Heinrich Biber: Battalia à 10 – Voices of Music

The famous Battalia of Heinrich Biber, live 4K ultra high definition video.

0:00 Sonata

1:45 The rowdy pub

2:35 Presto

3:18 Mars

4:37 Presto

5:39 Aria

7:50 Cello Battle

8:41 Lament for the wounded.

Presented here for the first time on period instruments in the 4K, ultra high definition format. Biber’s work, dedicated to the god Bacchus, opens with a lively Sonata with a rich, harmonious texture for the strings. This is followed by a character piece with a strikingly dissonant pub atmosphere, where each musician plays a different pop song all at the same time–like listening to different radio channels all at once. A dance-y, foot-stomping presto brackets an unusual duet for violin and violone (“Mars”): the bass players are instructed to place sheets of paper over the strings for a snare drum effect. We used cloth paper as it is similar to the paper of Biber’s time and it actually changed the sound. The music printed on the paper is from the E Minor Biber sonata we filmed with Elizabeth Blumenstock. Next, the title piece, a furious battle, here featuring two cellos firing broadsides (Bill turns the cello around to play left handed!). The work concludes with a lament for the wounded. Hic dissonat ubique nam ebrii sic diversis Cantilensis clamare solent!

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