Niccolò Paganini  

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

Niccolò (or Nicolò) Paganini (October 27, 1782May 27, 1840) was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest violinists who ever lived, although this cannot be verified as there were no recordings. Although nineteenth century Europe had seen several extraordinary violinists, Paganini was the preeminent violin virtuoso of that century—it was rumored by his contemporaries that he had sold his soul to the devil for his unbelievable ability. His best-known work is the 24 Caprices for violin

Works inspired by Paganini

The Caprice No. 24 in A minor, Op.1 (Tema con variazioni) has been the basis of works by many other composers. For a separate list of these, see Caprice No. 24 (Paganini).

Other works inspired by Paganini include:

  • James BarnesFantasy Variations on a Theme by Nicolo Paganini
  • Michael Angelo BatioNo Boundaries
  • Hector Berlioz - Harold In Italy was originally commissioned by Paganini as a virtuosic piece for himself, however it did not meet with his approval.
  • Mario Castelnuovo-TedescoCapriccio Diabolico for classical guitar is a homage to Paganini, and quotes "La campanella"
  • Frédéric ChopinSouvenir de Paganini for solo piano (1829; published posthumously)
  • Luigi Dallapiccola – Sonatina canonica in mi bemolle maggiore su "Capricci" di Niccolo Paganini, for piano (1946)
  • Bela Fleck − "Moto Perpetuo (Bluegrass version)", from Fleck's 2001 album Perpetual Motion, which also contains a more standard rendition of the piece
  • Fritz KreislerPaganini Concerto in D Major (recomposed paraphrase of the first movement of the Op. 6 Concerto) for violin and orchestra
  • Johann Nepomuk Hummel - Fantasia for piano in C major "Souvenir de Paganini", WoO 8, S. 190.
  • Franz LehárPaganini, a fictionalized operetta about Paganini (1925)
  • Franz Liszt − Six Grandes Études de Paganini, S.141 for solo piano (1851) (virtuoso arrangements of 5 caprices, including the 24th, and La Campanella from Violin Concerto No. 2)
  • Cesare Pugni - The Pas de deux from his ballet Satanella borrows themes from Paganini's Carnevale di Venezia, Op.10
  • Nathan MilsteinPaganiniana, an arrangement of Caprice Nr. 24, with variations based on the other caprices
  • George RochbergCaprice Variations (1970), 50 variations for solo violin
  • Uli Jon Roth − "Scherzo Alla Paganini" and "Paganini Paraphrase"
  • Robert Schumann − Studies after Caprices by Paganini, Op.3 (1832; piano); 6 Concert Studies on Caprices by Paganini, Op.10 (1833, piano). A movement from his piano work "Carnaval" (Op. 9) is named for Paganini.
  • Marilyn ShrudeRenewing the Myth for alto saxophone and piano
  • Philip Wilby - Paganini Variations, for both wind band and brass band
  • Steve Vai − "Eugene's Trick Bag" from the movie Crossroads. Based on Caprice Nr. 5
  • Eugène YsaÿePaganini variations for violin and piano

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Niccolò Paganini" 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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