Devil's Trill Sonata  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Violin Sonata in G minor, more famously known as the Devil's Trill Sonata is a famous work for solo violin by Giuseppe Tartini (16921770), famous for being extremely technically demanding, even today. It is a typical Faustian story.

The story behind "Devil's Trill" starts with a dream. Tartini allegedly told the French astronomer Joseph Jerome LeLande that he dreamed that The Devil appeared to him and asked to be his servant. At the end of their lessons Tartini handed the devil his violin to test his skill—the devil immediately began to play with such virtuousity that Tartini felt his breath taken away. When the composer awoke he immediately jotted down the sonata, desperately trying to recapture what he had heard in the dream. It was successful with his audience; however, Tartini lamented that the piece was still far from what he had heard in his dream. What he had written was in his own words "so inferior to what [he] had heard, that if [he] could have subsisted on other means, [he] would have broken [his] violin and abandoned music forever."

God can be quite a bit of a bore when it comes to having a good time

"God can be quite a bit of a bore when it comes to having a good time, better to keep your bets on Satan for that. Satanic music has of course nothing to do with heavy metal and its offsprings; blackmetal, deathmetal and whatever. All hailing their own brand of conformity and completely missing the seductiveness, trickery and sophistication of the Black Angel. No, to get a grip on the tunes of Satan we have to go back in time. Back to the heydays of that truly satanic instrument: the violin. The voice of the Devil luring away our souls for a life in sin. Long before bluesmen started selling their souls at the crossroads the violinists had been pawning theirs for centuries. Nineteenth-century violinist Paganini even used to carry around a letter from his mother to prove his mortal origins. Not that anyone believed him anyway."--http://easydreamer.blogspot.com/2005/07/week-17-satanism.html [Jul 2005]




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Devil's Trill Sonata" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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