I am a great fan of the music of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704), and always look out for cds of his music to add to my collection. This is a wonderful collection of Biber’s sonatas, including two previously unpublished works. They are presented beautifully by John Holloway on violin, with Aloysia Assenbaum, organ, and Lars Ulrik Mortensen, haprischord. Biber’s writing for the violin tends to sometimes verge on the impossible, with stong virtuosic demands, and Holloway continues to prove himself more than capable of sympathetically and musically portraying Biber’s music on this cd. Indeed, John Holloway’s participation in any baroque violin music would be a selling point for me, I am a great admirer of his work in baroque music.
The pieces on this cd are:
Sonata III F major from Sonatae Violino solo 1681
Sonata IV D major from Sonatae Violino solo 1681
Sonata No. 81 A major – unpublished
Sonata VI C minor from Sonatae Violino solo 1681
Sonata VII G major from Sonatae Violino solo 1681
Sonata No. 84 E major – unpublished
There is a very comprehensive booklet with the cd, including performers’ notes by John Holloway, where he explains among other things his decision on the instrumentation used in this recording. There is also a very interesting article on Biber’s violin sonatas by Peter Wollny. This is a highly recommended recording, and I am glad to add it to my collection, where it will be listened to often.