Pietro Nardini was a highly respected violinist and composer in 18th century Italy. His quartets are melodious, charming works written in well-crafted classical style, with a predominance of the first violin, and conspicuous for the absence of Basso Continuo.
Born into a humble family in 18th-century Italy, Pietro Nardini’s talent for violin playing led him to Livorno to study with the celebrated Giuseppe Tartini, where he reportedly became as good a violinist as his teacher. He travelled throughout Europe and was resident musician at several of its major courts – notably Tuscany, where he was Director of Music. Such was his reputation as an extraordinarily expressive technician that he was asked to play in the presence of King Ferdinand and Queen Carolina in Naples as well as Wolfgang and Leopold Mozart, not to mention other celebrities of the age.
His string quartets, initially written for the amateurs of the Florentine public, were widely commercial and published all over Europe, and this is reflected in their simplistic nature. The first three, in which the violin is the prevalent instrument, seem to follow the European traditions of the era, while the final three give equal prominence to the viola and cello. The pieces show a certain modernity when compared to his other chamber works in the lack of basso continuo and use of simple sonata form, as well as a possible German influence in the imitative parts. Performing the works is the acclaimed Quartetto Eleusi, one of Europe’s leading ensembles in the field of historically informed performance.
- Recorded in January 2012, for the first time on CD: the 6 String Quartets of Nardini!
- Played on authentic instruments in the historically informed performance practice by the Italian Quartetto Eleusi.
- Contains extensive notes on the composer.