Biber: Missa Alleluja

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Biber: Missa Alleluja



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Release date:

27th Jan 2017




58 minutes


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Biber: Missa Alleluja


Missa Alleluja a 36

Nisi Dominus

Sonata 'La Pastorella'

Hic est panis

Erich Traxler (organ), Gerd Kenda (bass), Hubert Hoffmann (theorbo), Jan Krigovsky (violone), Gunar Letzbor (violin)

St. Florianer Sängerknaben, Ars Antiqua Austria, Gunar Letzbor

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Several masses scored for large forces attest to the outstanding compositional skills of the Salzburg master Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704). For Salzburg Cathedral, Biber prepared polychoric pieces modelled on the grand performance practice in Venice.

The Missa Alleluja was probably composed after 1690 and certainly before 1698: the original score from Salzburg is lost but excellent copies have been preserved at the Upper Austrian abbey at Kremsmünster, which serve as a basis for the present recording. Biber fully exploited the possibilities of Baroque instrumentation in the Missa Alleluja: a chorus with 2 sopranos, 2 altos, 2 tenors and 2 bass voices grants him a large number of combinations of voices and thus constant changes of timbre. The strings 'choir' also has six parts, with both violins often written virtuosically. A 'chorus' of 3 trumpets and 2 cornetti is even surpassed in tonal mass by that composed of 2 clarinets, 4 trumpets and timpani. This large number of trumpets emphasises the cheerful character of the work and is luxurious by Austrian standards.

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Missa Alleluja



In Gloria Dei Patris


Et incarnatus


Et resurexit

Et in spiritum sanctum





Agnus Die

Dona nobis pacem

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum, "Psalm 126"

Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum, "Psalm 126"

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Violin Sonata in A Major "Pastorella", C. 106 (1)

Pastorella, C. 106

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Hic est panis

Hic est panis

Sunday Times

12th February 2017

“This 36-part Missa Alleluja — an eight-voice chorus, plus Ars Antiqua’s three instrumental choirs — has a spring to its often triple-time step, duly emphasised by Letzbor. The hocketing of the Christe eleison is a joyful surprise, and both singing and playing are excellent.”

Record Review

Andrew McGregor

19th February 2017

“the boys voices for me are one of the main attractions to this new recording, a different timbre to the grown-ups on Konrad Junghänel’s Deutsche harmonia mundi recording, which is slightly better integrated as a performance but the sense of space, the forces spread around a huge acoustic, the syncopated rhythms in that opening Kyrie and the sheer impact of the climax makes this new one really enjoyable.”

BBC Music Magazine

June 2017


“This latest offering is compelling, even if moments of discomfort occasionally invade the singing”

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