Schütz: Baroque Before Bach
by Ken Myers
Exactly one hundred years before the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach in 1685, his greatest German predecessor was born in Köstritz, a small town in what is now Saxony. Heinrich Schütz was arguably the greatest German composer before Bach, and the first German composer to enjoy an international reputation. Unlike Bach's extensive clan, the Schütz family was more involved in commerce and civil service than in music. Heinrich's father, Christoph, eventually became mayor of nearby Weißenfels, but he worked as an innkeeper in that town when Heinrich was a boy. It was there that Heinrich's natural musical talent emer . . .