Recorded or Rendered Work - Performance

The Emperor's Fiddler: Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, Sonatae unarum fidium

David Irving

Obsidian Records | Published : 2018


Johann Heinrich Schmelzer was a leading violin virtuoso in mid-seventeenth-century Europe, highly favoured by Holy Roman Emperors Ferdinand III and Leopold I. His six Sonatæ unarum fidium (Sonatas for one fiddle) take pride of place in the history of violin music as the earliest collection of sonatas published by a native German-speaking composer, in 1664. These works cover the full gamut of emotions, from extreme passions and extravagant virtuosity to the most intimate and profound expressions of poetic introspection, with elegant dances inserted for good measure. Schmelzer likely played violins made by Jacob Stainer, the most celebrated luthier in Europe, whose violins were renowned for th..

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