Sonata sopra La Monica, from ‘Sonate, symphonie, canzoni, passe’mezzi, baletti, corenti, gagliarde e retornelli’ Op.8

Composer: Biagio Marini (b. 1594 - d. 1663)
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Composer: Biagio Marini (b. 1594 - d. 1663)

Performance date: 01/07/2013

Venue: St. Brendan’s Church

Composition Year: 1629

Duration: 00:03:54

Recording Engineer: Damian Chennells, RTÉ lyric fm

Instrumentation Category:Baroque Ensemble

Instrumentation Other: 2vn, vc, thb, hpd

Artists: Elbipolis Barockorchester Hamburg (Albrecht Kühner [violin], David Maria Gramse [violin], Kate Hearne [cello], Andreas Arend [theorbo], Veronika Brass [harpsichord]) - [baroque ensemble]

Biagio Marini was
a virtuoso violinist and a composer, born in Brescia in the North of Italy. He
was a very well travelled man, holding positions in Belgium, Germany and
throughout Italy, and in 1615 he joined Monteverdi’s ensemble at St. Mark’s
Cathedral in Venice. Although much of his output is lost, both the solo and
instrumental violin music which has survived exhibits an inventiveness and a
boldness that was way ahead of his time. The first use of double and triple
stopping can be found in Marini’s works, as well as explicitly notated tremolo
effects and the use of scordatura tuning.

The trio sonata La Monica is taken from one of the most
extensive collections of violin literature of the seventeenth century: 69
compositions which Marini wrote in 1626 while in Neuberg on the Danube and
published three years later in Venice as his Opus 8. At first glance, Marini’s
work doesn’t seem to bear all that much resemblance to the popular Italian folk
tune, La Monica, but on close
analysis, there are harmonic similarities and appearances of small snippets of
the tune throughout. La Monica tells
the story of a young girl forced to become a nun against her will, which seems
to be a recurring theme in Italian Folklore from Mediaeval and Renaissance
times. The memorable opening theme in the upper voices reappears throughout the
piece, interspersed with passages of free variations.