Tartini: The Devil’s Sonata (CD)

Harmonia Mundi
Current Stock:
Andrew Manze

“One night I dreamt that I had made a pact with the devil... I was so overcome that I stopped breathing and awoke gasping... The piece I then composed is without doubt my best, and I still call it The Devil's Sonata” said the great Seventeenth Century violin virtuoso, prolific composer and famous teacher Giuseppe Tartini.

Four of his most dazzling works, including a set of variations drawn from L'arte del arco, make up this CD, all played without basso continuo, just as Tartini intended.

“We have learnt to take virtuosity for granted with Manze.” - Gramophone

Andrew Manze plays a violin by Joseph Gagliano, Naples, 1783; bow by Gerhard Landwehr, Heemstede, 1987.

Subtitled ‘Camerata Obscura’, this is harmonia mundi’s first collection aimed at exploring the connection between photography and music. In collaboration with the National School Of Photography in Arles, a foursome of young artists was invited to take a fresh look at several key works of the Baroque repertoire which are being reissued for this occasion.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



“La Sonata del Diavolo” in G minor (Brainard: g5)
1. [Largo]
2. Allegro
3. Andante – Allegro – Adagio 

From “L’arte del arco” (B: F11)
Fourteen variations on the Gavotta from op.5, no. 10 by Corelli
4. Theme and Variation 1
5. Variations 2 and 4
6. Variations 9, 15 and 12
7. Variations 10 and 20
8. Variation 29
9. Variation 30
10. Variation 33
11. Variation 34
12. Variation 23
13. Variation 38

Sonata in A minor (B: a3)
14. Cantabile
15. Allegro
16. [Andante]
17. Giga
18. Aria [with variations]
19. Variation I
20. Variation II
21. Variation III
22. Variation IV
23. Variation V

“Pastorale” for violin in scordatura (B: A16)"
24. Grave
25. Allegro
26. Largo – Presto – Andante

The Classical Music Collector

"Tartini himself gave the Devil’s Sonata its sobriquet, after a dream that prompted the composing of the work—ironic, for a composer whose parents wanted him to be a monk. Tartini’s virtuosity was renowned in his lifetime, and his works highly regarded, although only the Devil’s Trill has remained in the broader repertoire. On this new CD, the first in Harmonia Mundi’s Camerata Obscura series that links photography and music, Andrew Manze performs four major works of Tartini without any continuo or accompaniment, as originally intended. The Devil’s Trill opens the program, followed by a set of Variations on a theme  of Corelli (who was himself a noted violinist), a Violin Sonata in A minor, and a Pastorale in Scordatura—a technique where the strings are retuned. Violin aficionados and Baroque collectors will find this disc indispensible—Manze is one of the great violinists of our time—but adventurous music-lovers may also be won over by the sheer intelligence and wit of Tartini’s music." - Chris Dench