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Viola D'Amore

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 3, 2004
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$19.52 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 3, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Winter & Winter
  • ASIN: B00011F0XA
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,654 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Being all charged up by the virtuosity on the viola d'amore of Fabio Biondi on his CD of Vivaldi concerti for that unusual instrument, I searched amazon for other performances of similar quality. The best I found, by far, was this disk by Affetti Musicali, a performance so artful and elegant that I'm buying extra copies for solstice gifts.

The viola d'amore is a fretted viol with six strings, tuned so that double and triple stops are 'easily' managed, allowing the soloist to perform harmonically and even contrapuntally. The instrument also has sympathetic resonating strings, adding to its complex timbre. Vivaldi apparently played it very well, and his sonatas for it are the pinnacle of the repertory. However, the later violin virtuoso Heinrich von Biber must have played the instrument spectacularly also, since his Partita VII for two violas d'amore is one of his finest compositions. That partita is the largest and most astonishing piece on the current disk, played gorgeously by Marianne Ronez and Ludwig Hampe. Like most of Biber's chamber works, it suggests "improvisation" upon a ground bass, and I suppose that Biber himself might well have improvised in just such a style. The written score is the closest any Baroque composer had to a "recording" technology. Listen to this partita on well separated speakers or on quality headphones, and you'll hear the echo of antiphonal compositions, works for two choirs, by earlier composers like Gabrieli and Monteverdi. With a little imagination, you might also hear foreshadowings of the antiphonal improvisations of modern jazz musicians like Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray.

The remaining five compositions on this CD are also outstanding and original.
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Format: Audio CD
Being a fan of the viola d'amore, I am very taken by this CD. Marian Ronez really plays well a wide variety of Baroque pieces, from German religious songs(Maria Schonste Bluemen Zirt; delicate, ethereal,lovely) to Ignaz von Biber's Partia for Two Violas d'amore, a stock piece in the repertory. The technical aspects of the CD are immaculate and there is great verve in playing this most difficult of stringed instruments (outclassed only by the sarangi!), especially on track 6, which is the high-light of this album. Its energy, spirit and enthusiasm are something which can lift my spirits when I am down. In short, Marian Ronez is capable of an all-out energy, as well as a delicate touch on the more tender material. I hope she records on the viola d'amore again.
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From the moment you unwrap this CD, you know it is something special. It has one of the most unique and artistic presentations of any CD I've seen. The packaging itself is a work of art, and you know, even before you hear the music, that you are in for something very special.
This whole CD is a DA VINCI of the music CD world.

I came across a book of Ariosti's sonatas for Viola D'Amore, and my curiosity was piqued, and I looked for CDs of Viola D'Amore - this is about it! This CD IS a rarity, simply because there are so few people who even know about the instrumet, much less play it, and then to perform with such excellence! Contented sigh.

It has to be said that despite the beauty of the music, the excellence of the performances, and the high level of artistry, this is NOT a CD for everyone. Even among my music-loving friends, there are only a handful who like early Baroque music, and less who like the sound of it played on early instruments. It simply is an accuired taste, and we have to be honest about that.

For those who like this period of music, this is the destination! The selections present a wide variety of composers, most as obscure as Ariosti, and equally rewarding.

My quibble is, ironically, with the artistic packaging. Beauiful,and odd to the point of being too precious. Large sections of it are almost impossible to read, with the teeny tiny print, often in italics. There is a LOT of information here, so I understand the necessity of small print, but... it is blinding. I also wanted to just see a picture of the two artists, but instead we get a close up of one eye, and hazy images of young figures. Outre, and trying very hard to BE outre.
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Exceptional performance, playing and recording!

This first part taken from music label Winter & Winter website,
" Except Biber's Partia all other compositions that Marianne Rônez chose for this recording are to be released for the first time on CD."

If you are a fan of the Viola d'amore or for that matter have never heard a Viola d'amore you owe it to yourself to hear this recording as it is one of the finest examples of this instrument to date. Also, check out track 8 where Monika Mauch (soprano) knocks out a most elegant piece by Anton Huberty. Marianne Ronez, Affetti Musicali and Ernst Kubitschek are no slouches when it comes to this music, the level of playing and scholarship are exemplary, highest marks!
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