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GIUSEPPE TARTINI

If Viotti is the father of modern violin playing, surely Tartini is its godfather.

Giuseppe Tartini Born April 8, 1692-Died February 26 1770

Biography of Giuseppe Tartini


Giuseppe Tartini was born April 8, 1692 in Pirano, Istria. Son of Giovanni Antonio Tartini. As the fourth child he was expected to obtain a monastic career, which was an expectation during that time if several of the children in the family were sons. Giuseppe was schooled at Pirano and Capo dIstria under the clerics there, which included some violin instructing.

Biography of Giuseppe Tartini


Giuseppe resisted the idea of being in a clerical position, and matriculated at the University of Padua to study law in 1709. While at the university his interests focused on fencing and music. There he took violin lessons from Giulio di Terni. In 1710 when he was 18 Giuseppe fled the city when his marriage to Elizabetta Premazore, niece to the Bishop of Padua, was discovered. Eventually finding refuge at Assisi, where he had some familial connections.

Biography of Giuseppe Tartini


Giuseppe began to study violin under the instruction of Father Boemo, whom was likely the Czech musician Bohuslav Cernohorsky, and played in the convent orchestra. About 2 years later during a performance Giuseppe was recognized by some visitors from Padua when a curtain blew aside, revealing him according to rumor. . Which in effect led to his reconciliation with the Bishop, and reunited him with his wife. They then moved to Venice between 1715-1716.

Biography of Giuseppe Tartini


In Venice at the Venetian Academy of Music, which was founded by the King of Poland, and was home to Francesco Veracini, probably the reason Giuseppe moved there in the first place. Giuseppe devoted much time studying the principles of playing the violin, especially to styles and kinds of bowing along with Veracini and Alexandro Mariello. Later when Veracinis mind gave way to his mental difficulties Giuseppe left Venice and went to Ancona.

Biography of Giuseppe Tartini


In Ancona Giuseppe studied the violin intensively, and played in the orchestra there also. During this time he withdrew for several years of solitary study, later emerging with a longer bow and thicker strings, and a new control of cantabile playing. An important subject of his studies were, the fundamental principles of the bow, and bowing. In 1877, about one-hundred and sixty years later, Phipson wrote that the principles that Giuseppe had discovered and elucidated were what served as the basis of every violin school in the world.

Biography of Giuseppe Tartini


At the age of 29 (1721) Giuseppe was appointed the director of the orchestra in the Basilica of St. Anthony at Pauda; where his reputation earned him very favorable terms, including the right to accept outside engagements. Remaining in this position with only a few absences beginning in 1723, when he performed at the coronation of the Emperor Charles Vland serving as the conductor of Count Kinskys private orchestra, and ending in 1726 when he returned to Padua. Where he remained until an arm injury in 1740 gradually declined his concertizing. While there many offers made from great European cities due to him being so well known. He however declined these offers choosing to remain in Italy.

Biography of Giuseppe Tartini


Giuseppe founded a violin school, Scuola di Nazioni, in Padua in1728, where he established a systematic method of study which became popular and attracted many students including Pugnani and Nardini. It is believed he gave careful attention to each of his students, and in 1737 only 9 students were accepted. His students took with them an ideal of violin-playing which was their teachers ideal: clarity of execution and intonation, beauty of sound, subtlety of expressive nuance- and to some extent his compositional idiom.

Biography of Giuseppe Tartini


Giuseppe Tartini was known to be scientific and accumulated a large, learned library which primarily consisted of music, religion, philosophy and mathematics. He was a serious studier of the principles of acoustics and it was said that in Ancona he had discovered the principles of the third sound/overtone that is produced when two notes of a chord are played in perfect tune. Also in 1734 Giuseppes experiments led to the diameters of violin strings in Stradivaris day, and his figure of 63 lbs. of total string tension has not been disputed, allowing the diameters of the four strings to be calculated.

Biography of Giuseppe Tartini


In 1769 Pietro Nardini, one of Giuseppes favorite students and friend returned to Padua to stay with Giuseppe in his final illness, Giuseppes wife Elizabetta having died the previous year. It is also believed that Antonio Vandini must have stayed with him too, and was most likely the original compiler of information about Giuseppes early life. Giuseppe Tartini died in Padua February 26, 1770 after living there almost 50 years. He had published experiments in acoustics, instructional material, and many music compositions.

THE DEVILS TRILL

THE DEVILS TRILL


In an interview with astronomer Jerome Lalande, a few years before his death Giuseppe Tartini told the story of how the Devils Trill came to be. The interview was published in Lalandes Voyage dun Francais en Italie in 1769. . One night I dreamed I had made a pact with the devil for my soul. Everything went as I desired: my new servant anticipated my every wish. I had the idea of giving him my violin to see if he might play me some pretty tunes, but imagine my astonishment when I heard a sonata so unusual and so beautiful, performed with such a mastery and intelligence, on a level I had never before conceived was possible. I was so overcome that I stopped breathing and woke up gasping. Immediately I seized my violin, hoping to recall some shred of what I had just heard; but in vain. The piece I then composed is without a doubt my best, and I still call it The Devils Sonata, but it falls so far short of the one that stunned me that I would have smashed my violin and given up music forever if I could but have possessed it. Giuseppe Tartini

THE DEVILS TRILL


In Lalandes speculation the dream occurred in 1713, but according to music historians it is difficult to place the sonata earlier that about 1745 on stylistic grounds. It however was not even published until nearly 30 years after Giuseppe Tartinis death, 1798. The published addition was apparently not written in Giuseppes code, but possibly Pierre Baillot, whom it is said that the manuscript came from, and was a student of violin in Rome for a number of years. It is believed that Giuseppe Tartini would hardly have thought of casually publishing his dreams.

LISTENING GUIDE FOR THE DEVILS TRILL


00:07 The music begins playing. Larghetto Affettuoso. Slow temp and beat Moderate range, slowly escalates then repeats Smooth rhythm and melody Has a sleepy quality to it 04:08 Allegro Tempo and beat increase, and are inconsistent Smaller range leading into a bigger one Busy rhythm and melody Has a chaotic feel to it 08:16 Grave Tempo and beat decrease Smaller range Slow drawing melody and rhythm Has a sad feel to it 09:10 Allegro assai Tempo and beat increase and are inconsistent Range increases also Chaotic melody and rhythm Has a menacing feel to it 10:01 Grave Tempo and beat decrease Smaller range Slow drawing melody and rhythm Has a sad feel to it 10:51 11:34 12:29 Allegro assai Tempo and beat increase and are inconsistent Range increases also Chaotic melody and rhythm Has a menacing feel to it Grave Tempo and beat decrease Smaller range Slow drawing melody and rhythm Has a sad feel to it Allegro assai Tempo and beat increase and are inconsistent Range increases also Chaotic melody and rhythm Has a menacing feel to it Pitch increases and so does the range towards end of this part Very menacing feel 13:38 Adagio Inconsistent beat and tempo Very Small range Leading to an end 14:16 Music ends.

SOURCES
Giuseppe Tartini, A Violins Life. By C. Sminthe 2013. http://aviolinslife.org/tartinilipinski/#lightbox/0/ Giuseppe Tartini Facts. Giuseppe Tartini-Definition of Giuseppe Tartini. Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2010. Gale group, Inc. http://www.yourdictionary.com/giuseppe-tartini Tartini - Violin Sonata in G Minor 'Devil's Trill'. Youtube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTO0uImGs5Y