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Schmelzer - Sonata Quarta

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Uploaded on Aug 25, 2008

JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER (1623-1680)

"Sonata Quarta" for violin and basso continuo

Performed by Catham Baroque

*Live recording

**Johann Heinrich von Schmelzer was an Austrian composer and violinist of the baroque era. He worked in Vienna and died in Prague. Schmelzer attained a high reputation in a field (violin playing and violin composition) which at the time was dominated by Italians; indeed, one traveler referred to him in 1660 as "nearly the most eminent violinist in all of Europe". Schmelzer's Sonatae unarum fidium of 1664 was the first collection of sonatas for violin and basso continuo to be published by a German-speaking composer. It contains the brilliant virtuosity, sectional structure, and lengthy ground-bass variations typical of the mid-baroque violin sonata.

Schmelzer was the foremost Austrian composer of instrumental music of his day, and had an important influence on the Austrian violinist and composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704), who is believed to have been one of Schmelzer's students.

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