Trios for two Violins and Cello
In 1757, at the age of sixteen, Luigi Tomasini (1741-1808), from Pesaro, found employment as a household servant and musician at the court of Prince Paul Anton Esterházy. He immediately demonstrated exceptional musical gifts, and in 1759 was invited to Venice to perfect his violin playing. He returned about two years later to Esterházy, where he perhaps received composition lessons from Haydn, who was at that time maestro di cappella. (The reports that Tomasini was an apprentice to Leopold Mozart in Salzburg in 1763 are unsubstantiated. )Indipendent of any scholastic ties, Haydn and Tomasini were united by a mutual esteem and admiration which resulted in a longlasting and proficuous collaboration. The violinist was in fact the dedicatee of a number of compositions which Haydn, as Kappelmeister, wrote for diverse occasions and courtly ceremonies; at these times a prestigious orchestra, formed by such fine musicians as the cellists Joseph Weigl and Marteau and the horn player Joseph Leutgeb, entertained the prince Nikolaus and his guests. In these works, Tomasini filled the role of “first violin” (for approximately twenty years, from 1790 to 1802, when the ensemble was disbanded), and later “director of chamber music”, admirably performing the works which Haydn dedicated to the Esterházy forces. His abilities and sensitivity led him to take command of complex musical situations and interpret new stylistic trends. For these qualities, he was chosen to form a quartet with which he would concertize in various German and Austrian cities, executing works both by Haydn and by other masters of the new generation.