“Le Père-Créateur” of Modern School of Violin Playing: Marking the Anniversary of Giovanni B. Viotti

Polina B. Podmazova


The article focuses on one of the key figures in the world of music at the turn of the 18th/19th centuries, an acknowledged leader of French school of violin playing — G. B. Viotti. The study is the first attempt of Russian musicology to highlight the role of Viotti as the founder of the modern school of violin playing.

Viotti’s performing art with its large-scale and expressive manner of playing that reveals all the possibilities of violin as an instrument as well as ample opportunity for its artistic presentation, is vividly reflected in the genre of the solo violin concerto. His vision of the genre served as a model for the next generation of violin composers.

Viotti’s traditions of creativity have extended throughout Europe. In France, they were developed by his closest followers — R. Kreutzer, P. Rode, P. Baillot, who embodied them in their joint work — the famous “Méthode de violon” (1802) of the Paris Conservatory. A. Robberechts became their successor in the Franco-Belgian violin school, while F. W. Pixis developed Viotti’s tradition in the Czech school. Viotti’s principles are rooted in German violin art thanks to the composing and performing activities of L. Spohr. At the new stage in the development of violin performance, a great contribution to the preservation and development of Viotti’s tradition was made by J. Joachim and L. Auer. The two outstanding teachers brought up more than one generation of famous violinists.

N. Paganini, L. van Beethoven, F. Mendelssohn, H. Vieuxtemps, H. Wieniawski, E. Lalo, A. Dvořák, P. Tchaikovsky, A. Glazunov, J. Sibelius, as well as S. Prokofiev, D. Shostakovich, and A. Khachaturian borrowed, rethought and interpreted the creative ideas of Viotti’s concerts and the traces of these ideas are found in their violin works.

The paper offers a fresh look at the activities of the greatest violinist of the past and evaluates Viotti’s contribution to the formation of the best traditions of violin playing.

Keywords: Viotti, Pugnani, Kreutzer, Rode, Baillot, Tourte, Paris, French violin concerto

For citation: Podmazova P. B. “Le Père-Créateur” of Modern School of Violin Playing: Marking the Anniversary of Giovanni B. Viotti [Electronic source]. In: Sovremennye problemy muzykoznaniya / Contemporary Musicology, 2020, no. 2, pp. 27–49. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.56620/2587-9731-2020-2-027-049


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.56620/2587-9731-2020-2-027-049

Copyright (c) 2020 Polina B. Podmazova

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