Johann Hermann Schein – Life and Work

At the age of 13 Johann Hermann Schein joined the choir of the Dresden court ensemble where he received a wide-ranging musical training. He then enrolled at the University of Leipzig with a scholarship from the Saxon Electors and from 1603 onwards he attended Pforta, a leading Protestant school. In 1616 he finally took up the position of Kantor of St Thomas Church in Leipzig. Schein, both a poet and composer, is, together with Scheidt and Schütz, one of the “three big S” composers belonging to the avantgarde of the early German Baroque period. With his emotionally-laden secular songs and madrigals (Venuskränzlein, Diletti pastorali) and his sacred motets and vocal concertos which vividly portray the text (Cymbalum Sionium, Israelsbrünnlein, Opella nova) he played a decisive role in the international dissemination of German music.