by Christopher Verrette, violin
The diverse roster of composers in A Grand Tour of Italy, guest directed by Rodolfo
Richter, affords a lot of opportunity for further listening and some interesting viewing, too. The music of Uccellini is certainly worthy of more attention. He wrote music for both solo and multiple violins, including this Sinfonia for three.
The revival of interest in Vivaldi's music is one of the great comeback stories in classical music, and research into his life, music and its manner of performance is ongoing. Here is a performance from Venice that attempts to recreate the all-female choir he would have written for at the Pieta. Yes, even the tenors and basses are women!
Here is another beautiful sonata from La Cetra by Legrenzi, performed by Quicksilver, of which our own Domenic Teresi is a member.
I had not played anything by Valentini prior to this week. Listen to his concerti grossi from Op. 7 performed by Ensemble 415 — and hear the musicians of the Tafelmusik Winter Institute perform the 7th Concerto at their concert on January 11!
Corelli was so revered in life that in death he lies in Rome's Pantheon. He was commemorated in annual performances there for years, and in 2013, on the 300th anniversary of his passing, violinist Davide Monti led a flash mob performance of one of his concerti grossi outside the building.
As Castello appears to have been a wind player, it is interesting to hear his music performed on the cornetto, a kind of woodwind-brass hybrid instrument that was popular in Venice at that time. Listen to it here.
Bertali must have been an accomplished violinist as well as a leading composer of his time. This Ciaconna is perhaps his most popular work today.
Marini is particularly noted for his innovations as a violinist. This solo sonata is one of his most adventuresome.
Lully's Chaconne from Phaëton is one of relatively few pieces for which notated choreography survives from the Baroque period. Watch the reconstruction of what it may have looked like by Carlos Fittante and Voices of Music.