Download Amico: The Life of Giovanni Battista Viotti by Warwick Lister PDF

By Warwick Lister

Giovanni Battista Viotti used to be definitely the main influential violinist of his time, and his variety 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 fashionable or 19th-century French university of violin taking part in. In Amico: The lifetime of Giovanni Battista Viotti, writer Warwick Lister offers the 1st entire 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 eu continent and into the musical tradition of the overdue 18th century. Born 12 months sooner than Mozart and death 3 years prior to 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 status. 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 international - he served as a court docket musician for no much less a determine than Marie Antoinette prior to founding an opera condo in Paris. Viotti additionally knew tragedy in addition to good fortune: he was once compelled to escape the French Revolution, he used to be exiled from England for a longer interval in response to suspicions of yes Jacobin traits, his try to identify himself in enterprise met with failure, and he died seriously in debt. Lister concludes Amico via coming to grips with the very issues that account for Viotti's greatness and effect: the technical points of his violin enjoying and compositions. With its vast documentary learn and the inclusion of translations of varied archival files, 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 song, in addition to violin performers, scholars, and teachers.

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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. Pugnani had played in both orchestras since boyhood, and his position as Somis’s eventual successor, the leading representative, with Giardini,34 of the Piedmontese school, was never in doubt. 35 Already he had performed one of his own concertos in 1754 in Paris at the Concert spirituel, to universal acclaim.

78 Viotti continued in this orchestra for six years, remaining in the same chair, his last season being that of 1778–79. The seeds of Viotti’s lifelong, albeit sporadic involvement with the theater were sown here. As a theater musician he would have learned valuable lessons about the inner workings of operatic production, and his close association with Pugnani, an internationally known opera composer,79 would have been a stimulus and an education. The opere serie in the Teatro Regio were the most prestigious, the most expensive productions, the only ones the royal family attended.

92 That Viotti’s compositions (a violin duet or a string trio seems more likely than a concerto) had apparently been heard in Paris and in London as early as 1774 is news indeed. Later that same year, in November, the violinist Maddalena LombardiniSirmen again visited Turin; apparently she remained for several months. Since her previous visit she had performed to wide acclaim in Paris and London. This time the nineteen-year-old Giambattista might have listened to her with a more critical ear: he may have detected distinct differences between her style of playing and that of the Piedmontese school.

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