Minoritenkonvent – Manuscript XIV 726

Vienna / Praha / Kroměříž, 1700
Aliquando (Stéphanie Paulet violin, Elisabeth Geiger organ)
72:32
muso mu-008
Music by Biber, Faber, Teubner, Viviani, Vojta & anon

This is one of the finest recordings I have heard of solo violin music from the 17th century. Paulet and Geiger (who plays one an André Silbermann organ) have selected nearly a dozen extracts from the extensive manuscript which exhibit all the virtuoso techniques of the period, such as scordatura and multiple stops. Four of the works (sonatas 4, 77 and 87 and toccata 94) also appeared on Gunar Letzbor’s Anonymous Habsburg Violin Music (on Pan Classics).

Apart from the outstanding playing from both musicians, the recorded sound really makes this a “must buy” disc – the fuller sound of the “church organ” really fills the space, but is never allowed to dominate. I would love to hear these two in a selection of Schmelzer’s solo sonatas, with the same recording engineer, please!

Brian Clark