Heinrich Schütz published three volumes of his Symphoniae Sacrae. Hans-Christoph Rademann and Carus continue their traversal of Schütz’s catalog with Symphoniae Sacre I.

This 1629 collection of works reflects Schütz’s time in Venice. While there, he studied with Giovanni Gabrielli and Claudio Monteverdi. The influences of both are apparent in these settings of the Songs of Songs.

The Latin texts come from the Psalms and the Song of Solomon. The rich imagery is ripe for word-painting, and Schütz doesn’t miss an opportunity. Even without understanding the words, it’s easy to get the emotional thrust of the text through the expressiveness of the music.

There’s also a spaciousness in these settings, with counterpoint that’s seems both dense and transparent. This collection has a variety of instrumental and vocal combinations. I hear Gabrieli in the instrumental passages and Monteverdi in the word-painting of the text.

The Dresdner Kammerchor maintains the same high quality of performance they’ve established over the course of this series. Hans-Christoph Rademann’s direction makes these readings models of clarity.

Heinrich Schütz: Symphoniae Sacrae I
Complete Recordings, Vol. 14
Dorothee Mields; Isabel Jantschek; David Erler
Georg Poplutzl; Tobias Mäthger; Felix Schwandtke
Dresdner Kammerchor; Hans-Christoph Rademann, direct
Carus 83.273   2 CD SET