The original variations over the simple basic pattern are astonishingly inventive and pack a powerful emotional punch for such a seemingly abstract genre. – John Henken
Tomaso Antonio Vitali (1663 –1745) must have been quite a fiddler. Annotator John Henken of the Los Angeles Philharmonic notes that Vitali “joined the court orchestra of the Este family in Modena as a violinist when he was 12 years old, became the orchestra’s leader, and remained on the ducal payroll for 67 years. He published four volumes of chamber music featuring the violin and taught a number of the next generation’s leading violinists.”
For all that, however, Vitali is remember today for one towering work – a Chaconne for violin so astonishing in it virtuosic fire and invention that no less a violinist than Jascha Heifetz played it at his recital debut at Carnegie Hall.
This Baroque masterpiece got an exquisite rendering by Heifetz Institute alum Ji-Won Song on our recent “Heifetz Holiday Tour” stop at the Kreeger Museum of Art in Washington, DC. Joined by our faculty pianist Stefan Petrov, Ji-Won performed this masterpiece ‘midst the priceless Kreeger collection of artworks!
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