Meinrad Schuetter

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Meinrad Schütter (born September 21, 1910 in Chur ; † January 12, 2006 in Küsnacht ) was a Swiss composer .


Meinrad Schütter was shaped by the German, Rhaeto-Romanic and Italian culture of his home canton of Graubünden. He came from a music-loving family. The mother sang and had a considerable repertoire of songs, including works by Othmar Schoeck , whose music became the child's first major musical impression. In particular, the expressive music of Arthur Honegger and Igor Stravinsky were influential sound experiences at a young age .

In addition to piano and organ lessons, Schütter received theory lessons from Antoine Cherbuliez as a pupil . After studying music at the Zurich Conservatory, he traveled to Germany and abroad as a concert companion, received a small Rome scholarship in 1939 and continued studies during the war as distance learning from Willy Burkhard and from 1950 to 1954 with Paul Hindemith at the University of Zurich . Many years of activity at the Zurich Opera House as a ballet répétiteur and lighting conductor became a daily job alongside compositional work. From 1976 on, the composer lived freelance in Küsnacht near Zurich.

Meinrad Schütter was largely self-taught. His music is characterized by transparency and concentrated density; The focus is on the timbre, listening to a chord. Still under the influence of Expressionism and New Objectivity of the 1930s, Schütter developed the personal style of a fragmentary way of composing self-contained short sequences, including quotations and collages. Concise rhythms, expressiveness, a dance-like impetus as well as the composer's tendency towards humor and irony lead to a particular idiosyncrasy of the tonal language. Schütter worked free tonal, always referring to series of different origins and forms of application.

The overall oeuvre includes an extensive instrumental and vocal work: choirs, two masses, the opera Medea , ballet music, orchestral compositions (including a symphony), instrumentally accompanied chants, 60 piano songs, piano and chamber music, as well as a piano concerto. A broad stylistic development can be seen in the song compositions. They are in the tradition of Hindemith and Schoeck, but also of the New Vienna School . In the vocal area of ​​church music, the range extends from Gregorian liturgical melodies to free-tonal polyphony.

Regarded as an extreme modern at a young age (A. Cherbuliez, 1938), Meinrad Schütter did not take the path of the revolutionary, but developed in slow processes. In his late work the composer achieved a new lightness and intensity of color, expression and movement.

Works (selection)

  • Serenade for voice and string trio, 1934/70
  • Sonatina for piano, 1939/55
  • 1. Suite for clarinet and piano, 1939/55
  • Dr Joggeli sött go Birli shüttle : Chamber ballet for 8 dancers, 2 pianos and percussion; based on a series of images by Lisa Wenger
  • Medea , opera in 3 acts, (1st version) 1941–1952: based on poems by Franz Grillparzer , Euripides , Apollonius Rhodius and Jean Anouilh
  • Medea (2nd version) concert version and abridged version, 2005: for piano, 4 soloists and speaker; Editing: Ute Stoecklin and Peter Niklaus Steiner
  • Big mass for choir solos and organ, 1950/70
  • Suite for small orchestra, 1955
  • Five Variants and Metamorphosis for Chamber Orchestra, 1939/60 (1st version 1939, 2nd version 1949)
  • Duo concertante “Quasi una Fantasia” for violin, viola and orchestra, 1966
  • Symphony in one movement for orchestra, 1939/70/99
  • Five Persian Songs and Dances for Piano, 1981
  • Variations on a rhythm for piano, 1982
  • 2nd suite for clarinet and piano, 1984; after a stage music
  • Piano concerto, 1986
  • Bap Nos (Our Father) for mixed choir, 1992
  • Trio for 3 clarinets (basset horn), 1992
  • Chanzuns da la not - Songs of the Night, 1994: three Romance songs based on poems by Andri Peer for voice (recitation) and piano
  • Selected songs, volumes 1–5; for medium and high voice and piano
  • Trio in one movement for violin, violoncello and piano, 1996
  • Two chants based on texts by Nelly Sachs , 1997: Der Steinsammler for alto (mezzo-soprano), flute and piano and butterfly for mezzo-soprano and piano
  • Quartet for oboe, trumpet, bassoon and cello, 2005


  • In the series “Schweizer Musikerbe”: Meinrad Schütter - Lieder, 1931–1996, CD Uranos, 1996/97
  • Meinrad Schütter: Chamber music - instrumental chants 1939–1998, CD Swiss pan / Swiss contemporary music 510316 - a co-production with Radio DRS II, 2000
  • Schütter - Schäuble with: Piano Concerto, Pastorale II for clarinet and orchestra; Musikszene Schweiz MGB CD 6162, 2000
  • "Hesperus" 20 th Century Songs - Switzerland. Schoeck - Schütter - Scartazzini with: 7 selected songs by Meinrad Schütter, CD Guild GMCD 7254
  • Duo en treis - Duo for three, with songs by Meinrad Schütter, Othmar Schoeck, Jean Sibelius a. Edvard Grieg, CD SwissPan SP 51723 Co-production with Radio Rumantsch, Chur, 2006
  • Swiss String Quartets: Schaeuble - Schütter - Schmid, CD Guild GMCD 7303, 2006
  • Bap Nos. In Memoriam Meinrad Schütter - Works by Meinrad Schütter [ Bap Nos , Grosse Messe ], Christian Henking and Leoš Janáček , CD Guild GMCD 7349, 2010


  • Ute Stoecklin: Meinrad Schütter 1910–2006: Life's work of music or “The art of not being disturbed” . Müller & Schade, Bern 2010, ISBN 978-3-905760-06-4 (with an essay by Chris Walton).
  • Manfred Veraguth: "I will know how to treat this Graubünden paradise." Meinrad Schütter's estate in the Chur city archive in: Bündner Monatsblatt 3/2016

Web links