By Warwick Lister
Giovanni Battista Viotti used to be surely the main influential violinist of his time, and his type 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 enjoying. In Amico: The lifetime of Giovanni Battista Viotti, writer Warwick Lister presents the 1st whole biography in English of this always major violinist. a lot of the documentary fabric Lister cites is formerly unknown or no longer translated. Lister's biography takes the reader on a desirable trip over the ecu continent and into the musical tradition of the past due 18th century. Born three hundred and sixty five days ahead of Mozart and death 3 years earlier than Beethoven's demise, Viotti rose from the common-or-garden origins of a blacksmith's son in a village close to Turin, Italy, to overseas popularity. His multifarious occupation as a live performance performer, composer, instructor, opera theater director, and impresario was once performed out opposed to the backdrop of a dramatically altering global - he served as a court docket musician for no much less a determine than Marie Antoinette prior to founding an opera condominium in Paris. Viotti additionally knew tragedy in addition to good fortune: he used to be compelled to escape the French Revolution, he was once exiled from England for a longer interval according to suspicions of definite Jacobin traits, his try to identify himself in company met with failure, and he died seriously in debt. Lister concludes Amico through coming to grips with the very issues that account for Viotti's greatness and impression: the technical features of his violin enjoying and compositions. With its broad documentary study and the inclusion of translations of assorted archival records, this can be the fundamental English-language biography of Viotti, an important addition to the libraries of scholars and students of 18th and early nineteenth century tune, in addition to violin performers, scholars, and teachers.
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Extra info for Amico: The Life of Giovanni Battista Viotti
53 They repay careful study. ” The king and his entourage could indeed reach the royal box directly through a series of rooms and corridors from the royal apartments. There is every reason to believe that the royal family took more than a merely ofﬁcial interest in the opera. On 4 January 1772, the Duke of Savoy, the future King Victor Amadeus III, wrote rather grumpily to his daughter, Josephine, the Comtesse de Provence, in Versailles: The opera is going along nicely, but as far as music is concerned great factions have arisen because of bad blood between Pugnani and the music director, Aprile, the leading man, and Guierini [Lucrezia Agujari], the leading woman.
Animated by the all-consuming ﬁre of his talent, and intent upon his chief objective which is unity [of ensemble], he subjects, sometimes by a glance, sometimes by a signal, all the members of the orchestra to his every wish. His bow is the commander’s baton, which everyone obeys with utmost precision. 3. Seating plan of the orchestra of the Teatro Regio, ca. 1791, from Francesco Galeazzi, Elementi teorico-pratici di musica con un saggio sopra l’arte di suonare il violino (Turin, 1791–96). Key: A, the orchestra director (Pugnani), raised above the others; b, ﬁrst violins; c, second violins; d, oboes; e, clarinets; f, horns; g, violas; h, bassoons; I, ﬁrst cellos; L, ﬁrst double basses; m, basses (that is, cellos and double basses); n, other horns; o, timpani; p, trumpets; q, ﬁrst violinist for the ballets; r, harpsichords.
The man whom Viotti replaced, one Giovanni Toso, though also referred to as a violinist in the same document, played the viola in the orchestra. 115 Toso played until 5 March, when Viotti took his place; the ﬁrst quarterly payment was divided between them proportionately. Beginning in the ﬁrst quarter of 1777, Viotti appears in the last (seventh) chair of the ﬁrst violins, which place he occupied until he left Italy in December 1779. Pugnani, who enjoyed unchallenged sway over the orchestra, certainly over the strings, may have wished to give Viotti the beneﬁt of a year’s experience as a violist.
Amico: The Life of Giovanni Battista Viotti by Warwick Lister