Ricercar Consort, instrumental and vocalPhilippe Pierlot conductor – Hanna Bayodi-Hirt soprano – Kristin Mulders soprano – David Sagastume countertenor – Jeffrey Thompson tenor – Matthias Vieweg bass


Sonata "Tausend Gulden" for 2 violins, 3 gambas and basso continuo Antonio Bertali
Regina Coeli Leopold I
Serenada à 5 Heinrich Ignaz von Biber
Requiem in f Heinrich Ignaz von Biber

What a profusion of music there must have been in seventeenth century Vienna. The Habsburg emperors really took their music seriously. Not just because they loved it, but also because they saw music as a handy instrument for building their image as emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. They attracted the greatest – often Italian – musical stars to their court in Vienna, commissioned works and celebrations for name days, birthdays etc. – no reason was too small!

We don’t know why Heinrich Ignaz von Biber wrote his Requiem in F, but what we do know is that it is one of the most impressive works of the seventeenth century. The particular, dark key, the intriguing hum of the three trombones, the choir: he pulled out all the stops to accompany the plaintive mourners who remained at home in their grief. And thankfully he concluded with a hopeful Lux Aeterna. It’s not without reason that Leopold I ennobled von Biber; from then on in he was known as Biber von Bibern.

Philippe Pierlot is an expert at dredging up rare treasures: perhaps you’ve heard of Antonio Bertali – who served under the three emperors – or Francesco Conti? Their Italian flair and virtuosity really charmed the emperors. Indeed, it was Bertali that Leopold I asked to compose the accompanying voices for his Regina Coeli. In short, this exceptional concert is your chance to enjoy imperial music!

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Did you know?

  • A Short History of Death 

    Since the fifteenth century, the requiem – also sometimes called missa pro defunctis or Mass for the dead – has inspired composers to write some of the most beautiful works in music history. 

    — published on