Weihnachtsgruß des Präsidenten (EN) (15.12.2022)

Dear Members of the International Heinrich Schütz Society,

It gives me great pleasure that, after two years of the pandemic, in which no Schütz festivals could take place, we were once again able to realise various events in the Schütz year 2022.

On 25 May, the 450th birthday of Landgrave Moritz of Hesse, who discovered and promoted Heinrich Schütz, we held a Landgraf-Moritz-Day in Kassel, in collaboration with the Verein für hessische Geschichte und Landeskunde 1834 e. V.. The event opened with a keynote under the title Landesvater und Lehrherr – Landgraf Moritz der Gelehrte und seine Kapellknaben, in which Prof. Dr. Gerd Aumüller illuminated the Kassel environment of the young Schütz. This was followed by a city tour with Karl-Hermann Wegner under the heading Heinrich Schütz in Kassel and Renaissance culture at the court of Landrgave Moritz of Hesse. The day concluded with an almost sold-out concert by the Johann Rosenmüller Ensemble in the Brüderkirche in Kassel.

From 27 to 30 October, the 51st International Heinrich Schütz Festival took place in Kassel, which we organised in collaboration with the Kasseler Musiktage 2022. The Festival opened with a keynote entitled Interkonfessionelle Verständigung im 17. Jahrhundert und die Rolle der Künste given by Prof. Dr. Berhnard Jahn in the UK14 in Kassel. This opening event was framed with lute music by Moritz of Hesse and his contemporaries, performed by Andreas Düker.

That evening the exciting opening concert took place in the Martinskirche in Kassel, in which the Prager Collegium 1704 directed by Václav Luks presented sacred concertos from Schütz’s Symphoniae sacrae III as well as excerpts from Claudio Monteverdi’s Selva morale e spirituale.

On the second day a concert with the Johann Rosenmüller Ensemble under the heading Heinrich Schütz and Kassel illuminated the longstanding connections of our namesake with his first place of work, which Schütz maintained for many years after the death of Landgrave Moritz.

The final concert was presented by the Berliner Musiktheater-Kompanie Nico and the Navigators in the Schauspielhaus of the Staatstheater in Kassel, with the staged production Fleisch&Geist. This came about as a collaboration of the Heinrich Schütz Musikfest, the Kasseler Musiktage, the Staatstheater Kassel and the Theater Altenburg Gera. The ensemble, made up of outstanding singers, musicians and dancers, transformed the chosen works by Schütz and his generation into a contemporary audio-visual spectacle that brought the music to life in a new way.

There was, of course, a scholarly symposium again this year as well, which took place in the mornings of 28 and 29 October under the heading Heinrich Schütz, Landgrave Moritz and the court in Kassel. Chaired by Prof. Dr. Michael Meyer and Prof. Dr. Walter Werbeck, the audience received new insights into the musical and intellectual life at the court in Kassel.

Our Schütz-Fest was rounded off with a city tour under the heading Heinrich Schütz in Kassel and Renaissance culture at the court of Landrgave Moritz of Hesse, during which the Kassel historian Karl-Hermann Wegner introduced Schütz’s places of work and residence in the city.

The traditional finale was the festive service on 30 October in the Martinskirche in Kassel with Prof. Dr. Thomas Erne. Its musical programme was presented by the Kantorei Kirchditmold, directed by Michael Gerisch.

The general meeting of our Society, which took place on 29 October, focused centrally on the question of adjusting our membership fees. The significant price hikes of the last two years have left their impact on us as well. In particular, the printing costs of the Schütz-Jahrbuch and international shipping costs have created a financial shortfall that regrettably we are only able to fill through a change in membership fees. Alongside the moderate increase of individual annual fees by 5 Euros to 30 Euros, we also instituted a new family membership at 50 Euros. We thereby hope to have put our Society on a better footing for the future.

The 52nd International Heinrich Schütz Festival will take place from 21 to 24 September 2023 in the old Polish royal residence and coronation city Krakow. I very much look forward to welcoming you all there.

I wish all members of our Society a peaceful advent season, merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year 2023.

Arno Paduch