donderdag 9 mei 2013

Winter has gone...!




Denn siehe, der Winter is vergangen, 
der Regen is weg and dahin, 
die Blumen sind herfürkommen im Land, 
der Lenz ist herbeikommen, 
und die Turteltaube läßt sich hören in
unserm Lande,

See, the winter is past,
the rain is gone and away,
the flowers flourish in the country,
Spring is at hand,
and the turtledoves are heard
in our country,


When I walked, one late evening, in a park near my house, I heard these lines being chanted cheerfully in my headphones… It was a couple of weeks ago and the Netherlands just had faced one of the longest winters in modern history. Smell of grass and blossom filled my nostrils and the sense that this Game-of-Thrones-like winter was gone and that we now had six or seven years of summer ahead, fulfilled me with a sense of joy.  Denn siehe, der Winter is vergangen” was a line from Heinrich Schütz’s two-choired motet “Stehe auf, meine Freundin” that I had acquainted from the Dutch Public radio.
Schütz primarily worked in Dresden, during the time of the Thirty Years War. What is now called Germany was at that time a horrid and apocalyptic place. Large parts of the country were literally depopulated. Estimates assume that about one third of the German population died due to the war conditions and as a consequence Schütz often wrote his pieces for a small ensemble. Musicians were forced to be soldiers and instruments were replaced by weapons… A double choir must have been an incredible luxury at that time... This Schütz motet was performed in 2007 live, by the Dutch Bach Society as part of a 17/18th century vocal music program at the festival of old music in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did..!   :-)







Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672)

Georg Böhm (1661-1733)

Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707)

Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1702)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

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