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Giuseppe Tartini

Giuseppe Tartini

Giuseppe Tartini


Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770) was an Italian composer and violinist of the baroque period. Tartini was born on the 8th April 1692 in Pirano, a town on the peninsula of Istria in the Republic of Venice (now Piran, Slovenia). It appears that Tartini's parents intended that he should become a Franciscan priest, and in this way he received his basic musical training. He went on to study law at the University of Padua, where he became very good at fencing. Read more on Last.fm
Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770) was an Italian composer and violinist of the baroque period. Tartini was born on the 8th April 1692 in Pirano, a town on the peninsula of Istria in the Republic of Venice (now Piran, Slovenia). It appears that Tartini's parents intended that he should become a Franciscan priest, and in this way he received his basic musical training. He went on to study law at the University of Padua, where he became very good at fencing. After his father's death in 1710, he married Elisabetta Premazone.

Unfortunately, Elisabetta was a favorite of the powerful Cardinal Cornaro, who promptly charged Tartini with abduction. Tartini fled Padua to go to the convent of St Francis in Assisi, where he could escape prosecution; while there he took up playing the violin. Tartini's playing improved tremendously, and in 1721 he was appointed Kapellmeister at Il Santo in Padua, with a contract that allowed him to play for other institutions if he wanted to. In Padua he met and befriended fellow composer and theorist Francesco Antonio Vallotti. In 1726 Tartini started a violin school which attracted students from all over Europe. Gradually he became more interested in the theory of harmony and acoustics, and from 1750 to the end of his life he published various treatises.

He died on the 26th February 1770. Arguably Tartini’s most famous work is the “Devil’s Trill sonata”, a solo violin sonata that requires a number of technically demanding double stop trills and is difficult even by modern standards (one myth has it that Tartini had six digits on his left hand, making these trills easier for him to play). According to legend, Tartini was inspired to write the sonata by a dream in which the Devil appeared at the foot of his bed playing the violin. Almost all of Tartini's works are concerti and sonatas for the violin. Unlike most of his Italian contemporaries, Tartini wrote no operas and no church music. Tartini's music is problematic for scholars and editors because he never put dates on his manuscripts, and he also revised works that had been finished or even published years before, making it difficult to determine when a work was written, when it was revised, or what the extent of those revisions were.

The scholars Minos Dounias and Paul Brainard have attempted to divide Tartini's works into periods based entirely on the stylistic characteristics of the music. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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