Personalities | Giovanni Battista Viotti | Early Romantic | Classical

(Jo-van’-ne Bat-tes’-ta Ve-ot’-te) 1755–1824
Italian violinist and composer

The most influential violinist between Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770) and Paganini, Viotti is considered the founder of modern violin playing. He studied with Gaetano Pugnani and played in the royal chapel orchestra at Turin for five years (in the back desk of the first violins), before going on tour with his teacher. Viotti moved on to Paris and was an instant success. He continued to perform regularly before entering royal service in 1784; the French Revolution forced him to flee to London, ending the most successful period of his career. By 1801 he had retired from music, until his brief appointment in 1818 as director of the Paris Opéra. Viotti’s most important compositions are his 29 violin concertos which, while more restrained in virtuosity than was soon the norm, were highly influential.

Recommended Recording:
Violin Concertos (various vols), Symphonia Perusina (sol & dir) Franco Mezzena (Dynamic)

Introduction | Early Romantic | Classical
Personalities | Vincent Wallace | Early Romantic | Classical


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