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 February 5, 2021 | Accent
The Viennese Court Kapellmeister Johann Joseph Fux (1660-1741) is regarded in music history as the forefather of modern counterpoint, and his instructional work Gradus ad parnassum continues to influence education in this subject to the present day. But the many compositions Fux wrote for the Viennese court are largely forgotten. If at all, one still knows of sacred compositions in which Fux followed this strict, academic style. On the other hand, the composer was able to free himself from this in his opera and in his componimenti sacri, which are operatic oratorios for Holy Week (during which no operas were allowed to be performed). Gunar Letzbor and his ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria present such a Fux's "componimento sacro": after 300 years the oratorio Gesu Cristo negato da Pietro was performed for the first time in January 2020, now it is also available on this album. At the centre of the plot is the biblical passion scene about Peter's denial of Christ, which is theologically examined in dramatic disputes between various allegorical figures. Fux translates this drama into his music, showing that he was not just a good counterpoint artist! © Accent