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Biber: Chamber Works / Ricordo

Release Date: 01/01/2002 
Label:  Linn Records   Catalog #: 195   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Heinrich Ignaz BiberJohann Heinrich Schmelzer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricordo
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Biber's violin sonatas are becoming ever more popular, and quite right too. The two big sets — the eight published in 1681, and the 12 socalled 'Rosary' or 'Mystery' Sonatas — have already been the subject of several memorable recordings, but Ricordo have mined the archives of central Europe to emerge with a programme of Biber rarities, a bundle of youthful experiments, variants, rejects and one-offs which makes an excellent complement to the existing recorded collections. As it happens, only two of the pieces are not currently available elsewhere, but this is the first disc to gather them together like this, offering a fascinating insight into the workings of the mind of this larger-than-life composer. For this is Biber at his most Read more uninhibited, prepared to spend nearly three minutes fiddling around on one chord, to kick up his heels in a furious hoe-down, or to pick up Schttielzer's little Pastordia for two violins and continuo and shake it rudely Ricordo give added impetus to the increasing popularity of Biber's youthful violin sonatas into a vehicle for a single violinist's virtuoso display (Ricordo offer us both works for comparison). A better balance between flamboyance and discipline may mean that the more famous sonatas are the best of Biber, but these tasty leftovers add to our knowledge of him and affection, too.

That they are not first-rate Biber does not really matter anyway, because Ricordo demand hearing in their own right. In concert they specialise in playing from memory, and there is little doubt that in their debut CD they have got these particular works thoroughly worked into their system. Violinist Kati Debretzeni inevitably takes the limelight, making a strong impression with her free-flowing bow, boldly projected sound and fizzing fingerwork, but the group's other three core members — theorbo-player Matthew Wadsworth, gambist AJison McGillivray and keyboard-player Robert Howarth — are with her all the way. Wadsworth also serves up an accomplished rendition of the Passacaglia for solo lute, while two 'guest players' also contribute strongly. Everywhere, in fact, there is the exuberant, carefree music-making which comes from fine young players showing a natural joy in performance, and which suggests that in Ricordo we have a new Baroque group of enormous promise.

-- Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone [2/2003]
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo "La Pastorella" by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricordo
Period: Baroque 
Written: Bohemia 
Sonata à 3 by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricordo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Salzburg, Austria 
Passacaglia for Lute solo by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricordo
Period: Baroque 
Written: Salzburg, Austria 
Sonatas (8) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 6 in C minor by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1681; Bohemia 
Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in A major "Representatio avium" by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricordo
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1669; Nuremberg, Germany 
Sonata a tre, 'Pastoral' by Johann Heinrich Schmelzer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricordo
Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo no 84 in E major by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ricordo
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Bohemia 
Sonata à 3 by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Period: Baroque 
Written: 17th Century; Salzburg, Austria 

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