Born in 1692, in what today is Slovenia, Giuseppe Tartini originally studied law before turning his hand to composition and the violin. Having returned to Padua from Prague, where he spent three years immersed in the musical world of the Hapsburgs, he went on to establish a music school and write treatises on subjects such as the principles of harmony.
Today Tartini is regarded as one of the most important composers of his generation.
The Italian wrote over 130 concertos, six of which form the subject of this engaging release.
Written for violin and orchestra and containing many moments of technical difficulty, the works nevertheless avoid descending into overt chromaticism, and this conforms to the composer’s belief that music should sound as natural as possible. His concertos are anything but bland, however: Tartini manages to sustain our interest through traits such
as arresting themes – bold musical motifs that catch the listener’s ear – as well as varying textures within movements. Some movements include short quotations of text in the form of epigraphs, and in these one can hear the playing out of an operatic scena.
From the fast movements’ folk-imbued virtuosity to the arresting poignance of the slow movements, these concertos teem with invention, revealing Tartini’s deftness as an instrumental composer. They are performed by the Interpreti Veneziani, a group whose fine readings document an important facet of the late-Baroque violin repertoire.
Booklet notes by Baroque music authority Brian Clark.
Virtuoso music of popular appeal.
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.