Classical Sunday: Niccolò Paganini

A popular idol, Paganini inspired the Romantic mystique of the virtuoso and revolutionized violin technique.

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The Best of Niccolò Paganini (27 October 1782 – 27 May 1840)

Niccolò Paganini was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer.  He was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time, and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique.  Paganini composed his own works to play exclusively in his concerts, all of which profoundly influenced the evolution of violin technique.  His Caprice No. 24 in A minor, Op. 1, is among the best known of his compositions, and has served as an inspiration for many prominent composers.  Generally speaking, Paganini’s compositions were technically imaginative, and the timbre of the instrument was greatly expanded as a result of these works.  Sounds of different musical instruments and animals were often imitated.

0:00 Violin Concerto No.2 in B minor (‘La campanella’), Op. 7, MS 48- Rondo
8:27 Sonata for violin & guitar in D major (Centone di sonate, Letter A-2), MS 112-2- Adagio
12:23 Sonata for violin & guitar in D major (Centone di sonate, Letter A-2), MS 112-2- Rondoncino
16:35 Grand Sonata, for guitar & violin in A major, Op. 35, MS 3- Romanza
20:45 Grand Sonata, for guitar & violin in A major, Op. 35, MS 3- Andantino variato
29:52 Caprice for violin solo in E major (Andante), Op. 1-1- No. 1 in E major
31:46 Caprice for violin solo in A minor (Agitato), Op. 1-5- No. 5 in A minor
34:18 Caprice for violin solo in E major ‘The Hunt’ Op. 1-9- No. 9 in E major
37:12 Violin Concerto No.2 in B minor (‘La campanella’), Op. 7, MS 48- Adagio
44:28 Sonata concertata, for guitar & violin in A major, Op. 61, MS 2- Adagio assai espressivo
48:01 Sonata concertata, for guitar & violin in A major, Op. 61, MS 2- Rondeau- Allegretto con brio scherzando
50:07 Caprice for violin solo in B flat major ‘The Devil’s Chuckle,’ Op. 1-13- No. 13 in B flat major
52:32 Caprice for violin solo in D major (Allegretto), Op. 1-20- No. 20 in D major
56:05 Caprice for violin solo in A minor (Theme & Variations), Op. 1-24- No. 24 in A minor
1:01:02 Cantabile, for violin & piano (or guitar) in D major, (MS 109)
1:05:30 Violin Concerto No.1 in E flat major (usually transposed to D major), Op. 6, MS 21- Rondo- Allegro spirituoso

Featured:
This humorous picture is on the title-page of a comic song, “The wonderful Paganini, or London fiddling mad.”  The poetry by W. T. Moncrieff, Esq., and the melody by one of the first composers of the day! London, published by Leoni Lee, circa 1831.

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