Andrew Manze, The English Concert & Choir

Biber: Missa Christi resurgentis

Splendid. That’s the word for describing this long-forgotten and now restored music by Heinrich Biber (1644-1704), once kapellmeister to the court of the prince-archbishop of Salzburg. Biber’s Missa Christi resurgentis likely was written for the Salzburg Cathedral. It is choral music laced with instrumental pieces featuring trumpet and strings, as was the practice at this time. Even after the last choral portions, there are additional instrumental sonatas. It is believed they were written to accompany the liturgy, symbolizing Christ’s Ascension, and as entrance and exit pieces for the archbishop. Biber differs from Bach and Handel, who sought drama in wider ranges of mood. In this music, the composer celebrates glory throughout, with no struggles. Andrew Manze leads the ensemble, splendidly indeed.