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Vital inspiration

Music by Heinrich Schütz -
reviewed by

'... expressively at one with the music.'

Schütz: Sinfoniae Sacrae Op 6. © 2004 Warner Music

Few composers in the history of music have expressed more admiration for their teacher than did Schütz for Giovanni Gabrieli. He was not yet twenty-five when he was first urged to visit Venice. Landgrave Moritz of Hessen-Kassel informed him that 'a widely famed but rather old musician and composer, was still alive'. He continued, 'I should not miss the chance to hear him and learn something from him.' The Landgrave was prepared to finance a two-year visit. Schütz, staying on longer at his parents' expense, was eternally grateful for Gabrieli's instruction, of which the immediate fruit was a set of five-part madrigals. Gabrieli died in August 1612, and Schütz indicates the strength of their attachment: 'On his deathbed, as an indication of special affection, he bequeathed to me one of his rings as a memento.'

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Copyright © 7 April 2004 Robert Anderson, London UK


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