Histories of Heinrich Schütz
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- Publication date:November 2011
- 18 b/w illus. 28 music examples
Bettina Varwig places the music of the celebrated Dresden composer Heinrich Schütz in a richly detailed tapestry of cultural, political, religious and intellectual contexts. Four key events in Schütz's career – the 1617 Reformation centenary, the performance of his Dafne in 1627, the 1636 funeral composition Musikalische Exequien and the publication of his motet collection Geistliche Chormusik (1648) – are used to explore his music's resonances with broader historical themes, including the effects of the Thirty Years' War, contemporary meanings of classical mythology, Lutheran attitudes to death and the afterlife as well as shifting conceptions of time and history in light of early modern scientific advances. These original seventeenth-century circumstances are treated in counterpoint with Schütz's fascinating later reinvention in nineteenth- and twentieth-century German musical culture, providing a new kind of musicological writing that interweaves layers of historical inquiry from the seventeenth century to the present day.