Kaspar Förster jun.: Sacrae cantiones 1, 2, et 3 vocuum

The present volume contains 12 from 22 church concertos composed by the Kapellmeister of the Holy Virgin Mary church in Danzig Kaspar Förster junior (1616–1673) – scored for 1–3 vocal voices. They belong in a broad sense to the genre that in Italy was mostly called mottetto or sometimes sacro concerto, and in scholarship on German Protestant music has usually been called Vokalkonzert, or sometimes Frühkantate. In North German and Scandinavian music manuscripts from Förster’s time, the most common designation is either mottetto or concerto – or more rarely, the compound mottetto concertato. Such works were exceptionally common in the repertoire of Hofkapelle and larger municipal churches in Förster’s time. At Catholic services, they often replaced or complemented liturgical elements of the Mass proper, or the antiphons of the Vesper services. In the Lutheran cult, they were used to begin or end the service, performed ad suggestum before and after the sermon, or during the distribution of the Communion. Thanks to the relatively small musical resources called for, they could arguably also be performed in less ceremonial settings, as Tafelmusik at a court or aristocratic household or at colleges and schools. At the Jesuit colleges in Rome, motets of this kind were performed at prayers or just for musical practices.