Ariadne Daskalakis

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Heinrich Ignaz Franz BIBER

The Rosary Sonatas

Ariadne Daskalakis Violin
Ensemble Vintage Köln

Catalog Number: BIS-2096 SACD

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Heinrich Biber - The Rosary Sonatas
A New Englander of Greek heritage, Daskalakis is based in Cologne, Germany, where she is surrounded by colleagues skilled in both new and old music. As is customary, she uses multiple instruments to deal with the different tunings and moods: a 1732 Gennaro Gagliano, a 1748 Peter Wamsley, a 1989 David Rubio, and a 1769 Giovanni Baptista Guadagnini. Her interpretations are an ideal balance of control and abandon, darkness and light, from the intensely dialectical Ciacona representing "The Presentation of Jesus in Temple" and the bleakness of the Lamento of "The Agony in the Garden" to the unbridled joy at the end of "The Descent of the Holy Spirit." With this release, Daskalakis propels herself into the front rank of historical violinists.

Benjamin Dunham, Early Music America Magazine, Summer 2016

BIBER Rosary Sonatas. Passagalia. MUFFAT Violin Sonata in D
From the flurries of notes in the opening of the "Annunciation" (the flutter of Gabriel's wings?), it's clear that Daskalakis employs a wide range of dynamics and produces from the violin she plays a decidedly acidulous sound that many have identified with period performance. ... She and her ensemble (Gerald Hambitzer, organ and harpsichord; Rainer Zipperling, viola da gamba; and Simon Martyn-Ellis, theorbo) bring that first sonata to a powerful conclusion. She preserves the lightness of the dance rhythms in the Allamanda of the "Visitation". ... she certainly draws on a wide range of expressive manners and devices in working through its variations. Given the suite-like sequence of movements (Praeludium, Allamanda, Guigue, Sarabanda, and Double) of the "Finding" and the ensemble's sweetly vigorous and fanciful realization, it should strike many listeners that the program can be, or become, almost irrelevant to the enjoyment and even the edification these works provide...

The ensemble fleshes out the second disc with a performance of Georg Muffat's Sonata in D Major, a substantial work (at more than 12 minutes) written by Biber's fellow worker for a time in Salzburg, chock full of surprises and elegant turns of phrase by both composer and performing group. Daskalakis, in particular, warms to its Italianate lyricism, and her continuo players support her sinsitively and discretely.

Robert Maxham, Fanfare, March/April 2016

Biber's Mystery Sonatas
One is also aware of variety of tone colour in the recording by American violinist Ariadne Daskalakis. Unlike Bonet or Podger, she uses four different violins; but though her natural sound is presumably the light and airy one of the conventionally tuned 'Annunciation', she is not afraid to make things ugly, as when she brings sourness to 'The Scourging', edge to the final section of 'The Presentation in the Temple' and glassiness to 'The Nativity'. With the three continuo players of Ensemble Vintage Köln she produces stylish Biber-playing...

Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone, October 2015

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von BIBER, Georg MUFFAT
I dislike judging books by their covers but the photograph of Ariadne Daskalakis on the back page of the booklet makes her look very intense - much more intense than her more smiling photograph with the other performers on page 16. As it happens, that sums up the quality of the performances - just about the most intense that I've heard where intensity is called for, but the intensity is never overdone and she's more than sprightly enough in the livelier movements: try track 13 of CD2, Aria - [Variatio] - Guigue. (NB: that's not a typo, nor is Passagalia, track 18 - those are the spellings in the score.) ...

In this case the recording quality from the 2-channel SACD layer certainly reinforces the intensity of the performances. That and the high quality of the booklet, with excellent notes by Ariadne Daskalakis herself, combines with the excellence of the interpretations to make this probably my benchmark for this music in future. (please see complete review)

Brian Wilson, MusicWeb International, October 2015

Sensitive Rendition of a Prominent Sonata Cycle
In this new recording of the label BIS, the cycle of 16 sonatas … assumes a very convincing form. Responsible for this is violinist Ariadne Daskalakis, who has created an interpretation in dialogue with Ensemble Vintage Köln. … Daskalakis capably delves into the possibilities of Biber's score - an interpretative challenge, met especially well in the introductory movements with their fast prelude passages - and she manages to give the performance modesty even where the composer demands the greatest technical challenges. Beyond that her performance impresses with its dynamic spectrum as well as great elegance when called for by the music.

Using her ability to make subtle distinctions, she consistently provides the violin part with surprising colors. (please see complete review in German)

Dr. S. Drees,, September 2, 2015