Although often overshadowed by his better-known Italian contemporary Claudio Monteverdi, as well as his successor in Lutheran music J.S. Bach, Heinrich Sch++tz's contributions to 17th-century sacred music were nevertheless significant. With a career that spanned an era of great musical developments, his sacred compositions reveal a rich array of influences and were to prove inspirational to future generations of composers. This 19-disc box set is the result of four volumes of recordings made by Cappella Augustana and Matteo Messori for Brilliant Classics between 2003 and 2010, collected together for the first time. Featuring Sch++tz's most important compositions (mostly large-scale works in multiple volumes), Cappella Augustana's selection surveys the German's lengthy career and his changing style. While the early Cantiones sacrae reflect his attempts to push boundaries as a young composer, a subtle shift towards a more simple and considered style can be witnessed in later works - notably the Kleine geistliche Concerte and Geistliche Chor-Music, a set of inventive and carefully crafted German motets. The crowning achievement of Sch++tz's career was surely his Passion settings, works that are controlled and refined yet retain a sense of drama and beauty.