Gottfried von der Goltz

Geminiani: The Art of Playing on the Violin, Op. 9

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The instructional treatises of Francesco Geminiani were broadly known in Britain in the middle of the 18th century; the one explored here, The Art of Playing on the Violin, was even reprinted in the American colonies. They deserve to be better known than they are, and this release by German, historical-performance specialist Gottfried von der Goltz is, therefore, welcome. The question of ornamentation in Baroque violin music is usually an open one, but here it's not: in the 12 "Compositions" that lie at the center of the program, Geminiani shows you exactly how to do it. These are interesting little works in themselves (sample any of them): some little sonata movements, some contrapuntal essays or slow melodies, some sonata da camera dances. Presumably the lessons acquired from studying them might have been applied in the two sonatas for violin and continuo at the end, although those were written earlier. There is also an example of how violinists of the day were taught to do pure improvisation, which still gets short shrift in Baroque programming. The continuo, with a marvelously sensitive theorbo from Thomas C. Boysen, is exceptionally fine. One might have hoped for more specific information in the notes about the role of the Compositions and the specific lessons they were intended to impart, and also for more intimate home music-room sound as opposed to the flashy, over-bright environments from Freiburg's Little Tribeca studio. But this will be a must-have for those interested in Baroque violin music.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
The Art of Playing on the Violin, Op. 9
1 01:01 Amazon
2 01:40 Amazon
3 01:48 Amazon
4 02:10 Amazon
5 02:09 Amazon
6 02:33 Amazon
7 02:00 Amazon
8 02:58 Amazon
9 01:46 Amazon
10 02:20 Amazon
11 02:00 Amazon
12 02:39 Amazon
13 03:12 Amazon
Sonata No. 8, Op. 4
14 01:29 Amazon
15 05:07 Amazon
16 03:13 Amazon
17 02:16 Amazon
Sonata No. 6, Op. 4
18 02:27 Amazon
19 03:19 Amazon
20 04:19 Amazon
21 03:20 Amazon
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