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The legend of Tartini's 'Devil's Trill Sonata'

October 2, 2008, 1:34 AM · The Violin Sonata in G minor, more famously known as the Devil's Trill Sonata is a famous work for violin by Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770), famous for being extremely technically demanding.

The story behind "Devil's Trill" starts with a dream. Tartini allegedly told the French astronomer Jérôme Lalande that he dreamed that The Devil appeared to him and asked to be his servant. At the end of their lessons Tartini handed the devil his violin to test his skill—the devil immediately began to play with such virtuosity that Tartini felt his breath taken away. When the composer awoke he immediately jotted down the sonata, desperately trying to recapture what he had heard in the dream. Despite the sonata being successful with his audiences, Tartini lamented that the piece was still far from what he had heard in his dream. What he had written was, in his own words: "so inferior to what I had heard, that if I could have subsisted on other means, I would have broken my violin and abandoned music forever."


Replies

October 2, 2008 at 11:21 PM · Greetings,

interesting. You have downloaded the version of the first mobvement that omits the double stopping found in the original. That can only be seen on the Hubay edition these days I think. Szigeti tals about it in one of his books.

Cheers,

Buri

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