Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/304

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


VIOLIN-PLAYING.

���The manner in which, in this example, the violins are l used ' divisi' is worthy of notice. In another work of Monteverde's, Combattimento di Tan- credi e Clorinda, diClaudioMonteverde. Venezia, 1624,* 2 we find modern violin-effects introduced in a still more remarkable way. Here we have re* citatives accompanied by tremolos for violins and bass, pizzicato* marked thus, ' Qui si lascia 1'arco, e si strappano le corde con duoi diti '; and after- wards, Qui si ripiglia 1'arco.' That violinists were even at that time expected to produce gra- dations of tone with the bow is proved by the direction given respecting the final pause of the same work: 'Questa ultima nota va in arcata morendo.'

The earliest known solo composition for the violin is contained in a work of BIAGIO MARINI, published in 1620. It is a 'Romanesca per Violino Solo e Basso se piaci ' (ad lib.) and some dances. The Romanesca 8 is musically poor and clumsy, and, except that in it we meet with the shake for the first time, uninteresting. The de- mands it makes on the executant are very small. The same m&y be said of another very early com- position for violin solo, 'La sfera armoniosa da Paolo Quagliati* (Roma 1623). Of far greater

i Quite in accordance with Berlioz's advice. a See MONTEVERDE, vol. ii. p. 369o.

3 Beprlnted in the Appendix of Wasielewski's book: 'Die Violine 1m zvlL Jahrhundert.'

��VIOLIN-PLAYING.

importance, and showing a great advance in exe- cution, are the compositions of CARLO FARINA, who has justly been termed the founder of the race of violin-virtuosos. He published in 1627, at Dres- den, a collection of Violin-pieces, Dances, French airs, Quodlibets, etc., among which a Capriccio stravagante ' is of the utmost interest, both music- ally and technically. Musically it represents one of the first attempts at tone-picturing (Klang- malerei), and, however crude and even childish, the composer evidently was well aware of the powers of expression and character pertaining to his instrument. He employs a considerable variety of bowing, double-stopping, and chords. The 3rd position, however, is not exceeded, and the fourth string not yet used. TARQUINIO MERULA (about 1640) shows a technical advance in frequent change of position, and especially in introducing octave-passages. PAOLO UOELLINI, in his canzoni (1649), goes up to the 6th position, and has a great variety of bowing. Hitherto (the middle of the 1 7th century) the violin plays but an un- important part as a solo instrument, and it is only with the development of the Sonata-form (in the old sense of the term) that it assumes a position of importance in the history of music. The terms 'Sonata,' ' Canzone,' and ' Sinfonia' were origin- ally used in a general way for instrumental set- tings of all kinds, without designating any special form. Towards the year 1630, we find the first compositions containing rudimentally the form of the classical Violin Sonata. Its fundamental prin- ciple consisted in alternation of slow and quick movements. Among the earliest specimens of this rudimentary sonata-form may be counted the Sonatas of Giov. Battista Fontana (published about 1630), a Sinfonia by Mont' Albano (1629), Canzoni by Tarquinio Merula (1639), Canzoni and a Sonata by Massimiliano Neri (1644. and 51). From about 1650, the name Canzone falls out of use, and Sonata is the universally accepted term for violin-compositions. M. Neri appears to have been the first to have made the distinction be- tween 'Sonata da chiesa' (church-sonata) and ' Sonata da camera ' (chamber-sonata). The So- nata da chiesa generally consisted of 3 or 4 move- ments : a prelude, in slow measured time and of pathetic character, followed by an allegro in fu- gato-form ; again a slow movement and a finale of more lively and brilliant character. The Sonata da camera, at this early period, was in reality a Suite of Dances the slow and solemn Sarabandes and Allemandes alternating with the lively Ga- vottes, Gigues, etc. The artistic capabilities of the violin, and its powers for musical expression, once discovered, the Roman Catholic clergy, who have ever been anxious to avail themselves of the elevating and refining power of the fine arts, were not slow to introduce it in the services of the Church. We have seen already the extended use which Gabrieli, in his church-music, made of orchestral accompaniments, and how, from merely supporting and doubling the voices, he proceeded to obligate instrumental settings. From about 1650, instrumental performances unconnected with vocal music began to form a regular part

�� �