During 2004, three hundred years after the death of Biber, The English Concert gave the first European performances in modern times of the Missa Christi resurgentis. Although the existence and whereabouts of this Mass have been known for a long time, it is only thanks to the work of Dr James Clements that it can be heard today. Before I met James, I had pictured an intrepid Indiana Jones look-alike, abseiling his way into the candlelit vaults of Kromeríz castle deep in the Czech Republic, sneezing his way along the dusty shelves and finally laying his hand on a pile of music undisturbed since it was placed there by one of Biber’s contemporaries.
More Bond than Jones, James described a reality far more prosaic, involving cups of tea with helpful librarians, ugly strip-lighting and many silent hours poring over scraps of paper. The result, however, is the same: we can now hear a lavish piece of music that Biber wrote for the Archbishop of Salzburg. This recording was made in London’s Temple Church which, while not as lofty a building as Salzburg’s cathedral, has as voluminous an acoustic. By placing the four main ‘choirs’ of musicians – two groups of singers, one each of strings and winds – approximately at the four corners of a square we were able to create the impression of Salzburg’s grandeur without losing clarity, which can easily happen in Biber’s polychoral works.
Total time: 01:17:25
|Original Recording Format|
Robina G. Young
Brad Michel (DSD Engineer – Chris Barrett)
Temple Church London
|Recording Type & Bit Rate|
|Release Date||June 11, 2014|
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