforts of German editors between 1842 and 1927 to publish Schütz’s Passions and Histories, sometimes in scholarly editions, sometimes adapted for use in church or concert hall.

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        • Spitta, Philipp. “Händel, Bach und Schütz.” In Zur Musik: Sechzehn Aufsätze. By Philipp Spitta, 59–92. Berlin: Paetel, 1892.

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          Views Schütz as a significant predecessor of Bach and Handel. Praises him for adapting Italian styles for German Protestant church music. First published in Deutsche Rundschau 43 (1885): 36–54.

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        • Varwig, Bettina. “Schütz’s Dafne and the German Operatic Imagination.” In Music, Theatre and Politics in Germany, 1850–1950. Edited by Nikolaus Bacht, 115–136. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2006.

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          Exposes how generations of German musicologists promoted Schütz’s Dafne as “the first German opera” for nationalistic reasons, despite the lack of evidence as to the musical nature of this theatrical entertainment. See also Steude 1991, listed under Secular Music.

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        LAST MODIFIED: 06/29/2011

        DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199757824-0033

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