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Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber

Heinrich I F Biber (trans. Joel Blahnik)

General Info

Year: 1673 / 1982
Duration: c. 9:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alliance Publications
Cost: Score & Parts - $60.00   |   Score Only - $10.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
French Horn I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Field Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Timpani


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Battalia, written in 1673, is one of the most ingenious and unusual compositions of the Baroque era. A grand thesis, with social, historical and musical ramifications, may be made of this work. As a "battle piece" dedicated to Bacchus, it appears to deride the Baroque disdain for war; yet, through the glittering but transparent curtain of sound effects and musical games, Biber's severe censure of the values and mores of the aristocracy of the period, which hired armies and treated war as a royal sport, is apparent. The eight folksongs in the second movement simultaneously sounding in seven keys (D, C, d, F, A, G, e) with two meters in nine voices, represent the various ethnic groups forming those armies. It becomes evident that this din implies the cancellation of identity in the chaos of war and unveils the grim reality of bloodshed and the destruction of individuality and property. The resulting meaninglessness is a gem of philosophical imagery grafted in the art of music.

This edition is based upon the original set of parts (no score having been found) present in the archives of the summer residence of the Prince-Bishop Kastelkorn, the castle of Kromeriz, Czechoslovakia. The original instrumentation was for three violins, 4 violas da gamba, 2 violons and cembalo.

-Program Note by Joel Blahnik

Elements, played without pause, include The Assemblage of Troops; The Profligate Society of Common Humor; Swashbuckling Exercises; Cavalry Maneuvers; The Battle; and The Lament of the Wounded.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Penn State University (University Park) Campus Band (Jacob Bender, conductor) – 4 December 2018

Works for Winds by This Composer

None discovered thus far.


  • Biber, H.; Blahnik, J. (1982). Battalia : For Symphonic Vand [score]. E.C. Kirby: Toronto.