H.I.F. Biber: Sonatas Of The Rosary
There is, as far as I know, nothing in the violin literature quite comparable to these incredibly imaginative, relentlessly intense pictorial essays by Heinrich Franz Biber (1666-1704), that still only half-known Salzburg Kapellmeister who plunged with an almost Joycean intellect into the task of delineating the "Mysteries Of The Rosary" in musical outline ... Any way you look at it, these sonatas are an experience; one is apt to forget, over a long period of time, just how remarkable - even exhausting - they are. The Melkus performance, a bit more assertive and tending towards brisker tempos, also offers a strong temptation to the buyer. For the continuo part it employs the six instruments listed above. in varying combinations, and in certain sonatas it seems to me that the handling of continuo is more successful - that is, more aggressively set forth - in the new set. Melkus is tremendously skilled and forthright, and his work is exciting. These qualities are evident too in his playing of the solo Passacaglia, a relatively simple example of the form which nonetheless manages to hold you fast. Sound is superb-spacious and clean. (High Fidelity)
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