Following on from the highly expressive psalm settings, we now present the glorious antiphons of the master from Schärding am Inn: exquisite church music which Emperor Leopold I himself proclaimed as being definitive for the Catholic lands.
Originally, the antiphon denoted a Gregorian chant that was sung by two parties opposite each other. Often a single performer was answered by a group of singers. The antiphon would later disengage from the psalm on which it was commenting. The antiphons set by Mayr represent a special form of the genre, so-called Marian antiphons, almost all of which are addressed to the Mother of God. Only In terras descendam is intended for Christmas. The antiphonal practice is still apparent in all antiphons in the alternation between singers and instrumentalists.