Friday, March 9, 2012: The Rosary Sonatas
Here, on Feb 20, you could read a little background on the early music group Los Otros, the instrument known as the viol da gamba, and the Czech composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Von Biber (1644-1704). Los Otros performed selections from his stunning music Feb 21 in concert at the Church of Sts Simon and Jude. It was part of the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) Early Music concert series.
Now you can watch and listen to Los Otros, in case you missed them in person (or even if you were there and would like another little second taste of this special music). Just click on the video below.
Featured are Hille Perl, viola da gamba; Lee Santana, lute; and Michael Behringer, harpsichord. Heard but not seen is Daniel Sepec, violin.
The piece which Los Otros performed by composer Biber (or Von Biber, as he was known after becoming a success) is called The Rosary Sonatas for violin and basso continuo. The sonatas were written around 1675 but probably were not printed. So they were overlooked, gathering dust somewhere until they were rediscovered and finally published – at the beginning of the 20th century! Today they are Von Biber’s main claim to fame.
Each of the 14 sonatas in the cycle is devoted to a Mystery of the Rosary, the subject of the prayers of the Roman Catholic rosary, about the life of Mary and Jesus Christ. Although today we can truly enjoy this music with or without the background story or reference to the rosary, originally the sonatas were written intended to be the musical accompaniment to a mass. Enjoy.
You can read more about Los Otros by clicking on “Setting Each Other Free,” Opus Osm’s introductory article published Feb 20. For the next few days it will remain on our Home page, and then you can find it by clicking on our new Archive, the black tab at the top of the page. — oo
– Mary Matz
Photo Credits: Miroslav Setnička