Thomas Selle occupied the Hamburg Kantorat from 1641 and thus one of the most attractive positions Northern German musical life had to offer in the age of the Thirty Years' War. The fact that the impregnable Hanseatic city not only attracted numerous illustrious emigrants, but also had a steadily growing class of wealthy citizens, together with a predominantly open-minded clergy, provided the ideal conditions for a flourishing cultural life. Selle was not to disappoint the high expectations: his works bear witness both to the artistic taste of the audience and to the compositional ambitions of the cantor as a musical protagonist.
The anthology follows the intention of covering as wide a range of themes as possible. It ranges from overarching aspects of the theoretical location, the aesthetic and liturgical scope of sacred music in Hamburg to analytical approaches to Selle's concerto practice and its relationship to Italian or older models up to the comparison between Hamburg's Johanneum and Leipzig's Thomasschule and the questions of musical legacies and early modern musician networks.