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Biagio Marini

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Biagio Marini (1594-1663) was an Italian virtuoso violinist and composer.

Marini was born on 5th February 1594 in Brescia. His works were printed and influential throughout the European musical world. He travelled throughout his life, and occupied posts in Brussels, over thirty years in Neuburg an der Donau and Düsseldorf, and Venice, Padua, Parma, Ferrara, Milan, Bergamo, and Brescia in Italy. There is evidence that he married three times and had five children. He died in 1663 in Venice.

Although he wrote both instrumental and vocal music, he is better known for his innovative instrumental compositions. He contributed to the early development of the string idiom by expanding the performance range of the solo and accompanied violin and incorporating slurring, double and even triple stopping, and the first explicitly notated tremolo effects into his music. He was also among the first composers to call for scordatura tunings. He made contributions to most of the contemporary genres and investigated unusual compositional procedures, like constructing an entire sonata without a cadence (as in his Sonata senza cadenza). At least some, and perhaps a great deal, of his output is lost, but that which survives exhibits his inventiveness, lyrical skill, harmonic boldness, and growing tendency toward common-practice tonality.

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