Evolution of the solo violin concept throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and the interchangeability of treble instruments in works for baroque violin and transverse flute

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2023

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Abstract

This dissertation reviews the compositional forms in selected Baroque violin and flute music of Italian, Austrian and German composers Pandolfi-Mealli, Lonati, Viviani, Albinoni, Schmelzer, Mayr, Westhoff, Bach, and Telemann. Their works include sonatas for solo violin with basso continuo accompaniment, da chiesa sonatas for violin and organ, and unaccompanied solo violin and solo flute suites, partitas, and fantasias. The works for solo flute are observed in the context of the interchangeability of the treble instruments. Analysis of the compositional forms in the 17th century allows us to trace the progression of the solo violin concept, which was not yet clearly defined at the time. The prospect of the interchangeability of treble instruments is applied to the 18th-century dance suite cycle for a violin/flute without bass, tested in a practical application on the recording that supplements the dissertation. My argument is based on a thorough study of the violin idiom’s development and the rhetorical principles of the Baroque era: descriptive notation, doctrine of affects, figuration, and phrasing. The historical context is supported in the reflection on the evolution of sonata genre: its use, function, and structure in the early-, mid-, and high Baroque. The last segment of the dissertation, Repertoire Analysis, showcases the perception of the music of the full Baroque spectrum (17th-18th centuries), both from the performer’s as well as the listener’s side, and is based on my live-recital and studio recording of the accompanied and unaccompanied works for violin and flute.

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