Schütz - A German in Venice

A German in Venice
Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585–1672)
David de Winter (tenor) / The Brook Street Band
First Hand Records FHR145

Not to suggest that Schütz needs saving from obscurity, nor to imply that he’s a ‘minor master’ (don’t you just hate that expression?), but this intriguing programme explores that oft-repeated soundbite that he brought the Italian early Baroque style to Germany. The Brook Street Band have partnered with tenor David de Winter, who just before the pandemic was a finalist in the 2019 Handel Singing Competition. This album should now offer him the wider recognition he deserves.

They open with Schütz’s Lobet den Herrn and one is immediately struck by the clarity and confidence of both voice and ensemble; I slightly prefer their more declamatory approach to that of Charles Daniels and The Purcell Quartet (Chandos, 4/95), although I miss the warmth of the organ. De Winter has a winning combination of silvery voice and crisp, agile diction, his singing is immediate and gripping and his German is ultra-clear, save the odd moment where it has a slight English sheen. Monteverdi’s Confitebor tibi has similar poise and grace to María Cristina Kiehr’s famous account (Harmonia Mundi, 8/99). De Winter uses similar broad, confident phrases, although I’m less convinced by his delicate ending at ‘laudatio ejus manet in saeculum saeculi’ (‘his praise endures forever’) than I am by Kiehr’s straightforward cadence.


The two instrumental sonatas by Salomone Rossi are also particularly enjoyable and The Brook Street Band are on superb form even if Rossi’s pieces sound as if they are in a slightly more resonant acoustic space. This is a very fine disc indeed.

For the full text of this review please click here: Gramophone June 2024


Popular Posts