Pamela Dellal, mezzo soprano


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Motet Notes

Heinrich Schütz: "O Jesu süß," SWV 406 - Symphoniae Sacrae III

Late in Schütz’ life his early journeys to Italy were still resonating in his music.  In 1647, more than twenty years after his last Italian sojourn, the Monteverdi duet Zefiro torna shows up with a German Psalm text, but the music virtually unchanged.  In 1650 the third book of Symphoniae Sacrae contains a thorough reworking of a little sacred concerto by Allesandro Grandi, “Lilium Convalium.” This work, O Jesu suß, is much more than a transcription like the Monteverdi.  Four voices take the Italianate lines and weave in and out expressively with the two solo violins.  While the piece manages to remain Italian in character, the German text setting is exquisite.

©Craig Smith