Skip to content

Voces Suaves – Schutz: Musicalische Exequien – German Funeral Music of the 17th Century (2021) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Voces Suaves – Schütz: Musicalische Exequien – German Funeral Music of the 17th Century (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:05:48 minutes | 1,31 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Arcana

Johann Hermann Schein, Sebastian Knüpfer, Johann Schelle, Andreas Gleich, Johann Georg Ebeling, Johannes Kessel, Johann Rosenmüller – all names that are unlikely to be familiar to you, unless you happen to be especially knowledgeable on the subject of early German Baroque composers. Yet all enjoyed esteemed reputations in their day, and three of them – Schein, Knüpfer and Schelle – were actually predecessors of Johann Sebastian Bach in the lofty role of Leipzig ThomasKantor. Then even less familiar to most listeners will be the music these men composed for funeral services, because when each service’s music was created specifically for that one event, and reflected the tastes and choices of the deceased person it honoured, it didn’t make sense to publish it for wider performance.

Consequently, the first thing to point about about this programme of seventeenth century German funeral music from Basel-based vocal ensemble Voces Suaves under Johannes Strobl, is the feast of unknown repertoire presented around its central performance of Schütz’s Musikalische Exequien; because while Schütz was so proud of this structurally and texturally ambitious 1636 work for the funeral of Henry II, Count of Reuss-Gera, that he published it at his own expense that very year, the surrounding motets from his above-mentioned contemporaries have been transcribed specifically for this recording, direct from the original sources, with much of it recorded for the very first time.

The performances themselves have more than done this rare repertoire justice, too: beautifully lucid textures both in the choral singing and the sensitive accompanying from violone, theorbo and organ; bright, clear-toned vocal tones, with a particularly exquisitely light and pure upper-register soprano sound on show in motets such as Gleich’s Selig sind die Toten; crisp articulation and sombre, heartfelt expression of the texts overall. Add the fact that the back catalogue isn’t bursting with previous recordings even of the Schütz, and this album is very welcome indeed. – Charlotte Gardner


1. Voces Suaves – Ich will schweigen
2. Voces Suaves – Selig sind die Toten
3. Voces Suaves – Erforsche mich, Gott
4. Voces Suaves – I. Concert in Form einer teutschen Begräbnis-Missa
5. Voces Suaves – II. Motette
6. Voces Suaves – III. Canticum B. Simeonis
7. Voces Suaves – Ich weiß, dass mein Erlöser lebet
8. Voces Suaves – Ein Tag in deinen Vorhöfen
9. Voces Suaves – Ich habe Lust abzuscheiden
10. Voces Suaves – Was ist es doch? Was ist der Menschen Leben?


%d bloggers like this: