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Sonatae Tam Aris Quam Aulis Servientes

Ars Antiqua Austria / Gunar Letzbor

Sonatae Tam Aris Quam Aulis Servientes

Price: € 20.95
Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917267624
Catnr: CC 72676
Release date: 30 April 2015
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917267624
Catalogue number
CC 72676
Release date
30 April 2015

""...magnificent recording with all of its articulatory and expressive glow, its drive and finesse, its charme between posh and brisk...""

Concerto, 01-3-2016
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About the album

Austrian Baroque music takes centre stage in the repertoire of this unusual Baroque ensemble. The music performed at the imperial court in Vienna at this time was initially heavily influenced by the music of Italy, later by that of France; Spanish court ceremonial also had important artistic effects in Vienna. The typical Austrian sound of this era was characterised by the impact of its many royal domains. The political and societal boundaries of Baroque Austria stretched much further than nowadays. Elements of Slavic, Hungarian and Alpine folk music styles had lasting effects on art music, making up its specific sound. The title “Sonatae tam aris quam aulis servientes” suggests that these works can be used for both sacred and secular purposes. They represent the first of several collections of pieces for polyphonic instrumental ensembles (published in 1676, 1680 and 1682) in which Biber demonstrated his mastery in handling the most important forms of instrumental music of his time.
Oostenrijkse barok
De Oostenrijkse barokmuziek staat centraal in het repertoire van dit buitengewone barokensemble Ars Antiqua Austria. De muziek die uitgevoerd werd aan het keizerlijk hof in Wenen in deze tijd werd aanvankelijk sterk beïnvloed door Italiaanse muziek, maar later ook door Franse en Spaanse en er zijn zelfs elementen uit Slavische, Hongaarse en Alpine volksmuziek terug te horen. Met andere woorden: het karakteristieke geluid van de Oostenrijkse barokmuziek is eigenlijk een mix van veel buitenlandse invloeden.

Op dit album wordt een collectie van werken van Heinrich Biber ten gehore gebracht. Biber was een van de belangrijkste componisten van de tweede helft van 17e eeuw en zijn sonates behoren tot de meest invloedrijke composities van de vroege barok. De titel Sonate tam aris quam aulis servientis suggereert dat deze werken zowel voor kerkelijke als seculiere doeleinden gebruikt kon worden. Zij representeren de eerste collectie van vele waarin Biber in meerstemmige, instrumentale stukken zijn ware muzikaliteit en meesterlijkheid toont.

Ars Antiqua Austria werd in 1989 opgericht door de Oostenrijkse violist Letzbor, met als doel het publiek te laten kennismaken met de Oostenrijkse barokmuziek. Dankzij zijn onderzoeken en inspanningen zijn tientallen composities voor het eerst in de moderne tijd uitgevoerd. Ars Antiqua Austria speelt op authentieke instrumenten en geldt als een hoogstaand ensemble in de wereld van de oude muziek. De bezetting van het gezelschap varieert, afhankelijk van het repertoire.

Die Sonatae tam quam aulis servientes stehen am Anfang einer Reihe von Sammlungen mit Musik für Instrumentalensembles, in denen Biber zeigt, wie meisterlich er die Kunst der gängigen Formen seiner Zeit beherrscht. Zwar sind während des Zweiten Weltkrieges nahezu alle Stimmhefte verloren gegangen, doch glücklicherweise ist wie durch eine Vorsehung um 1900 eine Partitur erschienen, die diese prächtige Musik in ihrer originalen Gestalt festgehalten und auch für uns heute noch erlebbar machen.

Mit dem Ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria haben die Sonaten den perfekten Interpreten gefunden, denn österreichische Barockmusik steht für dieses ungewöhnliche Ensemble im Mittelpunkt. Gestützt durch Jahre der Recherche einer Musik, die von vielerlei Einflüssen aus dem Slawischen und Ungarischen wie auch aus Italien und Frankreich gezeichnet ist, verleihen die Musiker den Sonaten einen ganz individuellen, österreichischen Klang, in dem sich die Lebenslust des Südländers, die Melancholie der Slawen, das Hofzeremoniell der Spanier und das original Alpenländische mit tänzerischer Note vereinen.
Dopo Fidicinium Sacro-Profanum, Gunar Letzbor e il suo Musica Antiqua Austria tornano a H.I.F. Biber con un’altra grande raccolta del maestro salisburgese: le Sonatae Tam Aris Quam Aulis Servientes, che in dodici sonate presentano un’ampia e diversificata gamma di parti e strumenti.
La musica barocca austrica occupa un posto centrale nel reperorio di questo originale ensemble. A quel tempo la musica eseguita alla corte imperiale di Vienna fu inizialmente fortemente influenzata dallo stile italiano, in seguito da quello francese; anche il cerimoniale di corte spagnolo ebbe importanti effetti artistici a Vienna. Ma la tipica sonorità austriaca di quest’epoca era caratterizzata dall’impatto dei molti possedimenti imperiali – i confini politici e sociali dell’Austria barocca erano molto più estesi di quelli odierni. Elementi stilistici della musica popolare slava, ungherese e alpina ebbero effetti duraturi sulla musica d’arte, producendo la sua tipica sonorità.
Il titolo “Sonatae tam aris quam aulis servientes” indica che queste opere potevano avere un duplice scopo, sacro e profano. Essa rappresenta la prima di diverse raccolte di brani polifonici destinati ad ensembles strumentali (publicati nel 1676, 1680 e 1682) in cui Biber dimostra il suo magistero nel trattamento delle più importanti forme della musica strumentale del suo tempo.

Artist(s)

Ars Antiqua Austria

Austrian Baroque music takes centre stage in the repertoire of this unusual Baroque ensemble. The music performed at the imperial court in Vienna at this time was initially heavily influenced by the music of Italy, later by that of France; Spanish court ceremonial also had important artistic effects in Vienna. The typical Austrian sound of this era was characterised by the impact of its many royal domains. The political and societal boundaries of Baroque Austria stretched much further than nowadays. Elements of Slavic, Hungarian and Alpine folk music styles had lasting effects on art music, making up its specific sound. But the Austrian sound also reflects the temperament and the character of the people of the time: placed within the...
more
Austrian Baroque music takes centre stage in the repertoire of this unusual Baroque ensemble. The music performed at the imperial court in Vienna at this time was initially heavily influenced by the music of Italy, later by that of France; Spanish court ceremonial also had important artistic effects in Vienna. The typical Austrian sound of this era was characterised by the impact of its many royal domains. The political and societal boundaries of Baroque Austria stretched much further than nowadays. Elements of Slavic, Hungarian and Alpine folk music styles had lasting effects on art music, making up its specific sound. But the Austrian sound also reflects the temperament and the character of the people of the time: placed within the melting pot of many diverse cultures, amalgamating Mediterranean zest for life, Slavic melancholy, French formalism, Spanish royal ceremony and the original Alpine elements of the German-speaking region. This mixture of court music and folk music with a dance-like character outlines the typically Austrian sound.
Alongside many concert performances, the early years of the ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria were dedicated to musicological research of Austrian Baroque composers. The abundance of rediscovered works led to several successful premiere recordings: albums featuring the works of R. Weichlein, H.I.F. Biber, F. Conti, G.B. Viviani, G.A.P. Mealli, G. Arnold, A. Caldara, B.A. Aufschnaiter, J.J. Vilsmayr, J.P. Vejvanovsky, J. Schmelzer, G. Muffat, W.L. Radolt, C. Mouthon, J.B. Hochreither, F.J. Aumann and J.S. Bach were met with enthusiastic approbation from the international music press.
Ars Antiqua Austria have been designing their own concert series at the Vienna Konzerthaus since 2002, and at the Brucknerhaus Linz since 2008. The ensemble is leading a cycle of performances arranged over several years entitled “Klang der Kulturen – Kultur des Klanges” (“Sound of the Cultures – Culture of Sound”), consisting of ninety concerts set to be performed in Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Krakow, Venice, Ljubljana, Mechelen and Lübeck.
Recent performances include concerts at the Festival de Musique Ancienne de Ribeauvillé, Berliner Tage für Alte Musik, Festival Printemps des Arts de Nantes, Mozartfest Würzburg (an opera production), Tage Alter Musik Herne, Festival de Musique de Clisson et de Loire Atlantique, Folles Journées de Nantes and Tokyo, Musée d’Unterlinden Colmar, Printemps Baroque du Sablon, Festival van Vlaanderen, Festival Bach de Lausanne, MAfestival Brugge, Bologna Festival, Vendsyssel Festival, Concerti della Normale di Pisa, Resonanzen Wien, Klangbogen Wien, Monteverdi Festival Cremona, Bayerische Staatsoper and the Salzburger Festspiele. The ensemble has also been welcomed in the USA and in Japan.
The CD recording with mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink (four cantatas by Francesco Conti) was awarded a Diapason d’or only one week after being issued. Gunar Letzbor and his ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria were presented with the Cannes Classical Award 2002 for their recording of the Capricci Armonici by G.B. Viviani.

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Markus Miesenberger

The lyrical tenor Markus Miesenberger received his education as a singer in Vienna with KS Robert Holl, KS Artur Korn and Sebastian Vittucci as well as in the fields violin and baroque viola with Ernst Kovacic and Michi Gaigg in Salzburg, Linz and Vienna. Appearances as a concert and lied singer, in operas and as a musician led the artist through Austria, to important European music centres in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, to Israel, to Mexico and to many more. Thus, it was and is beside regular appearances at the Viennese music association and at the Viennese concert hall to guest with numerous festivals (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes Mexico City, Festival Oude...
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The lyrical tenor Markus Miesenberger received his education as a singer in Vienna with KS Robert Holl, KS Artur Korn and Sebastian Vittucci as well as in the fields violin and baroque viola with Ernst Kovacic and Michi Gaigg in Salzburg, Linz and Vienna.
Appearances as a concert and lied singer, in operas and as a musician led the artist through Austria, to important European music centres in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, to Israel, to Mexico and to many more. Thus, it was and is beside regular appearances at the Viennese music association and at the Viennese concert hall to guest with numerous festivals (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes Mexico City, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, MA Festival Brugge, Salzburger Festspiele, Styriarte, Carinthischer Sommer, Schubertiaden Schwarzenberg and Dürnstein, Brucknerfest Linz, Handel Festival Halle, Internationales Musikfest Hamburg, Musica antiqua of the bavarian broadcast Nürnberg, National forum of music Wroclaw, Settimana Musica Sacra di Monreale, Misteria Paschalia Krakow). He sings under the baton of famous conductors like Christian Thielemann, Pierre Andre Valade, Ralf Weikert, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Jeffrey Kahane, Gunar Letzbor, Michi Gaigg and Rubén Dubrovsky with Staatskapelle Dresden, Vienna and Hamburg Symphonic Orchestra, Ars Antiqua Austria, L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra, Bach Consort Vienna, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra and Slovac Philharmonic Orchestra. There is also a strong artistic connection in the field of lied to his former teacher Robert Holl and the pianists David Lutz und Sir András Schiff.
On the opera stage Markus Miesenberger is to be experienced above all in roles of the Mozart’s and Haydn’s field, with baroque opera, with opera of the 20th century and with contemporary music. Engagements led him to the Neue Oper Wien, to the Theater an der Wien, to the Landestheater Linz, to the municipal theatre Bolzano and to the Tirol festival. He sang Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte at Opernfestspiele Bad Hersfeld, 2018 and 2019 Jack O’Brian in Kurt Weills Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at Laeiszhalle Hamburg and Balthasar Zorn in Richard Wagners Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with Staatskapelle Dresden under the baton of Christian Thielemann at Osterfestspiele Salzburg, also released on CD, and 2020 at Semperoper Dresden.
In 2011 he won the Franz Joseph Aumann Prize for new discoveries and innovative interpretation of baroque music at the international H.I.F. Biber competition.
Numerous CD productions and radio broadcasts also form a central focus of his artistic career, currently Arias for Silvio Garghetti with Neue Wiener Hofkapelle, Kriegsgeschichten and Liebesabenteuer with music from G.D. Speer with Ars Antiqua Austria (PANCLASSICS) and Psalms for Sacri Concentus 1681 (Challenge Classics).


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Jan Krigovsky

Jan Krigovsky is a double-bass player, multi-instrumentalist, musical events organiser, promoter, art director, manager, producer, publisher, dramaturge and poet. He is well known and sought after interpreter of various musical styles. As a soloist Krigovsky expresses himself with noble, temperamental and technically perfect performance. As a soloist and chamber double bass, G-violone and Vienner Violine player Krigovsky collaborates with numerous ensembles specialising in historically – developed/learned interpretation of old music. He also performs in the ensembles for contemporary music like Catalá Ensamble Trio, Alea and Collegium Wartberg. As a concert master of double bass group he performed with several orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Moderntimes 1800 and Wiener Akademie. As a soloist, he also worked with orchestras under...
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Jan Krigovsky is a double-bass player, multi-instrumentalist, musical events organiser, promoter, art director, manager, producer, publisher, dramaturge and poet. He is well known and sought after interpreter of various musical styles. As a soloist Krigovsky expresses himself with noble, temperamental and technically perfect performance. As a soloist and chamber double bass, G-violone and Vienner Violine player Krigovsky collaborates with numerous ensembles specialising in historically – developed/learned interpretation of old music. He also performs in the ensembles for contemporary music like Catalá Ensamble Trio, Alea and Collegium Wartberg. As a concert master of double bass group he performed with several orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Moderntimes 1800 and Wiener Akademie. As a soloist, he also worked with orchestras under the baton of Yuri Bashmeta, Leoš Svárovský, Martin Haselbock, Jordi Savallla and Ewald Danel.
Jan presented/introduced himself as a soloist, but also as a member of chamber ensembles performing at some of the leading festivals like Bratislava Music Festival, Melos-Étos, Prague Spring International Music Festival, Wiener Fetspiele, Salzburger Festspiele, Festspielwochen Munchen, Dresdener gen Festspiele, Jehudi Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Boston Early Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and others.
He has recorded over 150 CD_DVD titles for companies such as Decca, SDBS production, Supraphon, CPO, WDR, NDR, ZDF, Winter&Winter, ORF, Challenge records, Institut fur Tyroler, Musikforschung Innsbruck, Pan Classics, Arcana Records, Symfonia as well as for radio and television. Among his artistic partners were for example Cecilia Bartoli, Sol Gabetta, Riccardo Minasi, Steven Isserlis, Maurice Steger, Nuria Rial, Avi Avital, Gunar Letzbor, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Jürger Essl, Helene Schmidt, Dalibor Karvay, Stano Palúch, Daniel Buranovský, Martin Babjak.
Jan worked as a teacher at the Conservatory in Žilina, the Conservatory of Dezidor Kardos in Topoľčany, the Church Conservatory in Bratislava, the Masaryk University in Brno and the Janacek Academy in Brno. Since 2002 he has been working at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica. He has built wide base/foundation of amazing/outstanding double bass players in Slovakia, including Roman Patkoló, Vlado Žatko, Ján Prievozník, Filip Jaro, Romana Uhlíková and others. Krigovsky regularly teaches master classes in Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, Brazil, Argentina, USA, Canada and Mexico.
In 2010, he founded together with his students the Slovak Double Bass Club within which were organised master courses called BassFest Banská Bystrica, International Double Bass Competition of Carl Ditters Von Dittersdorf and hundreds of concerts. In 2013, on his initiative, the double bass quartet named Bass Band was created. In 2012 he founded Musica Perennis Iuventutis, music festival held in Senec and Musica Perennis Sancti Benedecti in Hronský Beňadik. Festivals are dedicated to helping and supporting children in material need and children with disabilities in Slovakia and abroad. At his instigation, dozens of musical works were created for solo double bass and chamber ensembles. In 2012 he established his own ensemble known as Collegium Wartberg.

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Hubert Hoffmann

Like most musicians of his generation, Hubert Hoffmann, a member of Austria's leading early music ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria, pursues a wide-ranging career as a continuo player with numerous ensembles performing on period instruments all over the world. His fascination for the unique blend of lute music for the Habsburg Courts is reflected in his solo projects, in which he aims to shed light upon this undeservedly neglected niche in baroque lute music repertoire. His first solo CD of works by the Bohemian Count Johann Antonin Losy was received to wide critical acclaim. The second recording of music from the lute manuscript Ms.1255 in the monastery library at Klosterneuburg for the ORF Edition of Classical Music, the first ever recording...
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Like most musicians of his generation, Hubert Hoffmann, a member of Austria's leading early music ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria, pursues a wide-ranging career as a continuo player with numerous ensembles performing on period instruments all over the world. His fascination for the unique blend of lute music for the Habsburg Courts is reflected in his solo projects, in which he aims to shed light upon this undeservedly neglected niche in baroque lute music repertoire. His first solo CD of works by the Bohemian Count Johann Antonin Losy was received to wide critical acclaim. The second recording of music from the lute manuscript Ms.1255 in the monastery library at Klosterneuburg for the ORF Edition of Classical Music, the first ever recording of Wenzel Ludwig Radolt's important 1701 collection of lute concertos Die allertreueste Freindin for Challenge Classics, and the music of the Vienna lutenist Karl Kohaut, also for Challenge Classics, have now been issued.
In 2012, he was appointed curator of a long-term research project in the fields of lute music, lute playing and lute restoration at Kremsmünster Abbey in Upper Austria, producing an edition of the tablatures for lute and mandora, stored in the music library there. As a part of this work he has recently recorded music of Father Ferdinand Fisher, a lute playing member of this Benedictine Monastery, also for Challenge Classic.
From 2013 to 2015 he was active as chairman of the Austrian Lute Society "ÖLG". As artistic consultant, he is also engaged in establishing a new concert series with music from the Goess Manuscripts in the historic Fronmiller Hall at Ebenthal Castle in Carinthia.
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Fritz Kircher

Fritz Kirche, born in Carinthia, studied first in his hometown Klagenfurt with Alfred Lösch, later with Ernst Kovacic and Klara Flieder at the University of Music in Vienna. Studies with Wolfram König and Wilhelm Melcher at the University of Music in Stuttgart from where he graduated with distinction followed. He also had intensive chamber music coaching with members of the Melos Quartet. He has taken part in countless competitions and master classes among others with Franz Samohyl, Zacher Bron, Igor Oistrach, Gerhard Kosten, and Sergei Kratchenko. Fritz Kircher has performed numerous solo concerts in Germany, France and Austria and world premiered Christoph Cech’s violin concerto with the ensemble “die reihe”.
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Fritz Kirche, born in Carinthia, studied first in his hometown Klagenfurt with Alfred Lösch, later with Ernst Kovacic and Klara Flieder at the University of Music in Vienna. Studies with Wolfram König and Wilhelm Melcher at the University of Music in Stuttgart from where he graduated with distinction followed.
He also had intensive chamber music coaching with members of the Melos Quartet. He has taken part in countless competitions and master classes among others with Franz Samohyl, Zacher Bron, Igor Oistrach, Gerhard Kosten, and Sergei Kratchenko. Fritz Kircher has performed numerous solo concerts in Germany, France and Austria and world premiered Christoph Cech’s violin concerto with the ensemble “die reihe”.

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Gunar Letzbor (conductor)

Gunar Letzbor studied composition, conducting and violin at Linz, Salzburg and Cologne. His encounters with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Reinhard Goebel ignited a deep passion for period instruments and performance practice, leading him to perform extensively with Musica Antiqua Köln, the Clemencic Consort, La Folia Salzburg, Armonico Tributo Basel and the Wiener Akademie.  Gunar Letzbor founded his own ensemble, Ars Antiqua Austria, an instrumental ensemble of varying size dedicated in particular to the exploration of the rich, but neglected, baroque repertoire of his native country and its neighbours. Corollaries of this voyage of re-discovery have been not only the unexpected finds of musical masterpieces otherwise destined to languish in obscurity, but also the articulation of a uniquely central-European instrumental sound and its...
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Gunar Letzbor studied composition, conducting and violin at Linz, Salzburg and Cologne. His encounters with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Reinhard Goebel ignited a deep passion for period instruments and performance practice, leading him to perform extensively with Musica Antiqua Köln, the Clemencic Consort, La Folia Salzburg, Armonico Tributo Basel and the Wiener Akademie. Gunar Letzbor founded his own ensemble, Ars Antiqua Austria, an instrumental ensemble of varying size dedicated in particular to the exploration of the rich, but neglected, baroque repertoire of his native country and its neighbours. Corollaries of this voyage of re-discovery have been not only the unexpected finds of musical masterpieces otherwise destined to languish in obscurity, but also the articulation of a uniquely central-European instrumental sound and its often deeply spiritual inspiration. As a soloist and with Ars Antiqua Austria, Letzbor has made numerous recordings (including several world premieres), featuring works by Mozart, Bach, Biber, Muffat, Aufschnaiter, Viviani, Schmelzer, Weichlein, Vejvanovsky, Vilsmayr and Conti. Particulary remarkable was his world's premiere recording of Sonate for violin solo by J.J.Vilsmayr and J.P.Westhoff.

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Erich Traxler

As a harpsichordist and organist Erich Traxler mainly deals with music between around 1600 and 1800. His main focus in the interpretation is on the exploration of the 'musical craft' as a basis for music in the Baroque age as well as the immediate linguistic in the music into the 19th century. His concert career includes performances as soloist on harpsichord and organ as well as chamber musician with various formations (eg L'Orfeo Baroque Orchestra, Ars Antiqua Austria, Accentus Austria, Bach Consort Vienna, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble saitsiing, musica novantica vienna, Ensemble Castor) , Previous tours have taken him to most European countries as well as to the USA, South America, South Africa and Japan. Numerous CD and radio recordings (ORF,...
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As a harpsichordist and organist Erich Traxler mainly deals with music between around 1600 and 1800. His main focus in the interpretation is on the exploration of the "musical craft" as a basis for music in the Baroque age as well as the immediate linguistic in the music into the 19th century.

His concert career includes performances as soloist on harpsichord and organ as well as chamber musician with various formations (eg L'Orfeo Baroque Orchestra, Ars Antiqua Austria, Accentus Austria, Bach Consort Vienna, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble saitsiing, musica novantica vienna, Ensemble Castor) , Previous tours have taken him to most European countries as well as to the USA, South America, South Africa and Japan. Numerous CD and radio recordings (ORF, Gramola, WDR, Upper Austria organ organ) document his activity.

Erich Traxler received his musical education in Linz and Vienna u. a. Michael Radulescu, August Humer, Wolfgang Glüxam, Gordon Murray, Brett Leighton and Augusta Campagne. A postgraduate degree led him to Basel to the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where he got important impulses from musicians such as Andrea Marcon, Wolfgang Zerer, Jean-Claude Zehnder and Jesper Christensen. As organist he won 1st prizes at international competitions for organ (Goldrain / I 2003, Bochum / D 2005).

From 2013 to 2018 Erich Traxler worked as a professor for harpsichord at the Music and Art University of Vienna (MUK). Since 2018 he is at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (mdw). He also taught at masterclasses in Belgrade, Notre Dame University, USA, and Stellenbosch University in South Africa.


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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...
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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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Press

"...magnificent recording with all of its articulatory and expressive glow, its drive and finesse, its charme between posh and brisk..."
Concerto, 01-3-2016

Performance 4**** Recording 5***** ['']...Wonderfully clear and detailed,Challenge Classic's surround-sound recording perfectly complements the ensemble's incisive vitality...[''] 
BBC Music Magazine, 01-11-2015

['']...You don't have to listen to all the sonatas at once, of course, though in truth even on repeated listenings the sheer robust joy and commitment of Ars Antiqua's performances are hard to resist...['']
GRAMOPHONE, 01-11-2015

On the one hand they demonstrate the harmonic abundance in a pleasant-dense ensemblesound, on the other hand they give the spirit wings and take liberties in the soloparts of the violins.
Fono Forum, 01-9-2015

"[..]'Ensemble for new baroque music.." 
Luister, 01-9-2015

"Biber is in the very best hands with Gunnar Letzbor and his ensemble. The extraordinary high-quality sonatas are brought to life by the Ars Antiqua Austria congenial. The Ensemble plays the precious music with a joy for sound, sublte, with confidence and musically strong." Interpretation 5/5  Sound quality 5/5 Repertoire value 4/5 Booklet 3/5
klassik.com, 22-7-2015

"Spontanious baroque virtuoso Letzbor makes the court music of Biber sparkle and shine on his violin."
NRC Handelsblad

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Often bought together with..

The Four Seasons
Ars Antiqua Austria / Gunar Letzbor
Florilegium Primum 1695
Ensemble Salzburg Barock
Fidicinium Sacro-Profanum
Ars Antiqua Austria / Gunar Letzbor
Vespro della Beata Vergine
La Petite Bande

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