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Classical - Released September 11, 2013 | Arcana

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released October 7, 2014 | Pan Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released October 30, 2015 | Pan Classics

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released April 5, 2011 | Pan Classics

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released June 1, 2018 | Challenge Classics

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Chamber Music - Released March 6, 2020 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released July 5, 2011 | Pan Classics

Booklet
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber wrote violin music in an experimental style he shared with a few other German and Austrian composers of the late 17th century, oriented toward dramatic surprises, striking effects, and unusual pictorial devices rather than toward sheer difficulty. Quasi-contrapuntal passages and multiple-stopping of the violin are comparatively rare, but rapid runs ending unexpectedly on the seventh scale degree or some other unstable location are common in the 1681 set of sonatas recorded here. The eight individual sonatas in the set consist of dances, variations, and untitled movements with as many as eight short sections in contrasting tempos; it is in these that violinist Gunar Letzbor gets to show his technical chops, using a copy of a period violin. Hearing these pieces back to back, certainly not how they were intended to be performed, is of more interest to Biber enthusiasts than to the general listener, but the best is saved for last: the eighth sonata has an ingeniously written "trio sonata" texture with two violin parts that are playable by a single violinist. Better still is the Sonata "Representativa," with the varying continuo instruments of Ars Antiqua Austria deployed to produce entertaining depictions of a hen, a frog, a cat, a nightingale, and so forth. In its way this is as daring as Biber's Rosary Sonatas, which remains better known than any of the music on this album. Letzbor's performances were originally issued in 1994, which still didn't join an abundance of recordings of this music, making a sensible place to go for those initially attracted to Biber by the Rosary Sonatas. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 26, 2017 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released April 6, 2018 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released April 29, 2011 | Challenge Classics

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Sacred Vocal Music - Released February 5, 2013 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released June 18, 2009 | Arcana

Booklet
The historical-instrument ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria under violinist/conductor Gunar Letzbor has specialized in neglected repertory of the eighteenth century, and few composers fit their aims better than Antonio Caldara, a Venetian trained in the grand tradition at St. Mark's cathedral. He had a distinguished career that took him to Mantua, (perhaps) to the then-Austrian court at Barcelona, to Rome, and finally to Vienna itself, where he became vice-kapellmeister under emperor Charles VI. As with other composers in this milieu, most of his production was vocal. The 12 Sinfonie a quattro recorded here are very brief specimens of the kind of sinfonia that served as a curtain raiser for an opera or oratorio, the genre from which the independent symphony ultimately evolved. In this case the sinfonias are taken from oratorios, named in the subtitles of each work. They consist of three or four movements, many of them extremely short but not excluding counterpoint and even little fugal finales. The tone is restrained, in keeping with the religious subject matter, and the texture is pretty constant aside from a few violin solos. Combine that with the technically smooth but rather deadpan readings from Letzbor, a disciple of Reinhard Goebel and Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the result, at least for the general listener, is a very subdued hour of music in a program that would unlikely have been performed in its own time. The booklet notes by one Dagmar Glüxam (in German, French, Italian, and English) are aimed at specialists, containing such puzzlers as this: "Caldara's alleged stay in Barcelona, which must have occurred the same year as the invitation of Charles III, has been called into question by the latest research." They seem to raise the possibility that larger forces (more than one instrument per string part, plus an oboe and/or bassoon); such an interpretation might have done the music good, but the forces here make up a quartet of strings plus an organ-and-archlute continuo. For the average listener the disc may be a long slog, although it will certainly fill a gap on collection shelves. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 15, 2009 | Arcana

Booklet
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Classical - Released October 6, 2011 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released March 5, 2013 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released April 14, 2011 | Arcana

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Arcana

Booklet
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Masses, Passions, Requiems - Released April 3, 2012 | Pan Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released June 18, 2009 | Arcana

Booklet
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Chamber Music - Released May 27, 2016 | Pan Classics

Booklet