Detail of a banner of Our Lady and the Christ Child, Saint Saviour, Eastbourne
In case you ever needed an excuse, today is a particularly fitting day to find time to listen to the complete Rosary Sonatas (or Mystery Sonatas) of Heinrich Biber, the Bohemian and Austrian composer who died in 1704. Biber composed the sonatas in the mid-1670s and dedicated them to then Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Maximilian Gandolf von Kuenberg.
The first Sunday of the month of October is known in many places as Rosary Sunday, in part marking the victory of the Holy League over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. Pope Saint Pius V attributed this success to the many prayers offered through the rosary, and instituted the feast of Our Lady of Victories as a result.
Biber’s fifteen sonatas trace the mysteries of the rosary, which themselves help us to focus more profoundly…
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