Escape from daily life with the Mystery Sonatas

Von Biber performed his "Mystery Sonatas" during church services to remember the Stations of the Cross. © Charles Thibo
Von Biber performed his “Mystery Sonatas” during church services to remember the Stations of the Cross. © Charles Thibo

Every now and then I stumble by accident over music pieces that immediately catch my full attention. Here is one of my favorite examples: I was looking for recordings by the German viola di gamba (viol) player Hille Perl, whose play I like very much. She has recorded together with her husband, the lute player Lee Santana, a beautiful cycle of Baroque sonatas for violin and bass, in this case played by an organ, a harpsichord, an archlute and a theorbo, a kind of bass lute: the “Mystery (Rosary) Sonatas” composed in the 17th century by Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644-1704).

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