About the album
Following on from the highly expressive psalm settings, we now present the glorious antiphons of the master from Schärding am Inn: exquisite church music which Emperor Leopold I himself proclaimed as being definitive for the Catholic lands.
Originally, the antiphon denoted a Gregorian chant that was sung by two parties opposite each other. Often a single performer was answered by a group of singers. The antiphon would later disengage from the psalm on which it was commenting. The antiphons set by Mayr represent a special form of the genre, so-called Marian antiphons, almost all of which are addressed to the Mother of God. Only In terras descendam is intended for Christmas. The antiphonal practice is still apparent in all antiphons in the alternation between singers and instrumentalists.
Ars Antiqua Austria played August 23rd on the opening concert on the Early Music Festival in Utrecht. Muffat’s only surviving mass In labore requies is a typical example of the large-scale vocal and instrumental multichoral composition popular in Salzburg at the time. Together with his ensemble Ars Antiqua Austria the violinist Gunar Letzbor is one of the main champions of Austrian Baroque repertoire, which has so far remained largely unexplored. ...