Last month we featured the “Annunciation” violin sonata of Heinrich Biber; this month we feature his instrumental music that reflects on sacred themes. The Mystery Sonatas, also known as the Rosary Sonatas, constitute one of the virtuoso high points of Baroque violin literature, and the opening passacaglia fully displays Biber’s contrapuntally daring and technically demanding style of writing. Never one to leave his faith far behind, Biber included a set of engravings with his manuscript that illustrated each piece; this passacaglia and its opening incipit depicts the Guardian Angel. Jin Kim performs this piece on violin on this month’s episode.
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