439

Salzburger Bachchoir / Salzburger Barockensemble, Howard Arman: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber - Marienvesper 1693

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "Dixit Dominus"

Salzburger Bachchoir / Salzburger Barockensemble, Howard Arman: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber - Marienvesper 1693 Heinrich Biber (1644-1704) was a Bohemian fiddler with a serious Marian fixation (or at least his supporters had such a fixation). He is best known for a series of 16 violin sonatas, Mysterien Sonaten, Die Rosenkranz-Sonaten (Mystery Sonatas, Rosary Sonatas), dedicated to the Catholic Archbishop of Salzburg, that he composed between 1670 and 1676. Biber—a show-off predating meister-show-off Nicolo Paganini—originally composed these sonatas so devilishly that only he could perform them. Not so his sacred choral music. His Marian Vespers, while complex, are plainly sublime but rarely heard in favor of Claudio Monteverdi's earlier Vespro della Beata Vergine 1610 (Vespers for the Blessed Virgin, 1610; SV 206 and 206a). Biber's Vespers are uniquely fine, representing a pinnacle in Baroque choral composition.

The typical Vespers (Evening Prayer, Canonical Hours) include musical setting for selected Psalms, preceded by an Antiphon or a brief Gregorian chant. Psalm 109 (Latin Vulgate), "Dixit Dominus" ("The Lord Said") was a popular text for Vespers. Biber opened his Marian Vespers with the sweet Antiphon "Dom Esset Rex in accubito suo" followed by a forward thinking "Dixit Dominus." More Monteverdi than Bach, Biber's setting for soprano, alto, tenor and bass soloists possesses a majesty fit for the Mother of God: "The dew of thy birth is of the womb of the morning."

Originally released in 1986, The Salzburg Baroque Ensemble, under the baton of Howard Arman, produced a splendidly refined performance of these Vespers. Soprano Kym Amps and tenor Anton Rosner particularly stand out, with great warmth and comfort in their respective sonic ranges. Off the beaten path, Biber's Marienvesper is a grand and welcome surprise for this holiday season. It is worth thinking outside the Messiah classic box when looking for new music with which to celebrate the holidays.

Personnel: Salzburger Bachchoir / Salzburger Barockensemble; Howard Arman, conductor.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Ars Musici


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Proximity" CD/LP/Track Review Proximity
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966" CD/LP/Track Review Got A Mind to Give Up Living: Live 1966
by Doug Collette
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Rope" CD/LP/Track Review Rope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "Manovuotometro" CD/LP/Track Review Manovuotometro
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "The Beautiful Day" CD/LP/Track Review The Beautiful Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "From the Heart" CD/LP/Track Review From the Heart
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!