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Johan van Veen
MusicWeb International, February 2013

The performances by Ms Wedman are admirable. Her technique is immaculate, and this allows for a concentration on content. I like her tone which has the kind of intensity and penetration which this repertoire requires.

All in all, this is one of the better recordings of these sonatas, and well worth considering if you don’t have them. Even if you have some recordings, Ms Wedman’s interpretation is interesting enough justify adding it to your collection. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Laurie Niles
Violinist.com, December 2011

2011 guide to holiday gifts

The music sparkles, and the liner notes are both visually appealing and extremely informative, with comprehensive historic description as well as Julia’s musical impressions of each of the 16 sonatas. What fun, for a lover of Baroque music! © 2011 Violinist.com See complete list




Julie Anne Sadie
Gramophone, December 2011

The Christmas gift I’d select from the CDs I’ve listened to this year has to be Julia Wedman’s radiant recording of Biber’s Mystery Sonatas. Nos 1‑3 relate the story of the Annunciation, Visitation and Nativity, but it is No 12, ‘The Guardian Angel’, we all need most at this time.



Julie Anne Sadie
Gramophone, July 2011

A true inspiration—a heartfelt pilgrimage through Biber’s Rosary Sonatas

Even before the 2004 tercentenary of Heinrich Biber’s death, his Mystery Sonatas were enjoying a revival that has continued to inspire new recordings. John Holloway received Gramophone’s 1991 Baroque Instrumental Award for his. Those who followed include Reinhard Goebel, Marianne Ronez, Monica Huggett, Alice Pierot, Pavlo Beznosiuk, Andrew Manze, Riccardo Minasi and Elizabeth Wallfisch. Some recordings involve varied continuo forces, others are more austere; the actor Timothy West reads exhortations from a Jesuit Rosary psalter on Beznosiuk’s CD.

The meditative nature of these sonatas, associated with Rosary prayer, will be evident to anyone listening to them familiar with their genesis. Biber’s imaginative use of scordatura (nonconventional tunings) in all but the first of the 15 sonatas provides enormous unseen challenges for violinists. These qualities attract particularly adventurous musicians, among whom the American Julia Wedman must surely be counted. Technically assured, she is musically equal to the remarkable demands of the music. She uses a wide array of continuo instrumentalists but never all at once and always to achieve subtle effects.

Rather exceptionally, one suspects, Wedman has approached Biber’s music as a true pilgrim, interpreting key moments in the life of Christ thoughtfully, vividly and with evident personal humility and warmth. Her performances exude humanity and have about them a radiance that somehow transcends the sound of her lovely 1694 instrument. Among the highlights are the darkness of the B minor Sonata No 3, “The Nativity”, the anguished Lamento of No 6, “The Agony in the Garden”, the sound of dawn in No 11, “The Resurrection”, and the frenzied opening movement and Gigue of No 13, “Pentecost”. In the sublime concluding solo Passacaglia, “The Guardian Angel”, she conveys wonderment and serenity. Both Biber’s music and Wedman’s performances are inspirational.



Charles E Brewer
American Record Guide, July 2011

Julia Wedman’s interpretation is one that deserves great respect and offers well-considered, different perspectives on these works.

To read the complete review, please visit American Record Guide online.



Laurence Vittes
, February 2011

“Biber’s Mystery Sonatas” is one of the answers you need to have ready when visiting the classical music speakeasies that are spring up everywhere, from Torrance to Zakopane. Here, a blonde bombshell named Julia Wedman digs into every note, every phrase, as is she were a young nun stricken suddenly with remorse for all the things she had done in her life before entering the convent. The repetitively rapturous moods Biber unleashes, responding to the 15 “mysteries” of the Catholic rosary, has come to define an iconic point in classical music time. The recording can take volume if you want to show off a new set of speakers, but it also works with the volume set just above. Saskatooner Wedman and her spectacular team (they know about 17th century German ecstasy in Saskatoon) take indecent advantage of the deliberate mistunings (like Cage’s prepared pianos) Biber asks Julia to engage in.



Laurence Vittes
Art-to-Art Palette Journal, February 2011

“Biber’s Mystery Sonatas” is one of the answers you need to have ready when visiting the classical music speakeasies that are spring up everywhere, from Torrance to Zakopane. Here, a blonde bombshell named Julia Wedman digs into every note, every phrase, as is she were a young nun stricken suddenly with remorse for all the things she had done in her life before entering the convent. The repetitively rapturous moods Biber unleashes, responding to the 15 “mysteries” of the Catholic rosary, has come to define an iconic point in classical music time. The recording can take volume if you want to show off a new set of speakers, but it also works with the volume set just above. Saskatooner Wedman and her spectacular team (they know about 17th century German ecstasy in Saskatoon) take indecent advantage of the deliberate mistunings (like Cage’s prepared pianos) Biber asks Julia to engage in.






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6:18:47 PM, 10 July 2014
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