《Sonata for Violin and Basso Continuo in G Minor, Op. 1, No. 1》

Francesco Maria Veracini (1690-1768)

Antonio Stradivari "Joachim-Elman", Vi (1722)、Matteo goffriller,Vc (1700)

Veracini, an Italian composer and violinist, was born into a family of musicians in Florence. The historical sources suggest that his grandfather was one of the earliest violinists, while Veracini himself was regarded one of the first violinists to become famous throughout Europe. As a child, he studied the violin under his uncle, Antonio Veracini (1659–1745) . Legend has it that, after hearing Veracini play in 1712, the Italian violinist Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770) was astonished by his amazing technical virtuosity, which inspired Tartini to work harder on his own violin technique. Veracini travelled widely during his lifetime. In 1711, he left home and lived in Venice. By 1714, he was giving concerts in London, and in 1717, he joined the court orchestra at Dresden. After spending over three decades away from home, he returned to Italy in 1745. Most of Veracini’s compositions are works for the violin, although he also wrote operas during his sojourn in London. In terms of his technique and the types of composition that he produced, he was very much a disciple of Corelli, although he took this tradition along new paths, creating works that were even finer than those of his master. Compositions by Veracini, a musician better known for his violin performance style, include a set of twelve violin sonatas published in 1721 (Opus 1) , and the Sonate accademiche (Opus 2) for violin soloist and basso continuo, dating from 1744. The sonata in G Minor that is included in this recording comes from Op. 1, and was composed during the period in which Veracini was working at the royal court in Dresden. In terms of its structure, this piece uses neither the conventional sonata da camera form of the time nor the slow-fast-slow-fast structure of the sonata da chiesa, instead adopting a “free”, multi-movement structure, with a wide range of styles. It opens with a solemn prelude in the French style, reflecting the popularity of French music in the royal court of Dresden during that period. While in Germany, Veracini was infected by the German fondness for fantasia pieces (with an emphasis on the vocal arrangements) . In this particular piece, he refrains from excessive embellishment, aiming for a refined, elegant simplicity. Other segments of the sonata are in the Italian aria style, “peasant” style, minuet, and the Italian gigue style. The violin used in this recording is a 1722 Stradivari. It is known as the “Joachim-Elman” violin, and had been used by the 19th and 20th century master violinists Joseph Joachim (1831 – 1907) and Mischa Elman (1891 – 1967) respectively.