By Heinrich Biber / arr. Brendan McBrien

String Orchestra

Level: 3

Depicting the sounds of war, this Baroque masterpiece features many special effects including bow tapping, paper under strings, solos for all instruments, and a musical collage that would thrill Charles Ives! A true feast for the ears. This innovative six-movement work ends with a moving tribute to the fallen of war. A classic piece of tone painting that will have your audience and musicians on the edge of their seats.


Bohemian born Heinrich Biber (1644–1704) was a notable composer as well as one of the greatest violin virtuosos of the Baroque era. He spent most of his professional life working in Salzburg, Austria. Battalia, which in Italian means battle, was composed in 1673, some 25 years after the end of The Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) that devastated nearly all of Europe and which no doubt shaped the world in which young Biber grew up. It is a very unusual work from this period as it contains descriptive elements within the music that were rarely heard.

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