07 December 2017, The Tablet

Joyful Baroque Mysteries


Music

 

Heinrich Biber’s Rosary Sonatas were composed some time between 1670 and 1704, the years when the composer was music director to the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Austria. They are also called the Mystery Sonatas after the sacred mysteries of the Rosary (Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious); the prince-archbishop vigorously encouraged the devotion, which is what led to the creation of the piece. 

The time it takes to recite the fifteen traditional mysteries of the Rosary is about the length of Biber’s Sonatas.

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