The new CD musica artificiosa by NeoBarock, ECHO Klassik award winner, is not a baroque album for quiet time by the fireplace. NeoBarock coaxes tunes from the tremendously divine pieces by Biber and Schmelzer, or the almost forgotten Johann Baal, that will knock your socks off. In this album, NeoBarock unifies the entire world of baroque: abundance and exaggeration, illusion and reality as well as diseases and war – highly up-to-date and thrillingly performed “without a single bar of boredom” (Schaffhauser News, Switzerland).

The design of the cover was taken on by Gerhard Richter, turning it into an acoustic-visual artwork, including a booklet that (in contrast to a download) invites to flipping pages and browsing.

1 CD | 73:35 min

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber | Partia VI | Præludium

On the CD

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644–1704)
Partia VI in D major from “Harmonia artificioso-ariosa”

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer (ca. 1623–1680)
Sonata in F major

Rupert Ignaz Mayr (1646–1712)
Sonata in D minor
and Sonata in D major

Philipp Heinrich Erlebach (1657–1714)
Sonata Terza in A major from “VI. Sonate […] a due Violini”

Johann Baal (1657–1701)
Sonata in A minor

Johann Caspar Kerll (1627–1693)
Sonata in F major

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
Partia IV in E flat major from “Harmonia artificioso-ariosa”


29.11.2015 | Early Music Review (GB)

Performance ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗
Recorded sound ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗
Booklet note ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗
Overall presentation ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗
(of 5 stars)

When one has seen performers live in concert it impacts on how one listens to and hears a recording. While the concert I heard was of music by Fasch and Stölzel, yet the contagious enthusiasm and excitement they brought to it is clearly audible in this foray into the kaleidoscopic world of the stylus fantasticus. Both players, Maren Ries and Volker Möller (whose excellent booklet notes include an obituary of the almost unknown Johann Baal, a cleric who unfortunately came to an unsavoury end when he used a door that led to a cliffside…), are equally at home on the scordatura version of their instruments; Möller notes how Schmelzer uses such different scordaturas for the two violins that the work sounds like a sonata for viola and violino piccolo. With all the intricacy going on in the melody parts, NeoBarock wisely limit their continuo section to cello and either harpsichord or organ, and their simple accompaniments provide the perfect backdrop. The booklet and casing are decorated by an original artwork by Gerhard Richter, for which the performers express their thanks; I would like to express my thanks to all concerned for a fabulous hour’s entertainment.

20.11.2015 | Dag og Tid, Oslo (NO)

A brillant Album.