Schein, Johann Hennann

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Schein, Johann Hennann

Schein, Johann Hennann, important German composer; b. Grunhain, near Annaberg, Jan. 20, 1586; d. Leipzig, Nov. 19, 1630. His father was a pastor; upon his death, Schein moved to Dresden, where he entered the Hofkapelle of the Elector of Saxony as a boy soprano. He received instruction from the Kapellmeister, Rogier Michael, then continued his studies in music at Pforta, an electoral school near Naumburg (1603–07), where his teachers were Bartholomäus Scheer and Martin Roth. In 1607 he returned to Dresden, and in 1608 received an electoral scholarship to study jurisprudence and liberal arts at the Univ. of Leipzig, where he remained until 1612. In 1613 he became Hausmusikmeister to Gottfried von Wolffersdorff in Weissenfels, and also served as praeceptor to his children. In 1615 he was appointed Kapellmeister to Duke Johann Ernst the Younger in Weimar. In 1616 he was named cantor at the Thomasschule in Leipzig, as successor to Calvisius. His duties in Leipzig inlcuded directing the choral music at the Thomaskirche and the Nicolaikirche, and teaching singing and Latin grammar and syntax at the Thomasschule. Schein was one of the earliest German composers to introduce into Lutheran church music the Italian techniques of madrigal, monody, and concerto. In the alliterative parlance of learned German writers, Schein became known as the chronologically second of the glorious trio of near-contemporaneous German masters, Schütz (b. 1585), Schein (b. 1586), and Scheidt (b. 1587). But Schütz, the oldest of them, outlived Schein by 42 years; he visited him at his deathbed and brought him, as a friendly offering, a 6-part motet of his composition on Schein’s favorite passage from the New Testament. A collected ed. of his works, edited by A. Prüfer, was publ. by Breitkopf und Härtel (7 vols., Leipzig, 1901–23). The Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, ed. by A. Adrio, began publ. in Kassel in 1963 by Bärenreiter.


VOCAL : Sacred : Cymbalum Sionium sive Cantiones sacrae, for 5 to 12 Voices (Leipzig, 1615); Opelia nova, geistlicher Concerten…auff italiänische Invention componirt for 3 to 5 Voices and Basso Continuo (Leipzig, 1618; second ed., 1626); Fontana d’Israël, Israelis Brünlein, auserlesener Kraftt-Sprüchlin altes und Newen Testaments…aufeiner…Italian madrigalische Manier for 5 and 6 Voices and Basso Continuo (Leipzig, 1623; second ed., 1651); Opelia nova, ander Theü, geistlicher Concerten for 3 to 6 Voices Instruments, and Basso Continue (Leipzig, 1626); Cantional oder Gesangbuch Augspurgischer Confession for 4 to 6 Voices (Leipzig, 1627; second ed., enl., 1645). Secular: Texts by Schein: Venus Kräntzlein…oder Newe weltliche Lieder for 5 Voices, neben etzlichen Intraden, Gagliarden und Canzonen (Wittenberg, 1609); Musica boscareccia, oder Wald-Liederlein auff italianvillanellische Invention…mit lebendiger Stimm…auch auff musicalischen Instrumenten zu spielen for 3 Voices (Leipzig, 1621; 6th ed., 1643; Ander Theil [Leipzig, 1628; 6th ed., 1641] Dritter Theil [Leipzig, 1628; 5th ed., 1643]; also pubi, with rev. text as Musica boscareccia sacra [3 vols., Erfurt, 1644–51]); Diletti pastorali, Hirten Lust for 5 Voices and Basso Continuo, auff Madrigal-Manier componirt (Leipzig, 1624); Studenten-Schmauss a 5: Einer Ib’blischen Compagni de la Vinobiera (Leipzig, 1626). instrumental : Banchetto musicale newer…Padouanen, Gagliarden, Couren-ten und Allemanden a 5, auff allerley Instrumenten (Leipzig, 1617); other works are found in several of his vocal collections.


A. Prüfer, J.H. S. (Leipzig, 1895); A. Prüfer, J.H. S. und das weltliche deutsche Lied des 17. Jahrhunderts (Leipzig, 1908); I. Hueck, Die künstlerische Entwicklung J.H. S.s, dargestellt an seinen geistlichen Werken (diss., Univ. of Freiburg, 1945); A. Adrio, J.H. S. (Berlin, 1959); H. Rauhe, Dichtung und Musik im seinengeistlichen Werk J.H. S.s (diss., Univ. of Freiburg, 1945); A. Reckziegel, Das Cantional von J.H. S.: Seine geschichtlichen Grundlagen (Berlin, 1963); F. Peterson, J.H. S.’s Cymbalum Sionium: A Liturgico- musical Study (diss., Harvard Univ., 1966).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire