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Classical Composers A-Z: Heinrich Schutz

Peter Wintersgill introduces us to Heinrich Schutz who composed church music.

Born
9th October, 1585, in Kostritz, Saxony.

Adult Life
He studied law first, then music in Venice with Gabrieli. Was organist successively at Kassel and Dresden, after this brief Italian stay. He thus helped to introduce Italian ideas into Germany. The influence of Gabrieli is shown in Psalmen Davids and the Easter Oratorio. He also wrote a Christmas Oratorio. The Symphoniae Sacrae uses solo voices, choirs and instruments in Monteverdi's style.

He thus wrote mainly church music, including The Seven Words from the Cross, four passions, the unaccompanied Cantiones Sacrae, one of which is Saul, Saul, Why Persecutest thou Me?

At the end of his life Schutz managed to integrate the German and Italian styles in the popular Christmas story.

He died 6th November, 1672, in Dresden aged 87.

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