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Jean Baptiste Senaillé (1687–1730)

Jean Baptiste Senaillé was the first French violinist to adopt the ideals of the Italian school of playing. His pedigree for this task was impeccable – his father, also Jean, being one of the 24 Violons du Roi of Louis XIV.

Senaillé the younger visited Italy from 1717 to 1719, and though precious few details of his stay are recorded, we know from his subsequent reputation that his period there was a profitable one.

To the French style, with its melodic grace, virtuosic writing and frequent use of dance rhythms, he brought the Italian conventions of the baroque sonata, imitative counterpoint and a melodically conceived continuo.

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