Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Nardini Violin Sonatas

If you love what I like to think of as "transitional" virtuoso violin music (transitional between the Baroque and Classical periods), and you're a fiddle player, you really should check out Pietro Nardini's 12 Violin Sonatas. This manuscript from Dresden in the IMSLP is identified as a 19th-century manuscript, but I think that it might be from the 18th century for various reasons.

First of all, there's the strange use of the G clef on the bottom line of the staff. It functions just like any normally-placed G clef. Also the bass clef is a letter F, and not a C clef, and it functions like any normal bass clef. I believe that by the 19th century these clef-related things were ironed out. The not normal stuff (aside from the really ingenious violin writing) is that when you see a flat sign in a key that has sharps in the key signature, it functions as a natural sign. This took me some time to figure out (and by doing so I've saved you time, oh eager violinist).

Here's an example of nifty violin writing:

Now I'll get back to reading some more of these wonderful treasures.

Oh yes. That hand-written in the manuscript refers to the inclusion of this piece in Ferdinand David's Hohe Schule des Violinspiels. Perhaps he only had room in it for one of Nardini's Sonatas. I think he could have picked any of them.

1 comment:

Allen Garvin said...

I think that's a normal G clef, not a violin clef--it's just drawn a little lower. After all, the flats and sharps are on the correct lines for a standard G clef.

(Also, I hate movable G clefs. I have no trouble with a baritone clef or any of the 5 C clefs, but I just cannot wrap my mind around violin clefs).