Recorded on 12/28/2004, uploaded on 01/18/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
day opinion views the changing of masterpieces from a previous era as barbaric.
However, the pioneers of historic performance practice often approached
medieval and baroque works with an open mind and a creative pen. Nineteenth
century musicians and musicologists commonly saw nothing wrong with changing a
rediscovered piece so that the unfamiliar appealed to contemporary tastes. While we continue to unravel nineteenth
century fact from fiction, we owe these pioneers our present day fascination
for the "authentic".
In this manner, Tommaso Vitali's Chaconne
for violin and piano is now best known to us in the version prepared by Leopold
Charlier, a professor at the Liège Conservatoire and a leading figure of the
Franco-Belgian violin school. Comparing the Vitali score with the Charlier
version we can barely see the resemblance and yet we cannot deny the beauty of
both scores, separated by over two hundred years of aesthetic change. The slow
and solemn chord sequence -a set of variations above a repeated bass line-which
constitutes Vitali's original Chaconne, forms the skeleton for
Charlier's version. Charlier takes the expressive qualities of Vitali's
original and creates a truly romantic set of violin variations spun out over
the chaconne form. The work is full of nineteenth century bravura and balances
contemporary virtuoso technique with the broad melodic contour that links
Italian Bel Canto with the Franco-Belgian taste for tonal expression. As
such this version remains firmly rooted in the violin repertory alongside its
namesake. Andrew Smith
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
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