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Hyperion Records

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Tartini's dream (1868) by James Marshall (1838-1902)
AKG London
Track(s) taken from CKD292
Recording details: November 2006
St Andrew's Church, Toddington, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Produced by Philip Hobbs
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: August 2008
Total duration: 17 minutes 48 seconds

'This is clever programming, for while Tartini's music is undoubtedly difficult, the jittery virtuosity of the Veracini throws into relief its melodic grace and refinement. Tartini is known to have taken vocal music as his model, and nowhere is this better shown than in the sonata he entitled Didone abbandonata, and which in its three movements shows the tragic queen in her bewilderment, anger and despair, all without resorting to histronics; the final decline into falling sobs is work of real emotional sophistication. Rodolfo Richter is a perfect violinist for this music, a player whose rock-solid technique, shining liquid tone and easy bowing allow him a rhythmic and lyrical freedom that really does seem to make his instrument sing' (Gramophone) » More

'It's 15 years since I enthused about the debut disc of the (then) ‘Palladian Ensemble'—‘sparkling playing', ‘uninhibited joy', ‘technical mastery' and ‘unrestrained imagination'. Archlutenist and guitarist William Carter alone remains of the original ensemble but these qualities survive undiminished' (BBC Music Magazine) » More

'Legend has it that Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) dreamt that the Devil appeared at the foot of his bed, playing an extraordinary sonata. On waking, Tartini attempted to write it down. The result is certainly devilishly difficult to play—so tricky that a myth arose that Tartini had six digits on his left hand. It's no myth that Rodolfo Richter rises to the challenge with ease, both in this piece and the Veracini sonata. He is wonderfully accompanied by his fellow Palladians, formerly the Palladian Ensemble, whose award-winning series for Linn has recently been re-released' (The Observer)

'Obwohl diese CD den reißerischen Titel „Der Teufelstriller“ trägt, möchten die ‘Palladians'—das britische Quartett aus Violine (Rodolfo Richter), Gambe (Susanne Heinrich), Cembalo (Silas Standage) sowie Erzlaute und Barockgitarre (William Carter)—Giuseppe Tartini (1692-1770) und seinen Kollegen Francesco Maria Veracini (1690-1768) ausdrücklich nicht zu reißerischen Virtuosen stempeln. Das gelingt ihnen staunenswert: Mit variablem, oft innigem Geigenton und fantasievoll-üppigem Basso continuo warden aus vermeintlichen Schaustücken feinsinnige Meisterwerke. Ein intelligentes Plädoyer für zwei Komponisten der sogenannten zweiten Reihe' (Fono Forum, Germany)

Sonata in G minor 'Il trillo del Diavolo', Bg5
composer
1713 according to Lalande; more probably late 1740s

Tempo giusto  [5'24]

Other recordings available for download
The Locatelli Trio
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
‘Il trillo del Diavolo’ is the most famous programmatic eighteenth-century violin sonata. Cartier wrote that Tartini ‘saw the Devil at the end of his bed playing the trill that appears in the last movement of the sonata’, and Tartini’s account of the circumstances that supposedly led to its composition appears in J G de Lalande’s Voyage d’un françois en Italie (Paris, 1769):

One night I dreamt that I had made a bargain with the Devil for my soul. Everything went at my command—my novel servant anticipated every one of my wishes. Then the idea struck me to hand him my fiddle and to see what he could do with it. But how great was my astonishment when I heard him play with consummate skill a sonata of such exquisite beauty as surpassed the boldest flight of my imagination. I felt enraptured, transported, enchanted; my breath was taken away; and I awoke. Seizing my violin I tried to retain the sounds that I had heard. But it was in vain. The piece I then composed, the Devil’s Sonata, although the best I ever wrote, how far below the one I heard in my dream!

Lalande added that Tartini composed the work in 1713, which is impossibly early given the style of the music. It probably dates from the late 1740s or later. The trill appears in the driving Allegro assai that repeatedly interrupts a gentle Andante—representing, presumably, the sleeping composer. The work is played here from Cartier’s text; it differs in countless ways from the nineteenth-century edition that is still in widespread use.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1992


Other albums featuring this work
'Tartini: The Devil's Trill & other violin sonatas' (CDD22061)
Tartini: The Devil's Trill & other violin sonatas
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 CDD22061  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)  

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