A Baroque Violinist vs Classical Violinist vs Romantic Violinist
Well, as the name suggests, I wondered if there are any documentaries / books / blogs / knowledge bank on the performing violinists or other instrument players during the great ages of Baroque, Classical and Romantic. As I have studied a lot of composers of the great eras, I couldn't find anything on the life / autobiographies of any performers during that time.
I would like to do some work on this subject. Please help me with any links / PDF book suggestions / ideas so that I can get to study the basics of the point of view of the performers - how they looked and thought of the music of their period, how (if at all) they revered the great composers, how they rose to be the performers, how their mentality changed as the world moved from the Baroque age to Classical, etc etc. - basically, all about their life!
Thank you, in advance.
In those times great violinists were almost always composers too. A few names off the top of my head:
It's true that they themselves were instrument players as well. But I wanted to know about the performers of the then orchestra sections (other than the composers themselves, who occasionally performed).
Your question makes me wonder, at what point in the development of western music did the class of top professional musicians arise and how long before there was sufficient interest to publish articles and books about them?
You're basically trying do cultural history of 300 years, which is a lot. Just only performing musicians (excluding composers) is also a lot.
That is a very involved study. takes lots of reading and research. I believe reading the treatises of the day on violin playing give much insight not only in the writer's point of view, but about what was going on in their orchestras and the playing in general. For instance, one can read many differing opinions on vibrato-in general, there were more than one way of doing things, whatever Leopold Mozart and others (Auer for instance, for romantics) may tell you. You may never find all the answers, but at least form an analysis of what could have been possible during their time.
Leopold Mozart's Treatise on Violin Playing offers, I believe, a nice perspective on the early classical violinist's conventions, also still based on firm foundations of baroque style and execution, e.g., the exhaustive list he gives of how to bow various forms of musical passages.
Another book that offers some insights would be Adam Carse's The History of Orchestration. It mostly addresses composers' practices, but there is also a lot of information on what the orchestras themselves looked like.
Are you writing a paper on this, for conservatoire, for example?
Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I'll check the books about which you all informed. Yes, indeed this is a vast topic of research, which I realized, should be a part of generic music education as well.