Heinrich Schutz (1585 – 1672) was a German composer and organist in the early 17th century. He was considered by many to be in the class of Monteverdi. He was first trained as a lawyer and only later studied music with Giovanni Gabriele and then with Claudio Monteverdi. He wrote in a polyphonic style similar to that of the Renaissance in approaching and resolving dissonances. In addition to his organ works and sacred choral music, he is known as the composer of the first German opera. Also, as was common in the Baroque era, he was known for “word painting,” in which the composers sought to portray in sound a specific action or mood, such as a falling melodic line painted a picture of depressed moods, or rising melodic line for happy moods. A miniature form of this affect is the “Baroque “sigh,” consisting of an appoggiatura of a single dissonant note resolving downward to a consonant note.
This power of music was recognized in what was known as the Doctrine of Affections. Both Bach and Brahms were influenced by his works for examples of his work.
For performances of his work, see:
Heu mihi domine & Quid commisisti
Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes
Gib, gib unsern Fürsten
Jauchzet dem Herren
Tröstet, tröstet mein Volk
Es ist erschienen die heilsame Gnade Gottes [For the grace of God] (Titus 2:11-14)
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