Polyhymnia: Musikalische Exequien

Saturday, May 11, 2013

John Bradley, Director


Heinrich Schütz (1585 – 1672)

Op.7, SWV279-281 & German motets

With a band of period instruments


8 pm

Pre-concert lecture at 7 pm with Emerson Morgan


Tickets:          $25 – General Admission

                        $15 – Students, Seniors & Early Music America (EMA) Members



Tiffany Lim, Jennifer Little – Soprano

Andrea Swenson – Alto

Aaron Peisner – Tenor

Erik-Peter Mortensen – Baritone

Robert Olson – Bass


Jennifer Griesbach – Organ

Patricia Neely – Violone


John Bradley - Conductor



Polyhymnia presents the music of Heinrich Schütz in a concert featuring the solemn and elegant Musikalische Exequien. Composed during 1635-1636, the three works of the Musikalische Exequien or German Requiem, were commissioned for the funeral services of Henry Posthumous Reuss, Count of Gera, who died on December 3, 1635. Schütz, profoundly influenced by his time in Venice perfected a Germano/Venetian hybrid style of which Monteverdi himself would be envious. The texts for the three works come from scripture, St. Augustine, and the German Reformers, including Martin Luther, Johannes Gigas, Johannes Leon, Ludwig Hembold, and Nikolaus Hermann, who together represent the best of early German language hymn composition. Count Henry himself chose the texts that his friend Schütz so eloquently set to music. Viewing this celebration of life and death though the veil of Lutheran theology and German culture (so profoundly influenced by the Thirty Years War raging during the time of the composition) provides a glimpse into the personal spirituality not only of Count Henry, but of Heinrich Schütz as well. It is believed that Count Henry, at his own request, heard at least some of the work on several occasions as a preview of his own exequies. Also on the program will be selections for Geistliche Chor-Musik, and the double-choir motet Ich bin die Auferstehung.


About the Ensemble:

Polyhymnia creates vibrant, historically informed performances of music from the courts and cathedrals of the Renaissance world. Working with museums and libraries, liturgical historians and educational institutions, Polyhymnia preserves and revives masterworks of the choral literature composed in Europe and the Americas between the years 1450 and 1650. Since 2000, Artistic Director John Bradley has been preparing original editions of music for the ensemble in repertoire including numerous modern premiers of works which have remained unperformed since the 16th century.