Giovanni Felice Sances (c1600 – 1679) Missa Sancta Maria Magdalenae
Heinrich Ignatz von Biber (1644- 1704) Requiem à 15
Director JANJOOST VAN ELBURG
Soloists: Amy Haworth, Claire Lees, Caroline Trevor, Ingeborg Bröcheler,
Mark Dobell, Mark Bonney, Thomas Flint & Simon Whiteley
The Monteverdi String Band, English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble
Born in Rome, Sances established himself as a composer of secular music and virtuoso tenor. He was recruited to the Austrian Habsburg Court at Vienna in 1636 and remained there for over 40 years, first as a singer, then assistant chapel master and finally imperial chapel master. Just one source of the manuscript of Missa Sancta Maria Magdalenae exists, in an extensive collection in Kromeríž, now in Czechoslovakia. The scoring is opulent (seven voices, two trombetti, four sackbuts, two violins and four viols) making it eminently suitable for the Grand Baroque series.
Heinrich Biber was born in Bohemia to a violinist father and showed early promise as an all round musician, playing strings, keyboards and brass. He was mployed in the Salzburg Archbishopric and created much immensely fine music for the Prince Archbishop Maximillian Gandolf and the spacious acoustic of Salzburg Cathedral. Biber’s Mass and Vespers settings are renowned for extensive solo instrumental and vocal writing, designed for just this space. When the Archbishop died suddenly on May 3rd 1687, the funeral service was arranged immediately, leaving Biber just 6 days to produce a new Requiem setting. The result is fantastic; he decided on 15 concerto parts, six voices, two trumpets, three sackbuts and four independent string parts with supporting continuo, in the unusually bright key of A major.