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ClassicsOnline Home » BIBER, H.I.F. von: Chamber Music (Baroque Band, Clarke)
Biber's dinner music
If you think of Heinrich Ignaz Franz Von Biber (love that name) mostly as a composer of large-scaled polychoral works and gnarly music for solo violin, his Mensa Sonora is going to surprise you. Mensa Sonora, or “sounding table,” is a set of instrumental suites or “Pars” for dining – think of the French Symphonies pour les soupers du Roy or Telemann’s Tafelmusik and you will get the picture.
While the music is not as challenging as some of Biber’s other instrumental suites – Harmonia artificiosa or Sonatae tam aris quam aulis servientes come to mind – there is plenty of melodic and rhythmic invention that raises the music to something more than Baroque Muzak. The CD is rounded out by Biber’s programmatic Battalia, a work filled with such special effects as knocking on the violin in some passages and playing 8 folk songs all in different keys at the same time! It’s boozy fun.
The performances are excellent. The Chicago-based Baroque Band eschews the typical one-on-a-part style with a larger ensemble and it serves the larger-scaled passages well. While I prefer the raucous Concentus Musicus Wien performance of Battalia, it’s really a treat to hear such a full-bodied performance of the Mensa Sonora.more....
By Rick Anderson
Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist
By ANNA REGUERO
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
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BIBER, H.I.F. von: Chamber Music (Baroque Band, Cl...