Biber: The Mystery Sonatas


This two disc set of Heinrich von Biber’s Rosary or Mystery Sonatas presents the complete set of fifteen sonatas and the concluding passacaglia which appears in the sole surviving Munich manuscript.

The sonatas each correspond to the fifteen mysteries or meditations on the life of Christ. The meditations are traditionally grouped into three groups of five; Joyful – his early life, Sorrowful – his passion; Glorious – his ressurection.

In writing the sonatas Biber uses scordatura, tuning the strings to a different set of notes for each sonata. This  achieves technical feats impossible with normal tuning and results in different sonorities resulting from the varying amounts of pressure from the strings and achieving the different desired mood for each sonata. For the violinist, this involves a constant contradiction between sight and sound, for what he sees is not be what he hears!

Thoughtful, reflective and poetic …. his performances are stylish, idiomatic and vivid – BBC Music Magazine

A beautifully judged performance – Gramophone

The performances are astounding, the variety of bow strokes, the ornamentation of repeats, the occasional colouring of the violins sound – it’s simply wonderful …. This is my recommendation for the month – Early Music Review


Walter Reiter with Cordaria

RELEASE DATE: 17/09/2001
BARCODE: 635212002124


Sonata no. 1

1. Praeludium

2. Variatio

3. Untitled

4. Untitled

Sonata no. 2

5. Allaman

6. Presto

7. Untitled

Sonata no. 3

8. Courente

9. Adagio

10. Sonata no. 4: Ciacona

Sonata no. 5

11. Praeludium

12. Allaman

13. Gigue

14. Saraban

15. Sonata no. 6: Lamento

Sonata no. 7

16. Allamanda

17. Sarab; Variatio

Sonata no. 8

18. Untitled

19. Gigue & Double Presto, Double

Sonata no. 9

20. Untitled

21. Courente, Doule

22. Finale


Sonata no. 10

1. Praeludium

2. Aria, Variatio

3. Aria, Variatio

4. Aria, Variatio

5. Sonata no. 11: Untitled

Sonata no. 12

6. Intrada

7. Aria Tubicinum

8. Allamanda

9. Courente

Sonata no. 13

10. Untitled

11. Gavott

12. Gigue

13. Sarabanda

Sonata no. 14

14. Untitled

15. Aria, Aria, Gigue

Sonata no. 15

16. Untitled

17. Aria

18. Canzon

19. Sarabanda

20. Passaglia

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