Giuseppe Tartini (Venetian, 1692-1770): Sonata in G Minor "Devil's Trill" mvt. 3
Tartini was a prominent 18th century violinist and pedagogue, with a VERY interesting life story--it includes a stint in the church, a forbidden marriage, law school, fencing, violin... He composed prolifically, and also wrote books on music theory and violin technique. But he will always be best known for this work, the "Devil's Trill" sonata because of its delicious backstory. According to Tartini's account, he had a dream in which he had made a proverbial "deal with the devil" to make the devil his servant. He handed Satan a violin, whereupon he began to play the most beautiful, haunting, and brilliant music Tartini had ever heard. After waking up, Tartini scrambled to write down what Satan had just played in his dream. Though he claimed it was only a shadow of the magnificence of his dream music, the "Devil's Trill" sonata is still Tartini's best work, and one of the all-time classics of the violin repertoire.
Not surprisingly, this story has inspired a lot of artwork over the centuries...
In May 2017 I challenged my students to practice every day for 30 days in a row. In addition, I asked them to listen to 30 bite-sized musical selections I emailed daily. I collected my picks in this blog for posterity. So these are works I find particularly fun, interesting, or important, including a handful by composers who were born or who died in May. Please enjoy!