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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDD22061
Recording details: June 1990
St Michael's Church, Highgate, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Martin Compton
Engineered by Nick Ware
Release date: May 1991
Total duration: 15 minutes 5 seconds

'Elizabeth Wallfisch's technical prowess makes all these sonatas sound easy—which they are not—and leaves room for innumerabe expressive nuances. Both this and a second collection of later sonatas are discs to treasure and enjoy through many a repeated listening' (BBC Music Magazine Top 1000 CDs Guide)

'Performances which compel us to listen, not merely to marvel at the virtuosity' (Gramophone)

'The Locatelli Trio rises brilliantly to the challenge … they convey great passion and warmth. Wallfisch is outstanding and the engineers have captured the balance perfectly' (Classic CD)

'Recommended? You bet! Get it now before the Tartini boom begins' (Fanfare, USA)

'This is without question one of the finest records of baroque music ever issued! … a revelation … enthralling and hugely important. A wonderful issue' (CDReview)

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

Tempo giusto  [5'43]

Other recordings available for download
Palladians
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' (CKD292)
Tartini: The Devil's Trill & other violin sonatas
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 CKD292  Download only  

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