Ars Antiqua Austria
This renowned ensemble was founded in Linz in 1995 by Gunar Letzbor and Michael Oman with a core group of eight musicians dedicated to the task of authentically interpreting Austrian music of the Baroque era. To this end, the group performed on original instruments of the period and devoted much energy to researching and uncovering works that had been neglected until being performed by the group. The ensemble takes account of the wide diversity of cultures that have influenced and contributed to Austrian music during the centuries of the Baroque style when the physical and political boundaries of the country were more extensive. The ensemble infuses its performances with "the joie de vivre of the South, the Slav melancholy, French formality, Spanish pomp, and the Alpine character of the German-speaking regions" (Letzbor), typical constituents of the court, and folk and dance music of that time in Austria. The Ars Antiqua Austria has toured Austria, France, Germany, Slovakia, and the Ukraine, played several festivals of Baroque music, and toured the United States in 2001. The group won a Cannes Classical Award in 2002 for its recording of Viviani's Capricci armonici and continued to release albums, including Antonio Bertali: Promithia Suavissima, Parte Seconda (2005), and Benedikt Anton Aufschnaiter: Dulcia Fidium Harmonia (2009).
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Classical - Released March 23, 2018 | Accent
More or less a contemporary of Corelli and Pachelbel, Romanus Weichlein (1652-1706) shares the fate of so many composers: widely-known while alive, he fell into oblivion when he died. But Weichlein still remains in the memories of many monasteries in which he was hired as a musician, in addition to his religious obligations since he was a Benedictine monk, especially in Salzburg but also in other lesser-known cities. He composed these masses for liturgical use around the years 1690-1700; and as you would imagine, at the time the soprano sections were sung by children. This is therefore precisely the case for this recording which is so authentic (or so we imagine) that the Latin is pronounced with a slight Austrian accent, rather distant from what we are used to hearing in the “Italian-style” liturgies. The audience is notified, of course, that these are boys’ choirs who sing here, as it happens the St. Florianer Sängerknaben (not everyone likes boys’ choirs…), which accompanies the Ars Antiqua Austria ensemble. It is also worth noting that some acts are preceded by a short moment of plainsong, probably as it was done at the time. © SM/Qobuz