Pandolfi’s Violin

There’s a twinkle in the eye of the violin in Pandolfi’s sonatas.  He teases, provokes, confuses – then bursts out laughing.  An impish laugh, part-threatening,  part-joyful.  Now, he plays the notes  measuredly, mathematically, in deference to the accompanying continuo, and now he runs away, flies, does somersaults, walks upside down on the ceiling.  The violin plays by the rules of music and nature, then breaks free into a frenzy of sobs and curses before running at you and covering you with kisses.  And, as he kisses, he gives you a light bite.  He fears if he stops surprising you, he will die.

There is something discontented in Pandolfi’s violin sonatas.  Unhinged.  Perhaps a trace of madness.  The kind of madness that borders on genius.  Fierce intelligence that can never be satisfied with keeping still.  An inquisitive mind that screams Why? Why? Why? Why? and only uses every received answer to generate thousands more Why?s.  A spirit that knows too much to be calm but not enough to find peace.  Not yet.

He’s easily bored.  His attention wanders and he entertains himself with endless variations on the theme he is ordered to play.  Ordered.  This violin resents orders, so he follows them with histrionic hysteria, gasping for air, for novelty, for a purpose.

Pandolfi’s violin is a chameleon, a shapeshifter.  He is fire, he is air, he is a fountain glistening in the sun, and the ambiguous smile of a gibbous moon.  He can turn on a sixpence, from a scratch to a caress.

This violin has an artistic temperament.

He is moody.

(Please listen to Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli’s Sonatas for Violin and Continuo)

Scribe Doll

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13 Responses to Pandolfi’s Violin

  1. evanatiello says:

    wonderful, it didn’t matter that my computer’s speakers are broken, your words allowed me to hear every note!

  2. What a beautiful reflection of the music! You’ve captured it perfectly. Pure joy! 🙂

  3. You must have a true affinity with music to come up with this analysis, or rather, this bit of poetry in tribute to Pandolfi. I will certainly listen to the music as soon as my schedule allows. Thanks for drawing my attention to it.

  4. Sue Cumisky says:

    Just been listening to Stephen Fry and the Pandolfi. Fry won -sorry! He is talking about reading aloud, and I am enthralled by the music of the words you conjure together. Glad ScribeDoll is back.

  5. One of my husband’s favorites. I agree that there is a slight madness in genius. That’s why they create new and exciting things.

  6. A treat, thanks for your vivid evocation of the sonatas, and the link.

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