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 May 17, 2019 | Pan Classics
Georg Muffat (1653-1704) after studying as a youngster with Lully in Paris, was involved most of his life with the Catholic Church. He worked as cathedral organist in Alsace, moved to Bavaria as a law student, and then settled for a time in Vienna. Following employment as organist to the Archbishop of Salzburg, interrupted by a period of study in Rome with the renowned keyboard player, Bernardo Pasquini, he took a final position as organist to the Bishop of Passau. Among his compositions is the Armonico Tributo of 1682, five multi-movement, five-voice sonatas which Muffat left open as to various instrumental possibilities, even including performance as concerti grossi. One easily hears the influence of Corelli, whom Muffat met while in Rome, but there are also moments when one surmises that Handel knew these scores well. The music, perfectly gorgeous in this smaller instrumental version, mixes the French and Italian styles, as well as chamber-sonata and sonata da chiesa movements. © Pan Classics