Johann Schmelzer: Sonata Quarta; Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin, with Voices of Music – William Skeen – Hanneke van Proosdij – David Tayler

Johann Schmelzer’s Sonata Quarta in D Major from Sonatae Unarum Fidium (1664). Live video from the Voices of Music Great Artists Series in San Francisco. Featuring Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin; William Skeen, viola da gamba; Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque organ, and David Tayler, theorbo. One of the finest examples of the early baroque German sonatas for violin and continuo, the Sonata Quarta of Johann Schmelzer combines florid passagework with harmonic and contrapuntal ingenuity. A ground bass connects each of the varied movements, and the work concludes with a virtuosic cadenza over a pedal point. Considered one of the finest violinists in world in 1660, Schmelzer published a collection of his solo sonatas of 1664; these are some of the most important works for the violin in the 17th century. The sonatas are Italianate in style, and set the stage for subsequent works of Biber and Bach.

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