Alberto Martini, Giovanni Guglielmo (violins), Antonio Pocaterra (cello) & Ilario Gregoletto (harpsichord)
Born in 1692, in what today is Slovenia, Giuseppe Tartini ranks among the most famous of late-Baroque composers. A colourful figure who was the subject of various scandals during his lifetime, the Italian was forced to flee Padua in 1710 when it was discovered he had secretly married the niece of the city’s Bishop. Tartini sought refuge at the monastery in Assisi, and it was there that he began lessons in both the violin and composition.
This compilation is dedicated to a selection of Tartini’s violin sonatas (over a hundred survive). The Op.2 set was published by Le Cène of Amsterdam in 1743. Apart from the sixth work which exhibits a rather unusual five-movement structure, the remaining sonatas have a slow movement followed by two faster pieces – a form to be found in the majority of the ‘Piccole’ sonatas which follow. Taken from the manuscript collection of St Anthony’s Basilica in Padua, these compositions feature optional bass lines and similarly display all the hallmarks of Tartini’s natural style: from the melancholy of the slow movements to the quicker, folk-imbued ones, each work is written in an expansive and lyrical fashion, thus conforming to Tartini’s belief that music should be as natural as possible.
Contemporary accounts suggest that Tartini didn’t so much play his violin as make his instrument sing, and this is confirmed by the various cantabile markings in both the slow and fast movements of the latter collection. Featuring highly accomplished performances from Giovanni Guglielmo, Antonio Pocaterra, Alberto Martini and Ilario Gregoletto, this release is a must-buy for both the Baroque and violin enthusiast.
Booklet notes by Baroque music authority Brian Clark.
Lesser-known and rarely recorded repertoire.