Georg Muffat (1653-1704) after studying as a youngster with Lully in Paris, was involved most of his life with the Catholic Church. He worked as cathedral organist in Alsace, moved to Bavaria as a law student, and then settled for a time in Vienna. Following employment as organist to the Archbishop of Salzburg, interrupted by a period of study in Rome with the renowned keyboard player, Bernardo Pasquini, he took a final position as organist to the Bishop of Passau.
Among his compositions is the Armonico Tributo of 1682, five multi-movement, five-voice sonatas which Muffat left open as to various instrumental possibilities, even including performance as concerti grossi. One easily hears the influence of Corelli, whom Muffat met while in Rome, but there are also moments when one surmises that Handel knew these scores well.
The music, perfectly gorgeous in this smaller instrumental version, mixes the French and Italian styles, as well as chamber-sonata and sonata da chiesa movements. “Of the seven-member Ars Antiqua Austria, one can only bestow the greatest praise for such wonderfully stylish performances, superb ensemble, a welcome lack of mannerisms, and faultless recorded sound.” (Goldberg)