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Soldiers, Gypsies, Farmers and a Night Watchman
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber

Combattimento Consort Amsterdam

Soldiers, Gypsies, Farmers and a Night Watchman

Price: € 12.95
Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917213225
Catnr: SACC 72132
Release date: 12 August 2004
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917213225
Catalogue number
SACC 72132
Release date
12 August 2004
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
NL

About the album

Nearly all the pieces on this CD have an extra- musical programme. In other words, in each piece, a story is told, or a situation described. Whether humorous or serious, the pro- gramme always tells us something about the culture in which the music functioned. A pro- gramme can be deemed successful only in so far as the listener is actually familiar with the situation to which the music refers and under- stands it or finds it humorous. Programme music thus gives us a glimpse into the world of the seventeenth-centur y listener who heard the first performance and who was delightfully enter tained, smiled or was deeply moved.

The works presented on this CD were performed in more intimate, likely court, settings during evening concerts or were intended to mark the arrival of important guests. Biber himself played the violin in the orchestra or ensemble – the number of instruments per par t is unknown. Of par ticular interest is that Biber composed only one violin part, but wrote two or three viola parts. Consequently, the ensemble as a whole has a somewhat darker sound, allowing the violin to soar like a lark.

All the works on this CD show that, for his time, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, who was knighted in 1690, was practically an avant-garde composer. As none of his contemporaries did, he pushed the limits of string instruments. Moreover,he created quality musical entertainment both today (!) and in his own time.
Zeventiende-eeuwse avant-garde muziek met een verhaal
Dit album bevat instrumentale werken van Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644-1704), uitgevoerd door het Combattimento Consort onder leiding van Jan Willem de Vriend.

Bijna alle werken hebben een buitenmuzikaal programma, wat inhoudt dat elk stuk een situatie beschrijft of een verhaal vertelt. Een programma vertelt altijd iets over de cultuur waarin de muziek functioneerde. Een programma is namelijk alleen succesvol als de luisteraar bekend is met de situatie waarnaar de muziek verwijst. Deze programmamuziek laat dus de wereld van de zeventiende-eeuwse luisteraar zien, die de eerste uitvoering ervan heeft gehoord en erdoor geraakt werd.

De werken op dit album werden in een kleine kring uitgevoerd, waarschijnlijk aan het hof, tijdens avondconcerten of bij het bezoek van een belangrijke gast. Tijdens de uitvoering speelde Biber viool in het orkest of ensemble. Het is niet bekend hoeveel instrumenten er per partij gebruikt worden. Wat wel bekend is, is dat Biber altijd een vioolpartij schreef, tegenover twee of drie altvioolpartijen. Daardoor krijgt het ensemble een lagere klank, en stijgt de viool als een leeuwerik op.

Op 30 mei 1672 huwde hij met Maria Weiß uit Salzburg. In 1690 werd hij - na een wachttijd van 9 jaar - eindelijk door keizer Leopold I van het Heilige Roomse Rijk met de adelstitel "Biber von Bibern" onderscheiden.

De stukken op dit album tonen aan dat Biber voor zijn tijd een avant-garde componist was. In tegenstelling tot zijn tijdgenoten verlegde hij de grenzen van de strijkinstrumenten. Bovendien bracht hij toen, en brengt hij nu nog steeds (!), muzikaal entertainment van een hoge kwaliteit.

Artist(s)

Combattimento Consort Amsterdam

Over the past 30 years, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam has established a strong national and international reputation. The ensemble is famous for the high quality and energy of its performances. That, together with its varied and often surprising and unfamiliar repertoire, for formations ranging from chamber ensemble to chamber orchestra, and from oratorios to operas, has made it one of the most successful Baroque ensembles in the world. The Combattimento Consort’s roughly 60 performances a year are distinguished by the originality of the ensemble’s presentation, led by one of the trend-setting conductors in Dutch musical life, Jan Willem de Vriend, who in November 2012 received the Radio 4 Prize.   The Combattimento Consort has gone on a number of tours in recent years...
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Over the past 30 years, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam has established a strong national and international reputation. The ensemble is famous for the high quality and energy of its performances. That, together with its varied and often surprising and unfamiliar repertoire, for formations ranging from chamber ensemble to chamber orchestra, and from oratorios to operas, has made it one of the most successful Baroque ensembles in the world. The Combattimento Consort’s roughly 60 performances a year are distinguished by the originality of the ensemble’s presentation, led by one of the trend-setting conductors in Dutch musical life, Jan Willem de Vriend, who in November 2012 received the Radio 4 Prize.
The Combattimento Consort has gone on a number of tours in recent years to Germany, Spain, Central Europe, South America, Japan, Russia and the United States. It has recorded more than 35 CDs and DVDs – this year, its CD of Handel’s Concerto Grossi op. 6 will be released. The ensemble has worked with prominent soloists such as Barbara Bonney, Andreas Scholl and Sol Gabeta, Thomas Zehetmair and Sabine Meyer, as well as with the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Nationale Reisopera and Cappella Amsterdam. The spearhead of its artistic direction is the performance of unfamiliar and as yet unpublished repertoire. Innumerable searches through libraries, churches and cloisters over the past 30 years have resulted in a notable collection of remarkable performances. In 2007, for example, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam presented Arminio, the only surviving opera of Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber. Over the years, it has developed a distinctive style of playing, which has even come to be known as the “Combattimento School” of performance. Recognizable and energetic, inventive, style-conscious and inspiring. The ensemble presents itself as a “consort”, but with the visibility of the “individual”. Jan Willem de Vriend leads the Combattimento Consort from the “first chair”, appearing as a conductor only in the larger productions (operas and oratorios). The instrumental soloists are in most cases members of the ensemble.

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Jan Willem de Vriend

Jan Willem de Vriend, designated “a godsend from the Netherlands” by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, is driven by the pioneering spirit of historically informed perfomance practice. As music director of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, which he founded in 1982, he specialised in repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, reviving a wealth of rarely heard works through historically informed performances on modern instruments, praised by Gramophone magazine for their “technical finesse and a lively feeling for characterization”. An award-winner for his creative contribution to classical music, Jan Willem de Vriend has more than 50,000 followers on Spotify and is in demand as a conductor around the world, appearing regularly with such orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest...
more
Jan Willem de Vriend, designated “a godsend from the Netherlands” by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, is driven by the pioneering spirit of historically informed perfomance practice. As music director of the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, which he founded in 1982, he specialised in repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, reviving a wealth of rarely heard works through historically informed performances on modern instruments, praised by Gramophone magazine for their “technical finesse and a lively feeling for characterization”.
An award-winner for his creative contribution to classical music, Jan Willem de Vriend has more than 50,000 followers on Spotify and is in demand as a conductor around the world, appearing regularly with such orchestras as the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest Den Haag, Belgian National Orchestra, Tonhalle Zurich, Orchestre National de Lyon, Bergen Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, the symphony orchestras of Netherlands Radio and Hessischer Rundfunk (Frankfurt Radio Symphony), Melbourne Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic. He is Principal Conductor Designate of the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, and Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the Stuttgart Philharmonic and Orchestre National de Lille, and former Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya and the Brabant Orchestra.
For the Challenge Classics label, de Vriend and the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra have recorded the complete Mendelssohn symphonies and all Beethoven’s symphonies and concertos with, among others, pianist Hannes Minnaar and violinist Liza Ferschtman. De Vriend’s interpretation of the Symphony No 7 prompted Classic FM to admire “a bounding flair that does real justice to the composer’s capacity for joy”. A further landmark of his recorded catalogue is his complete recording of the Schubert symphonies with the Residentie Orkest Den Haag.
De Vriend’s collaborative spirit is equally evident in his work for the stage, notably with opera director Eva Buchmann and Combattimento Consort Amsterdam. In addition to works by Monteverdi, Haydn, Handel and Telemann, their productions in Europe and the USA have included staged versions of Bach’s ‘Hunting’ and ‘Coffee’ Cantatas at the Bachfest Leipzig, and operas by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and Cherubini, among them Mozart’s Don Giovanni und Rossini’s La gazzetta, both toured in Switzerland. De Vriend has also conducted operatic productions in Amsterdam (with the Nederlandse Reisopera), Barcelona, Strasbourg, Lucerne, Schwetzingen and Bergen.

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Composer(s)

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber

Franz von Biber, he might as well be called 'the Jimi Hendrix of the 17th century'. His virtuosity on violin was unprecedented, and he combined this with a passion for experimentation which is just as remarkable. With his violin skills, Biber's social status quickly improved. After working as the 'musician in residence' for the bishop of Olmütz, he consecutively worked for the archbishop of Salzburg and, as a kapellmeister, for Emperor Leopold I. Biber was a religious man, and it can't be a coincidence both his daughters (he also had two sons) lived in a monastery.  Biber composed both instrumental als vocal music. The pinnacles of his body of works are undoubtedly his Rosary Sonatas and his Missa Salisburgensis. The former shows Biber's virtuosity...
more

Franz von Biber, he might as well be called 'the Jimi Hendrix of the 17th century'. His virtuosity on violin was unprecedented, and he combined this with a passion for experimentation which is just as remarkable. With his violin skills, Biber's social status quickly improved. After working as the 'musician in residence' for the bishop of Olmütz, he consecutively worked for the archbishop of Salzburg and, as a kapellmeister, for Emperor Leopold I. Biber was a religious man, and it can't be a coincidence both his daughters (he also had two sons) lived in a monastery. Biber composed both instrumental als vocal music. The pinnacles of his body of works are undoubtedly his Rosary Sonatas and his Missa Salisburgensis. The former shows Biber's virtuosity as a compositional art; the latter shows, with its enourmous instrumentation, the capabilities of Biber as a grandiose composer.


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Often bought together with..

Henry Purcell
King Arthur
Gabrieli Consort
Felix Mendelssohn
Violin Concerto, Op. 64 / String Octet, Op. 20
Liza Ferschtman / Het Gelders Orkest / Kees Bakels
Georg Friedrich Händel
Handel - L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato
Gabrieli Consort & Players
Various composers
Libera Nos: The Cry of the Oppressed
Contrapunctus / Rees
Agnes Jama, Soesja Citroen
The Complete Musical Works of Agnes Jama
Marcel Worms

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