Nicolo Paganini: A Biography

Nicolo Paganini: A Biography


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Nicolo Paganini: a biography

By J.G. Prod'homme

Translated by Alice Mattullath


I-Paganini's youth and early travels in Italy

II-The man and the artist

III-Travels abroad. (I) Austria, Poland Germany

IV-Travels abroad. (II) Paris, London, etc.

V-Return to Italy; last stay in France; death of Paganini; his posthumous adventures

VI-Paganini as a composer; his works

Excerpt from Chapter I

There are certain names in history which attain universal popularity and have the rare distinction of symbolizing a particular art or an entire epoch. Even the ignorant know them and use them to express a definite train of thought. What name more popular than Raphael's? Does it not typify perfection in the art of painting? Mozart's name in music has an equal standing. As to the name of Paganini--more even than that of Liszt, whose fame as a virtuoso for so long overshadowed that of the composer,--it has become almost mythical. "To play like Paganini," like this Paganini whose memory lives forever, is to the masses the highest praise which can be bestowed upon an executant musician.

It is difficult to determine just when this widespread fame originated, especially in the absence of authentic documents; however, it can be positively stated that up to 1828 Paganini's glory was entirely of Italian making, his first foreign appearance, at Vienna, being the flash which lit the fire of enthusiasm in all Europe. Furthermore, it is difficult to retrace in detail the first thirty years of the artist's eventful life, which, even before he left his native country, had been embellished by anecdotes of more or less authenticity.

Born at Genoa, February, 18th, 1784, Nicolo Paganini was the son of Antonio Paganini and Terese Bocciardi, "both amateur musicians," as he states in a brief autobiography; "when I was five and a half years of age, I was taught to play the mandolin by my father, a broker.

"About this time the Savior appeared to my mother in a dream and told her that a prayer should be fulfilled to her; she requested that her son should become a great violinist and this was granted her. When I attained my seventh year, my father, whose ear was unmusical, but who was nevertheless passionately fond of music, gave me my elementary lessons on the violin; in a very few months I was able to play all manner of compositions at sight."

Nicolo's first teachers were Giovanni Servetto, a man of little merit, says Fetis, with whom he did not remain long, and afterward Giacomo Costa, Musical Director and first violin of some of the prominent churches at Genoa, from whom he took thirty lessons in six months. At the early age of eight Paganini composed...


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781628450835
Publisher: Windham Press
Publication date: 06/19/2013
Pages: 68
Sales rank: 905,304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.14(d)

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