Johann Hermann Schein’s setting of “Die mit Tränen:” was published posthumously in 1626. Schein’s great contemporary, Schütz, made three settings of this text. The first two are in the Gabrieli style that he learned in Italy. The last, much later setting combines certain Italianate characteristics with Schütz' by now perfected German motet style. The Schein setting is the most purely Italianate of the four pieces. The work could be a Marenzio or even Gesualdo madrigal were it not in German and on a sacred text. Schein pushes the envelope almost to the breaking point with extremes of word color and affect. The work has suitably always been one of his most well-known works.
© Craig Smith