The Habsburg Imperial Court was a melting pot of many different cultures in which the zest for living of southerners, the Slav melancholy, French formalism, Spanish courtliness and the original German-speaking Alpine cultural region intermingled. Together with his Ars Antiqua Austria ensemble, Gunar Letzbor occupied himself over a ten year period to produce this 10CD ""Klang der Kulturen"" box, a musical tour of the individual countries that formed the roots of and influences on the music of baroque Vienna, documenting them in live recordings, with each CD representing one country.
Manuscript XIV 726 of the Minoritenkonvent in Vienna is one of the most important sources of Austrian baroque music. From the over hundred sonatas contained in it, Gunar Letzbor has compiled the series "ex Vienna" consisting of three programmes which shed light on various aspects of Austrian violin music. In the first part of the series, 'Anonymus', Gunar Letzbor has recorded violin works from this Viennese manuscript, in which the names of the composers are not specified. The selected pieces reveal a broad expressive spectrum, also containing echoes of baroque dance music. What all the works share is their high technical standard: high registers, unusual bowing, polyphonic passages, onomatopoeia and runs to be played at breakneck speed bearing witness to a high standard of violin playing north of the Alps: whoever wrote these works must have been an outstanding violinist. Gunar Letzbor is the established specialist in performing Austrian baroque music; in particular, he has intensively grappled with works of Biber, Muffat and Schmelzer, to name but three examples. In so doing, he is constantly searching for an especially Austrian baroque string sound. On this recording, Letzbor is accompanied by Erich Traxler (harpsichord, organ positive), Jan Krigovsky (violone) and Hubert Hoffmann (lute) of Ars Antiqua Austria.