1 LP - SAWT 9579-B - (p) 1971
1 CD - 8.43779 ZS - (c) 1987

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704)

Sonata III a 5 Violae
4' 45" A1
- (Allegro) - Adagio - Presto - Allegro - Presto - Adagio

Sonata prima a 8, 2 Clarini*, 6  Violae

5' 09" A2
- (Allegro) - Adagio - Presto - Adagio - Allegro

Ballettae a 4 Violettae

6' 58" A3
- 1; 2; 3; 4; 5. (Gavotte); 6. (Loure); 7. (Minuett)

Battalia - Das liederliche Schwärmen der Musquetirer, Mars, die Schlacht, undt Lamento der Verwundten, mit Arien imitirt undt Baccho dedicirt, von H. Biber, Ao. 1673
7' 27" A4
Sonata á 7, 6 Tromb. Tramburin con Organo, Ao. 1668
6' 13" B1
Sonata IV a 5 Violae
4' 10"
- Allegro - Adagio - Prestissimo

Sonata seconda a 8, e Clarini*, 6 Violae

5' 25" B3
- (Allegro) - Adagio - Allegro - Adagio - Presto

Sonata á 6, die Pauern Kirchfahrt genandt
7' 55" B4
- Adagio - Presto - die Pauern Kirchfahrt - Adagio - Aria - Aria

Concentus Musicus Wien (mit Originalinstrumenten)

- Josef Spindler, Clarintrompete* - Walter Pfeiffer, Barockvioline
- Walter Holy, Clarintrompete
- Peter Schoberwalter, Barockvioline
- Ingus Schmidt, Clarintrompete - Josef de Sordi, Viola
- Richard Rudolf, Clarintrompete - Kurt Theiner, Tenorbratsche
- Hermann Schober, Clarintrompete* - Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Tenorviola
- Günter Spindler, Clarintrompete - Hermann Höbarth, Violoncello
- Kurt Hammer, Barockpauken
- Eduard Hruza, Violone
- Alice Harnoncourt, Barockvioline
- Herbert Tachezi, Cembalo, Orgel

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Leitung
Luogo e data di registrazione
Casino Zögernitz, Vienna (Austria) - marzo 1971
Registrazione live / studio
Producer / Engineer
Prima Edizione CD
Teldec "reference" - 8.43779 ZS - (1 cd) - 50' 33" - (c) 1987 - AAD
Prima Edizione LP
Telefunken "Das Alte Werk" - SAWT 9579-B - (1 lp) - 50' 33" - (p) 1971

All the works played here were composed by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber for the Archbishop of Olmütz’s famous virtuoso orchestra. He later included some of them (both eight-part sonatas with two trumpets and both five~part Sonatas for strings) in his collection “Sonate tam aris quam aulis..., 1676”, partly rewriting them in the process. (Here they are performed in the autograph first version of Kremsier.)
The Sonata in Seven Parts is an unusual piece even within the context of the trumpet music of the 17th century. Each group of trumpeters was then divided into high (clarino), middle (principal) and low (coarse and lazy) trumpeters. Here Biber requires the highest and the lowest notes alike from each of the six trumpeters; such demands could probably only be made at that time of the Kremsier group of trumpeters, whose leader was the famous Pavel Vejvanowsky.
In the second part of the sonata, in which Biber takes the natural trumpets outside their normally rcstrictcd scope of D major, he lets three pairs of duettists play successiverly in concertante style before the Finale proper begins with a divided flourish (lst, 3rd and 4th trumpets against 2nd, 5th and 6th).
In the two Sonatas in Eight Parts, Biber uses three groups: two trumpets in highly virtuoso solo writing, two violins given the same solo treatment and four viols. The latter are used in the tutti as contrapuntally accompanying middle parts, but also play alone in the Adagio sections as a darker contrast to the high solo instruments. These pieces are unique anticipatory mixed forms of solo concerto, concerto grosso and sonata.
The two String Sonatas in Five Parts are, like all Biber’s sonatas, basically in one movement. A wealth of ideas and statcrncnts, harmonic and motivic in nature, are presented in the greatest variety of metres, one after the other and also contrapuntally one over another- always in the manner of speech and counter-speech with agreement nearly always being clearly reached at the end. In between, hornophonic, dance-like sections are repeatedly interspersed by way of relaxation.
In the “Pauernkirchfahrt” (Peasants’ Church Procession) a rural processional feast-day is depicted: the gathering of the old people and the children, the wandering procession with the litany singing of the men and women which, on entering the church, merges almost imperceptibly with the sound of the organ (bow vibrato), a fervent hymn and the self -understood conclusion to every country feast-day in thc village inn. In order to conclude the piece in a more “decorous” manner, a conventional dance-movement follows as the Finale.
The “Battalia” (Battle) is similarly constructed. Biber depicts the army camp with trumpet and drum motifs, and has written precise instructions in each case (“NB.: where there are lines, instead of being played with the boy the violins must be tapped, it must be well rehearsed"). There follows the “dissolute company full of humour,” in which eight drunken musketeers evidently sing the song of their homelands (“hic dissonant ubique, nam enim sic diversis cantilenis clamore solent” - here all parts are dissonant, for various songs are shouted together at the same time). Some of the songs have been identified (]iȓi Sehnal, Brün n): l. “Ne takes my mluvuel” is a Slovak folk-song, 2. “vojansky figator” was still known in Bohemia in the 18th century, 3. “Kraut und Ruben” was known as a ’bergamasca’ in Northern Italy, Austria and Hungary, 6. Nambli wol kan ich ietzt glauben” a Styrian tolk-song. After this picture, which shows the common soldiers, there follows an elegant fencing scene ofthe officers, after this the March (“NB.: the March is already known [in Biber’s violin sonata Repraesentafio Aviurn] but I have not known how better to use it, where the drum goes in the bass one must put a paper on the string, so that a noise is produced, but only in the March”). There then follows a horsemen's piece in 3/4 and an aria that represents the warrior’s farewell to his family, then the battle with flourishes of trumpets and shots (NB.: the Battle must not he played with the bow, but the string snapped with the right hand like the pieces [of artillery], and stronglyl”). The works ends with the “Lamento ofthe Wounded Musketeers.”
Balletae a 4 is a suit-like sequence of dance movements designated only by numbers. Biber here tries out, in primarily hornophonic writing, complex rhythmical further developements of, and even departures from, the traditional dance forms: Allemnnde, Galliarde, Minuet, Gavotte, Siliana. The entire is pervaded by folk-music motifs.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)
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