Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber  
Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

Heinrich Biber, in full Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (baptized Aug. 12, 1644, Wartenberg, Bohemia, Austrian Habsburg domain [now Stráž pod Ralskem, Cz.Rep.]—died May 3, 1704, Salzburg [Austria]), Bohemian composer, one of the outstanding violin virtuosos of the Baroque era.

In 1668 Biber earned his first position, that of valet and musician to the bishop of Olomouc, in the Moravian town of Kroměříž. He left without permission in 1670 to enter the service of the archbishop of Salzburg, but he regularly sent music back to the court at Kroměříž, where most of his manuscripts still reside.

Biber spent most of his life at the Salzburg court, rising from valet (1670) to deputy kapellmeister (1679) to kapellmeister and dean of the choir school (1684). He was ennobled by Emperor Leopold in 1690. Biber’s works were known throughout Europe, and he earned a high reputation as a violin virtuoso, although he is not known to have toured as a performer.

At the Salzburg Cathedral, Biber had at his disposal large instrumental and choral forces, for which he regularly composed sacred and dramatic music. He showed particular mastery of contemporary counterpoint, choral writing, and variation techniques. In 1682, for the 1,100th anniversary of the founding of the archbishopric, he composed a mass (Missa Salisburgensis) that used seven divided ensembles positioned throughout the cathedral.

He wrote many pieces for the violin, particularly sonatas for violin and clavier and sonatas for solo violin with continuo, that are well constructed and of some technical difficulty. They show development of the violin’s resources, especially the use of scordatura (abnormal tuning for special effects). He also wrote for varied instrumental ensembles in the current genres, such as sonatas and partitas.
His best-known works are the 15 Mystery Sonatas (also known as the Rosary Sonatas) on events in the life of Mary, for violin and continuo, and his Passacaglia in G Minor for unaccompanied violin. His works for the stage include at least two operas, of which one survives, Chi la dura, la vince (1687; “They Who Endure Will Win”).

Biber and his wife, Maria Weiss, had four surviving children, three of whom became musicians. His sons, Anton Heinrich (1679–1742) and Karl Heinrich (1681–1749), were both violinists at the Salzburg court; Karl eventually became kapellmeister. His daughters, Maria Cäcilia (born 1674) and Anna Magdalena (1677–1742), both entered convents as nuns; Anna took the name Maria Rosa Henrica and became director of the choir and chapel in the Benedictine convent of Nonnberg.

Encyclopædia Britannica

Biber: Harmonia artificiosa
Heinrich Biber - Battalia a 10 in D major, C. 61 (Jordi Savall / Le Concert des Nations)
Battalia à 10 D-dur, C.61 (1673)
(für 3 Violinen, 4 Bratschen [oder Viola da braccio], 2 Violonen, Basso Continuo)

00:00 - 1. Allegro: Sonata
01:43 - 2. Allegro: "Die liederliche Gesellschaft von allerey Humor"
02:31 - 3. Presto
03:19 - 4. "Der Mars"
04:25 - 5. Presto
06:00 - 6. Aria
09:51 - 7. "Die Schlacht"
10:35 - 8. Adagio: "Lamento der Verwundten Musquetirer"

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644-1704) - Missa Salisburgensis
Revision and transcription: Sergio Balestracci

2. GLORIA 06:13
3. CREDO 15:57
5. AGNUS DEI 39:06

leader : Igino Conforzi

Sergio Balestracci (Conductor)

CORO I (4 natural trumpets, percussion)

Gilles Rapin, natural trumpet I (Reiner Egger, Basel 2002)
Graham Nicholson, natural trumpet II (Graham Nicholson, Den Haag 2003)
Andrea Inghisciano, natural trumpet III (Graham Nicholson, Den Haag 2003)
Pier Gabriele Callegari, natural trumpet IV (Robert Barclay, Gloucester, Ontario 1999)
Philip Tarr, percussion I (anon., Prague, before 1750)

CORO II (4 natural trumpets, percussion)

Joël Lahens, natural trumpet I (Reiner Egger, Basel 2002)
Ricard Casan, natural trumpet II (Reiner Egger, Basel 2002)
Tranquillo Forza, natural trumpet III (Tranquillo Forza, Nürnberg 1997)
Massimiliano Costanzi, natural trumpet IV (Robert Barclay, Gloucester, Ontario 1999)
Gabriele Miracle, percussion (Lefima, Cham 2000)

CORO III (2 cornets, 3 trombones)

William Dongois, cornet I (Henry Gohin, Boissy l'Aillerie 1997)
Marie Garnier-Marzullo, cornet II (Serge Delmas, Paris 2000)
Ermes Giussani, alto trombone (Meinl & Lauber, Geretsried 1975)
Mauro Morini, tenor trombone (Ewald Meinl, Geretsried 1994)
David Yakus, bass trombone (Ewald Meinl, Geretsried 1998)

CORO IV (2 clarinos, 2 oboes, 4 flutes, bassoon)

Jean-François Madeuf, clarino I (Reiner Egger, Basel 2003)
Igino Conforzi, clarino II (Reiner Egger, Basel 2003)
Alberto Ponchio, oboe I (Alberto Ponchio, Vicenza 2003)
Claudia Pavarin, oboe II (Alberto Ponchio, Vicenza 2003)
Gregorio Carraro, flute I (Pietro Sopranzi, Albignasego 2000)
Annamaria Zanetti, flute II (Pietro Sopranzi, Albignasego 2000)
Rita Duca, flute III (Pietro Sopranzi, Albignasego 2001)
Olga Bernardi, flute IV (Francesco Li Verghi, Orte 2001)
Paolo Tognon, bassoon (Bernhard Junghänel, Gütersloh 1993)

CORO V (2 violins, 4 violas, viola da gamba)

Federico Guglielmo, violin I (Claude Lebet, La Chaux de Fonds 1995)
Elisa Imbalzano, violin II (Francesco Gobetti, Venezia 1723)
Mario Paladin, viola I (Georg Klotz, Mittenwald 1779)
Meri Skejic, viola II (Franco Simeoni, Treviso 1995)
Alessandro Lanaro, viola III (Alessandro Lanaro, Albignasego 1999)
Luigi Azzolini, viola IV (anon., Italy, 1790)
Guido Balestracci, viola da gamba (Carlo Anselmetti, Torino 1984)

CORO VI (2 violins, 4 violas, cello)

Carlo Lazari, violin I (Egidio Klotz, Mittenwald, 18th cent.)
Silvia Rinaldi, violin II (Alessandro Mezzadri, Ferrara 1723)
Daniela Gaidano, viola I (Federico Löwenberger, Genova 1998)
Stefano Rossi, viola II (Henry Jay, London 1740)
Marta Traversi, viola III (Anon. Napoli, 1798)
Donato Borraccia, viola IV (Leonardo Salvatore Borraccia, Pisticci 1989)
Francesco Montaruli, cello (anon., Napoli, 18th cent.)

CORO VII (8 vocal soloists*, first coro di ripieno, basso continuo: violone & organ)

Sylvia Pozzer*, Federica Cazzaro, Federica Mayer, soprano I
Caroline Pelon*, Pierangela Forlenza, Sonia Marcato, soprano II
Gabriella Martellacci*, Viviana Giorgi, Alessandra Zanardo, alto I
Andrea Arrivabene*, Imma G. Calatayud, Daniela Scandiuzzi, alto II
Makoto Sakurada*, Alessandro Gargiulo, Stefano Palese, tenor I
Marco Scavazza*, Nicolò Pasello, Roberto Gonella tenor II
Furio Zanasi*, Paolo Bassi, Francesco Gonella bass I
Sergio Foresti*, Alessandro Berton, Alessandro Pitteri, bass II

Massimiliano Maute, violone (Mittenwald, 18th cent.)
Roberto Loreggian, organ (Paolo Costa and lab. Pizzo-Brasson, Albignasegio 2001)

CORO VIII (8 vocal soloists*, second coro di ripieno, basso continuo: violone & organ)

Laura Antonaz*, Michela Pizzolato, Silvia Toffano, soprano I
Elisabetta Tiso*, Simonetta Baldin, Tiziana Coppe, soprano II
Paolo Costa*, Elena Croci, Rossana Verlato, alto I
Fabian Schofrin*, Luisa Fontanieri, Alessandra Perbellini, alto II
Michele Da Ros*, Stefano Dal Cortivo, Emanuele Lachin, tenor I
Mario Cecchetti*, Michele Cenedese, Tiziano Niero, tenor II
Alfredo Grandini*, Antonio Albore, Alessandro Magagnin, bass I
Salvo Vitale*, Davide Benetti, Luigi Varotto, bass II

Roberto Massetti, violone (anon. France, circa 1820)
Vittorio Zanon, organ (Paolo Costa and lab. Pizzo-Brasson, Albignasegio 2001)

Rosary Sonatas : Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber -Glorious Mysteries
Included Guardian Angel Sonata at the end of the Glorious Mysteries.

Franzjosef Maier, Baroque Violin
Franz Lehrndorfer, Baroque Organ
Konrad Junghänel, Baroque Cello
Max Engel, Theorbo

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber
The Rosary Sonatas (also known as the Mystery Sonatas or Copper-Engraving Sonatas) by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber are a collection of 15 short sonatas for violin and continuo with a closing passacaglia for solo violin that are relevant to the Christian Rosary devotion practice and possibly to the Feast of the Guardian Angels.
It is presumed the Mystery Sonatas were completed around 1676, however they were unknown until their publication in 1905. The music of Biber was never entirely forgotten due to the high technical skill required to play many of his works, this is especially true of his works for violin. Once rediscovered, the Mystery Sonatas became Biber's most widely known composition. The work is prized for its virtuosic vocal style, scordatura tunings and its programmatic structure.

Biber Passacaglia - The Guardian Angel
Passacaglia in g minor for solo violin "the Guardian Angel"
Biber, Heinrich Ignaz Franz; Passagalia for solo violin, Riccardo Minasi
Biber - In festo trium regum
Biber - Litaniae de Sancto Josepho
Biber - Missa Sancti Henrici 1/4
Vokal-Instrumentalensemble am Bamberger Dom
Musica Fiata Köln
Werner Pees, conductor
Musica Fiata - Biber Magnificat a 32 Part 2
Heinrich Ingaz Franz von Biber - Requiem à 15 in A-Dur, IV - Sequenz Dies Irae
Biber - Plaudite Tympana LIV Vocum
Motet à 54 of Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644 - 1704)

Ton Koopman and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra and Choir

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Missa Bruxellensis - Jordi Savall
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber: Mystery Sonata No.4
Eduard Melkus - Violin
Huguette Dreyfus - Harpsichord
Lionel Rogg - Organ
Karl Scheit - Lute
Gerald Sonneck - Cello, Gamba
Alfred Planyavsky - Violone
Hans-Jürg Lange - Bassoon
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