Giuseppe Tartini

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Portrait of Giuseppe Tartini

Giuseppe Tartini (8 April 1692 – 26 February 1770) was an Italian composer and violinist.

Life[change | change source]

Early life[change | change source]

Tartini was born in Pirano, Republic of Venice (today it is a part of Slovenia). His father wanted him to become a priest. So, he joined the Franciscans. He learned rhetorics and music. He went to Padua to study law at the Padua University. He also practiced fencing.[1]

After his father died, he married Elisabetta Premazore.[1] Cardinal Giorgio Cornaro thought that Tartini had kidnapped her. So, Tartini had to run away to Rome. He had to leave his wife in Padua. He stopped at Assisi. He stayed at the convent of St. Francis. He was safe from the cardinal. There, he studied playing the violin. He also learned music theory with Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský.[2]

Career[change | change source]

Tartini went to Venice. There, he heard Francesco Maria Veracini play the violin in 1716. He was impressed by Veracini's playing. He was not happy with his own playing. So, he went away to make his violin playing even better.[1]

Tartini became famous in Europe. He became the Kapellmeister of the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua in 1721. People who wanted to become Kapellmeister at the basilica had to take an exam. Tartini did not need to take the exam. People thought his violin playing was already perfect.[1] He played the violin on Emperor Charles VI's coronation as king of Bohemia in 1724.[2]

Tartini worked in Prague for three years.[1] He returned to Padua in 1728. He went back to being the Kapellmeister of the Basilica of St. Anthony. People from many countries wanted Tartini to work for them. However, he did not want to leave Padua.[2]

He created a violin school in Padua in 1727. Tartini not only taught playing the violin, but also writing music.[1] Students from many countries came to study with him. One of his most famous students was Johann Gottlieb Graun.[3]

Later life[change | change source]

Tartini started to write about music theory. He also became interested in mathematics. He published a book titled Trattato di musica secondo la vera scienza dell'armonia in 1754. The book was criticized for being too hard to understand. He published another book, titled De' principi dell'armonia musicale contenuta nel diatonico genere.[1]

Tartini died in 26 February 1770 in Padua. He was buried in the church of Church of St. Catherine, Padua.

Music[change | change source]

Tartini mostly wrote violin sonatas and violin concertos. He published a set of violin sonatas in 1734. He did not write any operas.[1] His most famous piece of music is the Devil's Trill sonata. Legend says that he made a agreement with the devil. Tartini gave the devil his violin. The devil played a violin sonata. Tartini was impressed. He tried to write down the sonata. However, it was not as good as what the devil had played. This is why the sonata is called the Devil's Trill.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Petrobelli, Pierluigi (2001). "Tartini, Giuseppe". Grove Music Online (8th ed.). Oxford University Press.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bachmann, Alberto (1913). Les grands violonistes du passe. Paris: Fischbacher. pp. 312–316.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Pougin, Arthur (1924). Le Violon, les violonistes et la musique de violon du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle / Arthur Pougin (in French). Fischbacher. pp. 100–116.

Other websites[change | change source]