The Sonata in D major was probably composed a little later than the A major. The passage-work is ‘extreme difficult’, but it is mixed to a greater extent with melodic material. In the second movement, for instance, a fanfare-like idea alternates regularly with arpeggiated passage-work, and there is a prominent return to the opening theme and key halfway through the second section. To our ears such ‘recapitulations’ anticipate Classical ‘sonata form’, but the device was well established in the dance music of the Baroque period. Another ‘Classical’ feature of this Sonata is the simple, subsidiary nature of the bass part. The continuo parts of solo violin music tended to decline in importance as composers abandoned counterpoint and fast-moving Baroque harmonic patterns in favour of simple, slow-moving progressions founded largely on tonic and dominant chords. It became common to perform such sonatas with just a cello, or without any bass instrument at all. In a letter written in 1750 to the writer Francesco Algarotti in Berlin, Tartini pointed out that the bass line of some ‘short sonatas for solo violin’ he had sent to Berlin was only included ‘for appearance’s sake’, that he himself played them ‘without bassetto’, and that unaccompanied performance ‘was his real intention’.
from notes by Peter Holman © 1992