Giuseppe Tartini - Palladians - Sunday Times

"One night I dreamt I had made a pact with the devil; he was my servant and anticipated my every wish...Imagine my astonishment when I heard a sonata so unusual and so beautiful...I was so overcome that I stopped breathing and awoke gasping...The piece I then wrote is without doubt my best, and I still call it The Devil's Sonata." Giuseppe Tartini's words to the French astronomer Joseph Jérôme Lalande explain why his most famous composition was suppressed during his lifetime. The G minor Sonata's nickname derives from the notorious passage in its finale, entitled Dreams of the Author, in which the trill depicts diabolical laughter. This masterly work, and its Opus 1 companion in the same key, Didone abbandonata (Dido Abandoned), are the great baroque violinist/composer's masterpieces, frequently recorded, but rarely with the gusto and technical address displayed by Rodolfo Richter, the Palladians' "soloist", but a primus inter pares of this outstanding baroque group (Susanne Heinrich, Silas Standage and William Carter). Carter is the author of the notes that put this music in context, indicating Tartini's debt to Francesco Maria Veracini, whose A major Sonata, with another of Tartini's Opus 1 set, completes this compelling programme.

Sunday Times
17 August 2008