The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer presents a concert of Musikalische Exequien, a funeral service in three parts, by Heinrich Schutz with the CCM Collegium Vocale and The Vicars Choral at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 26, 2017.
The concert is part of the Music at Redeemer series. Matthew Swanson, adjunct instructor of early music at CCM, conducts.
Program is open to the public. Suggested donation is $10.00. Redeemer is located at 2944 Erie Ave., Hyde Park.
Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) ranks as the most influential German composer before Bach. His surviving output is entirely devoted to vocal music of substantial variety. Schütz was a pupil of Venetian composer Giovanni Gabrieli and an associate of Claudio Monteverdi. He brought Italian compositional practices and styles to northern Germany. Most of his career was spent in Dresden, where he led a court music program for the Elector of Saxony.
In the seventeenth century, it was not uncommon to make plans for one’s own funeral service. Prince Heinrich Posthumous Reuß, a patron of Schütz, was no exception. Though Heinrich Posthumous died in December 1635, he wished to be buried on the Feast of the Presentation in early February (in homage to the aged Simeon). As such, his funeral was delayed two months, and Schütz was commissioned in the interim to write music for the funeral service.
Posthumous had selected several biblical texts and hymns for the service and had asked they be carved into his casket. Schütz used some for a funeral of the same texts for his Musikalische Exequien. Though scored for modest forces (a small capella of singers, organ, and cello, at the least), the work is notable for its formal design and the variety of musical textures.
February’s performance features the CCM Collegium Vocale, an ensemble of students in CCM’s Early Music Lab who study early ensemble literature for voices. Also participating are singers from the Vicars Choral, an ensemble founded for the 2015 Cincinnati Early Music Festival.