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Sunday: October 9, 2005

Happy Birthday, Henricus Sagittarius

Filed under: — site admin @ 5:06 PM GMT-0500

His birthdate is unknown, but Henricus Sagittarius, better known as Heinrich Schütz, was baptized 420 years ago today. In his honor, I just played Die sieben Wörte Jesu Christi am Kreuz (“The Seven Words of Jesus Christ on the Cross”), performed by the Ensemble Clement Janequin and Les Saqueboutiers de Toulouse (Harmonia Mundi 90.1255). I would have played one of the Passions, but those are currently lent out. It may not sound like much of a recommendation, but Schütz’s passions (Matthew, Luke, and John) sound a lot like Bach’s, but without the arias. This makes the crowd choruses (e.g. “Crucify him!”) the only exciting parts, but the recitative is so utterly (can’t think of a better word) . . . appropriate that I don’t miss the arias at all.

I would have liked to have played the Seven Words and the St. Luke Passion in my favorite recording of both, by Gustav Leonhardt, but that still hasn’t come out on CD, and I don’t have a phonograph, plus my records are still in Baltimore. What’s the hold-up, Telefunken Teldec? Did it only sell 17 copies in record form? I suppose one of these days I’ll give up and spend some money having my last few records burned onto CDs with the appropriate software.

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