The focus of Extravagantes Seicento is the musical exuberance of a century full of contradictions, and at the same time receptive towards all kinds of novelty. By means of a rich collection of instrumental sonatas for violin, viola da gamba and harpsichord, the recording portrays the peregrine world of composers and instrumentalists who travelled throughout Europe in their search for receptive cultural circles and the degree of financial stability required for the creation of new works. In particular the Habsburg courts of Vienna and Innsbruck attracted artists from Italy and central Europe, becoming hubs for innovation in the visual arts, the theatre and instrumental music. Under the imperial protection of Ferdinand III, Leopold I and Archduke Ferdinand Karl of Austria, the great violinists of the 17th century Ignazio Albertini, Giovanni Padonolfi Mealli, Samuel Capricornus, Heinrich Schmelzer and Ignaz Biber expanded the technical potential of the violin and the viola da gamba, producing a repertoire of highly melodious sonatas featuring virtuoso brilliance and such eccentricity of sound as to surprise or even disconcert audiences, both then and today.