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Giuseppe Tartini: Violin Concertos. Ariadne Daskalakis, Cologne Chamber Orchestra, Muller-Bruhl torrent
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(b Pirano, Istria [now Piran, Istra, Slovenia], 8 April 1692; d Padua, 26 Feb 1770). Italian composer, violinist, teacher and theorist.
Tartini's father Giovanni Antonio, of Florentine origin, was general manager of the salt mills in Pirano. Giuseppe, destined for the church by his pious parents, was to have been first a minore conventuale, a branch of the Franciscan order, and subsequently a full priest. To this end he was educated in his native town and then in nearby Capodistria (now Koper, Slovenia) at the scuole pie; as well as the humanities and rhetoric, he studied the rudiments of music. In 1708 he left his native region, never to live there again, but carrying in his memory the peculiarities of the local musical folklore. He enrolled as a law student at Padua University, where he devoted most of his time, always dressed as a priest, to improving his fencing, a practice in which, according to contemporary accounts, few could compete with him. This account of Tartini's youth has been questioned (see, for instance, Capri), but it is supported by contemporary evidence and is consistent with the later development of his personality, characterized by a fiery and stubborn temperament with a strong tendency towards mysticism. These qualities are equally evident in his writings – both letters and theoretical works – and in his compositions.
A few months after his father's death, Tartini openly rebelled against his parents' intentions, and on 29 July 1710 he married Elisabetta Premazore, a girl of lower social standing and two years his elder. He was then compelled to leave Padua and took refuge in the convent of S Francesco in Assisi, where he was sheltered by the superior, Padre G.B. Torre, from Pirano. There Tartini remained for at least three years, devoting himself determinedly to practising the violin, always without tuition. Although direct evidence is lacking, he probably studied composition during this period with Padre Bohuslav ?ernohorský, then organist of the basilica in Assisi.
With the death of Father Torre, Tartini lost his protector and was obliged to support himself as a violinist. We learn from his Trattato di musica that in 1714 he was in the orchestra of the Ancona opera house, and he claimed that it was then that he discovered the ‘terzo suono’ (combination tone), the acoustical phenomenon that was to play a fundamental role in his theoretical system as well as in his composing and playing techniques. In July 1716 he heard Veracini play at a musical academy in the Mocenigo palace in Venice, and was so impressed by his style, especially by his bow technique, that he decided to return to the Marches in order to perfect his own playing; in Carnival 1717–18 he was first violin in the opera house orchestra in Fano. His activities during the next two years are not known, but presumably involved commuting between the Veneto and the Marches in order to play in academies, church services and opera performances, as well as teaching. He was in Venice early in 1721, when he had as a pupil the young Gerolamo Ascanio Giustiniani, the future translator of the Psalms for Benedetto Marcello and the dedicatee of Tartini's own violin sonatas published as op.1 in 1734 by Le Cène in Amsterdam.
Thanks to the intervention of Gerolamo Ascanio's father, Tartini was appointed primo violino e capo di concerto at the basilica of S Antonio in Padua (known as ‘Il Santo’) on 16 April 1721; the proceedings of the appointments board expressly stated that Tartini was exempt from the usual examination because of his acknowledged perfection in the profession, and he was at the same time granted complete freedom to play in opera and musical academies whenever he so wished. The document is in itself proof of the high reputation Tartini had by then acquired. Taking advantage of the permission he was granted, he took part in occasional performances in Parma (1728), Bologna (1730), Camerino (1735), Ferrara (1739) and, most frequently, Venice.
In 1723 Tartini was invited by his lifelong friend and colleague, the cellist Antonio Vandini (the source of the earliest biographical information about Tartini), to join him in Prague in performances connected with the coronation of Emperor Charles VI as king of Bohemia. Tartini's ready acceptance resulted partly from a wish to avoid a scandal about to erupt in Padua, provoked by a Venetian innkeeper who accused him of fathering her recently born child. Tartini remained for three years in Prague in the service of the Kinsky family, and enjoyed contacts there with Prince Lobkowitz's household as well as with the musicians Fux, Caldara and S.L. Weiss. The bad climate and resulting health problems obliged him – ‘against his will’, as he said in a family letter – to return in 1726 to S Antonio in Padua, where he remained for the rest of his life.
The following year Tartini began his violin school, which soon became famous and was labelled ‘the school of the nations’ because students came to it from all over Europe. It was probably about this time that he began his relationship, mainly epistolary, with Padre Martini in Bologna, which lasted for the rest of his life. Also about this time (c1730) Le Cène of Amsterdam brought out Tartini's first published works, 12 concertos op.1, books 1 and 3. In spite of repeated invitations from France, Germany and especially England, Tartini firmly refused to leave Padua, just as he always declined to write for the stage. Several travellers visited him: in 1739 De Brosses reported at length in his Lettres familières on the excellent impression the violinist made on him, but there is no evidence of a supposed journey to Rome in 1740. About this time Tartini suffered a stroke which partly paralysed his left arm and affected his playing. Frequent contacts with the cultural milieu in Padua, and especially with his countryman Gianrinaldo Carli, professor of astronomy at Padua University, fostered the change in Tartini's conception of music from that of a purely abstract construction of sounds to that of an expressive language capable of moving the listeners' affections. The discussions concerned also theoretical subjects, dealing with the physical and mathematical principles behind musical phenomena; but Tartini's interest in – or indeed his passion for – these matters dates from much earlier, and was promoted also by the presence in Padua of two Franciscans who were maestri di cappella of the institution in which he served and also deeply involved in the same theoretical matters: Francesco Calegari, who held the office from 1703 to 1727, and his successor Francesco Antonio Vallotti.
As time went by, Tartini devoted himself less to playing and composing, concentrating his energies (apart from those used for teaching) almost exclusively on theoretical speculation. By 1750, as can be inferred from his correspondence, the text of what was to become the Trattato di musica secondo la vera scienza dell'armonia was complete, and it was circulated to the ‘learned world’ (as Tartini himself called it) to be evaluated and discussed. Padre Martini and the mathematician Lodovico Balbi, both in Bologna, were rather sceptical of the hypotheses expounded in the treatise, which was eventually published in 1754 with the financial support of Count Decio Agostino Trento, its dedicatee. Criticism continued after publication, emphasizing that it was written in a deliberately obscure style. Tartini decided therefore on a plainer and more comprehensible presentation of his ideas in his next printed treatise, De' principi dell'armonia musicale contenuta nel diatonico genere, completed in 1764 and published in 1767. In between these publications, and even after, he wrote several shorter theoretical texts, principally to defend his convictions against attacks coming mainly from Italian mathematicians and foreign music theorists. Not all judgments were unfavourable, however; D'Alembert, in his Elémens de musique, expressed support for Tartini's ideas, and J.-J. Rousseau took the trouble of including an extensive and thorough résumé of them in the article ‘Système’ in his Dictionnaire de musique (1768). But Rousseau's concept of harmony was too close to Rameau's to be acceptable to Tartini, who attacked him in what turned out to be his last published work. Another large theoretical text, Dell'armonia musicale fondata sul cerchio, remained unpublished until modern times.
Throughout his life Tartini was harassed by requests for financial help from his family in Pirano, which obliged him to devote his last years more than ever to teaching; but he was also obsessed by the incomprehension with which his theories and ideas were met. After the death of his wife, Vandini joined him to spend their last years together. Tartini died on 26 February 1770; he bequeathed his musical and theoretical manuscripts to his nephew Pietro.
Tartini's musical output is almost entirely limited to two instrumental genres, the solo violin concerto with string accompaniment and the violin sonata; the only exceptions are a few trio sonatas, a handful of sonate a quattro and some devotional vocal pieces. Furthermore, except for two flute concertos the instrumental music is all for string instruments. In a century in which practically every composer was obliged to write for the church and the theatre, this fact is in itself striking and significant. In the course of his conversations with De Brosses, Tartini found the opportunity to assert: ‘I have been asked to write for the opera houses of Venice, but I always refused, knowing only too well that a human throat is not a violin fingerboard’ – an assertion followed by a sharp critique of Vivaldi, who ventured in both genres.
The chronology of Tartini's compositions presents problems for which no solution has yet been found. Not only is it difficult to date precisely almost all the available printed sources (though for the violin sonatas Paul Brainard established a canon of their years of publication, as well as the inner relationship of their contents), but dates are conspicuously absent from all extant autographs. This was a deliberate choice on Tartini's part; research on his composing process has established beyond doubt, and for all genres, that he returned time and again to the original manuscripts of his finished works and added or deleted bars or sections and even, in the solo violin sonatas, moved entire movements from one place, or even piece, to another. As a result no definitive text for Tartini's music can be established, for in fact such text seldom existed; instead there are successive versions of the same piece, each representing the composer's intentions at the time it was written (or modified), and since there is no way of knowing precisely when the changes were made their validity and chronological position can be established only in relation to the other versions. The division into periods proposed by Dounias for the concertos and by Brainard for the sonatas, in both cases based primarily on stylistic evidence, have therefore to be accepted and it must be borne in mind that the reworking of a particular piece may have taken place long after its original conception. These difficulties may explain why a satisfactory edition of Tartini's music has yet to be produced.
Corelli's printed collections, especially the violin sonatas and concerti grossi, were for Tartini, as for other composers of string music, the unparalleled models. It is not by chance that in the engraving of the only true portrait of Tartini the oval containing the bust stands on a pedestal on which rests a sheet of music with the name of Corelli clearly highlighted; the engraving dates from 1761, showing that Corelli was still recognized as a model when Tartini's admirers sponsored the portrait. In the sonatas and concertos that can be ascribed to Tartini's first period (up to 1735) the Corelli model works on two distinct levels: that of instrumental technique and that of organization of the musical language (in the sense that contrapuntal openings are neatly distinguished from the rest of the movement, where free rein is given to the soloist's virtuosity). This is especially true of the sonatas, where the model is followed also in the order of movements: a slow cantabile movement is followed by an allegro, the centrepiece of the composition, in which (as far as the da chiesa sonatas are concerned) the contrapuntal display of the three voices (two entrusted to the soloist, the third to the continuo bass) is given ample room; the third movement is again an allegro, but with a different metre and character – usually lighter and, in the da camera sonatas, in dance rhythm. This pattern remains unaltered for most of the sonatas, even when the musical style changes; all three movements are in the same key and, with rare exceptions, use the same binary structure, moving to the dominant in the first section and returning to the tonic in the second, with each section repeated.
The violin concertos printed by Le Cène (and dating therefore from before 1730) bear the mark of Corelli's influence in the occasional presence of an introductory slow movement and of fugato style in some of the opening allegros, while the slow central section is treated as a link between the two allegros rather than as a movement in its own right. On the other hand, the Vivaldi concerto model is also evident, above all in the basic structure, which soon follows the established pattern of two allegros embracing a slow movement, with the soloist acquiring a dominant role. In the fast movements the alternation of tutti (usually four) and solo episodes (three) is clearly marked by a tonal scheme based on the principal key centres, the soloist repeating and elaborating the thematic material first presented in the tutti. The tonal and thematic pattern of the first movement is usually repeated in the third, which differs from it only in metre and in its lighter material.
In the first period, after a short phase of experimentation, the form of both the concerto and the sonata became crystallized, and subsequent stylistic modifications took place only in the musical language. At the same time the thematic material became so unmistakably individual in melody, rhythm and harmony that a Tartini composition can be immediately recognized after the first bars. These ‘themes’ recur time and again throughout Tartini's works and become interchangeable between concertos and sonatas. Typical also of Tartini's style is the use of specific harmonic devices, among the most striking being the use of an ‘open’ chord (without the 3rd) to end a movement. Another stylistic feature concerns the accompaniment of solo episodes in the concertos: in the earlier period this consists of a simple realization of the thorough bass, but gradually it is taken over by the concertino violins, which realize the harmonies in repeated quavers. A gradual blending of the ‘thematic’ and the ‘virtuoso’ sections is achieved in such a way that instrumental skill becomes an integral part of the melodic language. This leads to the disappearance of a typical virtuoso feature of the early concertos: the written-out ‘capriccio’ at the end of the first allegro – a solo passage which elaborates, often in double and triple stops, the thematic material of the movement and concludes with an improvised ‘cadenza’ (a short virtuoso section without elaboration of the thematic material, supported by a dominant chord for the concertino instruments). The transformation of instrumental virtuosity into a more expressive style is particularly evident in the opening slow movements of the sonatas and the central slow movements of the concertos.
To understand the significance of this stylistic change it is necessary to summarize the principles of Tartini's conception of music as manifested in both his theoretical writings and his letters; these ideas are not presented in any systematic way and have, rather, to be uncovered through a careful reading of the sources. It is appropriate to consider these ideas not so much an elaborate and organic system, but rather as a sort of by-product, a continuation and development of Tartini's mysticism. Behind his ideas lies the notion of a task entrusted to him by God – that of revealing to mankind the unifying principles of the universe.
The source of every truth is Nature, to be understood as all the phenomena which fall under our senses and are exempt from any intervention of man throughout history. An essential task of Nature is to regulate different orders of phenomena through principles that can be reduced to specific mathematical formulae. Nature, however, is extremely secretive about these principles, and reveals them only in exceptional cases. One of these phenomena is the ‘terzo suono’ (or combination tone), whose discovery was considered by the young Tartini as a true revelation as well as an invitation to investigate the wonderful, mysterious principles governing both the world of music and that of Nature. Opposite to Nature is Art, to be understood as every human activity which manifests itself, in accordance with specific principles, in order to modify a natural event. If Nature is the source of all truth, and if Art is the modification of a given truth, it necessarily follows that the closer an artist remains to Nature the closer he will be to the truth. In a letter of 20 December 1749 to Algarotti, Tartini wrote: ‘I am at home as much as I can be with Nature, and as little as possible with Art, having no other Art than the imitation of Nature’. In this way Tartini's system of ideas is clearly connected with the aesthetic principles of his time.
From these general principles several consequences arise which are particularly important for musical practice. Music, like every natural phenomenon, manifests itself through a series of events hierarchically organized; at the basis of them all Tartini places, once more, the combination tone. This natural phenomenon, produced by the simultaneous vibration of two tones related to each other by a mathematical ratio in the number of the vibrations generating them, indicates the harmonic basis for each interval, and therefore for the chords; in this way we arrive at the ‘true science of harmony’. The diatonic scale stems from the horizontal disposition of the sounds which form the chords; it has, therefore, a ‘natural’ basis and is accordingly ‘true’. These principles can also be applied to practical music; for Tartini the perfection of performance lies with the human voice, which is by definition a ‘natural’ phenomenon, in contrast to instrumental music, which is realized by ‘artificial’ means. ‘A voice naturally excellent, and perfectly governed by art, is a universal principle, and when nature fails, then the intervention of art is necessary, because in my opinion the universality and the perfection of good taste is with the human voice, and with its expression’.
How then can these statements be reconciled with the fact that Tartini purposely excluded vocal music almost completely from his own compositions? The answer lies with the music composed in his central period. The stylistic innovations in the concertos and sonatas of this period aimed to obtain with instrumental means the same expressive results achieved in contemporary vocal music. Tartini modified his musical style, at the same time clarifying and giving form to his ideas about these problems. In vocal music the ‘affect’ finds its shape through the position of the intervals and the prosodic scansion implied in the poetic text which accompanies it; the more faithful to the affect there expressed, the more the melody will be capable of moving the listener: ‘If the intention of the Greeks was to move, not indiscriminately but rather by exciting a specific passion, it is surely a certitude of nature that each passion has its own peculiar movements and its particular tone of voice’ (Trattato di musica). Affects can therefore be expressed perfectly only through melody, since when several voices or parts sing or play together (i.e. when there is polyphony) the movement of each voice, placed in the register specific to it, eliminates the effect produced by the others. Primacy of melody and simplicity of structure are essential features of this concept, and they are the very features found in the compositions of Tartini's middle period, from 1740 onwards, especially in the slow movements of both sonatas and concertos. The insistent references to vocal music may explain the presence in the composer's autographs of poetic lines written at the beginning of several (mostly slow) movements. Some (but by no means all) of these mottoes come from Metastasio's librettos (see Dounias), and some of them use ciphers. They must be understood as an indication (sometimes a secret one) of the prevailing affect of the movement.
The instrumental composer has no text to clarify the affect of a piece; he has at his disposal only music itself. To enlarge the expressive possibilities of his own music Tartini had recourse to a rich repertory offered to him by vocal practice in the form of embellishments, which he used not only for ornamentation and diminution of a melody, but even more to specify through them the basic affect he wished to express. In this way the composer of instrumental music achieves, in Tartini's words, ‘good taste according to nature’. Next to the basic version of a slow movement melody we find, sometimes in the same autograph but more often in a separate part, other versions in which diminutions and embellishments are written out in order to give sure guidance for the performer to express the piece's affect. Each embellishment has its own character and function; it cannot be used in a casual way, nor can any passage of the basic melody be ornamented at random. It is necessary to know the ‘mode’ (i.e. the way) and the place where each ornament should be applied in order to produce (again using Tartini's expression) ‘good taste according to nature’.
Probably in order to satisfy requests from his students, Tartini wrote a treatise, clearly modelled on similar ones for vocal practice, which has survived in various versions. In the first part the nature, function and use of each ornament is specified; in the second Tartini explained the principles according to which melodies should be ornamented, distinguishing once more between ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’ ways (‘modi’), the first being directly taught by Nature, the latter invented by man. The treatise was printed by Pierre Denis in 1770, immediately after the author's death, in a French translation as Traité des agrémens de la musique; the original Italian version survives in no fewer than four manuscripts. In it we find yet another distinction to be made in performing styles – one peculiar to Tartini's concepts. It concerns the difference between ‘cantabile’ and ‘suonabile’. The first implies the use of a legato technique, directly modelled on vocal style, in order to create clearly defined musical phrases; the second, typical of the instrumental idiom, implies a more detached performance style. These two ways of playing are clearly distinct, almost antithetic.
Tartini's system of ideas helps us to understand yet another characteristic feature of his music. Of the diatonic and chromatic genres, he obviously preferred the former, since ‘artificial’ aspects are absent and the system is therefore closer to Nature; by the same token, he stated that he did not favour modulation, since it is an ‘artificial’ procedure. There exists a type of music (again according to the Trattato di musica) to which both the diatonic genre and the absence of modulation are conspicuously relevant; this is folk music, a typically ‘natural’ phenomenon. Folktunes, or folklike tunes, are thus introduced into slow movements in both concertos and sonatas. Sometimes there is just a quotation at the beginning of the movement, which is then developed independently (a typical example is the opening slow movement of Sonata b d1); at other times the entire melody, entrusted to the soloist, seems to be of folk origin (as in the central slow movement of the Concerto d109); finally, in the most original part of his output, the sonatas for solo violin, Tartini used folk melodies as autonomous movements, one example being the ‘Aria del Tasso’, the tune sung by Venetian gondoliers to the eight-line stanzas of Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata. This is one of the few exceptions to the general rule that the folk melodies quoted by Tartini originate in his native Istria, an observation all the more striking since he never returned to live there after leaving for Padua in 1708. It is noticeable that most references to folk music in the Trattato indicate, as their place of origin, the ‘Dalmatian region’, and when speaking to Algarotti about his solo violin sonatas Tartini said that he played them ‘senza bassetto’, a term still used today in Istrian folk music to indicate the cello.
In his last creative period Tartini carried to an ultimate point the principles developed during the previous years. In the fast movements of the concertos both harmony and rhythm serve a structure reduced to its essentials; the slow movement becomes the real centre of the composition, with the solo part dominating throughout and its melodic line carrying the entire expressive weight. In these slow movements the most important stylistic achievement of Tartini's music is completely realized: the solo part accomplishes the same expressive ends as a vocal line, without contradicting the instrument's peculiar features. Indeed, by exploiting them to the full, the composer created a truly original musical language. The instrumental cantabile is Tartini's legacy to the history of music, and in the solo sonatas of his last period it finds its fullest realization. If the substance of the musical discourse can be entirely entrusted to the soloist, the bass line becomes superfluous, and indeed can be eliminated. Thus Tartini wrote what he called ‘piccole sonate’ (small sonatas), stemming from several rather short movements, almost always bipartite, to be played by the violin alone. The cantabile character of the opening movement again contrasts with the virtuosity of the others, but the musical language of these sonatas is very different from that of the earlier ones; it is a language reduced to its basic elements, and its ‘speaking’ character is emphasized by rests and by the melodic contour. The bass line included in the autographs of the earlier ones is explicitly indicated as optional (in another letter to Algarotti, Tartini wrote: ‘I play them without bass, and this is my true intention’).
This repertory, so unusual and original in character, did not have a long life, and was taken up by few except Tartini's students. Only 15 years after his death a review of a performance at the Concert Spirituel by Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen, a student from the Venetian Ospedale degli Incurabili and the recipient of the most famous of Tartini's letters (one concerning bowing practice), explicitly stated that her playing was by then completely out of fashion, adding that ‘she may very well charm the ear, but she doesn't astonish any longer’. And yet Tartini's legacy found its way outside Italy; the entire section devoted to embellishments in Leopold Mozart's Violinschule is simply a translation of the first part of Tartini's treatise on the same subject, and the instrumental cantabile became one of the most salient features in the music of Leopold's son.
3. Tartini's school.
Tartini began his teaching activity either in 1727 or 1728 (both dates are given by the composer himself), after his return to Padua from Prague. By that time he already had an international reputation, which brought students from all over Europe to his school. It was the first instrumental school of such fame. From Tartini's correspondence we learn that he taught not only violin technique but also composition, and that a standard course of study usually lasted two years. Among students who afterwards achieved a reputation of their own, as both players and composers, were Paolo Alberghi from Faenza (a student before 1733); Domenico Dall'Oglio from Padua (from 1735 active in Russia); Pasqualino Bini from Pesaro (a pupil of Tartini between 1735 and 1740); Gugliemo Fegeri, the dedicatee of the sonatas published in Rome as op.2 in 1745, who came to Padua (as Tartini himself stated in the dedication) all the way from Java; Bernard Schelff, from Arolsen in Germany (a student in 1740–41); the Frenchmen André Noel Pagin (a student before 1748), Pierre Lahoussaye and Joseph Touchemoulin; and Pietro Nardini from Livorno, the most illustrious and original of them all as a composer. J.G. Naumann from Dresden, later active in Stockholm as Kapellmeister and opera composer, also studied and corresponded with Tartini. Of his many other pupils we know little more than their names or a few compositions; they included girls from the Venetian conservatories, players in the cappella of the Santo in Padua, Venetian noblemen and pages to ambassadors in Venice.
From an instrumental point of view, the Tartini school was based on the mastery of the bow. ‘Your main exercise and study should be the bow, in such a way that you become a complete master of it, both in the “suonabile” and in the “cantabile” styles’: this is the opening sentence of the letter to Maddalena Lombardini in which the study method is thoroughly described, a study applied mainly to the imitative movements of Corelli's op.5. Complete control of the bow is essential for the realization of the stylistic innovations of Tartini's music; only this control can make possible a correct cantabile performance of the instrumental melody, as well as of the embellishments through which the same melody can be even more fully characterized. The breathing technique of the singer finds its match in the use of the bow. The normal bow was not long enough to make an instrumental melody ‘sing’ properly, and the Tartini bow was made longer for this very reason. It is not by chance that the set of 50 variations on a Corelli gavotte (again from the op.5 collection) bears the title L'arte dell'arco.
Less striking is Tartini's influence on the compositions of his pupils. If the formal principles are easily assimilated (as in the concertos), it is in the musical language that the influence of the master is particularly evident – once more, especially in the slow movements. But Tartini's knowledge of acoustics found its way also into his teaching: he used the combination tone as a means of testing correct intonation in the playing of the double stops.
Le opere di Giuseppe Tartini, 1st ser., ed. E. Farina and C. Scimone (Milan, 1971–) [FS]
25 piccole sonate per violino e violoncello e per violino solo, ed. G. Guglielmo (Padua, 1970) [see Notes, xxviii (1971–2), 299]
Numerous individual edns, many highly unreliable; for partial lists see MGG1 and La MusicaE
D – number in Dounias (1935)
B – number in Brainard (1975) (incorporating keys)
Canzoncine sacre, 1–3vv (some in more than one version): Alma contrita; Alma pentita; Amare lacrime; Caro Signor amato; Chi cerca un'innocenza; Crocifisso mio Signor; Dio ti salvi regina; Dolce mio Dio; E m'ami ancor; Iddio ti salvi; Infrangiti mio cor; Mio Gesù con tutto il cuore; No, che terreno fallo; O peccator che sai; Rimira, o peccatore; Ti voglio amar Gesù; Vedi, Signor, ch'io piango; Vergine bella del ciel regina; Vergine bella e pietosa; Voglio amar Gesù anch'io: all I-Pca; 5 ed. in Musica sacra, lxxxiii (1959), suppl.
Stabat mater, 3vv, copy, 1769; Pange lingua, 3vv; 2 Tantum ergo, 3vv; 3 Miserere, 3vv, 4vv, 5vv, copy, 1770 (additional copies, F-Pc, GB-Ob); Salve regina, 4vv, copy, 1773 (‘ultima composizione del … Tartini’): all I-Pca
c135 vn concertos (vn, str a 4, bc), thematic catalogue by Dounias, supplemented by Duckles and others; principal MS collections in I-Pca (incl. 55 complete autographs), F-Pc, GB-Mp, US-BEm (first publications listed below); 6 ed. in FS: d125, i; d12, x; d83, xi; d117, xiii; d21, xiv; d115, xv
Concs. for other insts (str a 4, bc): vc/va da gamba, A, I-Pca*; autograph; va (va da gamba), 2 hn, D, A-Wgm*; fl, G, S-Skma, doubtful; fl, F, I-Nc, doubtful
Sinfonie and sonatas a 4 (str qt, bc): D (autograph), G, A, D, I-Pca; 11 (some a 5, one with 2 clarini), doubtful
c40 trio sonatas (2 vn, bc), mostly 1745–9, I-Pca, F-Pc (thematic catalogue by Brainard)
c135 authentic, 40 doubtful sonatas (vn, bc), mostly I-Pca, F-Pc, US-BEm (thematic catalogue by Brainard); 3 ed. in FS, xvi
c30 sonatas, many single movts (vn, without acc. or with optional bc), probably c1745–60, mostly I-Pca, A-Wgm (thematic catalogue by Brainard)
1 lib.1. Sei concerti a 5: d85, 55, 60, 15, 58, 89 (g, e, F, D, F, A) (Amsterdam, 1728)
1 lib.3. Sei concerti a 5 del … Tartini a G. Visconti: d Anh.III–VI (B, D, F, a), 2 others unlisted (Amsterdam, c1728); none definitely attributable (Dounias); date derived from Le Cène's publishing numbers
1 lib.2. Sei concerti a 5: d111, 91, 59, 71, 88, 18 (a, A, F, G, A, D) (Amsterdam, 1730); date derived from Le Cène's publishing numbers
1 VI sonate vn, b: b B7, a9, b5, g9, A3, B8 (Amsterdam, 1732)
1 (12) Sonate e una pastorale: b A14, F9, C11, G17, e6, D12, D6, c2, A15, g10, E5, F4, A16 (Amsterdam, 1734); nos.1–6 church sonatas, nos.7–12 chamber sonatas; A16, ‘Pastorale’, uses scordatura; the nickname of g10, ‘Didone abbandonata’, is of 19th-century origin; ed. in FS, vii–viii, xii
2 VI concerti a 8: d73, 2, 124, 62, 3, 46 (G, C, b, F, C, E) (Amsterdam, c1734)
– VI concerti … d'alcuni famosi maestri, lib.2 (no.5): d1 (C) (Amsterdam, c1740)
2 VI Sonate, vn, bc: b g4, A5, d4, e7, F5, E6 (Amsterdam, 1743)
2 (12) Sonate, vn, bc: b D13, G18, A17, b6, a10, C12, g11, D14, B9, F8, e8, G19 (Rome, 1745); pubd as op.3 (Paris, c1747)
– Nouvelle étude … par Mr. Pétronio Pinelli: b F11 (17 variations on Gavotte from Corelli's op.5 no.10) (Paris, c1747); see L'arte del arco
4 (6) Sonates: b E3, G20, B10, A3, D, c5 (Paris, 1747); no.6 probably by Mauro D'Alay
5 (6) Sonates: B, a11, B11, A18, G21, F10, B12 (Paris, c1747); some doubtful; ed. E. Bonnelli (Padua, 1951)
6 Sei sonate: b G8, A19, D8, A6, B5, G10 (Paris, c1748)
7 (6) Sonate: b D11, B7, G9, E4, g3, F7 (Paris, 1748); ed. P. Brainard: La raccolta di sonate autografe per violino, Ms 1888, fasc.1 nell’Archivio musicale della Venerando Arca del Santo di Padova (Padua, 1975)
8 Sei sonate a tre: Trios A5, D7, G4, D10, A10, D11, some with movts added (Paris, 1749)
– XII Sonatas, 2 vn, b: Trios G4, D11, A5, D10, G3, F2, D7, A8, A9, D12, A10, A7 (London, 1750)
– VI [and VI] sonate, 2 vn, bc, lib. , II: Trios D8, C4, D6, F2, D5, D2, D12, C5, D4, C3, D3, D9 (Amsterdam, c1755), as op.3 (London, 1756)
– L'arte del arco: b F11 (38 variations on Gavotte from Corelli's op.5 no.10) (Paris, 1758); attrib. of both this and the earlier print is questionable
9 Sei sonate: b E1, G6, G22, A20, F6, D16 (Paris, c1763)
– J.B. Cartier: L'art du violon: b g4, A14, F11 (expanded to 50 variations), g5 (first appearance in print of ‘Le trille du diable’), and Adagio varié (17 variations on b F5, 1st movt) (Paris, 1798); the Adagio, probably spurious, R in H.-P. Schmitz: Die Kunst der Verzierung im 18. Jahrhundert (Kassel, 1955)
Regole per arrivare a saper ben suonar il violino (MS compiled by G.F. Nicolai, I-Vc); ed. in Jacobi (1961); variant versions: Libro de regole, ed esempi necessari per ben suonare, US-BEm; and Traité des agréments de la musique (Paris, 1771); Petrobelli (Giuseppe Tartini: le fonti biografiche, 1968) reports the discovery of a further It. MS version; a further copy has been discovered in I-Vlevi (ed. D. Vitali: Il ‘Trattato degli abbellimenti’ di Giuseppe Tartini, diss., U. of Rome, 1995)
Trattato di musica secondo la vera scienza dell'armonia (Padua, 1754/R; Eng. trans. in Johnson, 1985)
De' principi dell'armonia musicale contenuta nel diatonico genere (Padua, 1767/R)
Risposta di Giuseppe Tartini alla critica del di lui trattato di musica di Mons. Le Serre di Ginevra (Venice, 1767)
Scienza platonica pudata sul cerchio, ed. A. Todeschini
works containing catalogues, substantial bibliographies etc.
La Musica E (P. Petrobelli)
MGG1 (P. Brainard)
A. Bachmann: Les grands violonistes du passé (Paris, 1913)
M. Dounias: Die Violinkonzerte Giuseppe Tartinis …(Wolfenbüttel, 1935, 2/1966)
A. Capri: Giuseppe Tartini (Milan, 1945)
P. Brainard: Die Violinsonaten Giuseppe Tartinis (diss., U. of Göttingen, 1959)
V. Duckles and M. Elmer: Thematic Catalog of a Manuscript Collection of Eighteenth-Century Italian Instrumental Music in the University of California, Berkeley, Music Library (Berkeley, 1963)
P. Brainard: ‘Le sonate a tre di Giuseppe Tartini: un sunto bibliografico’, RIM, iv (1969), 102–13
P. Brainard: Le sonate per violino di Giuseppe Tartini: catalogo tematico (Padua and Milan, 1975)
documents, letters, etc.
Anon.: Regole, e capitoli della pia Aggregazione delli signori professori, e dilettanti di musica eretta in Padoa l'anno 1726 (Padua, 1727)
Lettera [dated 1760] del defonto Signor Giuseppe Tartini alla Signora Maddalena Lombardini, L'Europa letteraria, v/2 (Venice, 1770; Eng. trans., 1771, 2/1779/R)
A. Hortis: ‘Lettere di G. Tartini’, Archeografo triestino, new ser., x (1884), 209–43
Per le nobili nozze Tattara–Persicini (Bassano, 1884)
F. Parisini, ed.: Carteggio inedito del P. Giambattista Martini (Bologna, 1888/R)
M. Tamaro and G. Wieselberger: Nel giorno della inaugurazione del monumento a Giuseppe Tartini a Pirano (Trieste, 1896)
C. de Brosses: Lettres familières écrites d’Italie en 1739 et 1740 (Paris, 1904)
B. Ziliotto: ‘Gianrinaldo Carli e Giuseppe Tartini’, Pagine istriane, ii (1904), 225–36
F. Pasini: ‘Il Tartini a G.V. Vannetti’, Pagine istriane, iv (1906), 1
V. Fedeli: ‘Lettere di musicisti italiani’, RMI, xix (1912), 696–720
L. Weinhold: ‘Musikerautographen aus fünf Jahrhunderten’, Philobiblon, xii (1940), 52
H. Nathan: ‘Autograph Letters of Musicians at Harvard’, Notes, v (1947–, 461–87
P. Petrobelli: ‘Tartini, Algarotti e la corte di Dresda’, AnMc, no.2 (1965), 72–84
P. Petrobelli: ‘Una presenza di Tartini a Parma nel 1728’, Aurea Parma, l (1966), 109–24
P. Petrobelli: Giuseppe Tartini: le fonti biografiche (Vienna, 1968)
M.C. Caglioti: Le lettere: un aspetto misconosciuto di Tartini (diss., U. Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, 1986)
life, works and related studies
see also first section of bibliography
J.A. Serre: Observations sur les principes de l'harmonie (Geneva, 1763/R)
Risposta di un anonimo al celebre Signor Rousseau circa al suo sentimento in proposito d'alcune proposizioni del Sig. Giuseppe Tartini (Venice, 1769)
J.J. Le François de Lalande: Voyage d'un françois en Italie (Paris, 1769)
[G. Gennari]: Elogio del defonto Sig. Tartini, L'Europa letteraria, iv/1 (Venice, 1770), 94
G. Carli: Osservazioni sulla musica antica e moderno (Milan, 1786)
F. Fanzago: Orazione … delle lodi di Giuseppe Tartini (Padua, 1770, repr. 1792 inElogi di tre vomini illustri: Tartini, Vallotti, e Gozzi
F. Fayolle: Notices sur Corelli, Tartini, Gaviniés, Pugnani et Viotti (Paris, 1810)
G. Benedetti: ‘Giuseppe Tartini’, Archeografo triestino, new ser., xxi (1896–7), 1
S. Babitz: ‘A Problem of Rhythm in Baroque Music’, MQ, xxxviii (1953), 533–65
M. Goldin: The Violinistic Innovations of Giuseppe Tartini (diss., New York U., 1955)
P. Nettl: ‘Bemerkungen zu den Tasso-Melodien des 18 Jahrhunderts’, Mf, x (1957), 67–80
A. Rubeli: Das musiktheoretische System Giuseppe Tartinis (Winterthur, 1958)
D.D. Boyden: ‘The Missing Italian Manuscript of Tartini's Traité des agrémens’, MQ, xlvi (1960), 315–28
A. Planchart: ‘A Study of the Theories of G. Tartini’, JMT, iv (1960), 32–61
P. Brainard: ‘Tartini and the Sonata for Unaccompanied Violin’, JAMS, xiv (1961), 383–93
E.R. Jacobi: ‘G.F. Nicolai's Manuscript of Tartini's “Regole per ben suonar il violino”’, MQ, xlvii (1961), 207–23 [with facs. and Eng. and Ger. trans.; reviewed in L'organo, iv (1963), 224, and Mf, xvi (1963), 309]
M.A. Elmer: Tartini's Improvised Ornamentation (diss., U. of California, Berkeley, 1962)
P. Petrobelli: ‘Per l'edizione critica di un concerto tartiniano (D. 21)’, Musiche italiane rare e vive da Giovanni Gabrieli a Giuseppe Verdi, Chigiana, xix (1962), 97–128
A. Dunning: ‘Die De Geer'schen Musikalien in Leufsta’, STMf, xlviii (1966), 187–210
P. Petrobelli: ‘Tartini: le sue idee e il suo tempo’, NRMI, i (1967), 651–75
P. Petrobelli: ‘La scuola di Tartini in Germania e la sua influenza’, AnMc, no.5 (1968), 1–17
P. Petrobelli: ‘Tartini e Corelli: preliminari per l'impostazione di un problema’, Studi corelliani : Fusignano 1968, 99–107
L. Ginzburg: Dzhuzeppe Tartini (Moscow, 1969; Ger. trans., 1976)
P. Petrobelli: ‘Tartini e la musica popolare’, Chigiana, new ser., vi–vii (1969–70), 443–50
M. Abbado: ‘Presenza di Tartini nel nostro secolo’, NRMI, iv (1970), 1087–1106
A. Garbelotto: ‘Tartini nei ricordi di un turista inglese’, Padova e la sua provincia, xvi/11–12 (1970), 14–20
L. Frasson: Giuseppe Tartini, primo violino e capo concerto nella Basilica del Santo, Il Santo, xii (1972), 65–152, 273–389; xiii (1973), 280–434; pubd separately (Padua, 1974)
P. Barbieri: ‘Martini e gli armonisti fisico-matematici: Tartini, Rameau, Riccati, Vallotti’, Padre Martini: musica e cultura nel Settecento europeo, ed. A. Pompilio (Florence, 1978), 173–209
M. Staehelin: ‘Giuseppe Tartini über seine künstlerische Entwicklung: ein unbekanntes Selbstzeugnis’, AMw, xxxv (1978), 251–74
F.B. Johnson: Tartini's ‘Trattato di musica secondo le vera scienza dell'armonia’: an Annotated Translation with Commentary (diss., Indiana U., 1985)
P. Petrobelli: ‘Giuseppe Tartini’, Storia della musica al Santo di Padova, ed. S. Durante and P.Petrobelli (Padua, 1990), 181–9
B. Boccadoro: ‘Il sistema armonico di Giuseppe Tartini nel Secolo Illuminato: due apologie del trattato de musica nella querelle fra Jean Adam de Serre e gli enciclopedisti’, Schweizer Jb für Musikwissenschaft, x (1990), 73–102
Il Santo xxxii/2–3 (1992) [Tartini issue]
Tartini: Padua 1992
Tartini: Piran 1992 [MZ, xxviii (1992); with Eng. summary]
P. Barbieri: ‘Tartinis Dritter Ton und Eulers Harmonische Exponenten, mit einem unveröffentlichen Manuskript Tartinis’, Musiktheorie, vii (1992), 219–34
G. Beechey: ‘Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770)’, The Consort, xlviii (1992), 8–17
I. Cavallini, ed.: Inaugurazione del monumento a Giuseppe Tartini in Pirano (Trieste, 1992) [incl.: M. Tamaro, ‘Giuseppe Tartini: la vita’, 3–84]
P. Petrobelli: Tartini: le sue idee e il suo tempo (Lucca, 1992)
L. Grasso Caprioli: Strutture linguistiche e lessico tecnico nelle'Regole per arrivare a saper ben suonar' di Giuseppe Tartini (diss., U. of Pavia, 1993)
B. Boccadoro: ‘Tartini, Rousseau, et les Lumières’, Ecrits sur la musique, la langue et le théâtre, ed. S. Baud-Bovy, B. Gagnebin and M. Raymond (Paris, 1995), 1694–1711
Giuseppe Tartini in njegov ?as/Giuseppe Tartini e il suo tempo: Piran 1997, ed. M. Kokole (Ljubljana, 1997)
P. Polzonetti: Tartini e la musica secondo natura (Lucca, 2000)