Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber Mysteriensonaten (um 1674)
für Violine und Basso continuo
In the practice of Christian beliefs, reciting the rosary provides a ritual vessel for meditation. A moment of concentration and contemplation features at the beginning of the festival programme. Unparalleled in their richness of form and virtuosity, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s Mysteriensonaten (Mystery Sonatas), written for violin and continuo, embrace the three stages of the story of Jesus: the »joyful« the »sorrowful« and the »glorious« Rosary. Biber’s narrative is from the perspective of Mary, the Mother of God. Wordlessly, never moralising or catechising, his composition demands absolute dedication from its performers. The violin is progressively detuned – a fascinating feature that was not understood in its time. These scordaturas force the instrument into contradictory tensions and provoke expressive sonic frictions.
A selection of sonatas from all three parts of the Rosary, chosen individually by the soloists, as well as the concluding Passacaglia, will be played at the three venues simultaneously, thus linking Duisburg, Bochum and Essen in one big, decentralised resonant space.