By Warwick Lister
Giovanni Battista Viotti used to be definitely the main influential violinist of his time, and his sort maintains to pervade to the current day. The final nice consultant of the Italian culture that Corelli started, Viotti is usually thought of the founding father of the trendy or 19th-century French university of violin taking part in. In Amico: The lifetime of Giovanni Battista Viotti, writer Warwick Lister presents the 1st whole biography in English of this constantly major violinist. a lot of the documentary fabric Lister cites is formerly unknown or now not translated. Lister's biography takes the reader on a desirable trip over the eu continent and into the musical tradition of the overdue 18th century. Born 12 months sooner than Mozart and loss of life 3 years earlier than Beethoven's demise, Viotti rose from the standard origins of a blacksmith's son in a village close to Turin, Italy, to foreign reputation. His multifarious profession as a live performance performer, composer, instructor, opera theater director, and impresario used to be performed out opposed to the backdrop of a dramatically altering international - he served as a courtroom musician for no much less a determine than Marie Antoinette earlier than founding an opera condominium in Paris. Viotti additionally knew tragedy in addition to luck: he used to be pressured to escape the French Revolution, he was once exiled from England for a longer interval according to suspicions of definite Jacobin trends, his try to determine himself in company met with failure, and he died seriously in debt. Lister concludes Amico by means of coming to grips with the very issues that account for Viotti's greatness and impression: the technical points of his violin taking part in and compositions. With its vast documentary learn and the inclusion of translations of varied archival records, this is often the basic English-language biography of Viotti, an important addition to the libraries of scholars and students of 18th and early nineteenth century song, in addition to violin performers, scholars, and teachers.
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Additional info for Amico: The Life of Giovanni Battista Viotti
To Signora Maddalena Lombardini was published in Venice in 1770, though it had been written in 1760. It seems reasonable to suppose that Pugnani would have been aware of these works, both of which stressed mastery of the bow. The Letter, however, reveals a fundamental difference between the Tartini and the Piedmontese schools: Tartini is at pains to stress lightness of bowing—literally lightness of wrist (leggerezza di polso), so as to avoid harshness or rawness—and ﬂexibility and agility of the bow arm.
First, Burney, who heard another Tartini pupil in Florence two months after hearing Pugnani in Turin: [Pietro Nardini’s] tone is even and sweet; not very loud, but clear and certain; he has a great deal of expression in his slow movements, which it is said, he has happily caught from his master Tartini. [. ] his stile is delicate, judicious, and highly ﬁnished. 93 Second is Samuel Sharp, who heard Pugnani play at chapel in May 1766, and who does not mince words: It is said that Pugnani draws out a louder tone from the upper part of the ﬁddle than Giardini does, and this, it must be granted, is his forte; but with submission to Italian ears, mine were a little shocked in several parts of his solo.
The Encyclopédie plans afford us a glimpse into the working lives of an eighteenth-century theater musician. On the fourth level, behind and above the stage, is shown the musicians’ dressing room—not a very large one considering the size of the orchestra. M. ) were similarly situated, with access to the same stairs. 3) would place him quite near the watchful eye and the authoritative bow of Pugnani, the ﬁrst violinist and direttore dell’orchestra. (In 1770, a week after being appointed ﬁrst violinist of the Chapel and Chamber [Cappella e Camera], Pugnani had threatened to quit his post as leader of the theater orchestra unless he was given a raise in salary.