Bruce Gladstone, conductor.
Presenting Israelsbrünnlein, Part II, by Johann Hermann Schein.
Johann Hermann Schein’s collection of 26 motets from 1623 has long been considered the most important set of motets in the early 17th century. Schein, frustrated that there wasn’t a true counterpart of the Italian madrigal to be found in German music, set out to marry the expressiveness of the madrigal to German texts. In this case, he chose to set sacred and mostly biblical texts, rather than the secular poetry found in most madrigals. His set of spiritual madrigals display both moments of pure joy and exultation and heartbreaking sadness and longing.
Last fall, the Madrigal Singers presented the first 13 of these motets, and this fall, we finish out the collection with motets 14-26. This music is incredibly moving and remarkably fresh, revealing a marked sensitivity to the texts and a mastery of musical expression.