A highlight in music: Heinrich Schütz’ Schwanengesang

At the end of his life, the then 80-year old German composer Heinrich Schütz (1558-1672) began to compose his Schwanengesang. It became a grand ‘opus ultimum’. The work consist of eleven motets for double choir, organised by the 22 characters of the Hebrew alphabet, a jubilant composition of Psalm 100 and a closing Deutsches Magnificat. Together these parts form a beautiful entity, one of the highlights in music.

Schütz, the founder of the German baroque and precursor of Bach, is influenced stongly by Gabrieli, Monteverdi and also by Sweelinck: ‘personal composer’of Cappella Amsterdam. The choice fort he German translation of the entire Psalm 119– the longest of the 150 psalms – characterises the humanistic change that was caused by the reformation by Luther. Schütz dedeicated this mastercpiece to the Court Chapel of Dresden, to which he was connected more than half a century.

Cappella Amsterdam conducted by Daniel Reuss

Heinrich Schütz - Der Schwanengesang op. 13 



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