If you love everything that’s weird and wonderful about early violin music, these recordings are for you. Andrew Manze is surely the most knowledgeable and. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber: Violin Sonatas – Romanesca on AllMusic – Heinrich Ignaz Franz von BIBER () The Complete Violin Sonatas Igor Ruhadze (solo violin) Ensemble Violini Capricciosi rec. Westvestkerk.

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CD: Biber, Violin Sonatas | Music | The Guardian

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One of the most enjoyable. One of the finest versions.

More by Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber

It made me interested to see how he tackled Biber’s sonatas. I am glad to say that, whilst it may not be my first choice in this fine music, Ruhadze does turn in a good performance, one which in many ways can be recommended. He left the latter position without permission and settled in Salzburg, where he would remain until his death and publish his best known works.

Not only a composer but also a virtuoso, Biber is seen as an important figure in the development of the modern technique of violin playing. It is a collection of fifteen sonatas divided into three sections.


The final piece The Guardian Angel takes the form, and sometimes the title, of a Passagalia. It is often regarded as one of the earliest pieces of music composed for the solo violin. The sonatas, composed aroundwere not published untilalthough they were well known before their publication due to their technical demands. It adopts quicker tempi overall, but there is a greater sense of articulation between the differing sections and emotions of the sonatas. Igor Ruhadze, on the other hand, offers what could be described as a safe performance.

It is the slowest of the three that I know, but this does not tell the whole story. His performance is well articulated and he is well supported, while his control during the final Passagalia is first-rate.

Discs three and four of this set are occupied by the Sonatae violino soloa collection of eight sonatas composed in Salzburg around Unlike in the Rosary SonatasBiber only employs the technique of scordatura. It has been suggested that this could have been intended for inclusion, and possibly even was the first draft of that sonata.

Biber: Violin Sonatas

Andrew Manze et al choose to adopt a slightly slower tempo than that of Ruhadze, though the final two sonatas are quite a bit brisker. His performance stands up well next to that of Romanesca. This set is a real winner when it comes to less known sonatas.


Sonata Representativa has rightly become widely known, and here I do prefer Romanesca’s performance to Ruhadze’s. However, it is the inclusion of Sonata in A and the four Violin Sonatas Minoritenkonvent that sets this collection apart from the rest.

I know well the second sonata of the four, La Pastorella, which appears on the Romanesca set.

Here it has been given a much slower reading, nearly one-fourth longer. To me, this helps emphasise the pastoral element of the music. She also wrote the brief but informative booklet notes. This is a useful set and one which I am happy to welcome onto my CD shelves. It may not be my first choice, especially in the Rosary Sonatas. Donate and keep us afloat.

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