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Motet Notes

Johann Hermann Schein: "Ihr Heiligen, lobsinget dem Herren" (Israelsbrünnlein 1623)


Johann Hermann Schein's Israelsbrünnlein (Fountains of Israel), published in the year 1623 and dedicated to the Leipzig city government, is designated as a set of sacred madrigals for five voices and continuo. The printed music indicated further that they were composed "in a special graceful Italian madrigal manner." From this set of 27 short settings of psalms and other lyrical passages from the Bible, comes today’s motet “Ihr Heiligen, Lobsinget dem Herren.” The Italian manner in which Schein sets the two verses from Psalm 30, for the most part, is that of early Monteverdi, giving distinct text painting to each phrase. An interesting feature is how the agitated melismatic figure used on Zorn – anger, is transformed into a drooping sob on the word weinen-weeping.

© Ryan Turner