The New International Encyclopædia/Schütz, Heinrich

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SCHÜTZ, shụts, Heinrich, known by the Latinized form of his name as Sagittarius (1585-1672). The most important German composer of the seventeenth century, born at Köstritz, near Gera, Saxony. At the age of fourteen he became a chorister of the Court Chapel at Cassel, in which city he also attended the gymnasium. In 1607 he went to Marburg University, to study jurisprudence. He abandoned the law, however, and went to Italy, where he studied under Giovanni Gabrieli until the death of that master in 1612. In 1617 he was appointed Kapellmeister to the Elector of Saxony in Dresden, with whose orchestra he had been connected for two years. He was a prolific composer and writer and has been well described as “standing at the parting of the ways between Palestrina and Bach.” In his writing he combined the impressive Italian choral style with the new dramatic monodic style of Monteverde. He was the composer of the first German opera, Dafne (1627).