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Motet Notes

Heinrich Schütz: "Hodie Christus natus est," SWV 456

Despite its late catalogue number, this is one of the earliest known Schütz pieces. It was probably written in Venice when the composer was studying with Gabrieli.  It is possible that it even predates his first Italian journey.  What is remarkable about the work is its poise and absolute mastery of the idiom.  This combination (six voices with continuo) would be a favorite throughout the composer's long life.  The fact that he had completely mastered this type of writing at this early age is a tribute to his extraordinary early training and discipline.  

©Craig Smith