Gaspard Fritz - Violin Sonatas (1756)
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Label: Pan Classics
Cat No: PC10295
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 13th January 2014
ArtistsPlamena Nikitassova (violin)
Maya Amrein (cello)
Jorg-Andreas Botticher (harpsichord)
That Gaspard Fritz was by no means a composer of provincial music that could be reduced to a type of Swiss Pre-Classicism becomes immediately clear upon listening to his Sonatas, Op.3: North Italian, English and French elements come together in a highly virtuoso manner in which extended ornamentation and improvised passages play an important role.
The Bulgarian violinist Plamena Nikitassova studied baroque violin with Chiara Banchini at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and interprets these works with a lightness that seems to know no technical difficulties. As on her prize-winning recording with violin sonatas of Carlo Zuccari (Diapason d’or 10/2012), she is accompanied here by the cellist Maya Amrein and the harpsichordist Jörg-Andreas Bötticher.
The violinist and composer Gaspard Fritz (1716-1783) from Geneva is one of the better-known unknowns in the music history of the 18th century. Following instruction from Giovanni-Battista Somis in Turin, Fritz returned to his native city, characterised by Calvinism. There were no public concerts or theatrical performances there, so he became active as a violin and music teacher. Geneva was a regular station on the way to Italy on the Grand Tours customary of the age, and Fritz maintained stimulating exchanges with the foreign educated classes in the city – the lack of concerts was at least partially compensated by the performances at the "Common Room", the social club of the English-speaking population in Geneva.
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