The Sacred Flame The theme of this album is the marvellous wealth of sacred music which was created in continental Europe out of the ferment of the age of Reformation.
Selig sind die Toten This dignified and consolatory motet, one of the relatively few by Schütz to be widely known and appreciated, was first published in the Geistliche Chormusik of 1648, an important collection of 29 of the composer’s motets. They represent a turning away from the Venetian extravagance of Schütz’s earlier work, with more emphasis on traditional imitative polyphony, which the composer’s preface to the volume recommends as a discipline for budding composers. 'Selig sind die Toten' is indeed just as imitative in style as any Renaissance motet, though the strong expressive contrasts between the slow-moving sections and the more active treatment of the words ‘und ihre Werke folgen ihnen nach’ belong clearly to the Baroque era.
“…The Sacred Flame is a fascinating, impressive compendium of liturgical choral music…” The Independent
John Rutter, English composer and conductor, is associated with choral music throughout the world. His recordings with the Cambridge Singers (the professional chamber choir he set up in 1983) have reached a wide global audience, many of them featuring his own music in definitive versions. Among John’s best-known choral works are Gloria, Requiem, Magnificat, Mass of the Children, and Visions, together with many church anthems, choral songs and Christmas carols.