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.
There have been many recordings, making the Exequien the most recorded work of 17th-century German vocal music. Among others:
- Heinrich Schutz Choir, Munich dir. Karl Richter (Archiv Produktion, 1955)
- Dresdner Kreuzchor dir. Rudolf Mauersberger (Berlin)
- Westfälische Kantorei dir. Wilhelm Ehmann (Cantate)
- Chiaroscuro dir. Hans-Martin Linde (EMI)
- Knabenchor Hannover dir. Heinz Hennig (Ars Musici)
- Vassil Kazandjiev (Forlane)
- The Schutz Academy dir. Howard Arman (Berlin)
- Chapelle Royale dir. Philippe Herreweghe (Harmonia Mundi)
- Monteverdi Choir dir. John Eliot Gardiner, (Archiv Produktion)
- Alsfelder Vocal Ensemble dir. Wolfgang Helbich (Naxos)
- Weser Renaissance Bremen dir. Manfred Cordes (cpo)
- Motettenchor Stuttgart dir. Gunter Graulich (Carus)
- Cappella Augustana dir. Matteo Messori (Brilliant Classics)
- La Chapelle Rhénane dir. Benoît Haller (K617)
- Akadêmia dir. Françoise Lasserre with La Fenice dir. Jean Tubéry (Pierre Verany/Arion)
- Ars Nova Copenhagen dir. Paul Hillier (Da Capo)
- American Bach Soloists dir. Jeffrey Thomas (own label)
- Vox Luminis dir. Lionel Meunier (Ricercar) - winner of Gramophone Awards 2012
- Dresdner Kammerchor dir. Hans-Christoph Rademann (Carus)
- 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.
- Free scores by Musikalische Exequien in the Choral Public Domain Library (ChoralWiki)
- Musikalische Exequien: text, analysis etc. at heinrich-schuetz-haus.de
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