Biber: Missa Salisburgensis

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Missa Salisburgensis
Gabrieli Consort & Players - Paul McCreesh
Musica Antiqua Köln - Reinhard Goebel
Archiv 457 611-2 A H (1 CD)


Bartholomäus Riedl (?-1688):
- Ein langer und schöner Aufzug
Pater Ignatius Augustiner (17th century):
- Ein schöner Aufzug
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644-1704):
- Missa Salisburgensis a 53 (Mass in C major for 16 voices and orchestra)
- Sonata Sancti Polycarpi a 9
- Motet "Plaudite Tympana"
- Sonatas no. 5 a 6 and no. 12 a 8, from "Sonatae tam aris quam aulis servientes"

Playing time: 71'51

Performers (Missa and Motet): Choro I: Susan Hemington, Alicia Carrol, Juliet Schiemann (soprano I); Tessa Bonner, Sally Dunkley, Kate Hamilton (soprano II); Angus Davidson, Fergus McLusky (alto I); Charles Humphries, Patrick Craig (alto II); Julian Podger, Nicholas Smith (tenor I); Angus Smith, Tom Phillips (tenor II); Jonathan Arnold, Robert Evans (bass I); Francis Steele, Michael McCarthy (bass II); Choro II: Florian Deuter, Adrian Chandler (violin); Wolfgang von Kessinger, Katie Heller, Rachel Byrt, Michael Klier (viola); Markus Möllenbeck (cello); Michael Willens (violone); Choro III: Mark Radcliffe, Hilary Stock (oboe); William Lyons, Paul Bevan, Rebecca Prosser, Keith McGowan (recorder); Simon Rickard (dulcian); Choro IV: David Staff, Jeremy West (cornet); Susan Addison, Paul Neiman, Patrick Jackman (sackbut); Choro V: Carys Lane, Ruth Dean, Katherine Fuge (soprano I); Sarah Pendlebury, Carol Hall, Rebecca Outram (soprano II); Robert Harre Jones, Richard Wyn Roberts (alto I); Malcolm Smith, William Missin (alto II); Andrew Carwood, Steven Harrold (tenor I); Gerard O'Bierne, James Gilchrist (tenor II); Julian Clarkson, Charles Pott (bass I); Robert MacDonald, Richard Savage (bass II); Choro VI: Reinhard Goebel, Walter Reiter (violin); Laura Johnson, Victoria Gunn, Timothy Cronin, Oliver Webber (viola); Angela East (bass violin); Timothy Lyons (violone); Christian Rieger, Timothy Roberts, James Johnstone (organ I-III); Jan Waterfield, Carole Cerasi (organ IV, V and regal); David Hendry, Robert Vanryne, Robert Farley, Michael Harrison, David Blackadder, Michael Laird (clarino); Christopher Pigram, William O'Sullivan, Steven Keavey, Philip Bainbridge (tromba); Marie-Ange Petit, Ben Hoffnung (timpani).

Performers (Sonata Sancti Polycarpi): David Hendry, Robert Vanryne, David Blackadder, Michael Laird, Robert Farley, William O'Sullivan, Steven Keavey, Michael Harrison (trumpet); Marie-Ange Petit, Ben Hoffnung (timpani); Angela East (bass violin); Patrick Jackman (bass trombone); Timothy Roberts (organ).

Performers (Sonatae V and XII): David Hendry, Robert Vanryne (tromba); Florian Deuter, Reinhard Goebel (violin); Wolfgang von Kessinger, Laura Johnson, Michael Klier (viola); Markus Möllenbeck (cello); Michael Willens (violone); Christian Rieger (organ).

Performers (Reidl and Augustiner): Robert Farley, Michael Harrison, David Blackadder, Michael Laird (clarino); Christopher Pigram, William O'Sullivan, Steven Keavey, Philip Bainbridge (tromba); Marie-Ange Petit, Ben Hoffnung (timpani).

Recording date: 7/1997.

Comments: This is maybe the largest scale baroque mass that has come down to us. It was once attributed to Orazio Benevoli and thought to be composed for the consecration of the Cathedral in Salzburg in 1628. But recent research has shown that this work was written much later (maybe in the jubilee year of 1682, eleventh centenary of the foundation of the archbishopric by St. Rupert) and probably by Biber, who was then active in Salzburg. Two short fanfares for brass instruments (by Riedl and Augustiner) open the celebration, while three of Biber's sonatas are added to frame the Credo and give a magnificent ending after the Agnus Dei. The motet "Plaudite tympana" belongs to the same manuscript as the mass and is performed at the end of the celebration. The Gabrieli Consort & Players and Musica Antiqua Köln join their forces to give us a wonderful rendition of this music. A splendid recording, which succeeds in rendering every detail of the music notwithstanding the large number of performers. A curiosity: this mass was recorded (maybe for the first time) in 1974 by Ireneu Segarra conducting the Collegium Aureum. The last name in the list of violin players in that LP is that of a young man, a certain Reinhard Goebel... Also issued as Super Audio Compact Disc (Archiv 471 632-2 A AS (1 SACD)).

Some other Biber recordings by Musica Antiqua Köln:

Biber: Mensa Sonora
Musica Antiqua Köln - Reinhard Goebel
Archiv 423 701
Biber: Mistery Sonatas
Musica Antiqua Köln - Reinhard Goebel
Archiv 431 656
Scherzi Musicali
Musica Antiqua Köln - Reinhard Goebel
Archiv 429 230
Sonata Pro Tabula
Musica Antiqua Köln - Reinhard Goebel
Archiv 453 442

Based upon the original work of Maurizio Frigeni.

Eduardo Kickhöfel

Other recordings of this work:

Biber: Missa Salisburgensis
Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir - Ton Koopman
Erato 25506
Biber: Missa Salisburgensis
La Stagione Armonica - Sergio Balestracci
Amadeus "Speciale" 173
Missa Salisburgensis
Escolania de Montserrat / Tolzer Knabenchor / Pro Cantione Antiqua / Collegium Aureum - Ireneu Segarra
Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 77050

The latter was a major production prior to the attribution to Biber.

Although Orazio Benevoli (1605-1672), a Lorraine-born composer working in Rome, is now proven not to have written this massive work, Benevoli did write other cycles. A recording:

Benevoli: Missa Azzolina
Le Concert Spirituel - Hervé Niquet
Naxos 8.553636

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Todd M. McComb