Ars Antiqua Austria / Gunar Letzbor

Psalms from Sacri Concentus 1681

Price: € 20.95
Format: SACD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917275926
Catnr: CC 72759
Release date: 03 August 2018
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917275926
Catalogue number
CC 72759
Release date
03 August 2018

"With Bert van der Wolf engineering the recording and Gunar Letzbor and his ensemble delivering the music performance, I'm simply prepared to come along wherever they've chosen to take me. They are guides to great musical experiences whom one can follow without hesitation."

Positive Feedback, 17-1-2022
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About the album

Ars Antiqua Austria and Gunar Letzbor present outstanding sacred concerts by Rupert Ignaz Mayr (1646-1712) for voice, a virtuoso solo violin and basso continuo, including five world premiere recordings. Mayr, working in Munich from 1683 until his death, is considered a reformer of southern Germany’s Catholic sacred music with his clever combining of the largely protestant sacred concert of the north with the extemporizing concertante style of Italy.

R.I. Mayr’s works were influenced by his study trip to Paris as well as the Italian musicians who dominated musical life at the Munich court. Paired with echoes of Bavarian folk music, Mayr’s music reveals both a typically Austrian blend as well as very personal hues.

At that time, Catholic church music was dominated by the stile antico. Mayr gently expands this ancient art by introducing the concerto form as well as the monody. He elaborately weaves polyphonic textures, his monodies emerging highly expressive, melodious and also virtuosic. Mayr easily joins the ranks of his famous Austrian colleagues, matching the quality of a J.K. Kerll or the Austrian masters around H.F. Biber.

Opnieuw wonderschone muziek van Gunar Letzbor en zijn Ars Antiqua Austria. Het ensemble speelt in deze opname prachtige geestelijke concerten van Rupert Ignaz Mayr (1646-1712), geschreven voor stem, een virtuoze soloviool en basso continuo. Het album bevat bovendien vijf wereldpremièreopnames. Een genot om naar te luisteren.

Hervormer geestelijke muziek

Met zijn slimme combinatie van het grotendeels protestantse geestelijke concert uit het noorden en de geïmproviseerde concertante stijl uit Italië, wordt Mayr, die vanaf 1683 tot aan zijn dood in München werkte, beschouwd als een hervormer van de geestelijke muziek van Katholiek Zuid-Duitsland. Bij het componeren van zijn werken werd hij beïnvloed door zijn studiereis naar Parijs en de Italiaanse musici die het muzikale leven aan het hof in München beheersten. Gepaard gaand met echo’s van de Beierse volksmuziek vertoont Mayrs muziek zowel een typische Oostenrijkse melange, alswel zijn persoonlijke schakeringen.

Stile antico

In Mayrs tijd werd de Katholieke kerkmuziek beheerst door de 'stile antico'. Mayr breidde deze oude kunst voorzichtig uit door de concertvorm en de monodie, de eenvoudige stijl, te introduceren. Met grote zorg weefde hij kunstige polyfone texturen; zijn monodieën zijn uiterst expressief, melodieus en ook virtuoos. Mayr kan zich moeiteloos meten met beroemde Oostenrijkse collega's en het wat kwaliteit betreft opnemen tegen Johann Kaspar Kerll of de Oostenrijkse meesters rond Heinrich Franz Biber.

Lees ook de recensie van Michel Dutrieue van Stretto.

Ars Antiqua Austria und Gunar Letzbor präsentieren herausragende, geistliche Konzerte von Rupert Ignaz Mayr (1646-1712) für Stimme, virtuose Solovioline und Basso continuo. Mayr, der von 1683 bis zu seinem Tode in München wirkte, gilt als Reformer der katholischen Kirchenmusik Süddeutschlands mit seiner geschickten Kombination des weitgehend protestantischen geistlichen Konzerts des Nordens mit dem extemporierenden concertante-Stil Italiens.

R.I. Mayrs Werke wurden von seiner Studienreise nach Paris ebenso beeinflusst wie von den italienischen Musikern, die das musikalische Leben am Münchner Hof prägten. Gepaart mit Echos von bayrischer Folklore zeigt Mayrs Musik sowohl eine typisch österreichische Melange als auch ganz persönliche Farben.

Zu dieser Zeit dominierte der Stile antico die katholische Kirchenmusik. Mayr weitet diese alte Kunst vorsichtig aus, indem er die Konzertform sowie die Monodie einführt. Er webt kunstvoll polyphone Texturen; seine Monodien sind höchst expressiv, melodisch und virtuos. Mayr kann sich mühelos neben seinen berühmten, österreichischen Kollegen behaupten und es qualitativ mit J.K. Kerll oder den österreichischen Meistern um H.F. Biber aufnehmen.

Artist(s)

Austrian Baroque music takes centre stage in the repertoire of this unusual Baroque ensemble. The music performed at the imperial court in Vienna at this time was initially heavily influenced by the music of Italy, later by that of France; Spanish court ceremonial also had important artistic effects in Vienna. The typical Austrian sound of this era was characterised by the impact of its many royal domains. The political and societal boundaries of Baroque Austria stretched much further than nowadays. Elements of Slavic, Hungarian and Alpine folk music styles had lasting effects on art music, making up its specific sound. But the Austrian sound also reflects the temperament and the character of the people of the time: placed within the melting pot of many diverse cultures, amalgamating Mediterranean zest for life, Slavic melancholy, French formalism, Spanish royal ceremony and the original Alpine elements of the German-speaking region. This mixture of court music and folk music with a dance-like character outlines the typically Austrian sound.

Alongside many concert performances, the early years of the ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria were dedicated to musicological research of Austrian Baroque composers. The abundance of rediscovered works led to several successful premiere recordings: albums featuring the works of R. Weichlein, H.I.F. Biber, F. Conti, G.B. Viviani, G.A.P. Mealli, G. Arnold, A. Caldara, B.A. Aufschnaiter, J.J. Vilsmayr, J.P. Vejvanovsky, J. Schmelzer, G. Muffat, W.L. Radolt, C. Mouthon, J.B. Hochreither, F.J. Aumann and J.S. Bach were met with enthusiastic approbation from the international music press.

Ars Antiqua Austria have been designing their own concert series at the Vienna Konzerthaus since 2002, and at the Brucknerhaus Linz since 2008. The ensemble is leading a cycle of performances arranged over several years entitled “Klang der Kulturen – Kultur des Klanges” (“Sound of the Cultures – Culture of Sound”), consisting of ninety concerts set to be performed in Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Krakow, Venice, Ljubljana, Mechelen and Lübeck.

Recent performances include concerts at the Festival de Musique Ancienne de Ribeauvillé, Berliner Tage für Alte Musik, Festival Printemps des Arts de Nantes, Mozartfest Würzburg (an opera production), Tage Alter Musik Herne, Festival de Musique de Clisson et de Loire Atlantique, Folles Journées de Nantes and Tokyo, Musée d’Unterlinden Colmar, Printemps Baroque du Sablon, Festival van Vlaanderen, Festival Bach de Lausanne, MAfestival Brugge, Bologna Festival, Vendsyssel Festival, Concerti della Normale di Pisa, Resonanzen Wien, Klangbogen Wien, Monteverdi Festival Cremona, Bayerische Staatsoper and the Salzburger Festspiele. The ensemble has also been welcomed in the USA and in Japan.

The CD recording with mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink (four cantatas by Francesco Conti) was awarded a Diapason d’or only one week after being issued. Gunar Letzbor and his ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria were presented with the Cannes Classical Award 2002 for their recording of the Capricci Armonici by G.B. Viviani.

Composer(s)

Press

With Bert van der Wolf engineering the recording and Gunar Letzbor and his ensemble delivering the music performance, I'm simply prepared to come along wherever they've chosen to take me. They are guides to great musical experiences whom one can follow without hesitation.
Positive Feedback, 17-1-2022

These two CDs arouse curiosity about further pieces from Mayr's oeuvre.
Toccata, 23-12-2021

All the compositions are sung by different soloists and accompanied by the small ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria. Each and every one of them is a magnificent performance of the soloists who present to us the church music of Rupert Ignaz Mayr in a particularly beautiful way.
Kerk & Leven, 17-4-2019

Very beautiful music wonderfully well performed.
Music Web, 19-11-2018

Atmospherically Ars Antiqua Austria achieves a maximum.
Fono Forum, 29-10-2018

Austrian baroque composer Rupert Ignaz Mayr made his way mostly in Bavaria. Five sacred works are presented by Ars Antiqua Austria. Each piece has a singing soloist. The singers, current or former members of a boys’ choir, do not convince neither by the quality of their singing nor by their interpretative commitment.a
Pizzicato, 19-9-2018

Very special. A real (re) discovery. Highly recommended.
Stretto, 27-7-2018

In the Early Music Festival, Letzbor and his ensemble will perform a series of concerts at the end of November that will once again sparkle.
Tijdschrift Oude Muziek - TOM, 01-4-2018

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