‘Devil's Trill’ Sonata

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Giuseppe Tartini (1692—1770)

Pierre Baillot (1771—1842)


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Nickname of vn. sonata in G minor by Tartini, comp. c.1714, which has a long trill in the last of its 4 movts. The legend is that Tartini dreamed he had made a deal with the Devil to whom he gave his vn. The Devil played a solo so beautiful that Tartini awoke and tried to play what he had heard. He failed but comp. the ‘Devil's Trill’. The sonata was found by Baillot (1771–1842) and first pub. in L'Art du violon (1798, 1801) by Cartier. Legend is subject of ballet Le Violon du diable with mus. by Pugni, Paris 1849.

Subjects: Music.

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