Like a great, mysterious nebula, the dazzling Missa Salisburgensis arches over the world of polychoral music by virtue of the exceptional complexity and richness of its means, which are deployed to create a unique expression in sound and space, symbolising with extraordinary exuberance and efficiency all the strength and grandeur of divine power, political and religious power. Shrouded in mystery and regarded by specialists as the Everest of polychoral compositions, this work was discovered by a Salzburg grocer in 1870. At first it was mistakenly attributed to the composer Orazio Benevoli, but now, as Professor Ernst Hintermaier explains (see his accompanying commentary), it is unanimously considered to be among the masterpieces of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, one of the greatest and most talented Austrian composers of the Baroque period.
…Manze, a British Baroque violinist who has led the English Concert and the Academy of Ancient Music, brings these pieces alive. Performing on a 1700 violin with sheep gut strings, he retunes the instrument for each sonata rather than playing on a set of pre-tuned instruments. This allows the listener to hear the radical changes in tone the violin undergoes as the levels of pressure on its strings are altered….
Sir Neville Marriner leads his Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in a blockbuster recording of eight of Franz von Suppé's exciting overtures. From the more famous ones, such as Light Cavalry and Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna, to lesser known works, this CD is full of unforgettable melodies and suberb playing.