Biber: Mystery Sonatas

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

LABELS: Archiv Codex
WORKS: Mystery Sonatas
PERFORMER: Eduard Melkus (violin), Huguette Dreyfus (harpsichord), Lionel Rogg (organ), Karl Scheit (lute)
CATALOGUE NO: 453 173-2 ADD 1967
Despite some passionate playing by Eduard Melkus, this early (1967) attempt at a ‘historically aware’ performance of Biber’s Mystery Sonatas shows its age. Recent period violinists like Andrew Manze and Catherine Mackintosh demonstrate a technical fluency and deftness in their Biber recordings that was hardly possible in the Sixties and, overall, these older versions often seem a mite heavy-handed in terms of phrasing, rhythm and use of continuo. Let’s hope Romanesca or the Purcell Quartet record the Mystery Sonatas soon. Graham Lock