Jump to content

Biber


Nate Dorward
 Share

Recommended Posts

Biber's mystery/rosary sonatas cropped up on the Vandermark thread because I picked up on clem's passing reference to John Holloway's recordings. Anyway, the version I have is the Andrew Manze set; Larry recommended Gunar Letzbor over either of them, whom I'd not come across before.

Anyway, thought I'd start this thread, in part because I was curious about the differences between these versions--any thoughts? Manze in his liners is pretty skeptical of recordings that emphasize the sonatas as "program music" or as numerological exercises. His version also largely avoids extra instruments--it's just violin + keyboard.

& any thoughts on Biber's other works (for chamber instrumentation or the choral works)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to help, but my basement is being waterproofed tomorrow (first step involves jackhammering on the inside), and I don't know when I'll be able to get to all the CDs (including what Biber I have) that are now stacked out of the way, behind box after box of books. IIRC, Letzbor's continuo is gorgeously lush in a good sense -- not romantic but very responsive and, as they say, "musical," while Letzbor himself is a very expressive player. He gives me the feeling that he's listening as much as he's "projecting." Manze I've never much cared for in anything; haven't heard Holloway in these, but on other recordings of his that I have heard he seemed rather "scratchy" in tone to me -- the way a lot of English original-instrument fiddle players used to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments--I'll see about getting hold of Letzbor. Aside from issues of interpretation (& tone in the case of Holloway), I simply think I'd like to hear the pieces with a fuller & more varied accompaniment. I don't really buy Manze's insistence on avoiding extra instruments in the name of textual or historical accuracy.

Only other person I've heard play this material is Barry Guy's wife, the violinist Maya Homburger--the solo "Passacaglia" is included on their album Dakryon. Haven't relistened to it lately but I remember it as being more leisurely & pure-soundish than Manze's more sharp-focus version.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Winter & Winter has the Mystery Sonatas and Passacaglia for Solo Violin with violinist Marianne Rônez plus Arno Jochem [viola da gamba, baroque cello], Michael Freimuth [theorbo] and Ernst Kubitschek [organ]. I like it, but not having heard the other recordings, I can't tell you how it stacks up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I will throw my hat in for the Holloway version on Virgin. The Letzbor is quite good, but you may need to order it from Europe. For some reason I have a hard time getting into Letzbor's MS. I am not certain why since I loved his 1610? set of Biber sonatas. Manze has also recorded these sonatas on HM. I haven't heard it but Reiter, Ensemble Cordaria on Brilliant classics ($10) is supposed to be good.

Good luck.

Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anyone is in Mpls this Sunday, Leah Gale Nelson will be performing some of the Biber material. The wife and I will be there, for sure. :rhappy:

Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 1:30pm (note this start time!)

in concert with The Rose Ensemble

selections from the (Sorrowful) Mystery Sonatas of H.I.F. Biber

Agony in the Garden (No. VI) and the Crucifixion (No. X)

with Dongsok Shin, organ

The Basilica of St. Mary, St. Joseph Chapel

Hennepin Avenue between 16th & 17th Streets

Admission is Free

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Monica Huggett's version of the Mystery Sonatas with Sonnerie on ASV/Gaudeamus is excellent, too, but underestimated.

419BBNWX7AL._AA240_.jpg410H5WZJ1TL._AA240_.jpg

Any other Goebel recording of Biber works is recommended - he did a lot to gain this composer renewed attention.

The grandest work is this - if you have an SACD player, look for that version before it gets OOP:

61KNVDAF91L._SS500_.gif

Edited by mikeweil
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Picked up Maya Homburger's version of the Mystery Sonatas, which after one listen I'd say is definitely more to my speed than Manze's, not least because of the considerably less dogmatic approach to instrumentation. (Fans of Maya's husband, bassist Barry Guy, will be pleased to spot him in the lineup.)

Here's a rather terrible scan of the cover:

mayarecordingsmcd0603.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Picked up Maya Homburger's version of the Mystery Sonatas, which after one listen I'd say is definitely more to my speed than Manze's, not least because of the considerably less dogmatic approach to instrumentation. (Fans of Maya's husband, bassist Barry Guy, will be pleased to spot him in the lineup.)

Here's a rather terrible scan of the cover:

mayarecordingsmcd0603.jpg

I picked it up too after the concert. Highly recommended.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...