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Bohemian composer and violinist Heinrich Ignaz (or Johan) Franz von Biber was born in Wartenburg on 12 August 1644. He began his career working for the Prince-Bishop of Olomouc, but left in enigmatic circumstances in 1670, then worked until his death in May 1704 for the Archbishop of Salzburg. He pioneered Scordatura (abnormal tuning) for the violin in his Biblical Sonatas, and his output includes much sacred music and two operas. He died in Salzburg on 3 May 1704.
CD Spotlight. Immaculately Crazy - Red Priest's 'Baroque Bohemians' impresses Alice McVeigh. '... extreme alternations of mood, from manic charges to bucolic brusqueness, with serious offbeat percussive work ... and general anarchy ...'
CD Spotlight. Pure Python? - 'Wild Men of the Seicento', heard by Keith Bramich. '... Piers Adams and David Wright's superb performances exhibit a strangely infectious authenticity.'
CD Spotlight. Beautifully Considered - Music for violin and viola, heard by Howard Smith. 'Braun has a firm, bright, highly focused tone ...'
CD Spotlight. Sheer Delight - Table music by Biber, recommended by Patric Standford. '... a superb and sensitive performance ...'
CD Spotlight. Chicago Baroque - Trio Settecento's A German Bouquet, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... very fine performances of some rarely heard but attractive music ...'
CD Spotlight. Precision and Purity - Recordings from Estonia, reviewed by Rex Harley
CD Spotlight. A complex personality - The Romanesca trio's recording of Biber Violin Sonatas, recommended by Ron Bierman. '... the performances are outstanding.'
CD Spotlight. A kinder approach - Music by Biber, played by The Parley of Instruments, and recommended by Ron Bierman