Heinrich Schütz Madrigale & Hochzeitsmusiken Bring Element of Fun

Carus continues their traversal of Heinrich Schutz’s music with a collection of secular compositions. Schutz was primarily known for his sacred compositions, which influenced generations of Protestant composers (especially in Germany). This release features secular madrigals and wedding music that show a different aspect of Schutz.

Schutz studied in Venice as a young man. The works in this recording show the influence of Claudio Monteverdi, particularly his madrigal writing. Schutz often uses the text as the starting point for the work, letting the words suggest the direction and shape of the melodies.

Several of the works on this release were written for weddings. They have a lightness to them that’s normally missing in Schutz’s sacred chorales. Siehe, wie fein und lieblich ist’s SWV 48, written for his brother’s wedding even references an inside family joke.

The vocal ensemble under the direction of Hans-Christoph Rademann has been recording Schutz’s music for years now. They function as a well-oiled machine. The blend of individual voices is remarkable. These performers perform as old friends, instinctively adjusting their voices for the best blend.

If you can’t invest in all 19 volumes of the remarkable series, put this release on your short list. This album — and these performances — show us a different side of Heinrich Schutz. He could be witty, light-hearted, and entertaining as the occasion warranted. Schutz wasn’t just a masterful composer of sacred music. He was a masterful composer, period.

Heinrich Schütz: Madrigale & Hochzeitsmusiken
Complete recording, Vol. 19
Dorothee Mields; Isabel Schicketanz; David Erler; Georg Poplutz; Tobias Mäthger; Felix Schwandtke
Dresdner Kammerchor; Hans-Christoph Rademann, Director
Carus 83.227

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