Casa Tartini: beginnings
Tartini's house of birth is located along the northern side of Tartini Square, the main square of the town of Piran, which dedicated to him. The house, nowadays a cultural monument, was built on the foundations of an earlier Gothic building, erected in the 14th century by a family of Piran merchants and shipowners. During the 18th century, the building was completely rebuilt and enlarged in the Baroque style of the time, under the leadership of the Zangrando family, the Piran composer's maternal lineage. In 1685, precisely in this place, Caterina Zangrando, from Piran, and Giovanni Antonio Tartini, from Florence, scribe of salts in Piran on behalf of the Venetian Republic, were married. This position enabled Giuseppe's father to acquire great economic wealth and political importance, which enabled the Tartini family to further expand the palace, until it reached the structure that it still retains today, including the rich internal decorations. The stucco and wall paintings, on the other hand, were made in the neoclassical style and were executed on the commission of Pietro Tartini, the violinist's grandson. These were executed by Pietro Gaspari, a Venetian painter and scenographer known for his engravings and paintings. Thanks to the care and skill with which he outlined architectural details, these artworks echo the style of Giambattista Piranesi.
Casa Tartini: nowadays
Casa Tartini has been restored on numerous occasions, most recently in 2020, in the frame of the 250th remembrance day of the famous violinist, composer and musicologist from Piran. This intervention was accompanied by the establishment of a museum itinerary that would introduce visitors to the artistic and architectural wonders of this place, narrating its anecdotes, curiosities and episodes linked to the illustrious personalities who lived-in it. This new exhibition path was made possible thanks to the contribution of the European Union, namly by the Interreg V-A Italy-Slovenia programme. Within the museum path the visitors are given the possibiliy to appreciate the collection of the Giuseppe Tartini bequest, including original documents and treatises written by the composer, his plaster funeral mask, a number of paintings and depictions dedicated to him, and one of the three violins that the maestro used to use for his concerts, made by luthier Nicola Marchioni of Bologna between 1715 and 1725.
In addition the museum, Casa Tartini also hosts the headquarters of the Italian Community »Giuseppe Tartini«, where its various activities – among them events and manifestations to spread the culture and traditions of the Italian comunity – are carried out.
Giuseppe Tartini: biography
Giuseppe Tartini was born in Piran in 1692, son of Caterina Zangrando, a member of one of the most influential families in town, and Giovanni Antonio Tartini, a salt scribe in Piran, the senior official of the Venetian Republic. This prominent role was at the time one of the most important within the town's social fabric, as salt production was the main economic resource in the area. Giuseppe distinguished himself from the start as a child of outstanding talent, which led him to continue his studies at the Collegio nei Nobili in Koper, where he received a multifaceted and comprehensive education, including the study of philosophy, rhetoric, and mathematics. He later moved to Padua to gain a law degree, but his only desire was to pursue his two great passions: fencing and playing the violin. After secretly marrying Elisabetta Premazone, niece of the archbishop of Padua, to whom Giuseppe gave violin lessons, he was forced to flee and seek asylum. It was on this occasion that he was given shelter by his relative Giovanni Torre, the guardian father of the Franciscan Convent in Assisi, who offered him a refuge and allowed him to further improve his musical studies. Within this context, Giuseppe studied violin under the guidance of Matěj Černohorský, the appointed organist in Assisi at the time, which was also the founder of an important composition school in Prague. Returning to Padua after being pardoned by the cardinal, his fame grew rapidly. At the young age of 24, he was already invited to play in Venice for private receptions, organised by the Elector Prince of Saxony and the King of Poland Augustus II. He later moved to Ancona, where he developed what is his most important contribution to music theory, which he made public in a 1754 treaty: the so-called third sound, or Tartini sound, an acoustic phenomenon consisting of the generation of a low sound resulting from the difference in frequency of two higher sounds. In 1721, at the age of 29, he returned to Padua as first violinist of the Orchestra of the Basilica of St. Anthony, and a few years later founded one of the most important violin schools in Europe, which earned him the name Maestro delle Nazioni (transl. Master of Nations). After a great number of concerts, publications and treatises, he died of scurvy in 1770, rightfully included in the circle of the most prominent musicians and theorists of the 18th century.