In the era before Paganini, a brilliant solo cadenza in a sonata or concerto movement for violin was called a “capriccio”. Practice pieces for string instruments were also given this generic name. The merging of the concertante cadenza form with that of the technical etude was one of Nicolò Paganini’s greatest creative achievements. With his op. 1 Capriccios Paganini opened up a new musical dimension in the genre. They seem improvised, overflow with melodic abundance and are of a clear, spirited design. This Urtext edition is based entirely on Paganini’s autograph, since the first edition contains numerous errors and was probably not proofread by the composer. Renato De Barbieri’s performance instructions in our version evolved during many years of concert experience and an in-depth study of the autograph. With this and the informative preface, the violinist is offered an edition that the work has long deserved.
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- 24 Capricci op. 1
We do not know when Nicolò Paganini (1782–1840) wrote his famous twentyfour Capricci for solo violin. One supposition is that they were written at different intervals during his youth, but this cannot be proved. The autograph contains the date 24. 9bre 1817, but not in Paganini’s hand. The Capriccios did not appear in print until three years later. This was Paganini’s … more
About the composer
Violin virtuoso and composer of violin music of a unique and virtuosic character. He composed numerous works for violin and orchestra, pieces for solo violin, and chamber music for violin and guitar, as well as other chamber works. In pieces for the G string, like his Sonata Napoleone and Sonata Militare, he experiments with tone colors (harmonics and pizzicato for the left hand).
|1782||Born in Genoa on October 27, the son of a harbor worker and amateur musician. First musical education from his father, then from professional violinists.|
|from 1794||Concerts in churches and for private audiences. Studies composition in Parma with Paer and Gasparo Ghiretti. He writes a great deal of music for guitar.|
|1795||Performance in Genoa of the Polish violinist Duranowski, who inspires Paganini.|
|1801–09||He lives in Lucca: there in 1805 he becomes first violinist of the city’s Cappella Nazionale.|
|before 1818||Twenty-four Caprices, Op. 1 (published 1820), which inaugurate the genre of the concert etude.|
|1805–09||He composes 45 sonatas.|
|1810–24||First concert tour through Italy.|
|1813–1815||Guitar Quartets, Op. 4 and Op. 5|
|1816||Violin Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 6: conventional concerto–sonata form with very virtuosic passages for the solo instrument.|
|1825–27||Second concert tour of Italy.|
|1826/28||Violin Concertos No. 2 (B minor, Op. 7) and No. 3 in E major.|
|1828–34||Spectacular performances in European cities.|
|1830||Publication of a Paganini biography by Julius Schottky. Violin Concertos No. 4 (D minor) and No. 5 (A minor).|
|1837||The long-term establishment in Paris of a concert establishment, the Casino Paganini, fails.|
|1840||Death in Nice on May 27.|
About the authors
Die vorliegende Ausgabe fußt auf dem Autograph und korrigiert die vielen, die ursprüngliche Intention Paganinis verzerrenden Fehler.