„Receive us peacefully in your land“
In 1640, eight long years before the end of the Thirty Years’ War, Christoph Hoffmann from Nobitz by Altenburg wrote this poem:”Woe, fear, and want / that which engulfs us now / because it arose in a short time / brings great discord, turmoil, war, and strife.” And he pleaded with God: “Stretch out your arm and right hand / shield house, city, church, school and land. / Safeguard us all with wife and child / Farmhands, fields, cow and steer / Receive us peacefully in your land / grant happiness and salvation to every station”. Hoffmann, who was a schoolmaster in Nobitz from 1637, was not a poet in the sense of an Opitz, Gryphius, or Fleming, and yet the rumbling lines flowed out of him with the true sensability of an anxious heart. Four years earlier, Heinrich Schütz had also bitterly lamented that “the laudable music not only fell into oblivion, but was in some places actively disposed of by the continuously dangerous war-mongers in our dear fatherland.” For both, the teacher in the Thuringian province as well as the world-famous Court Kapellmeister in Dresden, the time of the Thirty Years’ War was a time of complete devestation.
In a year as weighted down by memory as 2018, merely looking into the past is not enough for us. Indeed, we need a sense of return, a positive self-assurance in our cultural foundations. This sense of return – as is the case with culture in general – enables identity to grow, which is in our world today an identity of European culture. The growth of our roots awakens within us the strength to live in a contemporary world that exists as a mutual cooperation of differences. This requires an open mind, a big heart, and a spirited sense of tolerance. Not negating boundaries or defense, it grows out of a boundless love of humanity.
In this spirit, we invite you to a musical journey through time, one in which the relational arc to the present is essential. Here, international stars of early music will mingle with hopeful young artists, songwriters, and folk musicians. New venues conquered, let us in concerts trace through the sounds of war and peace modern counterpoints into the present day.
Last but not least, we are celebrating an important anniversary in 2018 with the HEINRICH SCHÜTZ MUSIC FESTIVAL: founded twenty years ago, today the festival is a modern forum for the music culture of the 17 th century, something we are quite proud of. For this success, we owe all of our partners, supporters, and patrons - many of whom have accompanied us on our journey throughout the years - great appreciation.
Please accept my sincerest thanks to you all!
Be cordially invited! We look forward to seeing you!
Dr. Christina Siegfried