In the last years of his life, the great composer, violinist and swordsman Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770) laboured at a vast cycle of sonatas for solo violin.
These days Tartini is remembered by the general public only for his ‘Devil’s Trill’ Sonata but he is a far more important composer than that work would suggest: taken together, these sonatas form the most important composition for solo violin after Bach. Indeed, at six hours in duration, it is the largest integrated work for the instrument.
The music is surprisingly lyrical, often with echoes of folk-music from Tartini’s Istrian homeland.
This first complete recording – launched in the year which sees the 320th anniversary of Tartini’s birth – is based on a fresh study of the source and includes a number of works in Tartini’s shorthand, overlooked in earlier editions, and deciphered by the solo violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved for the first time.
“[Skærved] notes that he has gone for a close-up recording quality, the better to heighten the dramatic harmonics and other effects that Tartini envisaged...This, as suggested, is very close and resinous. It’s what the soloist hopes is a true ‘Tartini’ sound. Some will find it just too abrasive but I certainly found it exciting, indeed at points combative.” MusicWeb International, 7th May 2013