Schütz, Heinrich

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Schütz, Heinrich

(hīn`rĭkh shüts), 1585–1672, German composer; pupil of Giovanni Gabrieli. From 1617 until his death he was director of music at the Dresden court. His first German work was his Psalmen Davids (1619), in which he used the new monodic, or declamatory, style. In 1627 he set to music a German translation of Dafne, set earlier in Italian by Jacopo Peri. Schütz's work (no longer extant) has been called the first German opera. Most of his works that have been preserved were written for the church, and they mark him as the outstanding master of 17th-century church music. His Symphoniae sacrae (1629, 1647, 1650) show the influence of Monteverdi. Later, in his oratorios and his settings of the Passion as narrated in each of the four Gospels, he combined the Venetian style of alternating choirs and the dramatic declamation of Florentine monody with the German polyphonic tradition. The resultant choral style influenced German music through the time of Handel and Bach.


See biographical study by H. J. Moser (1936, tr. 1959).

Schütz, Heinrich


(latinized name, Henricus Sagittarius). Born Oct. 14,1585, in Köstritz, Thuringia; died Nov. 6,1672, in Dresden. German composer, Kapellmeister, and teacher.

In 1599, Schütz became a chorister in the chapel of the landgrave of Hesse-Cassel. From 1609 to 1612 he studied composition in Venice under G. Gabrieli. Schütz was the founder of many genres of German music and played an important role in stimulating musical life in Germany. He wrote numerous religious works—including passions, oratorios, cantatas, and the German Magnificat —that paved the way for many of the innovations of J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel. Schütz drew on the achievements of Italian choral, instrumental, and stage music, as well as the traditions of German religious and folk music.

Schütz was the composer of the first German opera, Daphne (1627), and the first German ballet, Orpheus and Eurydice (1638); neither of these works has been preserved.


Andreev, A. “O Genrikhe Shiuttse i teorii doklassicheskoi muzyki.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1972, no. 11.