Psalmen Davids

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Psalmen Davids
by Heinrich Schütz
Psalmen Davids.jpg
Title page of the first edition, 1619
Catalogue Op. 2, SWV 22 to 47
Genre Sacred vocal music
Text Psalms
Language German
Dedication Johann Georg I
Published 1 June 1619 (1619-06-01) in Dresden

Psalmen Davids (Psalms of David) is a collection of sacred choral music, settings mostly of psalms in German by Heinrich Schütz, who had studied the Venetian polychoral style with Giovanni Gabrieli. Book 1 was printed in Dresden in 1619 as his Opus 2. It comprises 26 individual settings, which were assigned numbers 22 to 47 in the Schütz-Werke-Verzeichnis (SWV). Most of them use the text of a complete psalm in the translation by Martin Luther.[1]

The full title of the publication, "Psalmen Davids / sampt / Etlichen Moteten und Concerten / mit acht und mehr Stimmen / Nebenst andern zweyen Capellen daß dero etliche / auff drey und vier Chor nach beliebung gebraucht / werden können", indicates that some motets and concertos are added to the psalm settings, and the scoring is for eight and more voices and two groups of instrumentalists, so that in some pieces three and even four choirs can participate in polychoral settings.[2]


In 1619, Schütz took up his office as Hofkapellmeister at the court of the Elector of Saxony, Johann Georg I., in Dresden, succeeding Rogier Michael. On 1 June, he married Magdalena, the daughter of Christian Wildeck, a court official. Planned well, the Psalmen Davids appeared the same day, dedicated to the Elector.[1]

Schütz mentions in the introduction: "daß er etzliche Teutsche Psalmen auf Italienische Manier komponiert habe, zu welcher [er] von [seinem] lieben und in aller Welt hochberühmten Praeceptore Herrn Johan Gabrieln / ... / mit fleiß angeführet worden ... war" (that he composed several German psalms in Italian manner, to which he was induced intensely by his dear preceptor Giovanni Gabrieli, highly famous in all the world).[1]


Schütz chose 20 psalms, two of which he set twice, and added movements based on a hymn, the first stanza of Johann Gramann's "Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren", and on texts from the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah.[1] Most, but not all psalms are ended by the doxology (in the table short: dox), "Ehre sei dem Vater" (Glory be to the Father).[1] Translations of SWV 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 33, 36, 37, 39 and 40 are provided by Emmanuel Music [3]

No. SWV Psalm no. Title English Source (and notes)
1 SWV 22 110 Der Herr sprach zu meinem Herren The Lord said unto my Lord Psalms 110
2 SWV 23 2 Warum toben die Heiden Why do the heathen rage Psalms 2
3 SWV 24 6 Ach, Herr, straf mich nicht Ah, Lord, do not punish me Psalms 6 + dox
4 SWV 25 130 Aus der Tiefe Out of the depths Psalms 130 + dox
5 SWV 26 122 Ich freu mich des Herrn I was glad when they said unto me Psalms 122
6 SWV 27 8 Herr, unser Herrscher Lord, our Ruler Psalms 8 + dox
7 SWV 28 1 Wohl dem, der nicht wandelt He is fortunate who does not walk Psalms 1 + dox
8 SWV 29 84 Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen How amiable are thy tabernacles Psalms 84
9 SWV 30 128 Wohl dem, der den Herren fürchtet He is fortunate who fears the Lord Psalms 128 + dox
10 SWV 31 121 Ich hebe meine Augen auf I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills Psalms 121
11 SWV 32 136 Danket dem Herren, denn er ist freundlich O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good Psalms 136
12 SWV 33 23 Der Herr ist mein Hirt The Lord is my Shepherd Psalms 23, no dox
13 SWV 34 111 Ich danke dem Herrn Praise ye the LORD Psalms 111
14 SWV 35 98 Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied O sing unto the LORD a new song Psalms 98
15 SWV 36 100 Jauchzet dem Herren, alle Welt Exult in the Lord, entire world Psalms 100 + dox
16 SWV 37 137 An den Wassern zu Babel By the rivers of Babylon Psalms 137 + dox
17 SWV 38 150 Alleluja! Lobet den Herrenl Praise ye the Lord Psalms 150
18 SWV 39 103 Lobe den Herren, meine Seele Bless the Lord, my soul Psalms 103:2–4, concerto
19 SWV 40 Ist nicht Ephraim mein teurer Sohn Is not Ephraim my beloved son Jeremiah 31:20, motet
20 SWV 41 Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren Now praise, my soul, the Lord hymn, canzona
21 SWV 42 126 Die mit Tränen säen They that sow in tears Psalms 126:5–6, motet
22 SWV 43 115 Nicht uns, Herr Not unto us, O Lord Psalms 115
23 SWV 44 128 Wohl dem, der den Herren fürchtet Not unto us, O Lord Psalms 128
24 SWV 45 136 Danket dem Herren, denn er ist freundlich O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good Psalms 136
25 SWV 46 Zion spricht, der Herr hat mich verlassen Not unto us, O Lord Isaiah 49:14–16, concerto
26 SWV 47 100 Jauchzet dem Herren, alle Welt Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands Psalms 100, concerto

Publication and recordings[edit]

The Psalmen Davids are part of the complete edition of the composer's works by Carus-Verlag, begun in 1992 as the Stuttgart Schütz Edition and planned to be completed by 2017. The edition uses the Heinrich-Schütz-Archiv of the Hochschule für Musik Dresden.[4] They were recorded, as part of the complete recordings of works by Schütz, by the Dresdner Kammerchor and organist Ludger Rémy, conducted by Hans-Christoph Rademann. Soloists are sopranos Dorothee Mields and Marie Luise Werneburg, altos David Erler and Stefan Kunath, tenors Georg Poplutz and Tobias Mäthger, and basses Stephan MacLeod and Felix Schwandtke.[5] A review notes the accent on a contrast, as the composer intended, between the soloists (favoriti) and the choir (ripieno):

These soloists, the so-called 'favoriti' are given the responsibility of bringing illustrative power to their sung lines, to sing 'as well and as sweetly' as possible. These solo singers are vested with the conveyance of the texts’ imagery in all its power and immediacy, whilst the ripieno choruses have a different function, which is, in the composer's words, 'for a strong sound and for splendour'.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Entstehung Psalmen Davids SWV 22 - 47" (in German). Heinrich-Schütz-Haus. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Woolf, Jonathan (2014). "Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) / Psalms of David, Op.2 SWV22-47 (1619)". Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Motet & Liturgical Works Notes & Translations / Heinrich Schütz". Emmanuel Music. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Heinrich Schütz – Stuttgart Schütz Edition". Carus-Verlag. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Heinrich Schütz: Psalmen Davids. Complete recordings, Vol. 8". Carus-Verlag. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 

External links[edit]