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Martino Bitti - Nicola Francesco Haim
Sonatas for Violin and Continuo

Not many people are familiar with the name of Martino Bitti, forgotten musician, fine violinist and composer active between the 17th and 18th centuries and belonging to the large ranks of musicians who succeeded Corelli. Bitti was born in Genoa around 1656 and got his musical training in Venice perhaps with the violinist Giovanni Battista Vivaldi, father of the much more famous Antonio. Already in 1688, we find Bitti in Florence first in the service of Ferdinando dei Medici as a generic “suonatore di violino” and later in that of Cosimo III as “primo violino” (in 1689). He remained in the Tuscan capital for over thirty years, probably until his death between 1725 and 1730 (Giazotto believes he did not die before 1743). Nicola Francesco Haim was born in Italy to parents of German origin. A versatile figure, he was not only an excellent cellist but also an interesting composer and man of letters. In 1722 he replaced P. A. Rolli as the official Italian librettist at the Royal Academy of Music in London, later coming into contact with Haendel for whom he wrote a number of librettos. His many-sided talents also extended to publishing, where a memorable work was Torquato Tasso’s “Gerusalemme liberata”. Not much remains instead of his instrumental compositions: two groups of trio Sonatas op. 1 and 2, published in Amsterdam in 1703-4, a Sonata for 2 flutes and the 4 sonatas recorded here of the six making up the collection known as VI Sonate da camera a flauto traversa, haubuois o violino solo. Published by Roger between 1708 and 1712, this is actually the very first example of an Italian work expressly written for transverse flute. Though of doubtless documentary-historic value for the original heading, these sonatas are more probably adaptations of compositions for the violin

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Cod.: TC.652701
Composer: Martino Bitti - Nicola Francesco Haim
Performers: Alessandra Talamo: violino; Federico Ferri: violoncello; Stefano Rocco: arciliuto, tiorba, chitarra barocca; Daniele Proni: clavicembalo
Edition: March 2005