The very first sentence in the very first novel, Master and Commander, is all about music. It reads …
The music-room in the Governor's House at Port Mahon, a tall, handsome, pillared octagon, was filled with the triumphant first movement of Locatelli's C major quartet.
We are then introduced to Aubrey and Maturin who almost fight a duel at their first meeting but then become friends and set off on the first of their many voyages together etc etc. That’s all fine but many readers are left with a question: Who is this Locatelli?
Pietro Locatelli was something of a violinist’s violinist, but his music is more than finger twisting technical exercises. He brought the art of the Baroque concerto to new levels of expressiveness by building on the work of Corelli, retaining older forms but filling them with a new musical language. And he made a major contribution to music by taking the violin in uncharted directions.
Locatelli explored the edges of the violin’s capabilities and opened up new ways of using it, to not only imitate the human voice, but as a music making machine in its own right. He laid the foundations for modern violin playing. And his professional life, autonomous and free from uncertain patronage, foreshadowed the way that many musician composers live today.
Locatelli: Capriccio No 23 in D, Op 3 – Ensemble Violini Capricciosi/Igor Ruhadze (vln) (Brilliant Classics 94469)
Locatelli: Allegro I from Concerto in D, Op 1 No9 – Capella Istropolitana/Jaroslav Kreček (Naxos 8.55346)
Locatelli: Allegro I from Concerto in F, Op 1 No 7 – Capella Istropolitana/Jaroslav Kreček (Naxos 8.55346)
Locatelli: Presto from Sonata in D, Op 2 No 2 – Wilbert Hazelzet (fl.),Ton Koopman (hpschd), Richte van der Meer (cello) (Philips 416 613-2)
Locatelli: Allegro I from Concerto in D, Op 3 No 1 – Ensemble Violini Capricciosi/Igor Ruhadze (vln) (Brilliant Classics 94469)
Locatelli: Capriccio No 4 in C min, Op.3 – Igor Ruhadze (vln) (Brilliant Classics 94469)
Locatelli: Allegro sempre piano from Introduttione Teatrali in D, Op 4 No 1 – Elizabeth Wallfisch, Alison Bury, Catherine MacKintosh, Catherine Weiss (vlns), The Raglan Baroque Players (Hyperion CDA67041/2)
Locatelli: Lamento (Largo) from Sinfonia in F min ‘Composta Per Le Esquie Della Donna Che Si Celebrarono In Roma’ – Europa Galante/Fabio Bondi (vln) (Opus 111 30-104)
Locatelli: Largo - largo andante from Concerto in Eb, Op 7 No 6, 'Il pianto d'Arianna' – Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra/Hartmut Haenchen (Berlin Classics 011507)
Locatelli: Capriccio No 24 in D, Op 3 – Ensemble Violini Capricciosi/Igor Ruhadze (vln) (Brilliant Classics 94469)