Baroque Duos is a new programme with Estehaagse Ensemble.
The violin duo emerged in the 18th Century, as music moved away from the court and towards a more intimate and conversational style suitable for the salon.
The programme includes two contrasting duos for violas: W.F. Bach, with a contrapunatal approach which looks back stylistically to the music of his father, and Stamitz in Mannheim, with a lighter and more melodic approach which looks forward to a classical style.
The French composer Leclair and Swiss composer Gaspard Fritz both studied violin in Turin with Giovanni Battista Somis, a student of Corelli. Though Fritz was based in Geneva, and Leclair in Paris, both also performed at the Concert Spirituel series in Paris. However, the rivalry between French and Italian style was still strong in the mid 18th Century, and according to Japp Schroeder, the 'utterly Italian style' of Fritz's playing with 'vigorous gestures and profuse ornamentation' was not such a success with the more refined French taste. Later,the Italian Viotti would also perform the Concert Spirituel. and his lyrical and operatic style would lay the foundations for the 'french' violin school of the 19th Century.
Duo in g minor Andante/Allegro, from "Trois Duos Concertants" op.9, Geovanni Battista Viotti (1755- 1824)
Recorded September 2018 at the English Church of St. John and St. Philips, Den Haag.
Estehaagse Ensemble James Hewitt and Xiangji Zeng, violins.