Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644 – 1704)
(The last part of the Rosary Sonatas)
XI « Die Auferstehung », The Resurrection Jesus, who arose from the dead
XII « Christi Himmelfährt », The Ascension Jesus, who ascended to heaven
Johann Jakob Froberger (1616 -1667)
Lamentation faite sur la mort très douloureuse de Sa Majesté Impériale, Ferdinand le troisième, Lamento for solo harpsichord
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
XIII « Ausgiessung des heiligen Geistes », The Holy Spirit Jesus, who sent us the Holy Spirit
XIV « Maria Himmelfährt » The Assumption Jesus, o Virgin, who welcomed you beside him
Angelo Michele Bartolotti (? – 1682)
Suite for solo theorbo
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
XV « Die Krönung der Jungfrau Maria », The Coronation of the Virgin
Jesus, o Virgin, who crowned you in heaven
« Der Schutzengel », Gardian Angel
Passacaglia for solo violin without bass
Hélène Schmitt, violin and direction
Bruno Helstroffer, theorbo
Francisco Mañalich, bass viol
François Guerrier, organ and harpsichord
Bohemia : Glorious Mysteries – Biber’s Rosary Sonatas
Wednesday July 29th, 21:00 – Valloire church
To rekindle Marian devotion, the Catholic Church established the Rosary prayer. The practice was especially assiduous in Salzburg, instigated by Prince-Archbishop Maximilian Gandolph, Biber’s then employer. Every October evening, one of the three Mysteries of the Rosary was read aloud: joyful mysteries, sorrowful mysteries, glorious mysteries. As the reading was accompanied by music, one may assume Biber composed the Rosary Sonatas for the occasion. The cycle was therefore not meant to be performed all at a time. As to the final passacaglia, it was played for the feast of the Guardian Angel.
The utmost originality of these Sonatas lies in Biber’s systematic resort to “scordatura”, a violin tuning technique which consists in lowering or raising the pitch of the strings, and even interchanging them. As each of these sonatas is tuned differently, performance is exceedingly complex. One may view in this extreme degree of difficulty the desire to submit the instrumentalist to a series of initiatory ordeals on his path to the sacred mystery.
For further information about Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s Rosary Sonatas, refer to a text in French by Hélène Schmitt at > HERE <
Founded by Hélène Schmitt in 2009, this ensemble reflects the mutual affinities of its musicians, fully in line with the tradition of chamber music in which each instrumentalist contributes his or her personality, voice and inner vision. These are all experienced musicians with a solid record of performance within well-known ensembles, or a career as soloist and chamber musician. Together diverse and coherent, the ensemble chisels an identity fostered by the pulse of the ground bass and the shimmer of oboes and violins.
French violinist Hélène Schmitt attends the Schola Cantorum in Basel, studying baroque violin with Chiara Banchini, then refines her playing technique with Reinhard Goebel, in Cologne, where she chooses to live for ten years, before coming back to France. A specialist of the 17th and 18th-century repertoire for violin with basso continuo, she makes recordings of little-known as well as major composers. Her predilection for the repertoire for solo violin shows in her internationally acclaimed recording of J.S. Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas.
Hélène Schmitt teaches baroque violin at the CRR in Toulouse, in Boulogne-Billancourt, and at the Geneva HEM. She teaches master classes everywhere in Europe, recently in Lisbon, and in Mexico City.
She is also involved in joint creations with contemporary dance (with choreographer Raphaël Cottin), or drama, as in this production dedicated to Luther and Bach, together with French actor Didier Sandre.
Francisco Mañalich, a Chilean violist and tenor, completes his training in France then regularly works with well-known ensembles such as La Révérence (C. Coin), La Fenice (J. Tubéry), Le Parlement de Musique (M. Gester), La Tempête (S. P. Bestion), Correspondances (S. Daucé)…
As an instrumentalist, he is especially interested in the accompaniment of singing in different styles of music, whether Early, classical, contemporary or popular.
For the biographies of Bruno Helstroffer and François Guerrier:
see the page on the concert of Thursday July 30th.
Interview Hélène Schmitt and Gaël de Kerret about the concerts performed in Valloire: