LABELS: Koch Schwann
WORKS: Piccola Sonata for Solo Violin No. 13; Piccola Sonata for Solo Violin No. 16; Piccola Sonata for Solo Violin No. 20; Piccola Sonata for Solo Violin No. 21; Piccola Sonata for Solo Violin No. 22; Piccola Sonata for Solo Violin No. 24; Piccola Sonata for S
PERFORMER: Andrea Cappelletti (violin)
CATALOGUE NO: 3-1126-2 DDD
Tartini cuts something of an odd figure in history, suspended between the Baroque and the Classical, and admired by the Romantic Paganini (largely for his fiendishly difficult Sonata in G minor, the ‘Devil’s Trill’). Tartini was an innovative teacher, whose Padua school promoted great advances in violin technique, but, as these eight sonatas demonstrate, he showed little interest in the development of sonata form – the sonatas are often cast as conventional dance movements in binary form.
What sets Tartini apart from his predecessors (notably Bach and Corelli) is his conviction that art should primarily imitate nature, which, in his musical terms, meant that what is natural for the voice is natural for the violin. Thus these sonatas are largely shorn of contrapuntal complexities and are given pure, cantabile, melodic lines. Andrea Cappelletti brings a warm and focused tone to these aria-like movements, though his pacing might be thought rather leisurely. Elsewhere, he is able to communicate the rhythmic dances with a good deal of elegance.
This recording claims to be a world premiere – the neglect of this music is surprising, as there is much to enjoy and admire here. William Humphreys-Jones