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Niccolò Paganini

"Mad genius level violinist"

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by 1 Jurors

Niccolò (or Nicolò) Paganini (27 October 1782 – 27 May 1840) was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer. He was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time, and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique. His Caprice No. 24 in A minor, Op. 1, is among the best known of his compositions, and has served as an inspiration for many prominent composers.

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img Alfred Evans posted a review

Paganini lived the life equivalent to a modern day rock star. He toured Europe, leaving the public in awe with his recitals. He was no mere genius. He practiced 10 hours a day by his own admission, and the rest of his violin skills just came "naturally". He is the most celebrated violin virtuoso of all-time.

Rumors have it that Paganini never missed a note. He wrote what many consider to be the most difficult pieces of violin music. His very first opus number is comprised of his 24 Caprices for solo, the 24th of which, in a minor, is the most well known. The 24 Caprices were inspired by the 24 Caprices of Locatelli during Paganini's study in Parma. Published in the 1730s, they were shunned by the musical authorities for their technical innovations, and were forgotten by the musical community at large. The 24 Caprices was instrumental in the revival and popularization of such violinistic techniques as harmonics and left hand pizzicato, which are now incorporated into regular compositions.

A violin has four strings, and the performer is supposed to use any one of them to facilitate scale runs and octave leaps. Paganini, however, could play this caprice on one string because of his long fingers. During his recital, Paganini would ask a random lady in the front row to pick a string, then play the 24th Caprice on that string.

He blew so many minds away that after he died, doctors dissected his hands to see if he was born with extra cartilages, but they actually found less, because he had played so much he had worn it down.

on September 22, 2014
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Niccolò Paganini

Mad genius level violinist
Book rating: 99 out of 100 with 1 ratings