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Biber: Harmonia Artificioso-Ariosa

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Audio CD, February 7, 1995
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Product Details

  • Conductor: Jeanne Lamon
  • Composer: Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
  • Audio CD (February 7, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B0000029KM
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,034 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia I: Sonata. Adagio - Presto - Adagio
2. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia I: Allamande
3. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia I: Gigue - Variatio I & II
4. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia I: Aria
5. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia I: Sarabande - Variatio I & II - Finale. Presto
6. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia II: Praeludium
7. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia II: Allamande - Variatio
8. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia II: Balletto. Allegro
9. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia II: Aria. Presto
10. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia II: Gigue. Presto
11. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia III: Praeludium. Allegro
12. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia III: Allamande
13. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia III: Amener. Presto
14. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia III: Balletto
15. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia III: Gigue
16. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia III: Ciacona (Canon in unisono)
17. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia IV: Sonata. Adagio - Allegro - Adagio
18. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia IV: Allamande
19. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia IV: Trezza. Presto
20. Harmonia artificioso-ariosa: Partia IV: Aria
See all 38 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

[Note: This product is an authorized CD-R and is manufactured on demand]

Biber was one of the most talented and fascinating composers of the 17th century. He spent his life working between Czechoslovakia and Austria, attaining a considerable amount of fame and even earning a patent of nobility (he was permitted later in life to refer to himself as "von" Biber). His instrumental music is the most fanciful and entertaining of the period, partly due to his use of scordatura, or mistuning. This technique requires a different violin-string tuning for each of the seven partitas in this collection, which gives each a particular instrumental color. A partita, by the way, is the same thing as a suite--a selection of dances collected together to make a contrasting set. Everything by Biber is worth hearing, and this fine disc is no exception. -- David Hurwitz

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. De Sapio on December 14, 2007
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With HARMONIA ARTIFICIOSO-ARIOSA Heinrich Biber produced a valedictory of his art. The work consists of seven "partias" (suites) for various trio-sonata formations (mostly two violins and continuo), all but one of them using scordatura (unconventional tuning - perhaps this is one meaning of the word "artificioso" in Biber's fanciful Latin title). The persistent double stopping yields a texture so rich and opulent that at times you could swear a whole consort of strings is playing. All the hallmarks of Biber's style are here in abundance: melodic fertility, contrapuntal genius, and rhythmic playfulness, as well as a distinctly Biberesque earthy humor. It is a true musical feast.

The ensemble Tafelmusik plays with intimacy and understatement, creating an ambience of relaxed chamber music-making which brings to mind Dutch baroque domestic genre paintings. One could hardly imagine a more elegant, unforced rendition, nor a more warmly captured set of baroque instruments. Track 16 (the concluding Ciacona of the A major Partia) is a standout: the soloists seem to be in some sort of inspired trance. Perhaps something could have been done acoustically to enhance the antiphonal effect between the two treble instruments; but I am not an acoustical expert, and I doubt that other recordings of this Biber opus have any edge in this respect.

[Unfathomably, this wonderful recording seems no longer to be in print. Get a used copy while they're still left!]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Musicus on October 23, 2012
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I don't have time to write reviews anymore, and besides not much to add to the informative review of M. De Sapio. I only want to give some additional praise for the way Tafelmusik play the many - and contrapuntal! - dance movements.
One feels that the dance movements are played by Tafelmusik for actually being danced. And this is rare, ladies and gentlemen! Most performers forget that a gigue was meant to be danced! Other performances may be more technically brilliant and be better recorded, but if you want the true spirit of an allamande, a gigue, a sarabande, do yourself the favor of getting this recording.
The recording sound is good enough, the countrapuntal lines are clear enough and the only drawback of this CD is that its lively dances make me a tad less satisfied with other interpretations of Harmonia artificioso-ariosa, even with the famous Goebel, which has better sound and is really good indeed.
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