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  • Biber: Harmonia Artificioso-Ariosa
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Biber: Harmonia Artificioso-Ariosa


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Audio CD, December 26, 2006
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Product Details

  • Conductor: Jorg-Michael Schwarz
  • Composer: Heinrich Ignatz Franz von Biber
  • Audio CD (December 26, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bridge Records, Inc.
  • ASIN: B000KJTGMO
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,227 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 1 in D minor (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 1), C. 62: Sonata: Adagio - Presto - Adagio
2. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 1 in D minor (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 1), C. 62: Allamande
3. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 1 in D minor (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 1), C. 62: Gigue: Variatio I & II
4. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 1 in D minor (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 1), C. 62: Aria
5. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 1 in D minor (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 1), C. 62: Sarabande: Variatio I & II, Finale: Pre
6. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 2 in B minor (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 2), C. 63: Praeludium
7. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 2 in B minor (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 2), C. 63: Allamande-Variatio
8. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 2 in B minor (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 2), C. 63: Balletto: Allegro
9. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 2 in B minor (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 2), C. 63: Aria: Presto
10. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 2 in B minor (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 2), C. 63: Gigue: Presto
11. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 3 in A major (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 3), C. 64: Praeludium: Allegro
12. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 3 in A major (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 3), C. 64: Allamande
13. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 3 in A major (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 3), C. 64: Amener: Presto
14. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 3 in A major (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 3), C. 64: Balletto
15. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 3 in A major (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 3), C. 64: Gigue
16. Partia, for 2 violins & continuo No. 3 in A major (Harmonia Artificiosa-Ariosa No. 3), C. 64: Ciacona (Canon in unisono)

Editorial Reviews

The music of Biber is widely assumed to have gone out of vogue with violinists before the middle of the eighteenth century. Biber's reputation, however, lived. In 1789 Charles Burney wrote in his "General History of Music", "of all the violin players of the last century, Biber seems to have been the best, and his solos are the most difficult and most fanciful of any music I have seen of the same period." Biber's Harmonia artificioso-ariosa (1696) is a collection in seven parts (partias), each employing a different tuning. Of the six partias heard on this recording (Nos. 1-6), five are for two violins and bass; and one is for violin, viola and bass. The "artifice" Biber refers to is a procedure now known as scordatura (mistuning). Each of the pieces uses a different tuning in the upper parts. Only the Partia VI is written for violins in normal tuning. The performances on this disc are by the superb baroque ensemble, REBEL. Hailed by the New York Times as "sophisticated and beguiling" and praised by the Los Angeles Times for their " astonishingly vital music-making", the virtuosic New York based ensemble (pronounced re-BEL) has earned an impressive international reputation through their tours and recordings. Rebel can also be heard performing recorder concertos and sonatas of Vivaldi on their highly praised CD, "Shades of Red", BRIDGE 9173.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Midgley on July 29, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is a really superb recording of instrumental music by the Bohemian baroque composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber. The New York-based ensemble Rebel, aptly named after the adventurous French baroque composer Jean-Féry Rebel, are a stylish, imaginative and highly skilled group of musicians and thus eminently suited to performing Biber's extraordinarily brilliant pieces. To get the most obvious objection to this recording out of the way first, Biber's "Harmonia artificioso-ariosa" is actually a set of seven Partie or suites, mostly for two scordatura (i.e. deliberately mistuned) violins and continuo, but here Rebel bring us the first six works and omit number 7. In fact this decision works extremely well, firstly because the seventh piece is set somewhat apart from the others in being scored for two viole d'amore; secondly because it allows the resulting 72 minutes of music to fit onto one CD whereas some of the other available sets take two; and lastly because it enables the group to bring their programme to a stunning close with their tour de force of the Aria and 13 variations, with brief finale, of the sixth Partia.

To state again what will already be well known to fans of Biber's music, these works are absolute jewels of the baroque instrumental repertory. What is more, Rebel perform them with panache, virtuosity, delicacy and feeling, playing with inventive freedom and with highly effective use of rubato and other expressive devices. In fact the only 'expressive device' that was not to my taste was the unwarranted fade-out at the end of the Partia V passacaglia. But just listen, if you can, to the stunning violin duetting in the above-mentioned Aria in Partia no.
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