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Giovanni Battista Viotti. A Composer between the Two Revolutions

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Product Details

Contents: Essays by Clive Brown, Giuliano Castellani, Federico Celestini, Mariateresa Dellaborra, Alessandro Di Profio, Alexandre Dratwicki, Simon P. Keefe, Warwick Lister, Simon McVeigh, David Milsom, Mara Parker, David Rowland, Bruce R. Schueneman, Christian Speck, Rohan H. Stewart-MacDonald, Robin Stowell, Denise Yim

Editor: Massimiliano Sala
Publication Date: 2006
Series: Ad Parnassum Studies
Pages: pp. 468
Size: 170x240 mm
Binding: Hardback (Cloth Hard Cover with Jacket)
ISBN: 978-88-8109-457-8
Code: APS 2

Description

In the span of time that bridged the ancien régime and the Restoration, the absolute monarchies made way for bourgeois liberal aspirations, the cities opened their walls to the increasingly broad horizons of trade and industry, and society witnessed a gradual conversion of rural into urban communities and the birth of new social classes linked to the categories of work. The court, as a stable socio-economic system, began to be replaced by processes of liberalization in the professions and respective ‘productive’ systems. Thus in the musical sphere the growth of public places for hearing music that provided alternatives to the court drastically influenced the system of production, modifying the boundaries between the public and private spheres and the relationship between production and fruition. This general context, with its profound dynamics and numerous vicissitudes, must have influenced Viotti’s human and professional history in some way. It is interesting to note the progressive development, in the composer’s personality, of a certain fragility linked to the fact of performing in the public sphere, whether it be in the civil arena (owing to the political events mentioned earlier) or in the world of ‘real performance’ and musical display. A world in continual transformation like that inhabited by Viotti, a world poised between two revolutions, was capable of engendering such a degree of inner tension as to induce a progressive renunciation that took the form of successive and differentiated actions (concert performing, impresario activities, trade) and eventually a wholesale escape.

Series Details

Ad Parnassum Studies
General Editor: Luca Lévi Sala

The series of Studies of the twice-yearly journal Ad Parnassum. A Journal of 18th and 19th-Century Instrumental Music is devoted to individual composers who have made a significant impact in the field of instrumental music.
In this way they remain securely within the journal’s area of interest, though without actually imposing strict limits on the specific themes treated, given that the entire output of the composers concerned may be taken into account, not just the instrumental music.

Reviews

Ad Parnassum, vol. 5, n. 9 (April 2007)
... Massimiliano Sala's handsome volume is thus a welcome accomplishment. The editor has marshalled a roster of fine scholars who bring wide-ranging knowledge to bear on some of the most pressing questions regarding Viotti's life, works, and historical significance. Collectively, the sixteen essays included present a vastly enriched, substantially revised image of the composer and the cultural environments in which he worked. ... Yet the very fact that the unanswered questions now seem as urgent as they do surely attests to this volume's success in bringing Viotti and his times to life, reminding us of the great violinist's historical importance and unjustified neglect, and pointing the way toward further studies of the artist himself and those political, social, and economic forces that formed the complex, continually shifting backdrop to his career. (Floyd Grave)

Archi Magazine, gennaio/febbraio 2007
... Il volume che la Ut Orpheus dedica a Viotti costituisce una novità della serie Ad Parnassum Studies, studi del giornale di musicologia con cadenza semestrale (Aprile e Ottobre) che tratta esclusivamente della musica strumentale del XVIII e XIX secolo.
Il libro, a cura di Massimiliano Sala, è scritto a più mani e ciascun capitolo è riportato nella lingua originale dell'autore che ne ha scritto il testa (Italiano, Inglese, Francese e Tedesco).
Vengono ripercorse le principali 'tappe' della vita del compositore (la sua permanenza a Parigi e il grande trionfo al Concert Spirituel, la sua attività da impresario in Francia e in Inghilterra), vengono riportati documenti che testimoniano i suoi rapporti con Ferdinando Paer (collaborarono ad un progetto, poi fallito, per l'allestimento del grand-opéra Olinde et Sophronie), con Muzio Clementi (ricordiamo che insieme fondarono la Philharmonic Society e che tentarono senza successo di trasformarla in Royal Academy of Music). Ma soprattutto viene dedicato ampio spazio a Viotti violinista, capostipite della moderna scuola violinistica, alle sue opere più significative (i concerti per violino, con particolare riguardo al Concerto n. 22 nelle diverse edizioni, e i quartetti), al suo stile e alla sua influenza sulle generazioni che lo seguirono. ... (Silvia Mancini)

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