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Biber: Rosary Sonatas / Podger


Release Date: 10/09/2015 
Label:  Channel Classics   Catalog #: 37315   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan MansonRachel PodgerMarcin SwiatkiewiczDavid Miller
Number of Discs: 2 
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SuperAudio CD:  $28.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Biber's Rosary Sonatas are considered the most extensive example of scordatura — a technique whereby the strings are purposefully tuned differently from their usual arrangement. In these works, the violin's usual G-D-A-E tuning is only used for the opening sonata and the closing Passacaglia. The other fourteen sonatas each have a different configuration of tuning. Compositionally, this allowed Biber to obtain unusual chords, opening up a whole new spectrum of harmonic and textural possibilities. This fundamentally altered what a violin was and could be; its physicality as well as its voice was transformed. On this recording, the incomparable Rachel Podger reveals all the mysteries and glories of these amazing works.

Read more Reviews:

Not for nothing is Podger regarded today as queen of the baroque violin. Podger makes light of the virtuosic demands of this profound music, while never losing sight of it’s religious significance.

– Sunday Times (London)

For this recording Podger uses the same instrument throughout, putting it through the pain, as part of the fascination for her was how the sound changed from piece to piece as the violin suffers alongside Christ. It’s searching, absorbing, quietly captivating playing, and a moving journey through one of the most imaginative sets of violin sonatas ever composed.

– CD Review

These are fantastically complex works, with different violin tunings and multiple stoppings, so that Podger’s accomplished new recording sounds like a battery of many violins. Fine continuo adds to the variety of sound.

– The Observer (UK) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 9 in A minor, Carrying the Cross by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
2.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 8 in B flat major, The Crown of Thorns by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
3.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 7 in F major, The Scourging of Jesus by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
4.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 6 in C minor, The Agony in the Garden by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
5.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 5 in A major, Child Jesus in the Temple by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
6.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 4 in D minor Presentation by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
7.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 3 in B minor, The Nativity by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
8.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 2 in A major, Mary's Visit by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
9.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 15 in C major, Crowning of the Virgin Mary by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
10.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 14 in D major Assumption by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
11.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 13 in D minor, Holy Ghost by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
12.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 12 in C major, The Ascension by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
13.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 11 in G major, Resurrection by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
14.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo: no 10 in G minor, The Crucifixion by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 
15.
Mystery Sonatas (15) for Violin and Basso Continuo by Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer:  Jonathan Manson (Bass Viola Da Gamba), Rachel Podger (Violin), Marcin Swiatkiewicz (Keyboard),
David Miller (Lute)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1676; Salzburg, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Best of the Best February 23, 2016 By William F Stewart (El Cerrito, CA) See All My Reviews "I am very familiar with these sonatas, having grown to love them over the last 5 years or so since hearing the last one, the Passacaglia, played 3 times in one weekend. They are immensely draining to perform, impossible in concert with just one violin, and almost impossible for just one violinist. I am very familiar with at least four recordings, all top-notch in their own way, but this one really seems to capture the spirit, fire, mystery... the whole range of emotional expression in music... better than any of them. Ms. Podger's Vivaldi recordings and live performances are just as astonishing." Report Abuse
 A Perfect Winter Sunday Morning February 19, 2016 By Edward  Zelmanski (Canton, MI) See All My Reviews "I shared a snippet of a sonata with a colleague who offered comments regarding the tone of the work, muted vibratto of the strings... He is a classically trained violinist and I respect his perspective and expertise. I am not a trained musician. But I must say that I played the sonatas on a recent Sunday morning and was transported by the warmth and beauty of the performance. Perfect music, perfect morning and a perfect brunch." Report Abuse
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