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A Violin Recital


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GlUSEPPE TARTINI , whose life and aehievomentsare one of the milestones in the history of violin playing. was one of the many musicians who were intended for other eareers. His father, wealthy and ennobled, wished him to enter the priesthood, a career which had no attraction at all for the ardent and vivacious youth. Instead, he obtained permission to study Law, though all that we know of his legal studies is that ho became proficient in the two arts of fencing and violin-playing. The former appears to have been so much the more lucrative that he thought of adopting it as a means of livelihood, while music would remain a diversion. His life was full of vicissitudes, and probably the tale of the composition of his famous ' Devils Trill' is the best known incident in it. He dreamed, so we are told, that he made a bargain with the Devil for his soul. Everything went as he would have it and tho idea occurred to him to hand his violin to his new servant. To his intense astonishment, the Devil played with consummate skill and energy, and with such beauty as surpassed the boldest nights of his imagination. Seizing his violin when ho awoke, he tried in vain to recapture the music he had heard, but the piece which he then composed—' The Devil's Sonata '—although the most famous that he left, was, according to himself, far below the one he heard in his dream.
Tartini carried out improvements on the violin, and especially on the bow, which were of great importance, and left a good deal of music which combines the quiet dignity of Corelli with a grace and charm, and a variety of expression which were all his own. He wrote also extensively on musical matters, and in one of the Italian municipal libraries alone there are twenty-five MSS. of his dealing with theoretical subjects.


Unknown: Arthur Catterall
Unknown: Gluseppe Tartini

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Feedback about A Violin Recital, National Programme Daventry, 21.35, 2 March 1932
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