Schütz: Baroque Before Bach by Ken Myers

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 emerged through his participation in the local Lutheran church choir.

One night in 1598, Landgrave Moritz von Hesse-Kassel, a nobleman in the Holy Roman Empire, spent the night in the family's inn and apparently heard the charming treble voice of young Heinrich. The landgrave—himself a serious musician—was eager to encourage new talent and eventually persuaded Heinrich's parents to let him come to sing and study as a chorister in his court chapel. They reluctantly allowed their son to leave home, but continued to urge him not to get too involved in music so he could prepare for a real job (sound familiar?). So in 1607 he dutifully followed his brother and a cousin to the University of Marburg to study law, a career path more in keeping with the family's experience and expectations.

THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:


Ken Myers is the host and producer of the Mars Hill Audio Journal. Formerly an arts editor with National Public Radio, he also serves as music director at All Saints Anglican Church in Ivy, Virginia. He is a contributing editor for Touchstone.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

Online
Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.


more from the online archives

32.5—September/October 2019

Make Men Pious Again

2018 Conference Talk by C. R. Wiley

30.6—Nov/Dec 2017

The Messiah's Beauty

on Benedict XVI on the Fairest of the Sons of Men by Michael Martin De Sapio

24.2—March/April 2011

Our Numbered Days

Certain Death & the Last Lectures of Socrates & Jesus by Randall B. Smith

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone

00