Heinrich Biber’s astonishingly powerful and deeply emotional Mystery Sonatas represent a triumph of Baroque invention. Boston Baroque’s Christina Day Martinson delivers a technical tour de force, as she navigates the virtuosic challenges presented by the fiendishly demanding changing scordatura.
Boston Classical Review described her live performance as ‘a flourish of technical complexity and musical wizardry’, whilst the Boston Globe wrote, ‘Day Martinson…didn't just survive, she triumphed.’
The adventurous use of six baroque violins in fifteen different tunings creates otherworldly soundscapes that result in a deeply moving and glorious listening experience.
This highly disorientating practice reaches its pinnacle in Sonata XI (The Resurrection) where the middle two strings are crossed over each other both in the peg box and behind the bridge, so that one can literally see a cross on the violin.
The fifteen sonatas have been traditionally grouped into three sets of five: five joyful mysteries, five sorrowful mysteries, and five glorious mysteries.
Boston Baroque’s founder Martin Pearlman plays organ and harpsichord, with Michael Leopold on theorbo and guitar and Michael Unterman on cello.
CD1 - 1. Sonata I in D minor ‘The Annunciation’ 2. Sonata II in A major ‘The Visitation’ 3. Sonata III in B minor ‘The Nativity’ 4. Sonata IV in D minor ‘The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple’ 5. Sonata V in A major ‘The Finding of Jesus in the Temple’ 6. Sonata VI in C minor ‘The Agony in the Garden’ 7. Sonata VII in F major ‘The Scourging of Jesus’ 8. Sonata VIII in B flat major ‘The Crowning with Thorns’ 9. Sonata IX in A minor ‘The Carrying of the Cross’ 10. Sonata X in G minor ‘The Crucifixion’
CD2 - 1. Sonata XI in G major ‘The Resurrection’ 2. Sonata XII in C major ‘The Ascension’ 3. Sonata XIII in D minor ‘The Descent of the Holy Ghost’ 4. Sonata XIV in D major ‘The Assumption of the Virgin’ 5. Sonata XV in C major ‘The Coronation of the Virgin’ 6. Passacaglia in G minor for solo violin