Rachel Podger - Heinrich Ignaz Biber: Rosary Sonatas (2015)
Classical | MP3 320kbps CBR | 2 CDs | Full Scans | 315 MB
Label: Channel Classics | Catalog Number: 37315 | Rls.date: 16th Oct 2015
The Rosary (Mystery) Sonatas, even today, are considered the most extensive example of scordatura. From the Italian discordare meaning ‘out of tune', scordatura is a technique whereby the strings are purposefully tuned differently from their usual arrangement. Here the usual G-D-A-E tuning, where the violin strings are consistently a perfect fifth apart, 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.
Composer: Heinrich Ignaz Biber
Performer: Jonathan Manson, Rachel Podger, Marcin Swiatkiewicz, David Miller
Johann Kuhnau, Bach's predecessor at Leipzig, composed biblical sonatas depicting stories - such as David and Goliath - in abstract, worldless, keyboard pieces. Biber's Mystery Sonatas are quite different because they form part of a linked meditation on the life of Jesus and therefore present remarkable potential for the interpreter as a kind of ‘Evangelist'. Uniquely, these celebrated works employ fourteen different scordatura tunings where the altered intervals on the four strings create extraordinarily different ‘sound worlds' to describe each event. Singers aside, performers are rarely presented with such heady subject matter to motivate their interpretations, apart from the usual movement titles indicating tempi, pulse and character.
Some pieces may have meaningful titles with a dedication, perhaps to another composer or friend, and we also come across specific instructions to ‘imitate' various animals. For instance, Biber's Battalia - a work which employs fashionable programmatic elements in the best traditions of a sonata rappresentativa) - portrays both the battle and the lament for the dead in a fashion which requires no further explanation. Likewise, in the case of C.P.E. Bach's trio sonata Sanguineus and Melancholicus, a whole scene is described with meticulous and detailed instructions for expression, ranging from stubbornness and anger to laughter and ridicule, and even irony!
1 The Annunciation d minor (i, v, iii) 5.57
2 The Visitation a major (i, vi, iv/v, iii) 5.33
3 The Nativity b minor (i, v, ii) 7.27
4 The Presentation in the Temple d minor (i, iv, iii) 8.13
5 The Finding in the Temple a major (i, vi, iv/v, ii) 7.18
6 The Agony in the Garden c minor (i, v, iii) 9.10
7 The Scourging f major (i, iv/v, iii) 8.59
8 The Crowning with Thorns bb major (i, iv) 7.11
1 The Carrying of the Cross a minor (i, v, ii) 7.55
2 The Crucifixion g minor (i, iv, ii) 9.09
3 The Resurrection g major (i, v, iii) 7.58
4 The Ascension c major (i, vi, iv, iii) 7.21
5 The Descent of the Holy Ghost d minor (i, iv/v, ii) 8.10
6 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin d major (i, iv, ii) 10.29
7 The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin c major (i, vii, v, iii) 12.18
8 Guardian Angel taken from ccs sa 35513 ‘Guardian Angel' (i) 10.00