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Cantiones sacrae is the long-awaited follow up to Magnificat’s critically acclaimed 25th anniversary recording, Scattered Ashes. The Cantiones sacrae is an unusual work that stands quite apart from Schütz’s other published sacred music in both scale and style. The collection comprises forty Latin motets for four voices, plus a figured bass for continuo accompaniment (realized on this recording by lute, violone and organ), which was added later by the composer. The perfectly crafted works are composed in a learned, contrapuntal style rich in dissonance and range of expression. Schütz cleverly mirrors the intensely intimate nature of the texts using a musical language that looks to inward expression rather than to external effect. Schütz takes every opportunity to exploit vocal timbre and technique in the service of word-painting, with the virtuosic vocal lines ranging from a conservative imitative style to the most avant-garde, chromatic style of the Italian madrigal. Magnificat’s performance of the Opus 4 motets reveals Schütz to be a composer with an imagination of extraordinary variety.

"The precision and agility of the ensemble is astounding, with intricate harmonic movement sharply characterised and captured."
The Guardian
"Cave’s six singers and five continuo players give readings of piercing clarity and impassioned conviction."
The Sunday Times
"Such well-focused, communicative, gently radiant performances. It’s mesmerizing...the impressive recording is definitely part of the magic."
BBC Radio 3
"The precision and agility of the ensemble is astounding, with intricate harmonic movement sharply characterised and captured."
The Observer
"The Linn engineering crew contributes beautiful sound, lush but precise, from the University College Chapel at Oxford University. English singers have not always gotten Schütz, but they do here. Highly recommended."
All Music
"Singing is stylish, confident, clean and focussed...The recording has excellent purity and clarity, and beautiful reverberation."
Hi-Fi Choice
"This is music of intimate majesty, spiritual and human, splendidly performed."
The Times
"If you like the lightness of Cordes and Messori, you will love Philip Cave. He has not recorded Schütz before this, but I have found his recordings to be extraordinary achievements."
Fanfare, January 2020
"These motets deserve to be better known, and if you purchase this set, you won’t regret it."
MusicWeb International, Summer 2019
"Schütz … can still benefit from a contrasting version of his op. 4 that Philip Cave has recorded with one voice to a part."