Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 2

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

All this week, Symphony Hall is focusing on the legacy of Niccolo Paganini. Last night, we brought you the composer's First Violin Concerto. Tonight comes the Violin Concerto No. 2, a work in which the composer holds back on the virtuosic fireworks in favor of greater individuality in the melodic style.

Comments [1]

Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

NICOLO PAGANINI, the superstar of his day on the violin, was born on February 18, 1784 in Genoa, Italy. Paganini's first instructors were the conductors, maestri, of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. Paganini had enormous success on his first public solo performance at age 9. At 13 he toured in the company of his father. Gambling cost him his violin to pay off his losses at the gambling table. A compassionate wealthy French fan, named Livron, gave him a Joseph Guarnerius violin which remained his most treasured possession. A noblewoman so captivated his romantic nature that he retired for 3 years from all concertizing.. At age 21, Paganini toured throughout Europe, playing to stupefied audiences. His "gimmick," "shtick," was his delight in playing whole compositions on the fourth string alone. In Venice he was taken into the employ of the Princess of Lucca and Piombo, Napoleon's sister, as her musical director. Ever the lusty romantic he began a liason with Antonia Bianchi, a dancer, who bore his son Achillino, when Paganini himself was 42 years old. His relationship with her lasted another 2 years. At 43, the Pope honored him with the Order of the Golden Spur. At age 54, Berlioz composed for him his "Harold in Italy." His lifelong addiction to gambling found him , ultimately, investing in his own casino, "The Casino Paganini" in Paris, which was refused a gambling license. This, and other financial reverses, aggravated his laryngeal phthsis condition and he died in Nice on May 17th, 1840, aged 56. His son received an inheritance equivalent to 80, 000 pounds and the municipality of Genoa received from his will the Guarnerius violin, which is housed in the city museum.

Sep. 21 2010 04:39 PM

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