Ricordo - Virtuoso in the Making: music by Biber - The Observer

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644-1704) pioneered the art of 'stylus phantasticus' - the use of elaborate, often extravagent violin virtuosity at the heart of chamber-scale sonatas, pastorellas and fantasias, seven of which are superbly performed here by the early-music group, Ricordo. As a bonus they throw in an equally stylish pastorella by Biber's mentor Schmelzer. 

Matthew Wadsworth, Ricordo's lutanst, learns his scores by braille; out of fellow feeling, the groups five other members perform from memory, which lifts this recording into another dimension, freeing them to indulge in the improvisational diversions this nerve-tingling baroque repertoire demands.

22 December 2002