John Holloway BIBER Unam Ceylum

This is a disc of such stunningly brilliant virtuosity that is hard to know where to start. … This is bravura music in the truest sense, music capable of moving from dynamic energy to eloquence in less time than it takes to write the words, music that can hurtle forward with seemingly unstoppable momentum only to fall back to calm, sensuous lyricism, music that can encompass everything from skilled counterpoint to rumbustuous humour. Holloway’s performances encompasses all this with playing of amazing fluency and bravura passion, at times leaving the listener gasping. He is ably supported (as on his equally superb Schmelzer disc) by both organ and harpsichord, a combination that apparently caused some critical muttering over the Schmelzer recording. The recording has a vivid presence, giving the impression that all three players are in the room with the listener. In short this is a staggering celebration of the art of violin playing that should immediately be added to every Goldberg reader’s collection without delay. (Brian Robins / Goldberg ) 

Virtuosic, experimental, meditative, Biber was a man who seems to have been able to say whatever he liked through the medium of his instrument, and Holloway has contributed as much as anyone to modern-day recognition of his status as one of the greatest of all violinist-composers. … With the violin resonating pleasingly through the many double and triple-stoppings, and Holloway’s bowing demonstrating a delicious lightness and freedom, these fundamentally inward, tonally aware performances also seem somehow to have more of the smell of the 17th century about them than their current rivals. … A respectfully resonant recording is a help here, as is the gentle but effectively unfussy continuo support of harpsichord and organ. (Lindsay Kemp, Gramophone)

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