Biber: Rosenkranzsonaten 2 & 3

Biber: Rosenkranzsonaten 2 & 3
Anne Schumann (violin), Sebastian Knebel (organ)
Querstand VKJK 1506/1507. 45’10/63’09

CD 2. Biber: Rosenkranzsonaten VI-X; Pachelbel: Ciacona in d
CD 3. Biber: Rosenkranzsonaten XI-XVI; Buxtehude: Ciacona in e

These two CDs complete the 3-CD series of the Biber Rosenkranzsonaten. Anne Schumann and Sebastian Knebel have divided the work into its three sections (the ‘joyful’, ‘sorrowful’ and ‘glorious’ mysteries) and have chosen a different recording venue for each section, based on the organ in each church. This is a commendable approach; not least because it avoids the ubiquitous little box organs and features full sized church organs. These were far more likely to be used as a continuo instruments at the time, and create a different aural perspective to the music. The first CD was reviewed here.

Biber Pachelbel Rosenkranzsonaten 2 Anne Schumann QuerstandCD 2, the ‘Sorrowful Mysteries’ (Sonatas VI-X), are recorded in Kaltenlengsfeld, next door to Friedelshausen, where CD 1 was recorded, south of the Bach town of Eisenach in Thuringia. The organ dates from 1755 and has, for Thuringian organs, a rather unusual configuration with a Ruckpositive. It is positioned above the altar in what appears to be almost a separate space from the main church volume, beyond a low arch and in a small space – presumably this explains the configuration, which takes up less vertical space. The recording is made fairly close to the organ, but still includes the acoustic bloom from the rest of the space. The violin Continue reading

In Himmel und auf Erden: Antonio Scandello

In Himmel und auf Erden: Antonio Scandello
Chordae freybergenses, Susanne Scholz
Querstand VKJK 1503. 63’07

CDnewfrontAntonio Scandello:
Newe Teutsche Liedlein mit Vier und Fünff Stimmen, Nürnberg 1568;
El primo libro de la Canzoni Napolitane a IIII voci, Nürnberg, 1572.

Right from the start of this fascinating CD (‘In Heaven and on Earth’), you know you are entering a completely different world of sound. And there is an extraordinary story behind it.

Many musicians visit Freiberg Dom to see and hear the magnificent 1714 Silbermann organ at the west end (and a smaller one in the north gallery). At the other end of the church, in the chancel, is the spectacular burial chapel of the Albertine branch of the Royal House of Wettin, rulers of Saxony, dating from just before 1600. Amongst the many decorative figures and sculptures on the upper levels of the chapel are several depictions of musical instruments. Some years ago, it was discovered that these instruments were not sculptural models, but real, playable, Renaissance instruments, complete with the maker’s signatures. It took many more years before these were properly Continue reading

Rosenkranzsonaten 1

Rosenkranzsonaten 1
Anne Schumann (violin), Sebastian Knebel (organ)
Querstand VKJK 1423. 40’24

B
iber Rosenkranzsonaten I-V; Buxtehude: Passacaglia in d (BuxWV161)

Buxtehude Biber Rosenkranzsonaten I Anne Schumann Sebastian Knebel QuerstandFor this 3-CD series of the Biber Rosenkranzsonaten, Anne Schumann and Sebastian Knebel have divided the work into its three sections (the ‘joyful’, ‘sorrowful’ and ‘glorious’ mysteries) and have chosen a different recording venue for each section, based on the organ in each church – a commendable approach, not least because we hear a full size church organ used as a continuo instrument, rather than the silly little box organs so often heard. Continue reading