The greater part of Schütz’s long career was spent in Dresden, as Kapellmeister to the Elector of Saxony. His reputation as the greatest German composer of his century rests on an impressive body of over 500 works, mostly sacred. Ich bin ein rechter Weinstock
comes from a collection of his German motets, the Geistliche Chor-Musik
, published in Dresden in 1648. In contrast to the colourful extravagance of much of his earlier work, these twenty-nine motets call for only modest forces (and indeed the present one is intended to be sung unaccompanied), probably a reflection of the depleted resources available during the troubled period of the Thirty Years’ War. Despite Schütz’s stern preface to the volume, urging younger composers to return to the old disciplines of counterpoint, Ich bin ein rechter Weinstock
, though indeed polyphonic, wears its learning lightly: its mood is genial and sunny, almost madrigalian, shedding an unexpected light on Christ’s words.
from notes by Collegium Records © 1995