This week, we will be comparing Italian composers: Giuseppe Torelli and Domenico Dragonetti. Torelli was a Baroque composer and known for his compositions for trumpet. Dragonetti was a Classical period composer known for his double bass compositions.
Torelli died before Dragonetti was born. He was an accomplished composer, performer, and conductor. He is not considered a “canon” composer, and is not well known by many musicians, but his trumpet compositions are prolific and the best of their kind.
Dragonetti lived during the latter part of the Classical period. A child prodigy, he grew up to be well known and respected during his lifetime. He transfixed Beethoven during a duet they played together so much that Beethoven seized him (and his contrabass) in a hug after they had finished playing, and much of Beethoven’s compositions that followed showed his new appreciation for the instrument and the abilities of those who played it. Dragonetti lived during a time of instrument evolution, and he even designed a specialized bow for his instrument.
Baroque musicians considered the interaction of voices important, and you can hear that well in Torelli’s piece. In Dragonetti’s piece, you can hear how music has become more focused on a solo voice and an accompaniment. What do you think are the advantages of each?