Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Giuseppe Tartini

Giuseppe Tartini was an Italian violinist and composer born on April 8, 1692 (J.S. Bach was 7 years old.) Though he early on began the general study of music, he actually began his violin studies at a comparatively late age (in his late teens). A story is told that when Tartini heard Francesco Veracini’s playing in 1716, he was so impressed by it and so dissatisfied with his own skill, that he fled to Ancona and locked himself away in a room to practice. Thereafter, Tartini's playing improved greatly and in 1721 he was appointed Maestro De Capella at the Church of San Antonio in Padua. Tartini was the first owner of what today is known as the Lipinski Stradivarius.  (In his day, Polish violinist Karol Lipinski was considered by many to be Paganini's chief rival.)  Though he wrote hundreds of concertos and sonatas (as did Antonio Vivaldi) for the violin (as well as music theory books), as a composer, Tartini is best known for his Devil’s Trill Sonata, a piece which has been much recorded. You can see several performances of it on YouTube as well. One of the better ones is by Anne-Sophie Mutter. Tartini died in February of 1770, at age 77 (Mozart was 13 years old.)

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