REBEL: Music of Biber

9213

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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Partia I in d minor for two scordatura violins & basso continuo

Tuning: a, e', a', d''

Jacobus Stainer,Absam 1668;Antonio Maria Lavazza,Milano 1720



Partia II in b minor for two scordatura violins & basso continuo

Tuning: b, f-sharp', b', d''

Pieter Rombouts,Amsterdam 1733;Matthijs Hofmans,Antwerp 1690



Partia III in A Major for two scordatura violins & basso continuo

Tuning: a, e', a', e''

Antonio Maria Lavazza,Milano 1720; Jacobus Stainer,Absam 1668



Partia IV in E-flat major for scordatura violin, scordatura viola & basso continuo

Tuning: b-flat, e-flat', b-flat',e-flat'', Pieter Rombouts,Amsterdam 1733

Tuning: e-flat, b-flat, e-flat', b-flat', John Barton, London 1782 (viola)

Tuning: B'-flat, F, C, g, School of Albani, ca 1700 (bass violin)



Partia V in g minor for two scordatura violins & basso continuo

Tuning: g, d', a', d''

Antonio Maria Lavazza,Milano 1720; Jacobus Stainer,Absam 1668



Partia VI in D major for two violins & basso continuo

Tuning: g, d', a', e''

Jacobus Stainer,Absam 1668; Antonio Maria Lavazza,Milano 1720

REBEL

Jörg-Michael Schwarz
BRIDGE 9213