Musikalische Exequien

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Henry II Reuss, Count of Gera

Musikalische exequien, Op.7, SWV279–281 is a sacred work by Heinrich Schutz; it was written in c. 1635/6, for the funeral services of Count Henry the Posthumus Reuss of Gera, who had died on December 3, 1635. It comprises the following sections:

I Concert in Form einer teutschen Begräbnis-Messe
II Motette "Herr, wenn ich nur Dich habe"
III Canticum B.Simeonis "Herr, nun lässest Du Deinen Diener"

Henry II had planned the service himself and chosen the texts, some of which are scriptural and others of which are from 16th-century Lutheran writers, including Martin Luther himself. He also commissioned Schütz to compose the music on the occasion of his death.

Part I, by far the longest part of the work, is scored for SSATTB (2 sopranos, 1 alto, 2 tenors, 1 bass) chorus alternating with small ensembles of soloists. Part II is scored for double choir SATBSATB, and part III for SATTB choir and a trio of soloists. All movements are accompanied by basso continuo.

The work was well known to Brahms, whose German Requiem is conceptually similar.


There have been many recordings, making the Exequien the most recorded work of 17th-century German vocal music. Among others:


  • Wolff, Christoph (2005). "Bible and Hymnal in Johann Sebastian Bach's Music". In Carl Schalk; Carlos R. Messerli. Thine the amen: essays on Lutheran church music in honor of Carl Schalk. Kirk House Publishers. p. 112. ISBN 1-932688-11-0. 

External links[edit]