Wonderful reviews for Ariadne Daskalakis and Ensemble Vintage Köln's CD of Biber's Rosary Sonatas.
Heinreich Ignaz Franz Biber' Rosary Sonatas, recorded on the BIS label by Ariadne Daskalakis and Ensemble Vintage Köln has been receiving fantastic reveiws.
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 sensitively and discretely.
ROBERT MAXHAM, FANFARE, MARCH/APRIL 2016
BAROQUE VIOLIN SPLENDOURS
Ariadne Daskalakis is a compelling advocate. On the one hand she enlivens Biber's illustratvie palette with bold, extrovert gestures, on the other she projects expressive tenderness as, for instance in the Adagio of the Nativity Sonata (No. 3). Her rhythmic suppleness is a constant delight and her restrained, apposite ornamentation, as in the Aria of the Crucifixus commendable. ... This is a technically accomplished and thoughtful performance. Ensemble Vintage Köln provide discreet and stylish support while Daskalakis herself contributes a first-rate accompanying essay. Recorded sound is excellent.
NICHOLAS ANDERSON, BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, DEMCEMBER 2015
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.
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.
DR. S. DREES, KLASSIK.COM, SEPTEMBER 2, 2015
BIBERS TÖNENDE PASSION
Die Kölner Geigerin Ariadne Daskalakis wird unter Assistenz des ebenfalls ortsansässigen (hochschulzentrierten) Ensembles Vintage (mit Gerald Hambitzer, Rainer Zipperling und Simon Martyn-Ellis) all diesen Anforderungen in ihrer Neueinspielung herausragend gerecht. Die gebürtige US-Amerikanerin mit griechischen Wurzeln bedient zum einen professionell die Usancen der historischen Aufführungspraxis, was aber - zum anderen - nie zu einer akademischen Austrocknung ihrer Performance führt. Im Gegenteil: Auf der Basis eines in Intonation und Phrasierung durchkontrollierten Spiels lässt Daskalakis auch schon mal eine fantastische Entgrenzung zu. Auf den vier von ihr gespielten Geigen jubelt, klagt, singt und tanzt sie, dass es eine Freude ist. Ihr dichter, glutvoller Ton geht nicht nur in die Ohren, sondern auch - etwa im chromatischen Lamento der Gethsemane-Szene der sechsten Sonate - unter die Haut. Tönende Passion!
KÖLNER STADTANZEIGER, AUGUST 30, 2016
MIT DER AURA SELIGER ENTRÜCKUNG
Am Karfreitag spielte das Ensemble "Concerto Köln" in der Philharmonie ein Konzert zur Passionszeit ... Angeführt von der fabelhaften Konzertmeisterin Ariadne Daskalakis, machte das in Spieltechnik und Temperament bestens gelaunte Ensemble vor allem auf Bachs Insturmentations- und Satzkunst aufmerksam, auf die Überraschungen in Farben, Akzenten und Harmonien. Und auf die Möglichkeit zur solistischen Entfaltung (zum Beispiel für Oboe, Fagott, Orgel, Flöte) innterhalb des großen Verbunds in Sinfonien zu "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis", "Ich liebe den Höchsten", "Geist und Seele sind verwirret", "Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal" und anderen.
G. BAUER, KÖLNER STADTANZEIGER, 25. MÄRZ 2016
JOHANN WENZEL KALLIWODA VIOLIN CONCERTINOS, OVERTURES
Here we are treated to three overtures and two one-movement violin "concertinos" featuring the talented Ariadne Daskalakis, an American based at the Cologne Conservatory. The second quarter of the 19th century was all about virtuosity(Paganini and Liszt were wowing audiences), but no one would have accused Kalliwoda of selling his soul to the devil ... His music is direct and unaffected, and this is true of Daskalakis's playing as well: clean, warm, sympathetic, and exhibiting impressive technical ease. Kalliwoda's themes are in turn energetic, songful, charming, and playful, with many nice touches of color.
BENJAMIN DUNHAM, EARLY MUSIC AMERICA MAGAZINE, SPRING 2016
J.W. KALLIWODA – RECORDING OF THE MONTH ON MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL
Ariadne Daskalakis is a rising star of the violin, and if she can play such obscure music as stirringly as she does here, I wonder what she’d do with Beethoven or Mozart. Her Biber Rosary Sonatas are a new release on BIS ... I am enthralled. These albums are re-writing music history.
B. REINHART, MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL, AUGUST 2015
Ariadne Daskalakis, internationally renowned American violinist with Greek heritage, is a professor for violin at the Conservatory for Music in Cologne. In a musical team with Michael Alexander Willens and the Kölner Akademie she does full tonal and artistic justice to the two Concertini, and refrains from any exaggerations which would have done the somewhat simple music more harm than good. The interpreters give the pieces loving attention, which saves the music from being associated with the stale aftertaste of “pièces d’occasion”.
D. HUCHTING, KLASSIK HEUTE, AUGUST 7, 2015