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Written during the 17th century by two different generations, these works show a distinctly different concept to the writing of a Requiem. The elder Johann Casper Kerll wrote his Missa pro defunctis when he was nearing the end of his life. Scored for five voices and a quartet of viols, it is clearly inward-looking as it was written ‘for my soul’s peace’. Kerll was a student of Giacomo Carissimi, and the flowing contrapuntal writing coupled with a sensitive use of the viols makes for a very personal setting; Vox Luminis and L’Acheron give this a finely judged and sympathetic performance. By contrast, Fux’s Requiem is associated with the time he spent at the Imperial Court, where the funerals this work was written for earned it the title of Kaiserrequiem. Also scored for five voices, its tonal colour is enhanced by the use of two violins, viola, two muted cornets, two trombones and bassoon. It reflects the splendid solemnity of the Imperial, ceremonial occasion and has a richness and beauty all its own. Vox Luminis perform with Scorpio Collectief to give a perceptive interpretation of the music.

SHIRLEY RATCLIFFE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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