[ Channel Classics SACD / 2 Hybrid SACD ]
Release Date: Thursday 1 September 2016
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The Rosary (Mystery) Sonatas, even today, are considered the most extensive example of scordatura. From the Italian discordare meaning 'out of tune', scordatura is a technique whereby the strings are purposefully tuned differently from their usual arrangement. Here the usual G-D-A-E tuning, where the violin strings are consistently a perfect fifth apart, is only used for the opening Sonata and the closing Passacaglia. The other fourteen sonatas each have a different configuration of tuning. Compositionally this allowed Biber to obtain unusual chords, opening up a whole new spectrum of harmonic and textural possibilities. This fundamentally altered what a violin was and could be; its physicality as well as its voice was transformed.
"Not for nothing is Podger regarded today as queen of the baroque violin...Podger makes light of the virtuosic demands of this profound music, while never losing sight of it's religious significance." Sunday Times, 18th October 2015
"it stretches the instrument and the violinist to the limit. For this recording Rachel Podger uses the same instrument throughout, putting it through the pain, as part of the fascination for her was how the sound changed from piece to piece as the violin suffer alongside Christ…It's searching, absorbing, quietly captivating playing and a moving journey through one of the most imaginative sets of violin sonatas ever composed." CD Review, 17th October 2015
"They are fantastically complex works, with different violin tunings and multiple stoppings, so that Rachel Podger's accomplished new recording sounds like a battery of many violins. Fine continuo adds to the variety of sound" The Observer, 18th October 2015
"Of the new recordings of the Rosaries, perhaps the most keenly anticipated will be that by Rachel Podger, ever a glorious example of someone who lives life through her violin. Yet although her booklet-note makes clear that she appreciates how the violin is made literally to 'suffer' through the dark retunings associated with Jesus's death, she also states that she sees her own role as that of evangelist." Gramophone Magazine award WINNER 2016 - Baroque Instrumental