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Chamber Music - Released June 2, 2017 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
 Geminiani’s The Art of Playing on the Violin, op. 9 (published in English in 1751) give us a very precious glimpse of what was musical practice in the first half of the 18th century, then considerably in the grip of the Italian influence. The publication began with some 28 exercises, aimed at perfecting technical skills such as double stops, special bowing, arpeggios, chords, ornamentation, shakes, swelling and softening, staccato, scales galore etc., and finished with twelve “examples”, “twelve pieces in different styles for violin and cello with basso continuo for the harpsichord”. What he meant by different styles are dances (courante: no. IV, gavotte: no. VIII, gigue: no. XI), fugues in the style of Corelli’s sonatas (nos. I, II, VII; while nos. IX-XI could be considered a full-fledged sonata da chiesa) as well as slow pieces in the “pathetic” style. These last, full of affectation, are particularly evocative of opera arias. Violonist Gottfried von der Goltz plays these twelve examples using several ornamentation techniques as pinpointed by the composer himself in the exercises – according to the liner notes, this would even be a recording premiere, and quite astonishingly it seems this is really the case. The interpreter begins the recording with a free improvisation, like a kind of offhand praeludium, reminding us that Geminiani was known amongst his student as Il Furibondo. So as not to wary the listener, the recording makes use of various continuo combinations, what with harpsichord, theorbo or organ. Von der Goltz completes the album with two of the Twelve Sonatas op. 4 for violin and basso continuo, composed 1739, two pieces which stylistically make the link between the Italian style (Corelli, Vivaldi) and the French (Leclair, Boismortier), several years before the Quarrel of the Buffoons broke out – that moronic Parisian controversy concerning the relative merits of French and Italian music in general, opera in particular. © SM/Qobuz