Francesco Maria Veracini: Notes and Commentary

Francesco Maria Veracini was an Italian composer and violinist, perhaps best known for his sets of violin sonatas. In addition to violin sonatas, operas and oratorios, Veracini also wrote violin concertos, sonatas for recorder and basso continuo, and orchestral suites, called Overtures. The six Overtures were performed for Prince Friedrich August in Venice in 1716, as part of Veracini’s ultimately successful attempt to secure a position at the Dresden court. They are all either in F major or B-flat major, except for one in G minor. The last one of these, in B-flat major, is remarkable for concluding with a unison minuet. Veracini also wrote a theory treatise, Il trionfo della pratica musicale (The Triumph of Musical Practice), and edited other composers’ works, adding changes of his own, such as he did in his Dissertazioni with the Opus 5 Violin Sonatas of Arcangelo Corelli.

There is a legend that, when Giuseppe Tartini heard Veracini playing the violin in 1712, he was so impressed by his bowing technique, and so dissatisfied with his own skill, that he retreated the next day to Ancona “in order to study the use of the bow in more tranquility, and with more convenience than at Venice,” where he had a place assigned him in the opera orchestra of that city. Veracini lived from February 1, 1690, to October 31, 1768.—Excerpted from Wikipedia

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