Niccolò Paganini

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Portrait of Niccolò Paganini after Paul Pommayrac 1838

Niccolò Paganini , also Nicolò Paganini (born October 27, 1782 in Genoa , † May 27, 1840 in Nice ) was an Italian violinist , guitarist and composer . In his day he was the leading and most famous violin virtuoso . His appearance and his brilliant playing technique made him a legend during his lifetime. He also mastered the guitar with great virtuosity.



There is evidence that Niccolò Paganini was born in Genoa in 1782. In 1821 he had his friend, the lawyer Luigi Germi, forge the date of birth and change it from 1782 to 1784. In 1828 he dictated Peter Lichtenthal for a first biographical note, which appeared in Italian in the Leipzig Music Gazette in 1830 and in Milan in 1853 , the same year 1784. Julius Max Schottky also received this information from Paganini personally for Paganini's life and activities as an artist and as a Human: with impartial consideration d. Opinions of his followers u. Opponent . Therefore, 1784 was considered correct throughout the 19th century. Paganini's information about his childhood and the role of his father, which can be read in Schottky, must be viewed critically for the same reason.

According to his own account, Paganini received violin lessons from an early age, including from his father Antonio Paganini, who forced him to practice for hours. If he wasn't hard-working enough for his father, he got nothing to eat. Even at this early stage he tried out the tonal possibilities of the violin on his own initiative and invented "new and otherwise unseen fingerings [...] whose sounding together amazed people". In addition, he began to play the guitar as a child - taught by his father . It cannot be precisely dated - between 1791 and 1795 - he received violin lessons from Giacomo Costa in Genoa. Presumably he was mostly self-taught , influenced by the works, the playing style and the "school" of Giuseppe Tartini , Pietro Locatelli , Giovanni Battista Viottis , Rodolphe Kreutzers and Pierre Rodes .

Paganini gained further inspiration and knowledge during a stay in Parma with his father from late 1795 to late 1797. There he received composition lessons from Gasparo Ghiretti and Ferdinando Paër , and composed some works under their supervision, including two violin concertos, which he had lost today Gran Teatro in Parma, Colorno and Sala . Back in Genoa, he saw that the city was occupied by Napoleonic troops. He escaped this by traveling to Northern Italy and giving concerts there. The programs of his appearances in Modena in December 1800 show that, in addition to his own compositions, he also played concerts by Rode and Kreutzer. His Spanish fandango , in which he imitated the voices of various birds and which he later liked to perform abroad, was a real gem. In 1801 he returned to Genoa and, according to his own statements, devoted himself to farming and playing the guitar. He composed for the guitar, and the guitar also became an important tool for him for harmonic thinking and polyphonic composition.


For the first time without his father Paganini traveled to Lucca in 1801 . There he successfully applied for the musical participation in the high mass of Santa Croce . A concert in Santa Croce on September 14, 1801 was very well received. It earned him invitations for further concerts.

No reliable information is available for the years 1802 to 1804. Perhaps Paganini's admission of juvenile mistakes, such as a passion for gambling, relates to this time span:

“My talent found [...] too much recognition; traveling around freely; the enthusiasm […]; a Genoese blood [...] - all this, and so much more of that kind, often led me to get into societies which were in fact not the best. I must honestly say that I […] fell into the hands of people who played far more skillfully and happily than I did, but of course neither the violin nor the guitar. I often lost the fruit of several concerts in one evening [...]. But fortunately these periods were temporary [...] "

In January 1805 Paganini was appointed concertmaster in the Orchestra of the Republic of Lucca and, after Princess Elisa Baciocchi , a sister of Napoleon , had become ruler of Lucca, in September 1805 she was appointed chamber virtuoso and opera director . This only permanent position lasted in Paganini's life until 1809. During this time he wrote numerous works for violin and orchestra as well as for violin and guitar.

Concert tours

Paganini 1819, charcoal drawing by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres


From 1810 Paganini was almost constantly on concert tours, initially for two years only through Romagna and Emilia , then until 1828 with great success through the whole of Italy from Turin to Palermo .

In Ricordi in Milan 1820 were in addition to the sonatas for violin and guitar op. 2 and op. 3 and the quartets 5, the op. 4 and op. 24 Capricci op. 1 printed. The Capricci circulated from there - even in copies and transcripts, as well as unauthorized, often altered in the score Print - throughout Europe and left it to the first time to hear Paganini's art not only, but also to check on a musical text and analyze as later, for example, Robert Schumann and Franz Liszt could do. Paganini, however, never performed the Capricci in a concert.

In 1824 Paganini met the singer Antonia Bianchi during an engagement at the Teatro San Samuele in Venice and entered into a relationship with her. Their son Achille Ciro Alessandro was born in Palermo on July 23, 1825. Antonia Bianchi traveled with Paganini in the following years and performed in his concerts.

Vienna and Prague

Paganini, lithograph by Josef Kriehuber , Vienna 1828

When Paganini finally left Italy in 1828 and went to Vienna , he was already preceded by many rumors and the reputation of being an outstanding violin virtuoso who bewitched his listeners with his “magical violin skills”. In Vienna, experts and the public celebrated him enthusiastically. His concerts were discussed in all the newspapers, correspondent reports about his art also reached Germany and France , fashion newspapers dealt with his alleged way of life, gastronomy and clothing fashion were infested with the Paganini style , everyday objects carried his portrait , poems and antics with the Paganini theme became published, composers chose melodies and names for their works with allusions to Paganini, and the Austrian Emperor Franz I awarded him the honorary title of "Imperial Chamber Virtuoso". Here in Vienna Paganini parted ways with Antonia Bianchi. Achille stayed - contractually regulated - with Paganini and was carefully looked after and looked after by him.

Health problems caused Paganini to go to Karlsbad in August 1828 , where he met Johann Nepomuk Hummel . He gave two concerts there, but had to seek treatment in Prague for an inflammation of the lower jaw in October . He was operated on successfully, was able to play some hesitantly acclaimed concerts, compose some works for violin and guitar and prepare for a long sought-after trip to Germany. Shortly before leaving, he dictated his biography to Julius Max Schottky, which he hoped would refute all the rumors that had spread about him.

Germany with a detour to Poland

Paganini, honored with a laurel wreath, after a concert in Munich in 1829

Between January 1829 and February 1831 he performed in more than 40 cities in Germany and Poland. Via Dresden and Leipzig he first came to Berlin, where he gave his first concert on March 4, 1829 in the presence of the royal court. The most important Berlin critic Ludwig Rellstab wrote in his review that he had never seen Berliners like this before: "[...] in a state of exuberance [...] that I have seldom seen in a theater and never in a concert hall." Paganini as a person he was not comfortable. There is something demonic about him. “Perhaps Goethe's Mephisto would have played the violin like that.” With this he described how Paganini was classified, especially in Germany and France, where the recognized violin virtuosos used a more restrained style of playing the violin. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, on the other hand, judged Paganini's demonia differently:

“No […], Mephistopheles is much too negative a being, but the demonic expresses itself in a thoroughly positive energy. Among the artists there is more musicians than painters. With Paganini it shows to a high degree, which is how he produces such great effects. "

With the German audience, however, Paganini's black concert clothes, his form and physiognomy marked by illnesses as well as his musical abilities and effects, which are inexplicable for the audience, contributed to the image of the devilish-demonic artist being handed down to this day.

Paganini also had great success in Poland, where he gave eleven concerts in May, June and July 1829. In Warsaw he played on the occasion of the coronation of Tsar Nicholas I as King of Poland. He met the Polish violinist Karol Lipiński, already known to him from Piacenza, who had dedicated his Three Capricci for solo violin to him in 1827 . Frédéric Chopin attended one of the Warsaw concerts, who then composed a Souvenir de Paganini , which he did not publish.

Paganini felt particularly at home in Frankfurt am Main , where he performed in August and September 1829. There he rented an apartment and was able to leave his son Achille in the care of a housekeeper during his further travels. In Frankfurt he met the conductor Carl Guhr , who wrote an important treatise on Paganini's way of playing.

In Frankfurt am Main, Paganini interrupted the series he had begun in January 1829 of 73 concerts at the beginning of 1830 and devoted himself to composing. But already in March 1830 he began the next series of concerts here, in which Robert Schumann heard him on April 11th in Frankfurt and then continued his piano studies excessively. From October 1830 there are sketches by Schumann for Variations on Paganini's La Campanella . For him it was true: “Paganini is the turning point of virtuosity.” But not all German professional musicians judged Paganini only positively. Louis Spohr , who had already met Paganini in 1816 and at his suggestion Paganini gave a concert in Kassel, wrote in a letter on June 5, 1830: “His left hand, the always pure intonation and his G-string are admirable. In his compositions and his lecture there is such a strange mixture of the most ingenious and childish and tasteless, which is why one feels alternately attracted and repulsed. The total impression, especially after listening to it more often, was not satisfactory for me […] “An important source about Paganini as a private person was written by the Hanoverian writer, journalist and theater critic Georg Harrys , the Paganini from June 6th to July 1st Served as impresario in 1830. In it, Paganini's private aura becomes tangible without demonization. The long title is: Paganini in his traveling carriage and room, in his talkative hours, in social circles, in his concerts.

Paris and Great Britain

"Paris, London and Russia will complete my million," wrote Paganini to his friend and advisor Luigi Germi in Genoa. The admission prices for his concerts during the Germany tour, which were well above the usual, had brought him a well-invested fortune, which had allowed him to give charity concerts in many places , the proceeds of which he donated.

Paganini never reached Russia , but he entered Paris with his son Achille on February 24, 1831. In fact, the nineteen concerts of his first three-month tour of France brought him - apart from Paris, he played in Boulogne , Dunkerque , Lille , Saint-Omer and Calais - 153,000 francs a. In Paris he was immediately the focus of society. Poets, critics, painters and musicians crowded into his concerts, including Théophile Gautier , George Sand , Castil-Blaze , François-Joseph Fétis , Eugène Delacroix , Gioachino Rossini , Luigi Cherubini , Jacques Fromental Halévy , Pierre Baillot , Giacomo Meyerbeer , Ole Bull and Franz Liszt . For Liszt, the experience of Paganini's virtuosity had a particularly great impact. In dealing with Paganini's works and his way of fascinating the audience, he developed his highly virtuoso piano style and became a comparable crowd puller.

Portrait of Niccolò Paganini by Eugène Delacroix , 1832

Between May 1831 and March 1832 Paganini appeared for the first time in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland with a focus on London . His other stays there from July to September 1832, May to August 1833 and April to June 1834 already show in a rough overview the decline in Paganini's artistic and physical strength. It was similar in France, especially in Paris, where he was able to play eleven successful concerts between March and June 1832, but was also attacked by criticism on an artistic and personal level. This happened even more clearly in the concert winter of 1832/33 and especially in the summer and autumn of 1834. Paganini's involvement with a Paris casino company in 1837/38 ended as a disaster. In December 1838 he saw the world premiere of Hector Berlioz ' Harold in Italy in Paris . He paid homage to Berlioz on the open stage, but could hardly speak to him because of his larynx disease. A few days later he gave Berlioz 20,000 francs.


The reactions to Paganini's concerts in Belgium in March 1834 were mixed. On the one hand, the audience celebrated him, on the other hand, the critics, including François-Joseph Fétis, noted uncertainties in Paganini's playing and chalked him up for having amateur singers perform in his concerts. One of them was Charlotte Watson, with whom he fell in love in London. The liaison with her, like all relationships with women, ended unhappily.

Back in Italy

Hetty Krist , Paganini (color lithograph)


Together with his son Achille, Paganini returned to Genoa in early September 1834, as had been planned for some time. After a short visit to relatives, he traveled to Parma, where Luigi Germi had bought him the Villa Gajone on his behalf. Here he hoped to regain his strength. The Italian nobility and the royal family forced him to give concerts. He only came to rest in January 1835. He was able to compose undisturbed for two months and completed the important 60 Variations on Barucabà op. 14 , dedicated to Germi .

On December 12, 1835, he took up an office in Parma, which he fulfilled very conscientiously: he became a member of the commission of the court orchestra, which comes close to a current general music director . He performed operas, took care of improving the instrumentation and developed extensive drafts of regulations for the ducal orchestra of Parma and for an academy to be established in this city . It is a progressive catalog of norms that went too far for those in charge at court and for the ruler Marie Louise . Disappointed, Paganini gave up his position in Parma in July 1836 and went on concert tours again, which ended in Nice in November 1839.


Paganini hoped that Nice's mild climate would help alleviate his many ailments. He wrote to Berlioz: “If heaven allows, I'll see you again in spring. I hope my condition will improve here. This hope is the last one left for me. ”And he confided to his sister that he would later go to Tuscany to await his last hour there under the azure blue sky, and that if he would like to die he could do so first Breathe the air of a Dante and Petrarch .

Paganini's tomb in Parma

At the beginning of May 1840 a severe attack forced him to bed. His voice was completely destroyed. Paganini died in Nice on May 27, 1840. He had appointed his son Achille as a universal heir in his will .

Since Paganini could not make an oral confession on his deathbed and did not want to or could not make it in writing, he was refused a Christian burial after an episcopal review. It was not until 1876, after a macabre odyssey, that his body found temporary rest in consecrated earth and has been in the new cemetery in Parma since 1896, where a funerary memorial was erected.


The assumptions about Paganini's illnesses are mainly based on two reports from his doctor friend Francesco Bennati from 1831 and 1845. After that, Paganini suffered from the consequences of measles encephalitis from earlier years and from syphilitic- tuberculous complaints from middle years, which resulted in a Larynx tuberculosis with aphonia and extensive bone necrosis of the lower jaw with loss of teeth and which led to his death with a hemorrhage .

Bennati also described Paganini's figure, which gave rise to the assumption that Paganini was afflicted with hereditary Marfan syndrome . Bennati suspected that Paganini's shape and the texture of his hands with their great flexibility and the ability to overstretch the fingers formed the basis for Paganini's technical possibilities. However, the preserved plaster cast of Paganini's right hand shows that his fingers were by no means unusually long: the middle finger of the plaster cast is about 7.5 cm long. A recent DNA analysis on Paganini's offspring was also unable to confirm Marfan's syndrome.

The physical characteristics of Paganini, recorded on the basis of contemporary images and descriptions, indicate Ehlers-Danlos syndrome , which can also lead to hypermobility of the joints. Whether Paganini's documented diverse abdominal complaints, especially those of the urinary bladder , prostate and colon , and their consequences, as well as his skin sensations, were caused by primary diseases or secondarily by treatment methods and medication - analyzes of Paganini's hair, for example, revealed a high concentration of mercury - or had other causes , cannot be proven.


Paganini's style of play

The painting by Georg Friedrich Kersting (1830/31) shows Paganini's game in a high position.
Paganini in typical playing posture, caricature, London 1831

In 1829 Carl Guhr wrote a treatise that systematically dealt with the aesthetics of Paganini's violin playing and its techniques. It shows that Paganini's peculiarities were based almost entirely on traditional Italian violin playing, in particular Tartinis and Locatellis. What set him apart from this is the excessive use of the particularly difficult traditional techniques and the aura of personality and genius that they create on stage. Long before Paganini traveled to Europe, his abilities could be guessed from the 24 Capricci for solo violin , published in 1820 as Opus 1, dedicated to the "Artisti" for study purposes. They contain almost all of his typical technical requirements.

From Carl Guhr's treatise can be summarized:

  • Paganini strung his violin with thinner strings than usual and a. because of the easier retuning, the responsiveness of the highest registers and the flageolet as well as the mixing of bow stroke and pizzicato of the left hand. The bridge was designed to be flatter.
  • The right leg was presented, the upper arms remained close to the body, the left elbow was turned far to the right, the violin was held under the chin without a holder and tilted downwards. This enabled Paganini to have a relaxed posture and free mobility of the fingers on the fingerboard.
  • When playing exclusively on the G-string, it was tuned up to b . In pieces in B-flat keys accompanied by the orchestra, the violin was tuned a semitone higher. This enabled the sonorous sharp keys to be played on the violin, while the accompanying string instruments played the dull B-flat keys, so the solo part stood out from the orchestra.
  • Paganini's bow was very long and almost straight in the highest tension, that is, it was not bent in one direction or the other. The strong tension favored the jumping arc game . Paganini often slashed upbeats, accents with uplifts.
  • Paganini mastered the mixture of bowing and pizzicato with his left hand with great virtuosity, a technique that had already been used frequently in the earlier Italian school during the time of Niccolò Mestrino . He set them u. a. to accompany a bowed melody polyphonically in pizzicato. The double flageolet over long passages was a special tonal effect. He was famous for rapid speeds and a wide range of dynamics from quasi-breathtaking tone to far-reaching fortissimo.

“The soulful, enthusiastic, and truly peculiar in Paganini's playing flows from his innermost nature. The feelings and sensations that he wants to arouse in the related bosom are his own. In the tones of his melodies his life is active and alert, we always find his self, his individuality. The grief that he felt, the longing that permeates his being, the passion that chases his pulse faster, they all overflow into his lecture; […] Paganini is the artist who forgets the world around him and reproduces his own life in tones, as it was furrowed by suffering and smoothed by joy. Who knows his game, knows him too. "

Carl Guhr's aesthetic assessment and technical presentation of Paganini's playing on the violin is confirmed by a report by the violinist and composer Ole Bull (1810–1880), who was one of the first violinists to play Paganini's Capricci at a young age .

Paganini's instruments

Paganini's estate includes 15 violins, including seven by Antonio Stradivari , four by Giuseppe Guarneri (Guarneri del Gesù) and two by Nicola Amati , as well as two violas by Stradivari, four cellos , including two by Stradivari and one by Guarneri, and a guitar .

Il cannone violino

The Guarneri del Gesù from 1743, which Paganini called "il mio cannone violino"

Among the Guarneri violins was Paganini's favorite instrument that he bequeathed to the city of Genoa in his will: a violin built by Giuseppe Guarneri in Cremona in 1743 , called il Cannone or Cannone for short . Paganini had received it as a young virtuoso (probably in 1802 in Livorno) and called it il mio cannone violino ("my cannon violin " ) because of its powerful sound . The Cannone was with her big, round tone the ideal instrument to thin Paganini strings that made the sound slim, to make up.

In 1828 Paganini had the violin reworked in Vienna by the violin maker Carl Nicolaus Sawicki. It received a tailpiece similar to a viola and a new fingerboard , which was slightly shorter and had a more pronounced curve. In 1833 the violin suffered damage in London, the repair of which the violin maker Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume did not complete until 1838. Vuillaume also made a copy, which Paganini's pupil Camillo Sivori later acquired from his teacher.

Instruments of the "Paganini Quartet"

Four Stradivari instruments are now known as the "Paganini Quartet":

  • 1st violin: Paganini, Comte Cozio di Salabue (built 1727). In 1817 Paganini bought this violin from the Milanese Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue.
  • 2nd violin: Paganini-Desaint (built around 1680), an early Amati-style Stradivarius. Owned by Paganini since 1810.
  • Viola: Paganini-Mendelssohn (built 1731). Owned by Paganini since 1832.
  • Violoncello: Paganini-Ladenburg (built 1736).

After Paganini's death, the four instruments passed through different hands. For example, Emanuel Wirth played the viola in the Joachim Quartet at the end of the 19th century . In a painstaking search, Emil Herrmann, a well-known dealer and restorer of musical instruments in New York, finally succeeded in reuniting them after almost a century. The wealthy widow and music lover Anna E. Clark (1878–1963) bought the four instruments from Herrmann in 1946 for 155,000 US dollars and made them available to Henri Temianka , who then founded the Paganini Quartet.

The instruments acquired by the Nippon Music Foundation in 1994 are made available on loan to renowned string quartet ensembles . The Tokyo String Quartet was able to use the four instruments from September 1995 to July 2013, and the Hagen Quartet from December 2013 to August 2017 . In September 2017 they were awarded to the Quartetto di Cremona for one year . In September 2019 they were made available to the Goldmund Quartet for a period of four years .


Publications during his lifetime

Kyoko Yonemoto plays Capriccio No. 24 in A minor
  • The 24 Capricci op. 1 for violin solo were intended to serve the "artisti" for study purposes. They are inspired by Locatelli's violin school LˋArte del violini , published in 1733 .
  • The 12 sonatas for violin and guitar op. 2 and op. 3 as well as the quartets for violin, viola, guitar and cello op. 4 and op. 5 were intended for music-making in a small, chamber-musical setting and were - like all guitar works published during his lifetime Paganinis - published in Milan in 1820.

Other works

Opus 6 through Opus 14 were published in 1851. Except for op. 14, these are works that Paganini composed for his own performances.

  • Op. 6: Concerto No. 1 for violin and orchestra in E flat major
  • Op. 7: Concerto No. 2 for violin and orchestra in B minor La Campanella
  • Op. 8: Le Streghe. Variations on “Il Noce di Benevento” by Franz Xaver Süßmayr for violin and orchestra
  • Op. 9: God save the King. Variations on "Heil dir im Siegerkranz" for violin and orchestra
  • Op. 10: Il Carneval di Venezia. Variations on “O mamma, mamma cara” for violin and orchestra
  • Op. 12: Non più mesta. Theme from Rossini's Cenerentola with variations for violin and orchestra
  • Op. 13: Di tanti palpiti. Theme from Rossini's Tancredi with variations for violin and orchestra
  • Op. 14: Etude in 60 variations on the song Baracubà for violin and guitar

Many other works composed for public performance that brought Paganini great fame were only published later, often in the 20th century or not yet. This includes:

  • Sonata Napoleone with variations on the fourth string for violin and orchestra (1805–1809)
  • Sonata Maria Luisa with variations on the fourth string for violin and orchestra (ca.1810)
  • Sonata on string IV on "Dal tuo stellato soglio" from Rossini's Mosè in Egitto for violin and orchestra (1818/19)
  • Maestoso sonata sentimentale , Variations on the fourth string on "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" for violin and orchestra (1818/19)
  • Concerto No. 3 for violin and orchestra in E major (1826)
  • Concerto No. 4 for violin and orchestra in D minor (1829/30)
  • Concerto No. 5 for violin and orchestra in A minor (1830)
  • Concerto No. 6 for violin and orchestra in E minor (discovered in 1972, so-called Concerto )
  • Sonata per la gran Viola for viola and orchestra (1834)

Some successful performance pieces are incomplete. Often the voice of the solo violin played by Paganini is missing. An example for:

  • Sonata militare , variations on the fourth string on "Non più andrai" from Le Nozze di Figaro by W. A. ​​Mozart (1824)

Paganini also composed a large number of other, largely unpublished works for violin and orchestra, for other instruments and orchestras, for violin and guitar, for violin and piano, for violin solo, for guitar solo, for mandolin, then chamber music of various scoring and vocal music.

Projects planned by Paganini

Paganini himself had made a list of 28 successful works that he wanted to publish, including individual movements from his concerts. In doing so, he wanted to counteract the many plagiarisms, imitations and arrangements that have since appeared. Paganini therefore successfully took legal action against Ignaz Moscheles and his Gems à la Paganini (3 volumes, London 1832) and received compensation from Moscheles.

"I will tell you that it is my declared intention in the not too distant future to publish my compositions as they are written and to add a school to them that methodically explains their execution."

This publication never came about, not even the planned violin school.

Artistic aftermath

Classical music

Various composers worked on Paganini's themes during his lifetime, including:

Later edits (selection):

Paganini is the main character in Franz Lehár 's operetta of the same name from 1925.


Rock music

Guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen quotes the violinist (alongside Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven ) as one of his main inspirations.

Premio Paganini

The International Violin Competition Premio Paganini was founded in Genoa in 1954 with the aim of contributing to the promotion and discovery of young talent.


In 1986 the asteroid (2859) Paganini was named after Niccolò Paganini.



Overall presentations and biographies

  • Georg Harrys : Paganini in his traveling car and room, in his talkative hours, in social circles, in his concerts. Braunschweig 1830. Newly published by Heinrich Sievers, Tutzing 1982, ISBN 3-7952-0364-3 .
  • Julius Max Schottky : Paganini's life and activities as an artist and as a person, with impartial consideration of the opinions of his supporters and opponents . Publisher: J. G. Calve'sche Buchhandlung, Prague 1830. Reprint Vaduz / Liechtenstein 1990, Textarchiv - Internet Archive .
  • François-Joseph Fétis: Biographical notice of Nicolo Paganini, with and analysis of his compositions and a sketch of the history of the violin . Schott Verlag, London 1876, Text Archive - Internet Archive .
  • A. Niggli: Nicolo Paganini. In: Paul Graf von Waldersee (Hrsg.): Collection of musical lectures . Fourth row, No. 44/45. Publisher: Breitkopf and Härtel, Leipzig 1882, pp. 279-350, Textarchiv - Internet Archive .
  • Stephen Samuel Stratton: Nicolo Paganini: His life and work . The Strad Library , No. XVII. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1907, Project Gutenberg .
  • Jacques Gabriel Prod'homme: Paganini . Published by H. Laurens, Paris 1907. Translated from the French by Alice Mattullath. Verlag Fischer, New York 1911, Textarchiv - Internet Archive .
  • Julius Kapp: Paganini. A biography. Schuster & Loeffler (1st edition Berlin 1913), 9. – 12. Edition 1922, Textarchiv - Internet Archive .
  • Edward Neill: Niccolò Paganini. Munich / Leipzig 1990, ISBN 3-471-78232-X ; Paperback: Munich 1993, ISBN 3-426-02458-6 .

Individual aspects

  • Carl Guhr: About Paganini's art of playing the violin . Mainz 1829.
  • Johann Christian Lobe : The miracle man on the G-string . In: The Gazebo . Issue 1, 1872, pp. 9–11 and issue 2, pp. 31–32 ( full text [ Wikisource ]).
  • Memories of Paganini . In: The Gazebo . Issue 7, 1884, pp. 121 ( full text [ Wikisource ]).
  • Józef Powrozniak: Paganini and the guitar , nova giulianiad 2/84, p. 82 ff.
  • Philippe Borer: The Twenty-Four Caprices of Niccolò Paganini. Their significance for the history of violin playing and the music of the Romantic era. Foundation Central Office of the Student Union of the University of Zurich, Zurich 1997.
  • Werner Fuld : Paganini's curse. The story of a legend. Rowohlt-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-499-23305-3 .


Films and documentaries

  • The 1946 film Paganini ( The Magic Bow ) is based on the novel The Magic Bow: A Romance of Paganini by Manuel Komroff . Stewart Granger plays the leading role .
  • In his feature film Kinski Paganini from 1989, Klaus Kinski processed his perspective on Paganini. The film received few good reviews and very little international attention.
  • In 2006/07, Volker Schmidt-Sondermann created the documentary Paganini's Secret for Tellux-Film and Merkur TV based on a script by Axel Fuhrmann . Two of Paganini's great-grandchildren are using modern scientific methods to get to the bottom of the historical medical documents.
  • On October 31, 2013, Bernard Rose's film version Der Teufelsgeiger opened in German cinemas. This film, in which star violinist David Garrett took the lead role, also received mostly bad reviews . In particular, an indeterminate script and consistently poor performance were criticized. Paganini's music and its staging by Garrett, however, received praise from all sides.

Web links

Commons : Niccolò Paganini  - album with pictures, videos and audio files


Sources, comments and individual references

  1. a b c Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 14 and 24 f.
  2. a b Julius Max Schottky, Vaduz / Liechtenstein 1990, p. 250 f.
  3. Martin Rätz (Ed.): Classics of the guitar. Study and lecture literature from the 18th and 19th centuries. Volume 2. Deutscher Verlag für Musik, Leipzig 1978; License edition Schott, Mainz, p. 140 ( To the composers ).
  4. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 21.
  5. Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 26–32.
  6. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 31.
  7. a b Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 33 f.
  8. ^ Julius Max Schottky, Vaduz / Liechtenstein 1990, p. 258 f.
  9. See also Georg Harrys, Tutzing 1982, p. 41 f. (in the original p. 27)
  10. Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 36–49.
  11. Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 107–110.
  13. ^ Eduard Hanslick: History of concerts in Vienna - first part (1869) - Paganini 1828 in Vienna - page 241 ff
  14. ^ Julius Max Schottky, Vaduz / Liechtenstein 1990, pp. 5–55.
  15. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 203.
  16. Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 205–212.
  17. ^ Julius Max Schottky, Vaduz / Liechtenstein 1990.
  18. Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 215-218.
  19. ^ Goethe on March 2, 1831 in conversation with Johann Peter Eckermann
  20. Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 222–224.
  21. Ernst Burger . Frédéric Chopin . Munich 1990, p. 48 f.
  22. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 225.
  23. ^ A b c d Carl Guhr: About Paganini's art to play the violin. Mainz 1829 ( download possible here ).
  24. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 230 f.
  25. Ernst Burger: Robert Schumann. Munich 1999, p. 98 f.
  26. Martin Kreisig (Ed.): Collected writings on music and musicians by Robert Schumann. Fifth edition, Leipzig 1914, volume 1, p. 27.
  27. Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 232-233.
  28. Georg Harrys, Tutzing 1982.
  29. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 239.
  30. a b Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 252.
  31. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 245 f.
  32. ^ Franz Liszt: Grande Fantasie de Bravoure sur La Clochette de Paganini. Composed 1832–34, Etudes d'exécution transcendante d'après Paganini. Composed in 1838/39, published in 1841, revised in Grandes Etudes de Paganini. Made in 1851.
  33. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 254-267 and 270-273
  34. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 265 f.
  35. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 267–276.
  36. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 307 f.
  37. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 314 f.
  38. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 279 f.
  39. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 256, 277, 293, 301.
  40. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 288 ff.
  41. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 14, 293 ff., 336–352
  42. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 298.
  43. a b c Julius Kapp: Niccolo Paganini. 15th edition, Tutzing 1989, p. 93 ff.
  44. Francesco Benati: Notice physiologique et pathologique sur Paganini. In: Revue de Paris. 11, 1831, pp. 113-116.
  45. ^ A b c Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 361–371.
  46. MR Schoenfeld: Nicolo Paganini, magical musician and Marfan mutant? In: Journal Of the American Medical Association. 239, 1987, pp. 40-42.
  47. ^ A b Andreas Otte, Konrad Wink: Kerner's diseases of great musicians. The revision. Stuttgart 2008, p. 146 ff., There also a photo of the plaster cast of Paganini's right hand.
  48. ^ RD Smith, JW Worthington: Paganini. The riddle and connective tissue. In: Journal Of the American Medical Association. 199 (11), March 13, 1967, pp. 820-824.
  49. ^ John O'Shea: Music & medicine: medical profiles of great composers. Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 75.
  50. ^ Paul Wolf: Creativity and chronic disease Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840). In: The Western Journal of Medicine. 175 (5), November 2001, p. 345. It contains an excerpt from a portrait of Paganini by Daniel Maclise (1806–1870) from 1831.
  51. ^ Medical report by Niccolo Paganini Paris, June 10, 1832 . Translation of the contemporary manuscript of his attending physicians (in the possession of Paganini's great-grandchildren in Milan). In: Paganini's Secret. A film by Volker Schmidt, Merkur.TV 2006
  52. Paganini's Secret . A film by Volker Schmidt, Merkur.TV 2006
  53. The basis and preliminary stage for this painting is a drawing by Kersting in which the violin is strung with four strings and Paganini has a slightly different finger position than in the much more well-known oil painting. The drawing shows a real scene, whereas the oil painting with the G-string corresponds to the rumored, but ultimately unproven, idea of ​​concertizing on the only G-string that is stretched or left after the other strings have broken. See: Kurt Karl Eberlein: An unknown Paganini portrait of GF Kersting. With 2 illustrations . In: Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst 55 . Pp. 127-131.
  54. Carl Guhr, Mainz 1829, p. 60 - see web links
  55. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 378–382.
  56. ^ Paul Metzner: Crescendo of the Virtuoso. Berkley et al. a. 1998, Paganini chapter
  57. ^ Maria Rosa Moretti: Paganini divo e comunicatore: atti del convegno internazionale; Genova, 3–5 December 2004 . SerRl International, Genova 2007, p. 10.
  58. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, pp. 353 ff.
  59. The historical violins: The "Guarneri del Gesù" (archive page)
  60. The historical violins: The "Vuillaume" (archive page)
  61. ^ Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1727, the 'Paganini, Comte Cozio di Salabue'
  62. Count Ignazio Alessandro Cozio di Salabue: Memoirs of a Violin Collector. Text translated from Italian to English and edited by Brandon Frazier, Baltimore 2007, ISBN 978-0-9799429-0-7 .
  63. ^ Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1680, the 'Paganini-Desaint'
  64. ^ Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1731, the 'Paganini, Mendelssohn'
  65. ^ Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1736, the 'Paganini, Ladenburg'
  66. ^ John Montgomery: Tokyo String Quartet Brings Storied - Strads to Raleigh. ( Memento of December 14, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) In: Guild Notes. Fall 2009. (PDF; 884 kB) Published by the Raleigh Chamber Music Guild
  67. About Nippon Music Foundation - Instruments Owned by Nippon Music Foundation , accessed January 11, 2018
  68. ^ The Strad: German group is new recipient of Paganini quartet from Nippon Foundation
  69. ^ Ruggero Chiesa: The works for guitar solo by Niccolò Paganini. In: Guitar & Lute. 9, No. 4, 1987, pp. 41-51, here: pp. 41 f.
  70. The part of the solo violin, tuned a semitone higher, is notated in D major
  71. ^ Ruggero Chiesa: The works for guitar solo by Niccolò Paganini. In: Guitar & Lute. 9, No. 4, 1987, pp. 41-51.
  72. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 267.
  73. ^ Edward Neill, Munich / Leipzig 1990, p. 334.
  74. International Violin Competition "Premio Paganini"
  75. Minor Planet Circ. 11157 (PDF)
  76. Entry at