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Reviews: Biber: Rosary Sonatas - Sepec, Perl, Behringer, Santana

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Review by Fugue December 28, 2010 (8 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is simply a wonderful recording! Biber wrote fifteen violin works with continuo and one solo violin work that depict events in Christ's life. It's easy enough to enjoy them simply as pure music without the programmatic aspects. He employs fourteen scordaturas or deliberate mis-tunings in order to play chords that would otherwise be unplayable and to further broaden harmonic possibilities. In addition to dealing with different tunings, the violinist faces formidable technical challenges, all of which Daniel Sepec easily meets. My only reference recording in Reinhard Goebel's RBCD on Archive. While Goebel's tempos are a bit faster, Sepec yields nothing to him in virtuosity, and he has even better intonation. Furthermore, Sepec's tone is a bit less metallic. The slightly broader tempos allow for more expression in my opinion. Sepec's continuo includes organ, harpsichord, lute, and viola da gamba, all used in various combinations. Since many of the pieces have similar structures, the varying continuo adds some nice variety.

The sound is stunning. It's extremely clear and detailed with plenty of ambiance. Goebel's sounds rather pinched and restricted in comparison.

If you like Baroque violin music, this is an easy recommendation.

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