Heinrich Schütz: "Tröstet mein Volk," SWV 382 - Geistliche
Heinrich Schütz published his Geistliche Chormusik in 1648. It is a summary
of the musical and textual preoccupations of the last half of his compositional
career. It is music at the highest level; only Bach, Mozart, Beethoven
or Stravinsky at their peak (you can name your own pantheon) have matched
the inspiration, variety, formal resourcefulness, and depth of this music.
In Tröstet, tröstet mein Volk Schütz moves quickly through many words.
The geography of Isaiah’s verses is graphically rendered – the road in
the desert – the shape of the mountains. The uneven is made straight,
the rough, plain. But it all happens quickly; the piece leaps past, challenging
us to keep up.