Mission (im)Possible

Program for Baroque Violin & Continuo

A famous and brilliant violinist, Heinrich Franz von Biber was one of the most colourful and meaningful violin composers of the Baroque era. His eight Sonatas, the first collection of dazzling violin virtuosity in the history of music, were published by Biber in Salzburg in 1681 and represent the best of his violin writing as judged by the composer himself. They maintain an astonishingly high level of invention, melodic freshness and quirkiness and are fine examples of the stylus phantasticus, a style of composition characterized by an improvisatory, florid and virtuosic quality.
These fine and elaborate compositions, acknowledged for its pioneer-like approach to the violin technique, nowadays receive little more than cursory interest from contemporary performers, unfortunately. At the time of its publishing the Sonatas shocked with their technical demands and were actually regarded as almost (im)possible to perform and their still remain a challenge for many.