Heinrich Schütz

Biography

Born: October 8, 1585; Köstritz, Germany   Died: November 6, 1672; Dresden, Germany  
Heinrich Schütz, in a way, stood as a bridge between the Renaissance and Bach. He infused his church music with a greater drama than previously heard in Germany by developing and transforming the Italian choral style he had learned in his studies with Gabrieli. Schütz's Psalmen Davids (1619) shows the influence of Gabrieli but also divulges his own unique voice. His melodic invention is in evidence in the Becker Psalter (1626), while his Read more Geistliche Chor-Music (1648), a collection of motets, represents perhaps the greatest such assemblage from his century. A large number of his compositions went unpublished, most of those now lost.

Schütz was born in Köstritz (now Bad Köstritz) and raised in Weissenfels, where his father operated an inn. Young Heinrich probably studied with George Weber, a composer and the local Kantor. At 13, Schütz entered the Collegium Mauritianum in Kassel at the urging of Landgrave Moritz of Hessen, who had established it four years earlier. Schütz became a choirboy in the Landgrave's court and studied under kapellmeister Georg Otto. Shortly after leaving the Collegium in 1608 (such lengthy study was not unusual), Schütz left for Venice to study with Giovanni Gabrieli.

In 1613, he returned to Germany and accepted a post as second organist in the Landgrave's court. Around this time he met Johann Herman Schein, with whom he would remain close friends until Schein's death in 1631. In 1615, Schütz entered service in the Dresden court of Elector Johann Georg of Saxony and two years later became, in effect, kapellmeister, holding the most powerful musical post in Protestant Germany.

Schütz's first sacred music publication appeared in 1619. Psalmen Davids sampt etlichen Moteten und Concerten comprised 26 works for various choruses and instruments. On June 1, that year, the composer married Magdalene Wildeck, 15 years his junior. Throughout the early 1620s, Schütz remained quite active in composition, perhaps finding his personal happiness a springboard for his creativity. In 1625, however, Magdalene died after a brief illness, dealing Schütz a devastating blow.

This tragedy seems to have motivated Schütz in the composition of his Der Psalter nach Cornelius Becker, a huge collection of partsongs, published in 1628. The composer departed Dresden for Venice on August 11, that same year, owing to economic hardship in Saxony from the ongoing Thirty Years War. Upon his return to Dresden in late 1629, he found economic conditions there no better. In fact, things worsened over the eight-year span (1633-1641) he spent mainly in the court of Prince Christian of Denmark. Schütz served most of the period of 1642-1644 in the Copenhagen court of Prince Johann Georg, though he remained officially tied to his Dresden post. The composer's Symphoniarum sacrarum secunda pars, a collection of sacred vocal works, appeared in 1647. After briefly taking a post in Duke Wilhelm's Weimar court in 1648, he spent several months in Weissenfels early the following year and then returned to Dresden. In 1650, Schütz published his collection, Symphoniarum sacrarum tertia pars.

The composer's output slowed to a trickle in his later years, but in the latter 1650s his financial situation, long precarious under Elector Johann Georg, improved when Johann Georg II succeeded his father, who died in 1656. Schütz did much traveling in his last years and lived in Weissenfels for most of his last decade. Read less
Schütz: The Christmas Story, Etc / Oxford Camerata
Release Date: 11/19/1996   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553514   Number of Discs: 1
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Heinrich Schutz Edition
Release Date: 05/29/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94361   Number of Discs: 19
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Work: Musicalische Exequien, Op. 7/SWV 279-81

Browse 1-17 of 17 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Schutz: Complete Recordings, Box 1 / Rademann, Dresdner Kammerchor
    Label: Carus   Catalog: 83041 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz
    Performer:  Dorothee Mields,  Ludger Rémy,  Matthias Müller,  Anja Zugner  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans-Christoph Rademann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresdner Kammerchor,  Cappella Sagittariana,  Sirius Viols  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 2.
    The Vale of Tears
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29144 Release Date: 10/16/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Heinrich Schütz,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Agnes Zsigovics,  Isaiah Bell,  Geoffrey [Baritone Vocal] Sirett,  Alexander Dobson  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Taylor
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  • 3.
    17th Century Funeral Music: Schutz, Praetorius, Schein, Demantius
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95123 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz,  Michael Praetorius,  Johann Hermann Schein,  Christoph Demantius
    Performer:  Mieke van der Sluis,  Reinhard Decker,  Wolfgang Katschner,  Hermann Oswald  ... 
    Conductor:  Howard Arman
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  • 4.
    Heinrich Schutz: Musikalische Exequien
    Label: Accent   Catalog: 24299 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz
    Performer:  Stephan [Tenor Vocal] Scherpe,  Knut Schoch,  Gerlinde Sämann,  Marie Kuijken  ... 
    Conductor:  Sigiswald Kuijken
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Petite Bande
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  • 5.
    Schutz: Musikalische Exequien & Motetten  / Homburg, Stuttgarter Hymnus Chorknaben
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 9021784 Release Date: 04/23/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz,  Johann Hermann Schein
    Conductor:  Rainer Johannes Homburg,  Roland Wilson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Hymnus Boys Choir,  Musica Fiata
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  • 6.
    All-Baroque Box (From Monteverdi To Bach) [50-CD Limited Edition]
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001719702 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Harvey,  Stephen Varcoe,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Paul McCreesh,  Marc Minkowski,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  Gabrieli Consort  ... 
    CD: $138.99
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  • 7.
    Heinrich Schutz Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94361 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz
    Performer:  Gerd Türk,  Bas Ramselaar
    Conductor:  Matteo Messori
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cappella Augustana,  Il Sonar Parlante
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  • 8.
    Schutz: Musikalische Exequien / Rademann, Desdner Kammerchor
    Label: Carus   Catalog: 83238 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz
    Conductor:  Hans-Christoph Rademann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Chamber Choir
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  • 9.
    Heinrich Schutz: Musicalische Exequien
    Label: Ricercar   Catalog: 311 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz,  Samuel Scheidt,  Michael Praetorius
    Performer:  Bernard Foccroulle
    Conductor:  Lionel Meunier
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  • 10.
    Label: Raum Klang   Catalog: 301076 Release Date: 10/15/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Stephan Otto,  Johann Rosenmüller,  Heinrich Schütz  ... 
    Performer:  Gudrun Sidonie Otto,  Gesine Adler,  Dorothea Wagner,  Stephan Gähler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Sagittariana Dresden
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  • 11.
    Schutz, Praetorius, Schein, Demantius: Trauermusik / Schutz-akademie
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 115192 Release Date: 09/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Hermann Schein,  Michael Praetorius,  Heinrich Schütz,  Christoph Demantius
    Conductor:  Howard Arman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schutz-akademie,  Schütz-Akademie
    CD: $17.99
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  • 12.
    Schutz: Musikalische Exequien / Herreweghe, Chapelle Royale
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 501261 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz
    Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale Chorus Paris,  La Chapelle Royale Paris
    CD: $14.99
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  • 13.
    Label: American Bach Soloists   Catalog: 5638173942 Release Date: 09/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz
    Performer:  Kurt-Owen Richards,  Benjamin Butterfield,  James F. Weaver [Bass-Baritone Vocal],  Daniel Taylor  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Bach Soloists
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  • 14.
    Schütz: Musikalische Exequien / The Sixteen
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16036 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen,  The Symphony of Harmony and Invention
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  • 15.
    Schütz: Muskalische Exequien, Motetten Und Konzerte
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 423405 Release Date: 12/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz
    Performer:  Frieder Lang,  Ashley Stafford,  Michael Chance,  Carol Hall  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts,  Monteverdi Choir
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  • 16.
    Early Music - Schütz: German Requiem, Etc / Helbich
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555705 Release Date: 06/15/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz
    Performer:  Henning Kaiser,  Veronika Winter,  Henning Voss,  Ralf Grobe  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Helbich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Alsfeld Vocal Ensemble,  Febi Armonici,  Himlische Cantorey
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  • 17.
    Monteverdi: Sestina;  Schütz: Musikalische Exequien
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 733 Release Date: 12/12/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Heinrich Schütz,  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Jean-Paul Wisard,  Danièle Wisard,  Lisette Milleret,  Martine Reymond
    Conductor:  Jean-Christophe Aubert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Vocale of Lausanne University
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