Fascinating sounds on this recording that is dedicated to the viola d'amore. The Partita by Biber was composed for two of those strange instruments and brings out the mystical sound of the instruments especially. The Partita by Petzold is a fine late baroque composition for viola d'amore solo, and its Sarabande (track 11) sounds a bit like a short extract from Bach's famous Chaconne from the Partita in d for violin solo. The Sonata by Stamitz (though a Mannheimian) makes the viola d'amore shine with refined, graceful Vienna Classicism and makes use of the instrument's flageolet sounds in the last sentence.
An explanation of the possible origin of that unusual instrument is given in the booklet: "Bowed instruments with gut strings and additional sympathetic strings of wire were to be found only outside of Europe in India (Sarangi, Sanyogi, Esrar) in Persia (Kemane rumi) and in the Caucuses (Skripka).
The English East India Company, established in England in 1600, secured an active goods exchange with south Asia. Therefore, it is not out of the question that Indian instruments of this genre were introduced to England."
Click to see cover picture
G?nther Lemmen - Viola d'Amore
Doris Wolff-Malm - Viola d'Amore and Viola
Alfred Lessing Lessing - Violoncello
Theodor Klein - Harpsichord