To the most revered and accomplished Maestro Girolamo Frescobaldi,

City of Florence

Maestro

It is with the utmost presumption that I write to you. All the world knows of your skill, of your art, of your place as the musical jewel in the setting of Florence and the court of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Against your demonstrated skill, sir, my efforts do seem feeble indeed. But, nonetheless, I write to you as a fellow musician, presuming upon a recent acquaintance which we have in common, that is, Maestro Giacomo Carissimi.

I, having known of the young maestro's renown for some time, was recently provided the privilege of meeting him in flesh and truth in the midst of the most unusual habitation of Grantville. It was from him that I learned that you had paid a brief visit to Grantville while you were traveling to Magdeburg at the invitation of the royal family of Sweden to perform a selection of your excellent toccatas for harpsichord. It distressed me greatly to learn that you had been so near and I knew it not, for I would have borne any hardship to come to your presence, shake your hand, and discuss with you your very intriguing thoughts and theories upon the proper performance and notation of tempi in your published works.

Alas, I was at the time serving at the court of the Crown Prince of Denmark, so you will perceive the difficulty of learning of your presence. I have since left the prince's employ, and such news had not arrived at the court before I left. I am “at loose ends”, as the Grantvillers would say. A curiously brusque and hasty folk they might be, but their epigrams and figures of speech do strike the ear in a notable way that is most memorable.

Much the poorer for not having had the opportunity to hear you perform your finest works, and for not having had the opportunity to converse directly with you, I find myself writing to you because I most emphatically desire to hear your thoughts, opinions and theories concerning the music that has been found in Grantville. I am intrigued and disturbed at the same time, and truly wish to hear your perceptions and learn from your wisdom. If you could find the kindness to respond to my poor missive, I will be among the most grateful of men.

With the greatest of respect,

I am your most humble servant and admirer.

Heinrich Schütz

11 day of April, 1634

Grantville

****

To Frau Euphrosine Biegerin verw. Schütz

In Weissenfels

Dearest Mother

Enclosed find a small sum that I have been able to save for the provision of young Anna Justina and Euphrosine, along with scarves for them and yourself.

The provenance of the scarves is Grantville, so judge for yourself whether they can be worn or must be preserved. I found the bright colors and smooth finish to be most attractive. They are made of something called nylon. I have yet to determine exactly what beast or plant nylon is derived from, but it almost rivals silk in its lightness. I have been in Grantville for several days now, and it is a remarkable place, yet not so remarkable as the rumors perhaps would have it be. I have, however, discovered some most amazing music here.

I assume you received my letter where I informed you of my decision to leave the employ of Elector John George. I would not speak ill of my former employer, but it is a well known fact that his love of splendor is exceeded only by his tight grasp on those few coins that should have been paid to those who support him.

I was for some time after that in the employ of the Crown Prince of Denmark. I have left that position as well, and at the moment am not provided for anywhere, except for a small stipend provided by something called the Royal and Imperial Arts Council in Magdeburg, where I shall be going soon. I have hopes of finding some type of position with the royal family of Sweden, perhaps through the offices of this Imperial Arts Council. King Gustav does have a better reputation for paying those who serve him.

I will remain in Grantville for some little time yet before I go to Magdeburg, so you can write to me here if you will do so soon; else send your missive to Magdeburg.

Tell Anna Justina and Euphrosine that their father loves them, and that I hope to come to visit soon.

Your dutiful son.

Heinrich

12 day of April, 1634, Gregorian style

Grantville

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To the most revered and accomplished Maestro Girolamo Frescobaldi,

City of Florence

Maestro

I thank you for your swift response to my previous letter. By some serendipity or grace of God, it was received in less than three weeks after you wrote it.

I am flattered by your taking the time to write to me with your own hand. Yes, I am the same Schütz who studied with both Maestros Gabrieli and Monteverdi, so it seems that we have more acquaintances in common than Maestro Carissimi.

During the time between the sending of my first letter and my receiving of your letter yesterday, I confess to suffering a spiritual crisis caused by hearing music supposedly written by me in 1647. I spent several days in a most crazed state of mind, and was brought back to my wits only by conversation with a most learned and compassionate pastor, Johann Rothmaler.

As a result of my experiences, however, I am more convinced than ever that the music of Grantville must be studied and made known. Whether Grantville did indeed come from the future, as the inhabitants claim, or whether it is a whole new creation of God, I care not. Let others debate the theology and philosophy, the sciences and mechanics, the language and the behavior. We should learn their music, which is like nothing I have ever seen or heard.

Again I request your wisdom and knowledge be shared with me, that I may properly judge what I hear. I leave soon for Magdeburg. If you find it within your grace to write to me again, send it thence.

With great respect,

Your most humble servant and admirer.

Heinrich Schütz

26 day of May, 1634

Grantville

****

To Frau Euphrosine Biegerin verw. Schütz

In Weissenfels

Mother

This is a short note to tell you quickly what is happening. Since my previous letter, I have been ill, but am better now. Young Lucas Amsel, whom I am sure you recall from my last visit, has been tending me as well as ever you would wish.

I did receive your last letter, as I have not left Grantville yet. I am pleased that you and the girls like your gifts. Take care that you do not tend them with a hot iron; I have learned that great heat can ruin the nylon, which I have still not learned where it comes from. Too many other things on my mind, I am afraid.

I have not forgotten the ladies in my life. Enclosed are two garments for the girls, of the style called 't-shirts' by the Grantvillers. I confess that I do not know the meaning of the English phrase "Drama Queen" which is in some strange manner embossed upon the shirts, but these were much to be preferred than the ones upon which I saw a creature called "Pok-E-Mon." Although the Grantville children laugh about it, I fear that the pastors of Weissenfels would not so readily accept something that appeared so demonic.

Enclosed for you is a simple brooch. I am assured that the metal is a silver alloy, and that the green stones in the circle are glass, so there is not a great deal of value to it. You are safe to wear it as you choose. Knowing your delight in things that are green, I could not pass it up when I saw it. Remind me to tell you some time of the Grantville custom of 'garage sales.'

I will be traveling to Magdeburg on the morrow. When next you write to me, address the letter there, if you will.

With much love,

Your dutiful son.

Heinrich

27 day of May, 1634, Gregorian style

Grantville

****

To Frau Amber Higham

In Grantville

Frau Amber

Behold, I am so bold to write to you without first ascertaining as to whether such correspondence would be welcome to you. I much presume upon your grace, which you have shared with me many times in the last weeks of my stay in Grantville. Thank you for your kindness. I also thank you for the basket of food you provided for our trip to Magdeburg. The ham sandwiches and the deviled eggs—which should be called angelic, instead—lasted through two days of the trip, after which we were forced to rely on local food acquired from taverns and farms along the way. Before the very throne of God I would testify that your food was superior!

Signor Andrea Abati proved to be a most engaging traveling companion, other than he arises in entirely too cheerful a frame of mind each morning. I, on the other hand, with the wisdom gathered along with my gray hairs (all twenty of them), know that mornings are a time when strength must be conserved, in order to be at one's best later in the day—particularly if one has had one too many cups of wine the night before. Such wisdom made no impression upon the good signor, however. His store of jokes and scurrilous Latin songs is seemingly inexhaustible. The popish influence, no doubt. But by the end of the trip, all he had to do was say "Did you hear the one about the cardinal . . . " and Lucas and I would start chuckling. Even Blume the horse would swivel his ears around when Signor Andrea spoke. The man's voice is seductively attractive, I will admit.

Lucas and I have found a place here in Magdeburg, and we are keeping busy by attending the various rehearsals in which my musicians are involved. I still think of them as mine, although most of them now seem to have accepted young Franz Sylwester as their leader. That young man impresses me. His fervency and dedication to his art is undeniable, and his ability to draw others in his train cannot be denied. Fifty or more string players from all over the Germanies, and he has all but welded them into a single being. I have not seen the like in all of my experience. Though I am almost twice his age, with perhaps my best years behind me, I admit to some form of jealousy to see my own players look to him with such dedication. It is unworthy of me, I know, but then I never admitted to being a saint.

And now, lest I squander the courage I have spent the last several days mustering, I must be even more shamelessly bold and tell you that I greatly desire your presence and company for the day of the first symphony concert. That will be the third of July by the new calendar, the so-called Gregorian. I will pay your way and find respectable lodging for you, of course. If you are unable to attend, I will understand, but I would be among the happiest of men if you would grace my life with your presence for those few days.

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- The Grantville Gazette Staff