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Heinrich Schütz - In search of the sound of time
A 52 minute documentary for ARTE
Heinrich Schütz, long seen only as a forerunner of J.S. Bach, is today considered a genius composer of early Baroque German music. He found the right tone at the right time and, as one of the first pan-European composer personalities, created the spiritual reflection of a turning point in time in a unity of word and music that had rarely been achieved before.
While the 30-year war raged around him, Heinrich Schütz composed a musical portrait of his time. But what kind of music does a life full of suffering, death, plague and war need? Schütz devotes his entire oeuvre to this question. The search for a new music that gives consolation and helps to cope with grief led him from Weißenfels to Venice, Dresden and Breslau, and finally to Copenhagen. Heinrich Schütz was European, cosmopolitan, long
before this word even existed. In his music he combined different musical traditions, created a new tonal language and opened up completely new sound spaces with it. Schütz's works paint pictures with sounds and offer his audience an almost magical listening experience. He gives words new power and uses his music where human language ends. Compositionally, he was far ahead of his time.
But who was this man who could create such an innovative and hopeful work during the dark times of the 30-year war and despite personal strokes of fate? Established conductors and specialists in "early music" provide information at prominent Schütz locations such as Dresden, Weißenfels, Venice and Copenhagen. The young composer Fabian Russ also finds in Schütz's work the ideal starting point for his work and continues in his sound installations with his Audio Dome what Schütz had already started in the 17th century. Despite all historical references, the film gives a contemporary, fresh view of the "old" master and presents the composer as a seeker after the sound of his time.