Personalities | Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber | Early Baroque | Classical

(Hin’-rikh Eg’-nats Frants fun Be’-ber) 1644–1704
German composer

Biber was a violin virtuoso and one of the most imaginative composers of his time. He was employed at the Moravian court of Kromeriz (near Brno in today’s Czechoslovakia) during the 1660s, but from the early 1670s worked at the Salzburg court of the Prince-Archbishop, where he subsequently became Kapellmeister (‘chapel master’) in 1684. Biber’s compositions include operas, sacred vocal music with instruments and pieces for solo violin and for instrumental ensemble. Among these are the rhythmically colourful Battalia (‘Battle’, 1673) and Fechtschule (‘Fencing School’), and 16 Mystery (Rosary) Sonatas (c. 1676) for violin and continuo, in which he demonstrates his skill in the art of scordatura (retuning of the violin strings) and in evoking – sometimes poignantly, sometimes exuberantly – events from the life of Christ.

Recommended Recording:
Mystery Sonatas, Eduard Melkus, Huguette Dreyfus, Lionel Rogg, Karl Scheit (Archiv)

Introduction | Early Baroque | Classical
Personalities | John Blow | Early Baroque | Classical


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