Floral design

Julia Schröder, Lautten Compagney
deutsche harmonia mundi 8 89853 44082 5
Biber + Piazzola

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]inding suitable bedfellows for Biber’s amazing set of Rosary Sonatas is a real challenge. Julia Schröder and her colleagues have gone about as far as it is possible to go in pairing them with music by the Argentine tango king, Astor Piazzolla. (They also include a funky, violin-free version of the Passacaglia from Biber’s Harmonia Artificiosa no. 5). I confess that my eyebrows did arch when I opened the envelope that brought the disc; after a good few listens, though, this fine quartet had drawn me into their soundworld and, if I’m honest, I didn’t even notice the move from one composer to another on a couple of occasions. For those who like to know such things, Schröder performs sonatas 1-3, 9, 10 and 14. I’m not sure that I would want a second such disc, nor do I think I want a set of all of the Biber which had been given the same treatment, but I cannot deny enjoying (a lot!) what I heard.

Brian Clark

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