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Rosenkranzsonaten 1

Anne Schumann & Sebastian Knebel

  • sample

    For a sample (the 'Praeludium' from Sonata I), click above

  • dimensions

    125 x 140 mm

  • playing time


[VKJK 1423]

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644–1704) wrote his Rosary (or Mystery) Sonatas when he was working in the service of the Archbishop Max Gandolph von Kuenburg in Salzburg, to whom they are dedicated. These rich and complex pieces may now be part of a Baroque violinist’s repertoire, but they have never been recorded like this before. Anne Schumann and Sebastian Knebel play the pieces in the village church of Friedelshausen (Thüringia) and we hear the violin and the church’s organ in their full glory – the sound filling the space of the building. Schumann sees the Rosary sonatas as a collection of short stories: ‘With a violin I tell and paint the secrets of the rosary. The stories are meant to please but also stir, and encourage prayer and meditation.’ This is the first of a set of three CDs of the 15 Rosary sonatas (and the Passacaglia for solo violin), each recorded in a different Thüringian church, and each including a work for organ that shows the unique qualities of these church instruments.

The music

Bells of the Friedelshausen church

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Rosenkranz Sonata I

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Rosenkranz Sonata II

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Rosenkranz Sonata III

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Rosenkranz Sonata IV

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Rosenkranz Sonata V

Dieterich Buxtehude, Passacaglia in D minor for organ, BuxWV 161

The musicians

Anne Schumann violin
Sebastian Knebel organ

Anne Schumann and Sebastian Knebel are pillars of the Early Music scene in Central Germany. Anne Schumann can also be heard on the CD Musik für viola d’amore and on some of the Bach Players’ CDs that we publish.

Recording & production

Producer: Klaus-Jürgen Kamprad
Recording engineer: Falk Wiederhold

Recorded in the church of Friedelshausen (Thüringen), August 2007


The CD is held in a digipack with a 24-page booklet of texts illustrated with photographs. Anne Schumann writes notes on the sonatas, Sebastian Knebel writes about the organs of Biber’s time and this particular organ of Friedelshausen, Bertram Lucke writes about the church itself. All texts are given in German and English.


Brian Clark writes for Early Music Review about the CD here.
See also his comments on the second and third CDs in the series, here.