Heinrich Schütz (1585–1672): In lectulo per noctes

From 1609 to 1613 Schütz lived in Venice where he became the pupil of Giovanni Gabrieli who he admired all his life, for both personal and musical reasons. Although his great admiration of Gabrieli in particular and the Italian school of composition in general never faded Schütz  adopted their techniques and methods only when it suited him. This independence comes out very strongly in his settings of texts from the Psalms and the Song of Songs which was published as his Symphoniae sacrae (Book 1, op. 6, in Venice in 1629. The mood is restrained and you’ll hear precious little writing that emulates either the Monteverdian ‘stile concitato’ or the exaggerated affect of his Italian contemporaries. A good example is ‘In lectulo per noctes’  (By night in bed), the first part of a two-part motet based upon an adapted text from the Song of Songs which you can hear below, where Schütz uses low instruments  to illustrate the dark mood of the text "By night on my bed …". Enjoy :-)


Heinrich Schütz (1585–1672):  In lectulo per noctes (Prima Pars – SWV 272)

In lectulo [meo] per noctes, quaesivi quem diligit anima mea: nec respondit mihi.By night in bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: and he answered me.
Surgam et circuibo civitatem: per vicos et plateas quaeram quem diligit anima mea.I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth.
Weser Renaissance conducted by Manfred Cordes

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