BIBER, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von, 1644-1704

Rosenkranz-Sonaten. Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Mus. Mss. 4123. Vorgelegt von Manfred Hermann Schmid.

[Sonatas, violin, bc, “Mystery Sonatas”]

Biber Mystery Sonata no.10

detail of beginning of Sonata no.10
 (Mus. Mss. 4123 Bayerische Staatsbibliothek)

Biber, Sonata no.80, Wiener Minoritenkonvents Ms XIV 726)
detail of beginning of a concordance with Sonata no.10
(Ms XIV 726 Wiener Minoritenkonvents)

Denkmäler der Musik in Salzburg, 14. Munich, 2008. Oblong, 32 x 25 cm, 88, xxx, 4 pp + 1 foldout. New color reproduction of the magnificent presentation copy (non autograph, sole surviving source), dedicated to the Archbishop Maximilian Gandolph von Khuenberg. These fifteen wonderful sonatas, abstract commentaries on biblical incidents traditionally grouped into three groups of five—Joyful (his early life), Sorrowful (his passion), Glorious (his ressurection)—are noteworthy for their use of scordatura and their powerful preludes. They originally were performed in the lecture hall “Aula Academica” of Salzburg University, which still contains fifteen paintings depicting the mysteries. In like manner biblical illustrations—small engraved medallions—were glued in the manuscript at the beginning of each piece. The work ends with the passacaglia for solo violin, one of the most beautiful and soaring pieces of the German baroque. This new facsimile edition importantly includes a facsimile of a concordance of the tenth sonata (from MS XIV 726, Wiener Minoritenkonvents) —where the same music is accompanied by programmatic titles eliciting the battlefield, a rather paradoxical twist from its use as a passion sonata. This "Türken-Sonate" has these movements: “Praeludium - Der Türcken Anmarch”, “Aria - Der Türcken Belägerung der Stadt Wien”, “Variatio - Der Türcken stürmen”, “Adagio - Anmarsch der Christen”, “Treffen der Christen”, “Durchgang der Türcken”, “Victori der Christen”. In Ms XIV 726, a composite source of 102 sonatas for violin by Biber, Schmelzer and others, the scribe laconically attributes the Türken-Sonate to “Schmelzer”. Introduction in Ger. Handsome cloth binding, with gold lettering. $179


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