By Warwick Lister
Giovanni Battista Viotti used to be undoubtedly the main influential violinist of his time, and his sort keeps to pervade to the current day. The final nice consultant of the Italian culture that Corelli begun, Viotti is usually thought of the founding father of the fashionable or 19th-century French tuition of violin enjoying. In Amico: The lifetime of Giovanni Battista Viotti, writer Warwick Lister presents the 1st entire biography in English of this consistently 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 ecu continent and into the musical tradition of the overdue 18th century. Born twelve months ahead of Mozart and death 3 years sooner than Beethoven's loss of life, Viotti rose from the standard origins of a blacksmith's son in a village close to Turin, Italy, to foreign popularity. His multifarious occupation 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 ahead of founding an opera apartment in Paris. Viotti additionally knew tragedy in addition to good fortune: he used to be pressured to escape the French Revolution, he was once exiled from England for a longer interval in accordance with suspicions of yes Jacobin developments, his try and identify himself in company met with failure, and he died seriously in debt. Lister concludes Amico by way of coming to grips with the very issues that account for Viotti's greatness and impact: the technical facets of his violin enjoying and compositions. With its vast documentary examine and the inclusion of translations of varied archival records, this can be the basic English-language biography of Viotti, an important addition to the libraries of scholars and students of 18th and early nineteenth century track, in addition to violin performers, scholars, and teachers.
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Extra info for Amico: The Life of Giovanni Battista Viotti
Fontanetto and Turin, 1755–79 15 “Pupil of the Celebrated Pugnani” Gaetano Pugnani (1731–98) was the leading light of the musical establishment of Turin, which was centered around the court, and of which the two chief institutions were the Royal Chapel and the Teatro Regio, each with its complement of singers and instrumentalists. Pugnani had been a pupil of Giovanni Battista Somis’s (1686–1763), who, in turn, had studied for three years (1703–6) in Rome with Arcangelo Corelli. Founder of the Piedmontese school of violin playing, Somis had raised the level of the Chapel and Teatro orchestras to an international standard.
1 to no. 105 That all of these manuscript sets of parts date from the mid-nineteenth century does not exclude the possibility that some of them are copies of earlier sets of parts, some perhaps acquired by 1776, so that they could have formed part of the repertory that Viotti played. Pugnani’s symphonies, of which seven survive, may have been among those performed every morning. 106 Was Gasparini shocked at the inclusion of a dance movement in such a sacred context? At any rate, this vocal-orchestral repertory constituted Viotti’s ﬁrst sustained ensemble experience outside of opera.
There can be no question of this division somehow reﬂecting the repertory of the orchestra. Much of the music performed in the Royal Chapel and in the cathedral was composed by Giay and Gasparini, respectively. Their music (a great deal of it has been preserved in manuscript form in the cathedral archives)103—masses, motets, settings of psalms, various ceremonial works such as Te Deum and Miserere—shows considerable variety in its vocal and instrumental combinations,104 but does not seem to have exploited to any great extent the antiphonal technique of chorus against chorus or instrumental groups answering each other in the cori spezzati style formerly fashionable in Venice and Rome.