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Motet Notes

Heinrich Schütz: "Buccinate," SWV 275-6, Symphoniae Sacrae I

As a student Schütz had studied in Venice with Gabrieli. His graduation thesis was the amazing collection of Italian Madrigals published as Opus 1, perhaps the greatest Opus 1 in all of music. As a 43-year-old Kapellmeister at the court of Dresden, Schütz returned to Venice to immerse himself in the new style of Monteverdi. His Opus 6, the First book of Symphoniae Sacrae, was the result of that trip and was first published in Venice in 1629. These Latin concerti for a few voices and instruments are, with the Italian Madrigals, the most Italianate of Schütz' works. The last two works in the set are a two-part concerto for three male voices and two kinds of trumpet. We perform the work today in a solution that many of Schütz’ contemporaries used. We have one part played on the trumpet. The other part is played by two oboes in unison. The text is a composite of lines from Psalms 80,96 and 150. The brilliant Monteverdian vocal parts are punctuated by the fanfare-type music of the winds and brass.

©Craig Smith