Have you heard of Ivan Mane Jarnović
Little is known about this mysterious violinist but the few details we know and his music tell us that he was one of the most profilic violinists in history. I was fortunate to be introduced to him by my professor in high school, who suggested I play one of Jarnović’s concertos. As he said, ‘Max, it will be good for your violin technique and musical development’. Was he right!
The Jarnović violin concerto no.2 in D major has been my lifelong companion ever since!


True to the Jarnović enigma, it is thought that he was born en route from Dubrovnik to Palermo on October 26, 1747.  He was baptized as Giovanni Giernovichi, later he will be known under around 40 names: Giornovichi, Jarnovicz, Jarnowich etc. We know that he studied violin with famous violinist Antonio Lolli, moving to Paris in 1767, to become a star of the Paris salons. Jarnović fascinated his listeners with a brilliant violin technique and his own, very melodic and virtuoso violin pieces.
Ivan Mane Jarnović
His extravagant personality is also part of the Jarnović fame. It is said that he had a fiery temperament, was quite quarrelsome and often ended up in a fighting duel.
In 1779 he leaves Paris to become the concertmaster of Prince Friedrich Wilhelm's orchestra in Berlin. He again leaves this position to perform all over Europe, ending up 1783 in St.Petersburg at the court of Catherine II. Three years later he tours Europe again, performing mostly in London where he meets Joseph Haydn and organizes concerts in Haydn’s honour. Jarnović returns to St.Petersburg where he dies of a stroke on 23.11.1804. True to his lifestyle it was said that he died at the pool table.
Jarnovic predominantly wrote music for the violin, we know of 17 published concertos. He also wrote symphonies and chamber music


Apart from his concert activities he had a number of violin students, the most famous one was George Bridgtower to whom Beethoven dedicated his famous Kreutzer sonata.
Jarnović’s most important legacy is naming the 2nd movement of a concerto Romanza, a name his contemporaries and composers of the Romantic period quickly took up.
There are a few recordings of his works, notably of his violin concerto no.2 in D major. In this concerto Jarnović showed his brilliance as a violin virtuoso and his talent for beautiful, light melodies. Jarnović played on a violin by Paolo Maggini.
Jarnović is a composer worth getting to know!
Max smiley

You might be interested in listening to a recording of the concerto...

Love for the Violin CD Album

Ivan Mane Jarnović Concerto no.2 in D major, I. Allegro

Ivan Mane Jarnović Concerto no.2 in D major, II. Adagio

Ivan Mane Jarnović Concerto no.2 in D major, III. Allegretto

Performed by  Bibi Pelić, violin and the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jaroslav Kyzlink.


Download and play the Jarnović concerto on the Let's Play Concertos app!

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