Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672), born 100 years before Johann Sebastian Bach, was the greatest German composer of his time, bridging the Renaissance and the Baroque. The choral work Schwanengesang is his musical and spiritual testament. It comprises 11 motets for double choir, settings of Psalm 119, complemented by a setting of Psalm 100 and of the Magnificat.
The male-voice Hilliard Ensemble was founded in 1974 and was disbanded after 40 years in 2014. Its singers were praised by Gramophone for “the superlative purity of their vibrato-free tone, perfect blend and balance of voices and immaculate intonation”. They are complemented here by the Hannover Knabenchor (boys’ choir).