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Heinrich Schuetz chorus marks 40th with rendition of ‘Psalmen Davids’

by Tai Kawabata

Heinrich Schuetz Chor, Tokyo, will give a rare performance of 17th-century German Protestant music on Sept. 19 at Tokyo Cathedral (Maria Daiseido) in Sekiguchi, Bunkyo Ward, to mark the 40th anniversary of the chorus group.

The ensemble will present all of the 26 numbers that comprise “Psalmen Davids (Psalms of David),” which Heinrich Schuetz (1585-1672) composed in 1619.

Scheutz is regarded as one of the most important composers of the 17th century, and is best known as a leading Protestant composer who predates Johann Sebastian Bach by about a century.

In “Psalmen Davids” he drew on techniques and styles he learned in Venice from his master, Giovanni Gabriel.

It is rare that the 26 tunes of the “Psalmen Davids” are presented in one concert. Up to 18 voices are used, accompanied by an organ and other instruments including replicas of ones from the period. The pitch is set at A=466 Hz., the standard core tone of Schuetz’s times, which was about a half-tone higher than the current standard pitch. The words come from Martin Luther’s German translation of The Bible. Yumiko Tanno and her son, Taro Tanno, will serve as conductors.

The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are ¥4,000-¥6,000 (students ¥3,000).

For more information, visit www.musicapoetica.jp or call or fax (03) 3998-8162 or (042) 394-0543.

The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. at Tokyo Cathedral, which is opposite the Chinzanso Hotel.