Biber: The Rosary Sonatas

Biber: The Rosary Sonatas

by Andrew Manze

CD

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Overview

Biber: The Rosary Sonatas

Andrew Manze continues to stake his claim as the leading Baroque violinist of our time with this insightful and skilled performance of Biber's complete "Rosary" (or "Mystery") Sonatas, one of the seminal collections of Baroque violin music. Corresponding to the practice of Rosary devotion, each of Biber's 15 sonatas describes an important moment in the Christian story (the Annunciation, Nativity, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and so forth), and in keeping with this intimate and prayerful context, Manze's performance is in general marked by moderation and an avoidance of ostentation. Unlike John Holloway's fine Virgin Classics recording (currently unavailable), which draws together a large group of continuo instruments, here only a single keyboard -- alternately organ and harpsichord, played by Richard Egarr -- accompanies the solo violin. Only in the "Ascension" Sonata is a violone added, following an indication in the lone surviving copy of Biber's original score. Almost paradoxically, the comparative austerity intensifies the beauty of the music and draws in the listener to Biber's often strikingly imaginative writing. Manze also doesn't dwell on the often-cited programmatic elements in the sonatas. He asks: "Can you really hear the flutter of the Archangel's wings during the 'Annunciation'?" Perhaps this is indeed only a flight of fancy, but one thing is certain: Manze's playing of the drawn-out "amen" cadence at that Sonata's end is breathtaking in its delicacy. Other moments pack plenty of dramatic punch, such as the gripping final Passacaglia for unaccompanied violin, an important forerunner of Bach's D Minor Chaconne. Yet the cumulative effect is one of sober intensity that cuts straight to the heart of these masterful sonatas. A final track offers Manze's informative and amusing explanation of the scordatura (atypical tuning) that runs throughout Biber's greatest opus.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/12/2004
Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
UPC: 0093046732127
catalogNumber: 907321

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Mystery Sonatas (16), for violin & basso continuo (or solo violin), C. 90-105

    • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber
    • Richard Egarr
    • Alison McGillivray
    • George Herbert
    • Salvador Dali
    1. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 1. The Annunciation: Præludium  (02:17)
    2. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries. Sonata 10. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus: Præludium  (01:22)
    3. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 1. The Annunciation: Aria  (02:24)
    4. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries. Sonata 10. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus:  (03:56)
    5. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 1. The Annunciation: [Finale]  (01:20)
    6. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries. Sonata 10. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus: Variatio, cont.  (04:23)
    7. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 2. The Visitation: Sonata  (02:07)
    8. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 11. The Resurrection: Sonata  (02:26)
    9. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 2. The Visitation: Allamanda  (03:42)
    10. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 11. The Resurrection: Surexit Christus hodie  (03:50)
    11. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 2. The Visitation: [Finale]  (01:00)
    12. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 11. The Resurrection: Adagio  (01:12)
    13. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 3. The Nativity: Sonata  (01:41)
    14. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 12. The Ascension: Intrada  (00:51)
    15. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 3. The Nativity: Courente, Double  (03:25)
    16. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 12. The Ascension: Aria Tubicinum  (01:24)
    17. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 3. The Nativity: [Finale]  (02:17)
    18. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 12. The Ascension: Allamanda  (03:17)
    19. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 4. The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple: Ciacona  (09:01)
    20. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 12. The Ascension: Courente, Double  (03:06)
    21. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple: Præludium  (01:09)
    22. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 13. The Descent of the Holy Spirit: Sonata  (03:19)
    23. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple: Allamanda  (01:22)
    24. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 13. The Descent of the Holy Spirit: Gavotta  (01:33)
    25. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple: Guigue  (01:15)
    26. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 13. The Descent of the Holy Spirit:  (01:49)
    27. The Five Joyful Mysteries. Sonata 5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple: Sarabanda, Double  (03:37)
    28. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 13. The Descent of the Holy Spirit: Sarabanda  (01:33)
    29. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries. Sonata 6. The Agony in the Garden: Lamento  (09:21)
    30. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 14. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven: [Sonata]  (02:27)
    31. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries. Sonata 7. The Scourging at the Pillar: Allamanda, Variatio  (05:14)
    32. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 14. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven: Aria  (07:09)
    33. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries. Sonata 7. The Scourging at the Pillar: Sarabanda, Variatio  (05:36)
    34. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 15. The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth: Sonata  (01:54)
    35. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries. Sonata 8. The Crowning with Thorns: Sonata  (02:28)
    36. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 15. The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth: Aria,  (05:53)
    37. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries. Sonata 8. The Crowning with Thorns: Guigue, Double 1, Double 2  (03:44)
    38. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 15. The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth: Canzon  (01:55)
    39. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries. Sonata 9. The Carrying of the Cross: Sonata  (02:32)
    40. The Five Glorious Mysteries. Sonata 15. The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth: Saraba  (02:25)
    41. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries. Sonata 9. The Carrying of the Cross: Courente, Double  (04:51)
    42. Passagaalia for unaccompanied violin  (09:20)
    43. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries. Sonata 9. The Carrying of the Cross: Finale  (02:00)

Disc 2

  1. Scordatura briefly explained (for Biber's Rosary Sonatas)  - George Herbert  - Salvador Dali  (03:44)

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