Ars Antiqua Austria • baroque ensemble


16aaa_brendon_heinstARS ANTIQUA AUSTRIA
Ensemble for new Baroque Music
director: Gunar Letzbor

Ars Antiqua Austria was founded in Linz in 1989 with the aim of introducing audiences to the roots of specifically Austrian baroque music played on period-instruments. The music performed at the imperial court in Vienna at this period shows the strong influence of Italy and later of French forms, while Spanish court ceremonials also shape the character of the works. The typical Austrian sound of the period also betrays the influence of the many Crownlands. The political and social boundaries of Austria in the baroque era were far wider than in the 20th century. Elements of Slav and Hungarian folk music mingle with alpine sounds and can be heard in the art music of the period. The Austrian sound also reflects the temperament and character of the Austrians of that period – a unifying element in the melting-pot of many different cultures: the joie de vivre of the South, Slav melancholy, French formality, Spanish pomp and the Alpine character of the German-speaking regions. This fusion of court- with folk music and a strong element of dance music form the typical Austrian sound.

The core of Ars Antiqua Austria comprises 8 musicians directed by Gunar Letzbor. The ensemble is readily augmented to accommodate a still wider repertoire..

During its early years ARS ANTIQUA AUSTRIA gave numerous concerts while researching the achievements of Austria`s baroque composers in depth. Thanks to Gunar Letzbor’s unflagging commitment, many works received their first performance in modern times. Enthusiastic reviews welcomed CDs of music by Weichlein, Biber, Conti (together with the mezzosoprano Bernarda Fink), Viviani, Mealli, Arnold, Caldara, Aufschnaiter, Vilsmayr, Vejvanovsky, Schmelzer, Muffat, Hochreither, Mouthon, Radolt, Aumann and of course J.S.Bach.

Recent tours have taken the ensemble to the Festival de la Musique Baroque at Ribeauville; Berlin Festival of Ancient Music; Festival Printemps des Arts at Nantes; Mozartfest at Würzburg with an opera production together with Michael Schopper; Tage alter Musik at Herne; Festival de Musique de Clisson et de Loire Atlantique; Folles Journées de Nantes and Tokyo; Musée d’Unterlinden Colmar; Monteverdi Festival Cremona; Festival Baroque du Sablon; Salzburger Festspiele; Vlandern Festival; Festival Bach de Lausanne; Bologna Festival; Vendsyssel Festival; Concerti della Normale Pisa; Resonanzen Wien; Klangbogen Wien; MA festival Brügge…



František Jiránek: Violin Concerto in D minor 

from Il Cimento dell’Armonia e dell’Inventione (1723-1725):
Violin Concerto in E major, RV 269 ‘La primavera’
Violin Concerto in G minor, RV 315 ‘L’estate’
Violin Concerto in F major, RV 293 ‘L’autunno’
Violin Concerto in F minor, RV 297 ‘L’inverno’

Violin Concerto in D minor
Allegro non molto







16aaa_brendon_heinst Photo: Brendon Heinst

Awarded with the “Pasticciopreis” by Radio Austria Ö 1

CONCERTO (Germany) 01.-02.2017
AFFEKTE UND EFFEKTE: Letzbor sucht den unvoreingenommenen Blick auf die Musik und wittert aktuell einen Wettstreit, in dem »der Ausdruck immer naturalistischer, der Geräuschpegel immer martialischer« wird und »Geschwindigkeitsorgien« gefeiert werden.

HIFI & RECORDS (Germany) 01.2017
Letzbor  verziert  sehr  sparsam,  gestaltet  aber den  Violinpart  feinsinnig  und  auch hintergründig,  und  sein  Schwadronieren  als  Betrunkener mit  seinen  Kumpanen  greift den  Humor Vivaldis  vielleicht am  besten auf. 

FONO FORUM (Germany) 02.2017
Ars Antiqua Austria lotet Vivaldis klangmalerische Effekte in ausgesprochen expressionistischer Manier aus.

Le Devoir (France) 26.11.2016
Sa version des Quatre saisons est déconcertante, car elle brise les codes. Letzbor reconsidère des nuances et construit des atmosphères et climats fascinants, notamment par l’usage lumineux d’un orgue, qu’il alterne avec le clavecin.



cc72700-vivaldi-coverAntonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Frantisek Jiránek: Violin concerto in D major

Ars Antiqua Austria
Gunar Letzbor, violin & conductor

(Challenge Classics, 2016, 1 SACD, Catalogue no. CC 72700)


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  • Tue

    Wien (Austria)