Sonata à 7 - Tpt 6-Timp-Org

CODE: AP-03145



SONATA à 7 (©1668) by Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704) is edited and arranged by Joel Blahník to also be played with Clarinet Quartet or String Quartet instead of the Organ accompaniment. Remarkable tonal combinations! Trumpet Sextet, Timpani and Organ. Grade: 3 Duration: 5:20

Background Notes are in the Resources tab.


Sonata à 7 - Tpt 6-Timp-Org (, 152 Kb) [Download]

Background Notes 
The manuscript for this sonata for 6 trumpets, timpani and organ by Heinrich Biber is found today in the Kroměříž Castle Archives in the Czech Republic.  It comes from a very large collection of 17th century manuscripts formerly belonging to the Prince-Bishop Karl Liechtenstein-Kastelcorn who was a great patron of music and employed some of the finest composers and performers at that time. This composition is dated 1668 and the music bears a great resemblance to Vejvanovský's Sonata Ittalica of the same year. Under Biber's direction of the orchestra, in just a few years, trumpet technique greatly increased as is indicated by his Sonata a 7 for 6 trumpets.  Besides his own genius, Biber appreciated the Bishop's band of trumpeters led by Vejvanovský and combined their expertise with noble melodies written to being out the trumpets&s own individual character.  Biber's trumpet music always suits the quality of the instrument in order to obtain a proper trumpet effect. He didn't resort to clichés normally found in Bolognese music.
Of Biber's two sonatas for multiple trumpets, unlike the several movement work, Sonata Sancti Policarpi for 8 trumpets, this sonata for 6 trumpets is very short and takes the form of a two-part intrada.  Part one opens with a fanfare-like figure that leads to a short passage in F major - after this the trumpets become divided with 1,3, and 4 in one choir and 2, 5 and 6 in the other.  Part two continues with the trumpets divided into three choirs until bar 41 where they return to their original grouping playing antiphonally in very short figures.  Trumpets 1 to 4 then play a scale-like passage from bar 49 where, incidentally, the third, high G timpani part makes its first appearance and the work closes with two bars of whole notes which presumably allow the drummer to improvise a suitable conclusion. 
Robert Block of Michigan did the realization of the organ part through the kindness of the Kroměříž castle authorities in August of 1971.