Magnificat - Schütz: Cantiones sacrae - BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'

Now here’s a reminder from Philip Cave and his vocal ensemble Magnificat of just what a remarkable set of motets Heinrich Schütz composed in 1625 as his Cantiones sacrae – 40 of them, 1 for each year he’d been alive. Such well-focused, communicative, gently radiant performances. It’s mesmerizing. Try this one: “Come into my heart and drench it with the richness of your pleasure so that I forget worldly things.”

You’ve just heard of the Cantiones sacrae, the sacred songs of Heinrich Schütz, dated New Year’s Day, 1625 and these serenely beautiful performances from Magnificat, directed by Philip Cave illustrate just how wonderfully written they are as they range from calm contemplation to Italianate passion and virtuosity, a ‘kaleidoscope of invention’ as Cave rightly says in his notes. I wasn’t expecting to want to listen to all forty motets in order end to end but they drew me into Schütz’s world and the impressive recording is definitely part of the magic.

BBC Radio 3 ‘Record Review’
18 May 2019