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Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672)
Geistliche Gesänge (1657) SWV 420-431
Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit SWV 420 [4:56]
All Ehr und Lob soll Gott sein SWV 421 [5:38]
Ich glaube an einen einigen Gott SWV 422 [5:25]
Unser Herr Jesus Christus SWV 423 [4:57]
Ich danke dem Herrn von ganzem Herzen SWV 424 [4:18]
Danksagen wir alle Gott, unserm Herren Christo SWV 425 [1:26]
Meine Seele erhebt den Herren SWV 426 [6:45]
O süßer Jesu Christ, wer an dich recht gedenket SWV 427 [3:52]
Die deutsche Litanei SWV 428 [10:19]
Aller Augen warten auf dich, Herre SWV 429 [3:47]
Danket dem Herren SWV 430 [4:33]
Christe fac ut sapiam SWV 431[4:05]
Dresdner Kammerchor/Hans-Christoph Rademann
rec. October 2009, MDR Leipzig, kleiner Sendesaal
Texts and translations included
CARUS 83.239 [60:01] 

Experience Classicsonline


'Sketched in his spare time' according to one account, the Twelve Sacred Songs of Heinrich Schütz were collected by Christoph Kittel for publication in 1657 'to the honour of God and for practical Christian use in churches and schools'.  Thus the first six correspond to the order of the Mass (Kyrie to Benediction), numbers 7 and 8 to the Vespers, No. 9 was designed for use in the litany in major services, whilst the last three were originally conceived on a domestic scale - they're still sung as graces in the boarding school of the Kreuzchor in Dresden. Which, as the notes suggest, would doubtless have pleased Schütz.
 
So this is Schütz on a more reserved and deliberately limited scale than his more extrovert and public works, those fertile products of his questing musical mind that generated such masterpieces as the German Magnificat, and so many others. The music in the Sacred Songs is measured, considered and restrained. Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit, for example, evinces the kind of measured gravity, in amplitude, tempo and mood that recurs throughout the set. The noble seriousness of All Ehr und Lob soll Gott sein and the control of metre and flow in Unser Herr Jesus Christus points to the narrow expressive limits of the music. But to say that is not to suggest that it is without intensity or moving directness. On the contrary, whilst it may deliberately avoid those feats of anthiphonal splendour that largely added lustre to his name, these more specifically rooted pieces shine the more brightly for their self-effacement and self-control.  Even so very brief a setting as Danksagen wir alle Gott, unserm Herren Christo - which is barely a minute and a half in length - reveals in its repeated phrases a brisk and affirmative piety that could only be the work of a master. Similarly, the simple and unadorned Danket dem Herren generates a greater sense of direction largely through its avoidance of extraneous detail; nothing is allowed to impede the textual message, and all technical flourish and bravura is put to one side.
 
This fourth volume in the complete Schütz series on Carus may not, therefore, seem an obvious reference point, given its unSchütz-like reserve. When the performances are as fine as these, and when the recording has been so well judged, then there can be no reservations.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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