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Ferdinand III played a crucial role both in helping to end the Thirty Years' War and in reestablishing Habsburg sovereignty within his hereditary lands. Ferdinand's accomplishments came not through diplomacy or strong leadership but through a skillful manipulation of the arts. Drawing upon recent methodological approaches to the representation of other early modern monarchs as well as upon the theory of confessionalization, Andrew Weaver places the sacred vocal music composed by imperial musicians into the rich cultural, political, and religious contexts of mid-seventeenth-century Central Europe.

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