Giga from Sonata in E Minor by Veracini

Here we are, finally, at the Giga from Sonata in E Minor by Veracini, Italian virtuoso violinist-composer. This two part Giga (Gigue if you’re a French speaker and Jig in English) bursts forth with all the energy of the original dance it emulates.

It is Veracini at his best, a captivating melody with exciting runs and flashing ornaments. Actually, ornaments is an ill fitting word. We are taught to think of them as baubles, added to the main structure, whereas Veracini’s ornaments not add-ons at all. Just like flowers are part of the tree, they form an integral part of the music.



Veracini’s sonata provides a valuable opportunities to study several kinds of staccato strokes and off the string bowing techniques in an easy setting. For example, you find ricochet bowing in the Gavotte and now in the Giga we encounter several nice patches of spiccato bowing.

Excellent video demonstrations of the art of spiccato are at violin masterclass and David LePage’s video below.

There are a number of places where quick spiccato is needed, especially at the runs in measures 44-45, 69-70 and 109-110.

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