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Since I prefer a lively approach to authentic Baroque performance, I applaud the group's decision to add the timpani on the first and last tracks even though it isn't specified in the score. Trumpets are used in five of the sonatas and again join the timpani in the concluding Twelfth Sonata [listen -- track 12, 0:00 -- 1:21].

The Parley of Instruments. Photo: Sophie Baker
The Parley of Instruments. Photo: Sophie Baker

This CD is a reissue of one originally released by Hyperion in 1985. I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys music of the late seventeenth century and also to those who have heard the Mystery Sonatas and are curious about Biber's work for a larger ensemble. The Parley of Instruments gives an outstanding performance. It may even win over some of the many who remain skeptical of the original instruments approach.

Copyright © 9 March 2003 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


Heinrich Biber: Sonatae tam aris, quam aulis servientes - Twelve sonatas for trumpets, strings, timpani and continuo (1676)

CDH55041 DDD 59'34" 2000 Hyperion Records Ltd

The Parley of Instruments: Crispian Steele-Perkins, natural trumpet, Stephen Keavy, natural trumpet, Robert Howes, timpani, Roy Mowatt, violin, Theresa Caudle, viola, Judy Tarling, viola, Trevor Jones, viola, Mark Caudle, cello, Amanda Macnamara, violone, Timothy Crawford, theorbo, Paul Nicholson, harpsichord and chamber organ, Roy Goodman, violin and director, Peter Holman, harpsichord, virginals, chamber organ and director

Sonata I in C; Sonata II in D; Sonata III in G minor; Sonata IV in C; Sonata V in E minor; Sonata VI in F; Sonata VII in C; Sonata VIII in G; Sonata IX in B flat; Sonata X in G minor; Sonata XI in A; Sonata XII in C





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