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The Musicalische Exequien of Heinrich Schütz, composed for the ceremonial obsequies of Heinrich II Posthumus, count of Reuß-Gera, is probably the bestknown example of German funeral music of the seventeenth century. However, it is not an isolated piece; there were in fact a great number of virtually unknown vocal compositions from the same period, which were commissioned to commemorate the death of specific personalities and performed at their funeral services.
The third album from Voces Suaves on the Arcana label offers a fresh perspective on Schütz’s famous masterpiece, complementing it with works by other major German composers of the seventeenth century such as Rosenmüller and Schein. The music is performed by singers and a continuo group without any additional instruments, so that the focus remains throughout on a flexible vocal presentation of these striking and moving works.