Author Topic: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber  (Read 6362 times)

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Offline mc ukrneal

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The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« on: December 18, 2014, 07:18:07 PM »
I have been looking into Biber's music more recently and realized there is no thread about him. Well, now we have one! :)

The only disc I have at the moment is this one (and it's a beauty) and another in the Freiburger Barockorchester box:



Other discs I was looking at and would like to hear what you think:




But I'd love to hear more about what you like that you have heard and maybe a little bit about why you like him if you are so inclined to share.
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kishnevi

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 07:38:25 PM »
Todd is no doubt the inhouse expert on the Mystery Sonatas.
I think this is the most reissue of my favorite Biber disc

These are also good although I am not so keen on them.



I have the two Savall CDs and one of the Goebel CDs (Missa Salisburgensis).  My liking of them is more an outcome of my liking for the performers than for the music itself.  The solo violin/chamber music is what first got him on my radar.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 07:40:20 PM by Jeffrey Smith »

Offline Todd

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 07:40:20 PM »
Other discs I was looking at and would like to hear what you think:






Buy both without delay.  The Savall is predictably very fine, and the Biber box has the glorious Missa Salisburgensis and the Mass In B à 6.  The Mystery Sonatas in that set are very good, but better are available (or rather other sets are more to my taste).  Biber was a real find for me.  His music is wildly inventive, sometimes over the top, but always compelling and entertaining, and usually incredibly lively.  A dull composer he is not.

Some other high grade recordings to ponder, with the caveat that with the Mystery Sonatas it is easy to collect many sets:





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Offline amw

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2014, 08:11:43 PM »


You'll want more than one version of the Mystery Sonatas. But if you only end up with one, this is my pick. (I've heard about 12 others so far, though not all complete.)

I'll have more to say about Biber at some point.

Offline Pat B

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2014, 11:34:21 PM »
You'll want more than one version of the Mystery Sonatas. But if you only end up with one, this is my pick.

Oh. I've been hoping to avoid adding this to the list of pieces I collect multiple versions of -- my CDCDCD is bad enough as it is. I have only heard one, Holloway, which is one of my tip-top favorite recordings.

The only other Biber I have is Savall's Battalia-Requiem disc, plus Battalia by Il Giardino Armonico (I didn't need a second Battalia but it was in a box -- I prefer Savall BTW). I added the Romanesca set to my wishlist.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 11:39:01 PM by Pat B »

Offline The new erato

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2014, 12:26:09 AM »
Good advice her. You also need these:



which (there are 2 discs) have been available i various versions and packagings. Hopefully Naive will reissue them. Superb recordings of some very interesting and not widely recorded works.

Online Jo498

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2014, 01:03:22 AM »
The Archiv box is great value (I have all but disc 2 as single issues). Often these were more or less the "pioneering recordings" in "modern HIP", that is, there are a few older recordings for most pieces (like Melkus or Collegium aureum), but these seem to be superseded by Goebel. Biber and Telemann were among the best things Goebel did and clearly dear to him. Apart from the rosary sonatas there are not too many alternatives and these (mostly) 80s recordings hold up extremely well, I think.

(I have not kept up with the two dozen Rosary recordings since then, although I have two or three more)

Manze et al is also great in the lesser known sonatas. You still need the "Battaglia" and the "Pauernkirchfahrt". They might have been on a mixed Musica Antiqua disc not included in the box. There are 60s recordings by Harnoncourt (probably superseded) and for the battaglia Giardino Armonico (with the animal sounds "representativa" and Locke), not sure about the peasant's pilgrimage. Letzbor and Duftschmid (Gambist) have done a lot of "Austrian Baroque" on several labels, so you get Biber and also some other composers from late 17th century Austria (Their emperor Leopold himself was a passable composer).

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Offline amw

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2014, 01:29:01 AM »
Oh. I've been hoping to avoid adding this to the list of pieces I collect multiple versions of -- my CDCDCD is bad enough as it is. I have only heard one, Holloway, which is one of my tip-top favorite recordings.
Am sorry to report that in my non-blind but relatively unbiased traversal of various Rosary Sonatas on Qobuz & Spotify I found Sepec to beat the pants off Holloway. Also must report very good (& very contrasting) versions by Eduard Melkus, Gunar Letzbor and Monica Huggett. I still haven't listened to all of Alice Piérot's incidentally, that's on the agenda at some point.

(Part of the 'problem' is that there are many interpretations possible: what violins to use, how large the continuo section should be, how it should be deployed etc., plus: how programmatic one's interpretation should be, in addition to the usual problems of tempo, dynamics, and character.)

Offline JCBuckley

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2014, 06:17:36 AM »
Good advice her. You also need these:





This would be one of my top Biber recommendations too.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2014, 08:53:39 AM »
Wow! Some very interesting recommendations - will be fun to look through them.

(Part of the 'problem' is that there are many interpretations possible: what violins to use, how large the continuo section should be, how it should be deployed etc., plus: how programmatic one's interpretation should be, in addition to the usual problems of tempo, dynamics, and character.)
One of the things I like about the Savall disc I posted is that it is bursting with energy.There are different ways to get the impact he does, so will be interesting to see what influences me more as I explore.
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Offline Todd

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2014, 09:11:13 AM »
Am sorry to report that in my non-blind but relatively unbiased traversal of various Rosary Sonatas on Qobuz & Spotify I found Sepec to beat the pants off Holloway. Also must report very good (& very contrasting) versions by Eduard Melkus, Gunar Letzbor and Monica Huggett. I still haven't listened to all of Alice Piérot's incidentally, that's on the agenda at some point.




Sepec and Pierot both grab Holloway by the scruff of the neck, toss him around mercilessly, then throw him to the ground and stomp his guts out.  Huggett, too.
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Offline Pat B

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2014, 06:35:29 PM »
Am sorry to report that in my non-blind but relatively unbiased traversal of various Rosary Sonatas on Qobuz & Spotify I found Sepec to beat the pants off Holloway. Also must report very good (& very contrasting) versions by Eduard Melkus, Gunar Letzbor and Monica Huggett.

No apology necessary. Sepec is a fantastic violinist -- I have his Schumann with Staier, and Arcanto Quartet's Bartók disc. I sampled his Mystery Sonatas and can hear why you might prefer it, but not convinced that I would (especially at $40 in physical form). Maybe I'll give it a listen if I take the streaming plunge.

With Holloway there is a sense of serenity (in both his playing and the cathedral acoustic) which is surely not the only way to do it, but to me it is, well, sacred. I wonder if the things I like about it are the things that you don't.

I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about Holloway's accompanied Bach in a similar style.

Offline Gordo

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2014, 07:06:57 PM »
With Holloway there is a sense of serenity (in both his playing and the cathedral acoustic) which is surely not the only way to do it, but to me it is, well, sacred. I wonder if the things I like about it are the things that you don't.

I concur.

I like his Rosary Sonatas (very much, indeed) for the same reasons that you point out.

His ECM disk, with his late wife and Mortensen, is fantastic, too.
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Ken B

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2014, 07:53:46 PM »
I concur.

I like his Rosary Sonatas (very much, indeed) for the same reasons that you point out.

Ditto, though I like Manze a bit more I think.
More than most music this repays multiple recordings, as several have noted above. The wrong thread to battle CDCDCD on ...

Offline André

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Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber: violin sonatas
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2017, 04:51:19 PM »
Bumping up this thread, last post being over 2 years old, and having seen at least two dozen recommendations/purchases of the Rosary (aka "Mystery") sonatas in the purchases and WAYLN threads.

I own 3 versions of the 'Rosary' (Goebel, Manze and Reiter) and a couple of discs of other violin works by Biber. I keep salivating at every comment and recommendation of the 'Rosary' that crop up here and there. They all seem to have some captivating, unique musical insight. Every time I hear one of them I marvel at the inventiveness and sheer gorgeousness of the writing (makes me think of H. Bosch's painting The Garden of Delights)



There is simply too much that captures the ear/eye...


Some very early versions (Suzanne Lautenbacher, Eduard Melkus) still seem to command affection, but so much water has flowed under the bridge since the 1960s...

Just as - but quite differently from - Bach's Sonatas and Partitas, Biber's works seem to invite and thrive on all kinds of variants in the playing style and 'accompanimento' : sometimes they sound like violin sonatas with a discreet bass accompaniment, other times they sound like trio sonatas, almost concertante like works.

I would welcome any and all recommendations of other versions and especially explanations on why and how this or that version differs and adds to the global picture of what is quickly becoming the nec plus ultra of baroque violin works.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 04:54:08 PM by André »

Offline Todd

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Re: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber: violin sonatas
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2017, 07:10:18 PM »
I would welcome any and all recommendations of other versions and especially explanations on why and how this or that version differs and adds to the global picture of what is quickly becoming the nec plus ultra of baroque violin works.


To the prior trio of Sepec, Pierot, and Hugget I mentioned a couple years ago, I would add Ariadne Daskalakis' very robust and energetic reading, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, Helene Schmitt's very laid back recording in breathtakingly good sound.  Honorable mention goes to the Anne Schumann and Sebastian Knebel duo recording with violin and church organ only, which provides a rather different take and sound.  Alas, it's spread across three short discs.  I've got Lina Tur Bonet's set in the to-hear queue. 
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Offline amw

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2017, 07:33:59 PM »
Mystery Sonatas blind comparison is still a potential option!

Agree w/ Sepec, Huggett, Daskalakis (don't know the others yet) as well as Evan Johnson, whom I've otherwise never heard of, and who is initially noticeable for unusual tempo choices but manages to convince with them. More on the Daskalakis end of energetic vs laid back, but with plenty of seriousness as well, and a very spacious Passacaglia that I quite like. And Siirka-Liisa Kaakiinen-Piilch or however it's spelled, much more strait-laced and possibly too serious but very reverential and effective. (Sort of like a good version of John Holloway >.>)

Offline André

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2017, 11:06:56 AM »
Thanks for those recommendations. I'll try to sample them to get a fee of the concept and sound world.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2017, 11:11:57 AM »
Mystery Sonatas blind comparison is still a potential option!

Agree w/ Sepec, Huggett, Daskalakis (don't know the others yet) as well as Evan Johnson, whom I've otherwise never heard of, and who is initially noticeable for unusual tempo choices but manages to convince with them. More on the Daskalakis end of energetic vs laid back, but with plenty of seriousness as well, and a very spacious Passacaglia that I quite like. And Siirka-Liisa Kaakiinen-Piilch or however it's spelled, much more strait-laced and possibly too serious but very reverential and effective. (Sort of like a good version of John Holloway >.>)
Would love this personally as I have only one version, and  that one came in a set. So I'd like to compare a few to see what I like. Totally selfish reasons for doing this one!  :o
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Offline king ubu

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Re: The name is Biber: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2017, 02:16:58 PM »
What about Florence Malgoire's recording?

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