De barokke Gregor Werner
Gregor Werner werkte vanaf 1728 als kapelmeester aan het hof van de Hongaarse Esterházy familie in Eisenstadt. Gedurende deze periode was hij ongelooflijk productief; hij schreef maar liefst veertig missen, drie requiems, drie te deums, vier offertoriums, twaalf vespers, twaalf oratoriums voor Goede Vrijdag, achttien reguliere oratoriums, 133 antifonen en een groot aantal instrumentale en kleine werken.
Werners bekwame gebruik van contrapunt suggereert een connectie met de Weense kapelmeester J.J. Fux. Net als in de werken van Fux kiest Werner nooit voor de makkelijke oplossing in zijn contrapunt: hij blijft telkens verrassen met vindingrijkheid en virtuositeit. Gedurende zijn hele leven bleef Werner trouw aan de barokstijl en weigerde mee te gaan in nieuwe ontwikkelingen zoals die te vinden waren in de werken van Joseph Haydn. Haydn zelf, echter, bewonderde zijn oude leermeester zo dat hij de laatste maanden van zijn leven besteedde aan het bewerken en publiceren van Werners kwartetten.
Op dit album worden een aantal van deze kwartetten, naast een aantal andere werken van Werner, ten gehore gebracht door het Ars Antiqua Austria samen met de internationaal bekende meesterviolist Gunar Letzbor. Ars Antiqua Austria is een van de bekendste ensembles in de oude muziek en speelt op historische instrumenten.
Ars Antiqua Austria was founded in Linz in 1995 with the aim of introducing audiences to the roots of specifically Austrian baroque music played on period-instruments. The music performed at the imperial court in Vienna at this period shows the strong influence of Italy and later of French forms, while Spanish court ceremonials also shape the character of the works. The typical Austrian sound of the period also betrays the influence of the many Crownlands. The political and social boundaries of Austria in the baroque era were far wider than in the 20th century. Elements of Slav and Hungarian folk music mingle with alpine sounds and can be heard in the art music of the period. The Austrian sound also reflects the temperament and character of the Austrians of that period - a unifying element in the melting-pot of many different cultures: the joie de vivre of the South, Slav melancholy, French formality, Spanish pomp and the Alpine character of the German-speaking regions. This fusion of court- with folk music and a strong element of dance music form the typical Austrian sound.
The core of Ars Antiqua Austria comprises 8 musicians directed by Gunar Letzbor. The ensemble is readily augmented to accommodate a still wider repertoire. Ars Antiqua Austria's recording of Viviani's "Capricci Armonici" received a Cannes Classical Award 2002.
St. Florian Boys’ Choir
The boys’ choir established in 1071 – Anton Bruckner was one of its members – has for centuries had the main task of serving church music in St. Florian (Upper Austria). It now performs in concerts throughout the world. The choir works continually with famous conductors and orchestras (e.g. the Cleveland Orchestra and Bruckner Orchestra/Franz Welser- Möst, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra / Ingo Metzmacher). Soloists of the St. Florian Boys’ Choir sing roles written for boys in many European opera houses.
Since 1983 its artistic director has been Franz Farnberger, who after his studies at the Vienna University of Music was for eight years musical director and conductor of the Vienna Boys’ Choir and also taught at the Anton Bruckner University.
Alois Mühlbacher was born in Hinterstoder in 1995 and has been a member of the choir since 2005. He went on concert tours with the choir to the USA, Mexico, Greece, China, Israel, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and more.
Among his engagements as a soloist he has appeared at the Vienna Festwochen (Jakob Lenz), the Fiori Musicali (together with Ars Antiqua Austria), Bernstein’s Mass (Salzburg), Chichester Psalms (Linz, Dresden), the Festival 4020 (Brucknerhaus Linz), the Kinderklangwolke 2009 (with Konstantin Wecker) and in a performance of the Schubert Mass in E-flat Major under Franz Welser-Möst. He sang the First Boy in Mozart’s Magic Flute in Luxemburg, in the Theater an der Wien, in Salzburg and Aix en Provence (conductor: René Jacobs, who was also his musical director on CD recordings and in concerts in Berlin and Paris). In May 2010 he sang Yniold in Tokyo conducted by Christian Arming (New Japan Philharmonic), in June of the same year the Young Shepherd (Tannhäuser) at the Vienna State Opera under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst, and in November 2010 Oberto (Alcina) conducted by Marc Minkowski.
Numerous leading roles in the Boys’ Choir’s own productions (including Pamina and Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute XXS and Rosalinde in Der Fledermaus XXS). Soloist on CDs and television brodcasts of the
St Florian Boys’ Choir.
The lyrical tenor Markus Miesenberger received his education as a singer in Vienna with Robert KS Holl and Sebastian Vittucci as well as in the fields Violin and Baroque viola in Salzburg, Linz and Vienna.
Appearances as a concert and song singer and opera singer led the artist through completely Austria and in important European music centres. Thus it was and is beside regular appearances in the Viennese music association and in the Viennese concert hall to guest with numerous festivals (MA festival Brugge, Styriarte, Carinthischer Sommer, Brucknerfest Linz, Handel festival Halle). He makes music under the baton of famous conductors like Pierre Andre Valade, Andre Orozco-Estrada, Gunar Letzbor and Ruben Dubrovsky with ensembles like Ars Antiqua Austria and Bach Consort Vienna.
On the opera stage Markus Miesenberger is to be experienced above all in roles of the Mozart’s field, with parts of the 20th century and with contemporary music.
Engagements led him to the new opera Vienna, to the Linzer land theatre, to the municipal theatre Bolzano and to the Tirol festival.
In 2011 he won Franz Joseph Aumann Preis for new discoveries and innovative interpretation of baroque music with the international H.I.F. Biber competition.
CD productions and numerous radio broadcasts also form a central focus of his artistic career.
Translation: Abigail Ryan Prohaska