Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Donald Macleod explores the music, and what little is known of the life, of Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber. Today, Biber’s music for church and stage

Donald Macleod explores the music, and what little is known of the life, of Baroque master Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber. Today, Biber’s music for church and stage.

Biber is known to posterity primarily as a composer for the violin, yet much of his time in Salzburg was spent in the production of ecclesiastical and theatrical music. Of his stage works, including at least three operas and fifteen ‘school dramas’, only one has survived, his opera Arminio, or Chi la dura la vince – ‘He who endures, wins’. Its score has certainly endured, but the opera, despite many fine moments, is rarely heard nowadays. Many of Biber’s masterly sacred works were composed with the cavernous spaces of Salzburg Cathedral in mind, and make full use of the spatial possibilities afforded by that monumental building.

Arminio, or Chi la dura la vince: Act I, Scene 1 (extract)
Salzburger Hofmusik
Wolfgang Brunner, conductor

Psalmi de B. M. Virgine, from Vesperae longiores ac breviores, 1693: Dixit dominus; Laudate pueri; Laetatus sum; Nisi Dominus; Lauda Jerusalem; Magnificat.
Cantus Cölln
Konrad Junghänel, conductor

Arminio, or Chi la dura la vince: Act I, Scene 7)
Gotthold Schwarz, baritone (Arminio)
Salzburger Hofmusik
Wolfgang Brunner, conductor

Arminio, or Chi la dura la vince: Act II, Scene 10 (extract)
Barbara Schlick, soprano (Giulia)
Salzburger Hofmusik
Wolfgang Brunner, conductor

Arminio, or Chi la dura la vince: Act III, Scene 9
Gerd Kenda, bass (Tiberio)
Hermann Oswald, tenor (Germanico)
Markus Forster, alto (Vitellio)
Florian Mehltretter, bass (Seiano)
Salzburger Hofmusik
Wolfgang Brunner, conductor

Litaniae Sancto Josepho
Cantus Cölln
Concerto Palatino
Konrad Junghänel, conductor

Producer: Chris Barstow for BBC Wales

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Arminio: Act I Scene 1 (extract)

    Ensemble: Salzburger Hofmusik. Conductor: Wolfgang Brunner.
    • CPO 999 258-2.
    • CPO.
    • 1.
  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Vespro della Beata Vergine (Vesperae longiores ac breviores)

    Ensemble: Cantus Cölln. Conductor: Konrad Junghänel.
    • ACCENT ACC 24286.
    • ACCENT.
    • 10.
  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Arminio: Act I Scene 7 (extract)

    Performer: Gotthold Schwarz. Ensemble: Salzburger Hofmusik. Conductor: Wolfgang Brunner.
    • CPO 999 258-2.
    • CPO.
    • 7.
  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Arminio: Act II Scene 10 (extract)

    Performer: Barbara Schlick. Ensemble: Salzburger Hofmusik. Conductor: Wolfgang Brunner.
    • CPO 999 258-2.
    • CPO.
    • 10.
  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Arminio: Act III Scene 9 (extract)

    Performer: Salzburger Hofmusik. Singer: Gerd Kenda. Singer: Hermann Oswald. Singer: Markus Forster. Singer: Florian Mehltretter. Conductor: Wolfgang Brunner.
    • CPO 999 258-2.
    • CPO.
    • 9.
  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

    Litaniae de Sancto Josepho

    Ensemble: Cantus Koln. Ensemble: Concerto Palatino. Conductor: Konrad Junghänel.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 901667.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI.
    • 1.

Broadcast

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.