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Sonata in ecco con tre violini From Op.8. Sonate, symphonie, canzoni, passe'mezzi, baletti, corenti, gagliarde e retornelli

Biagio Marini (d. 1663

Concerto Copenhagen (photo credit: Henrik Sorensen )

Concerto Copenhagen (photo credit: Henrik Sorensen )

Composer
Biagio Marini (d. 1663
Composition Year
1626
Artists
Fredrik Bock [lute], Mattias Frostenson [bass], Kate Hearne [cello], Antina Hugosson [violin], Fredrik From [violin], Peter Spissky [violin]

Programme Note Writer:
© Kate Hearne

Biagio Marini was a virtuoso violinist and a composer. Born in Brescia in the North of Italy, today he is best remembered for his innovative instrumental compositions and his contribution to the development of the string idiom in the first half of the 17th century. His violin sonatas in particular broke many of the existing boundaries of the time, and it is here we find the first use of double and triple stopping, as well explicitly notated tremolo effects and the use of scordatura tuning.

In his Sonata in ecco con tre violini, Marini’s compositional inventiveness is further demonstrated by the addition of two hidden violin players, creating the acoustical illusion of an echo. The sonata was composed while Marini was employed by the Wittelsbachs in the small Bavarian town of Neuberg, but there is no doubt that the echo sonata was inspired by the time he worked under Monteverdi at the Cathedral of San Marco in Venice around 1615. The amazing stereo effect created by having music pouring from opposing choir balconies in the cathedral brought with it the problem of delay and echo, and composers began to take advantage of this as a useful special effect. The dramatic use of the echo in vocal music of the time was quite common, and composers such as Monteverdi often used it to describe the feeling of inner torment. Marini removes this rhetoric figure out of the vocal genre and takes on the challenge of advancing his exploration of the technical possibilities on the violin, but without the help of narrative contextualisation. This bold move resulted in one of the most unusual and finest instrumental compositions of the early 17th century. 

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Sonata in ecco con tre violini From Op.8. Sonate, symphonie, canzoni, passe'mezzi, baletti, corenti, gagliarde e retornelli

Composer: Biagio Marini (d. 1663
Performance date: Sunday 29th June 2014
Venue: St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland

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Composer Biagio Marini (d. 1663
Work Title Sonata in ecco con tre violini From Op.8. Sonate, symphonie, canzoni, passe'mezzi, baletti, corenti, gagliarde e retornelli
Composition Year 1626
Artist(s) Fredrik Bock [lute], Mattias Frostenson [bass], Kate Hearne [cello], Antina Hugosson [violin], Fredrik From [violin], Peter Spissky [violin]
Performance Date Sunday 29th June 2014
Performance Venue St. Brendan's Church, Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland
Event Coffee Concert
Duration 00:05:39
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTE
Instrumentation Category Small Mixed Ensemble
Instrumentation 3vn, vc, db, lu
Programme Note Writer © Kate Hearne

Biagio Marini was a virtuoso violinist and a composer. Born in Brescia in the North of Italy, today he is best remembered for his innovative instrumental compositions and his contribution to the development of the string idiom in the first half of the 17th century. His violin sonatas in particular broke many of the existing boundaries of the time, and it is here we find the first use of double and triple stopping, as well explicitly notated tremolo effects and the use of scordatura tuning.

In his Sonata in ecco con tre violini, Marini’s compositional inventiveness is further demonstrated by the addition of two hidden violin players, creating the acoustical illusion of an echo. The sonata was composed while Marini was employed by the Wittelsbachs in the small Bavarian town of Neuberg, but there is no doubt that the echo sonata was inspired by the time he worked under Monteverdi at the Cathedral of San Marco in Venice around 1615. The amazing stereo effect created by having music pouring from opposing choir balconies in the cathedral brought with it the problem of delay and echo, and composers began to take advantage of this as a useful special effect. The dramatic use of the echo in vocal music of the time was quite common, and composers such as Monteverdi often used it to describe the feeling of inner torment. Marini removes this rhetoric figure out of the vocal genre and takes on the challenge of advancing his exploration of the technical possibilities on the violin, but without the help of narrative contextualisation. This bold move resulted in one of the most unusual and finest instrumental compositions of the early 17th century.