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Title: Nicolo Paganini: His Life and Work
Author: Stratton, Stephen Samuel
Language: English
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[Illustration: _Plate I.--See Appendix._





     "_Natura il fece, e poi ruppe la stampa._"



     J. LENG & CO., 186, FLEET STREET, E.C.

     New York:



The author of this work did not live to see the final sheets in print.
Although it has not received his revision, yet the book has had careful
editing. Mr. Stratton did not undertake the Life of Paganini without
adequate preparation. He had during many years thoughtfully studied the
artist and his attributes, and became an acknowledged authority on the
subject. He gathered from all available sources the most reliable
information. Almost his last journey was a pilgrimage to Paganini's
birthplace. This volume will exhibit his versatility, particularly the
chapter giving the analyses of Paganini's compositions. It is therefore
the most complete account of the greatest virtuoso recorded in the
annals of music. Those who peruse this most interesting biography of
Paganini, will naturally desire to learn something of the writer.

Stephen Samuel Stratton was born in London on December 19th, 1840. He
began his career as a chorister of St. Mary's Church, Ealing. He studied
harmony and composition under Charles Lucas. As an organist, he held
these appointments--St. Mary the Virgin, Soho; and St. James's Church,
Friern Barnet. On his removal to Birmingham in 1866, he was organist at
St. Barnabas Church; Edgbaston Old Parish Church; St. John's, Harborne;
and the Church of the Saviour (1878-1882). In 1879 he commenced a series
of chamber concerts in Birmingham.

From 1877 until the day of his death, Mr. Stratton was the musical
critic of the "Birmingham Daily Post." In that position his influence
was decidedly beneficial. He was also a contributor to the London
Musical Press. He will be remembered as the joint author (with Mr. James
D. Brown) of "British Musical Biography." His "Life of Mendelssohn" was
written for Messrs. Dent's "Master Musicians." Among other items may be
mentioned "Musical Curiosities," and valuable papers read before the
"Incorporated Society of Musicians."

In private life he was highly esteemed--an honorable citizen--a genial,
kind hearted man, with a genuine love of his profession. He died, after
a short illness, in Birmingham, on June 25th, 1906.

                        R. H.



     BOYHOOD                                     1

     EARLY TRIUMPHS                              9

     ITALIAN TOURS                              22

     TOURS ON THE CONTINENT                     35

     FIRST VISIT TO ENGLAND                     50

     FINAL TOUR                                 61

     DEATH                                      73

     PAGANINI, THE MAN                          85


     HIS METHODS IN PLAYING                    128

     HIS COMPOSITIONS                          148

     MEMORIALS                                 191


     BIBLIOGRAPHY                              201




There are some names, the mere mention or thought of which conjure up
distinct personalities; such are Handel, Bach, Beethoven, Wagner; but
not one has the extraordinary individuality of that of Paganini. Though
few can be living who ever saw the man, though his portraits are not now
commonly to be met with, the name of Paganini at once calls up a
picture--weird, uncanny, demoniacal; brings back the faint echo of
performances long lost in the corridors of time; and excites the
imagination in a manner altogether unique. The last few years have
witnessed the appearance of an unprecedented number of wonderful young
violinists, whose achievements culminate in the marvellous playing of
the boy Franz von Vecsey. These manifestations are almost enough to
induce belief in the theory or doctrine of reincarnation, and to make
one fancy that the great Genoese is once again in the flesh. These
violinists, too, are all playing Paganini's music; they seem to glory in
it, and so do the audiences, although to many serious and worthy folk
it is mere clap-trap stuff. This revived interest in Paganini and his
music seems to render the present an appropriate time to restate the
case of the man and the artist, notwithstanding the extensive literature
already associated with his name.

It is a curious fact that nearly every distinguished musician, composer
or executant, has his namesakes. There was a constant succession of
Bachs in Thuringia for nearly two centuries; Beethoven's father and
grand-father were musicians; there were four Mozarts, musicians; and
more than twenty Wagners of some standing in the musical world. No one
seems to have traced the pedigree of Paganini, but he was preceded and
followed by others bearing the same name, and such particulars as can be
gleaned concerning these Paganinis may not be without interest, and at
least may serve by way of introduction to the greatest of them all.

Dr. Burney, in his account of Italian Opera in London during the last
half of the eighteenth century, names a Signor and Signora Paganini as
engaged for the season of 1760-61. They came from Berlin, and the Doctor
is ungallant enough to say that the lady, known as "The Paganini," was
not young. She made her _début_ on November 22, 1760, in Galuppi's "Il
Mondo della Luna," in a _buffa_ part, and was very captivating. At her
benefit, when another opera by Galuppi was given--"Il Filosofo di
Campagna,"--such a crowd assembled as had never been seen on any other
occasion. Not one third of those who presented themselves at the
Opera-house were able to obtain admission. "Caps were lost, and gowns
torn to pieces, without number or mercy, in the struggle to get in.
Ladies in full dress, who had sent away their carriages, were obliged to
appear in the streets and walk home without caps or attendants."
"Luckily the weather was fine," adds the Doctor, who witnessed this
uncommon spectacle. "The Paganini" thus anticipated the extraordinary
triumphs of the more famous artist of half a century later. Signor
Paganini, the husband, was only "a coarse first man," and sang almost
without a voice. Next comes Ercole Paganini, born at Ferrara, about
1770, the composer of several operas, produced at La Scala, Milan, and
at Florence, from 1804 to 1810. A tenor singer named Paganini appeared
in opera at Florence in 1830, was decidedly successful and became highly
popular in Genoa in 1836. After Francesco Lamperti was appointed (in
1850) professor of singing at the Conservatorio, Milan, among the good
pupils he turned out was one named Paganini, of whom, however, no
particulars are forthcoming. In 1865, Cesare Paganini, a theoretical
writer, published a treatise at Florence; and in November, 1898,
Signora Franceschati-Paganini was the Brünnhilde in a performance of
"Götterdämmerung," at Bologna. Then there was Dr. Paganini, who was
perhaps the brother in whose charge young Nicolo was allowed to go to
Lucca in 1798. Whomsoever he may have been, this Dr. Paganini died in
1835, which event gave rise to a rumour that the great violinist
was dead--a rumour happily untrue. This Dr. Paganini was not a
fiddle-player, but a fiddle-fancier. He possessed a violin ornamented
with mother-o'-pearl and ebony, which had belonged to a Shah of Persia,
the favourite violin of Lord Byron (so it was said), one that had
belonged to Stanislaus of Poland, father-in-law of Louis XV., one that
had been played upon by Charles IV. of Spain (the enthusiast who had
quartet performances at six in the morning, and who scorned to "keep
time,") and another, once the property of that monarch's favourite, Don
Manuel de Godoy, Duke of Alcudia.

All the Paganinis mentioned above were eclipsed by _the_ Paganini
(_pace_ Dr. Burney), the artist who stood alone, whose life was full of
strange vicissitudes, who was worshipped and calumniated, who was
applauded as perhaps never artist was before nor since, yet who was
laughed at, hissed--only once--brought before the law-courts--threatened
with imprisonment and mobbed within an ace of being lynched. As a child
of four, Paganini narrowly escaped being buried alive; from youth up he
was a constant sufferer from physical disorders; he had no real home
till he was fifty-two; after death his remains were refused burial for
five years; and when his body had rested in the grave for half a century
it was exhumed, apparently in order that his features might once more be
gazed upon. Truly, Paganini's story is a romance, a drama, a tragedy. We
may not look upon his like again, nor is it desirable that we should;
for his life conveys a moral that few can fail to discern.

The artist is the child of his age. What kind of age was it that
produced Paganini? A few years before he was born there came into the
world one who was to set Europe aflame. The age was the age of
revolution. Thrones tottered; armies devastated the Continent, and Italy
became a mere appanage of the French Empire. The political upheaval was
accompanied by a revolution in art. The romantic school in music arose,
and Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, and Wagner,
were the psychic results of the turmoil into which the world was thrown.
Into such a world, already feeling the premonitory tremors of the great
Revolution, was Nicolo Paganini born, at Genoa, on October 27th,

[Illustration: _Plate II.--See Appendix._


The Genoese--thrifty and industrious--bore no very good moral character
at that time; but they were then perhaps not alone in that respect.
Little information is available concerning the family of Paganini. The
father, Antonio Paganini, kept a small shop in the vicinity of the port;
he is described as a man of extraordinarily avaricious character, hard
and brutal, but possessing the redeeming quality of a love for music,
and showing some skill in the art; his instrument was the mandoline,
though Laphaléque says he was a violinist. The mother must have been of
a lovable disposition, from what little has been recorded of her. The
family consisted of two sons and two daughters. Of the elder son,
mention is made but once; of the daughters, nothing seems to be known.
Little Nicolo must have given evidence of musical talent very early,
but ere he was put to his studies he was attacked by the measles, and
that so severely that he remained for a whole day in a state of
catalepsy. He was given up for dead and was wrapped in a shroud, and
only a slight movement at the last, showing symptoms of life, saved him
from the horror of premature burial. Scarcely had he recovered, when his
father began his lessons in violin playing. The child's evident
disposition for the art excited the father's avarice, which found little
scope for gratification in his small business undertakings. He indulged
in golden dreams of the future, and to hasten their realisation was
unremitting in his work of instruction. His method was cruel in the
extreme. The poor child was kept to his task from morn till night;
slight faults were punished with rigour, even blows and starvation being
resorted to in order to force the talent which nature had bestowed. This
unnatural treatment must have wrung the heart of the gentle mother, and
doubtless by way of encouragement she told the poor little fellow of her
wonderful dream. An Angel had appeared to her, and promised her the
fulfilment of any desire. She asked that her son might become the
greatest of violinists, and her prayer was to be granted. This
disclosure may have fired the ambition of the child, for he was the
hardest of workers, and needed no spur. Already, at six years of age, he
was a tolerable player, and was even beginning to find out new paths.
His performances excited the admiration and amazement of the neighbours,
and even the Maestro Francesco Gnecco visited the little house by the
harbour to listen to the wonder-child. He introduced the boy to the
circle of his own friends, and made the father understand that he had
long outgrown his training. In short, the germ of the _virtuoso_ of
later days was already manifesting itself. Nicolo was now placed under
Giovanni Servetto, leader of the theatre band--a man of slight
attainments, with whom the boy did not stay long. His next master was
Giacomo Costa, the foremost violinist in Genoa and maestro di capella of
the Cathedral, a genial man, who took a lively interest in the boy.
Under Costa, Nicolo made rapid progress, and was introduced to a new
world, though the pedantry of the master frequently came into collision
with the peculiarities of the pupil. Young Paganini now had to play a
new concerto each week at one of the churches: that was one of the
conditions Costa imposed when taking him as a pupil. Paganini's
extraordinary powers as a player at sight were in great measure due to
this early experience. The father still exercised stern oversight, and
there was little relaxation or youthful pleasure for Nicolo. His health
was already undermined, and, as Dubourg touchingly puts it:--"the sickly
child, incapable of attaining a healthy maturity, was merged into the
suffering man."

In his eighth year Nicolo composed a sonata for the violin--since, with
other works, lost. About that time a very vivid, almost shamefaced,
impression was made upon him by hearing that Mozart, at the age of six,
had composed a pianoforte concerto, with parts for orchestra, and so
difficult that only a _virtuoso_ could execute it. For long Nicolo
tormented himself with the thought of this musical superiority, and
strove day and night to remedy his own imperfection in the art.


[1] All biographical notices of Paganini, with the exception of that in
Riemann's "Dictionary of Music," give February 18th, 1784, as the date
of birth. The correct date seems to have been established when the
centenary celebration took place, in 1882.


In 1793 Paganini made his _début_ in the great Theatre of Genoa (the
Carlo Felice?). He was in his eleventh year, and his reputation must
have been considerable, for the occasion was of some importance, being
the benefit concert of two singers of repute, Luigi Marchesi and Teresa
Bertinotti.[2] Marchesi was second only to Pacchierotti among the male
_soprani_ of the time, and sang at the King's Theatre, London, during
the season of 1788; in the "Musical Reminiscences" of the Earl of Mount
Edgcumbe he is highly praised as the most brilliant singer of his day.
It was a great compliment to the talent of the young Nicolo that these
singers should apply for his assistance. Moreover, they promised to sing
for him when he should give a concert. Both functions duly took place,
and the boy-artist at each played a set of variations of his own
composition on "La Carmagnole"; an air then greatly in vogue. That old
melody "Malbrough s'en-va-t-en guerre," pressed into the service of the
French Revolution, was appropriately associated with the young artist,
himself a revolutionist. His success was phenomenal, performers and
audience being thrown into transports of admiration.

It would appear that young Paganini studied with Giacomo Costa for a
period of six months only. He must then have continued to work by
himself, for it was not until about 1795 that his father took him to
Parma, to place him under the "Pride of Italy," Alessandro Rolla, to
whom the boy had been recommended by Costa. There was an affecting
farewell between Nicolo and his mother, for they were tenderly attached
to each other. Paganini has himself related the story of his interview
with Rolla, which, for the sake of completeness, must be summarised

When Nicolo with his father arrived at Rolla's house, the famous
violinist was ill in bed. His wife showed the visitors into an apartment
adjoining, and went to inform her husband of their arrival, but he was
disinclined to receive the strangers. On a table in the room where they
were waiting lay a violin, and a composition in manuscript--Rolla's
latest concerto. Paganini, prompted by his father, took up the violin,
and played the concerto through. Astonished at the performance, Rolla
asked what _virtuoso_ was in the next room, and on being told it was
only a boy he had heard, would not credit the statement without the
evidence of his own eyes. To the father's entreaty Rolla replied that he
could teach the boy nothing; it would waste his time to remain with
him. He must go to Ferdinando Paer, who would teach him composition.

There are several versions of this story, and much uncertainty
respecting some points. Rolla was chamber _virtuoso_, and director of
the concerts at the Court of Parma. Paer, whose first opera was produced
in 1789, was at this time in great request at Venice, where he brought
out a succession of operas. In 1796 he may have been in Parma, for his
"Griselda" was produced there that year. Paganini, at some time or
other, doubtless did profit by Paer's friendly assistance; but his real
teacher was Gasparo Ghiretti, chamber musician to Prince Ferdinand of
Parma, and the master of Paer. Ghiretti was a violinist, as were nearly
all the Italian composers of that period. Under Ghiretti, Paganini went
through a systematic course of study in counterpoint and composition,
devoting himself to the instrumental style. He must, about the same
time, have received violin lessons from Rolla, though he afterwards
refused to acknowledge that he had been his pupil. Fétis tells of
discussions between Rolla and Paganini concerning the innovations the
latter was attempting, for he was always striving after new effects. As
he could but imperfectly execute what he aimed at, these eccentric
flights did not commend themselves to Rolla, whose taste and style were
of a more severe order. Of Paganini's work in composition little appears
to be known. Anders states that Paer when in Parma devoted several hours
daily to Paganini; and at the end of the fourth month entrusted him with
a composition of a _duo_, in which Nicolo succeeded to the complete
satisfaction of his master. Paganini may also at that time have
sketched, if he did not complete, the Studies, or Caprices, Op. 1.

In 1797 the father took the boy from Parma, and set out with him on a
tour through Lombardy. Concerts were given in Milan, Bologna, Florence,
Pisa, and Leghorn.

The young artist achieved an extraordinary reputation; the father took
possession of the more material rewards of art. The "golden dreams" were
in process of realisation! Returning to Genoa, young Paganini finished
the composition of his Twenty-four Studies, which were of such excessive
difficulty that he could not play them. He would try a single passage
over in a hundred ways, working for ten or eleven hours at a stretch,
and then would come the inevitable collapse. He was still under the
stern domination of his father, and his spirit must have chafed under
the bondage. His own ardour was sufficient to carry his labours to the
verge of exhaustion, and he needed no spur as an incentive to exertion.
In all directions save that of music his education was utterly
neglected. The moral side of his nature was allowed to grow wild.
There was the restraining influence of a mother's love, but there was
little else. It might indeed be said that, musically, Paganini was
self-educated; but that one of the world's great geniuses should lack
the intellectual and moral training that go to make the complete man was
sad in the extreme. Paganini's was a nature warped; on the one side
phenomenal power, on the other bodily suffering, intellectual and
spiritual atrophy. But more of this when we turn from his career to the
man himself.

As the youth grew older the spirit of revolt arose. He must and would
escape from the tyranny of his avaricious father. But how? A way soon
offered itself. At Lucca, the festival of St. Martin, held each
November, was an event of such importance, musically, that it drew
visitors from all parts of Italy. As the November of 1798 drew near,
young Paganini besought his father's permission to attend the festival,
but his request was met by a point-blank refusal. The importunities of
the youth, aided by the prayers of the mother, at length prevailed, and
in care of the elder brother afterwards Dr. Paganini (?)--Nicolo was
allowed to leave home.

Free at last, the youth, now in his seventeenth year, went on his way,
his whole being thrilled with dreams of success and happiness. At Lucca
he was most enthusiastically received, and, elated by his good fortune,
Paganini extended his tour, playing in Pisa and other towns. Enabled now
to earn his own living, Paganini determined never to return to the home
where he had suffered so much. His father must have obtained information
as to the youth's whereabouts, for it has been stated that he managed to
obtain a large part of the young artist's earnings. The money was freely
yielded to a certain extent, and the residue was obtained by threats.
But no threat or entreaty could induce Nicolo to return to his paternal
home. The bird had escaped, and liberty was sweet. But young Paganini
was scarcely fitted for an independent, uncontrolled career. He had no
moral ballast, and much would depend upon what kind of company he kept.

One has to bear in mind that at the period now under
notice--1798--Europe was in a very unsettled state. The very pillars of
society were shaken, and there were many dangers in the path of the
young and inexperienced. But that is a very trite observation, for it
applies to all times and places. However, Paganini seems to have become
acquainted with what Fétis terms "artists of another kind," who
encouraged "play" of a more exciting, if less exalted order, than the
young musician had hitherto devoted himself to. With his ardent southern
temperament Paganini threw himself with the greatest zest into the
vortex of gambling, and frequently lost at a sitting the earnings of
several concerts and was reduced to the greatest embarrassment. Soon his
talent provided fresh resources, and his days ran on in alternations of
good and evil fortune. Tall, slight, delicate and handsome,[3] Paganini,
despite his frail constitution, was an object of attraction to the fair
sex. Incidents in his early manhood probably formed the foundation for
some of the stories told of him later. As Fétis puts it; the enthusiasm
for art, love and "play," reigned by turns in his soul. He ought to have
been careful of himself, but he went to excess in everything. Then came
a period of enforced repose, of absolute exhaustion, lasting sometimes
for weeks. This would be followed by a display of extraordinary
energy, when his marvellous talent took its highest flights, and he
plunged once more into the wildest bohemianism. Such a course of life
was enough to wreck the artist, and no friend seemed to be at hand to
save him from himself. Frequently he had to part with his violin in
order to raise money to pay his debts of honour, and it was upon one
such occasion that he met with the greatest good fortune he had yet
experienced, and acquired a violin which became the instrument of his
conversion from the fatal passion for gambling.

[Illustration: _Plate III.--See Appendix._


Arriving at Leghorn, where he was to give a concert, Paganini yielded to
his weakness for the other kind of play and lost his money and his
violin. He was in a dilemma indeed, but was fortunate in meeting with an
enthusiastic musical amateur, M. Livron, a French merchant, the owner of
a superb Guarnerius violin. This instrument M. Livron lent to the young
artist, and attended the concert. When Paganini went to return the
violin to its owner, M. Livron at once exclaimed, "I shall take care
never to profane the strings your fingers have touched. It is to you now
that my violin belongs." A noble benefactor, that M. Livron. The
Guarnerius became Paganini's inseparable companion; he played upon it
throughout all his tours, and its subsequent history will be duly

Paganini acquired another instrument on the same easy terms, but
attended by different circumstances. Signor Pasini, of Parma, a painter
of some distinction, and an amateur violinist, had heard of Paganini's
wonderful powers as a reader of music at sight, but refused to credit
the statements. Pasini one day placed before Paganini a manuscript
concerto, in which difficulties of all kinds were brought together, and
putting into the artist's hands a splendid Stradivari violin, said:
"This instrument is yours if you can play that at sight, like a master,
without studying its difficulties in advance." "If that is so," replied
Paganini, "You may bid farewell to it at once." His terrific[4]
execution made the music seem as if it played itself as his eye fell
upon it. Pasini was petrified with astonishment.

The abandonment of the vice of gambling came about in this way, his own
words being quoted. "I shall never forget," said he, "one day placing
myself in a position which was to decide my whole career. The Prince De
* * * * * had long desired to possess my excellent violin (the
Guarnerius), the only one I then had, and which I still possess. One day
he desired me to fix a price; but, unwilling to part from my instrument,
I declared I would not sell it for less than 250 gold Napoleons. A short
time after, the Prince remarked that I was probably indulging in banter
in asking so high a price, and added that he was disposed to give 2,000
francs for it. Precisely that very day I found myself in great want of
money, in consequence of a heavy loss at play, and I almost resolved to
yield my violin for the sum he had offered, when a friend came in to
invite me to a party that evening. My capital then consisted of thirty
francs, and I had already deprived myself of my jewels, watch, rings,
pins, etc. I instantly formed the resolve to risk this last resource,
and if fortune went against me, to sell the violin and to set out for
St. Petersburg, without instrument and without funds, with the object of
retrieving my position. Soon my thirty francs were reduced to three, and
I saw myself on the road to the great city, when fortune, changing in
the twinkling of an eye, gained me one hundred francs with the little
that yet remained. That moment saved my violin and set me up again. From
that day I withdrew from play, to which I had sacrificed a portion of my
youth: and convinced that a gambler is universally despised, I renounced
for ever that fatal passion."

It would be interesting to know when these things occurred, but dates
are wanting; it is sufficient to find the artist triumphant in one great
crisis in his life. Gambling, to which, however, he was not a party, was
destined to trouble the last years of his life, as will be seen further

Paganini's career, gambling apart, was by no means of a conventional
character. His irregular habits, fits of extraordinary energy followed
by langour and depression, led to frequent disappearances from public
view. One such disappearance lasted for about four years, and only the
romantic aspect of it has been described; the prime cause may have been
overlooked. Here is one view of the matter. Enter Napoleon; exit
Paganini. In 1800 Napoleon crossed the Alps; in 1804, he proclaimed
himself Emperor. He parcelled out Europe, providing for his brothers and
sisters, creating sovereigns at his own sweet will. Italy, invaded by a
foreign foe, shaken with wars, "alarums and excursions," was not a happy
hunting ground for a travelling virtuoso. Paganini vanished from view.
In absolute retirement he lived for over three years at the chateau of a
Tuscan lady of rank, who was a performer upon the guitar. Paganini threw
himself with ardour into the study of that instrument, and became as
great a virtuoso upon it as upon the violin. He composed a number of
pieces for guitar and violin. According to Fétis, Paganini also devoted
himself to the study of agriculture.

But eventually he tired of a life of indolence and dalliance, and in
1804--the country settled now under French government--Paganini returned
to Genoa, but whether to the paternal roof is not clear. He was
doubtless invigorated by his long rest, and now resumed his arduous
course of study. It has been remarked that it was only after Paganini
had attained an almost perfect mastery over his instrument that he began
to investigate the methods of other virtuosi[5]; even so, he had formed
his own style of composition before studying the works of others. Now,
he busied himself with the studies of Locatelli, whose extravagances
almost equalled his own. It is said that he even gave lessons while in
Genoa, and mention is made of one pupil, Catarina Calcagno, who had a
brilliant, but brief career.

In 1805, Paganini resumed his artistic tours, and arriving at Lucca,
played a concerto at an evening festival in a convent church. So great
was the enthusiasm of the audience (or congregation), that the monks
had to leave their stalls to put a stop to the applause. At that time,
Maria Anna (Elise), sister of Napoleon, was Princess of Lucca, and the
Tuscan court was held in that Capital. The fame of Paganini could not
fail to have reached the ears of the Princess, and it was but natural
that the first _virtuoso_ of Italy should receive an official
appointment. So it happened that in the year 1805 he was offered, and
accepted, the post of leader of the Court orchestra, and solo violinist.
He also gave violin lessons to Prince Bacciochi, the husband of Maria
Anna. It was during this period that Paganini began his experiments of
employing less than the four strings of his violin. He gave an account
of the origin of the practice to a friend at Prague many years later.[6]
"It fell to my lot," he said, "to direct the opera whenever the reigning
family visited it, as well as to perform at Court three times a week,
and to get up a public concert for the higher circles every fortnight.
Whenever these were visited by the Princess, she never remained to the
close, because the flageolet tones of my violin were too much for her
nerves. On the other hand there was another fascinating creature ...
who, I flattered myself, felt a penchant for me, and was never absent
from my performances; on my own side, I had long been her admirer
(Paganini was now twenty-three years of age, susceptible, and possibly
himself fascinating.) Our mutual fondness became gradually stronger and
stronger; but we were forced to conceal it, and by this means its
strength and fervour were sensibly enhanced. One day I promised to
surprise her at the next concert, with a musical joke, which should
convey an allusion to our attachment; and I accordingly gave notice at
Court that I should bring forward a musical novelty, under the title of
'A Love Scene.' The whole world was on tiptoe at the tidings; and on the
evening appointed, I made my appearance, violin in hand; I had
previously robbed it of the two middle strings, so that none but E and G
remained. The first string being designed to play the maiden's part, and
the second (fourth) the youth's, I began with a species of dialogue, in
which I attempted to introduce movements analogous to transient
bickerings and reconciliations between the lovers. Now my strings
growled, and then sighed; and anon they lisped, hesitated, joked and
joyed, till at last they sported with merry jubilee. In the course of
time, both souls joined once more in harmony, and the appeased lovers'
quarrel led to a _pas de deux_, which terminated in a brilliant _coda_.
This musical fantasia of mine was greeted with loud applause. The lady,
to whom every scene referred, rewarded me by looks full of delight and
sweetness, and the Princess was charmed into such amiable condescension,
that she loaded me with encomiums--asking me, whether, since I could
produce so much with _two_ strings, it would not be possible for me to
gratify them by playing on _one_. I yielded instant assent--the idea
tickled my fancy--and, as the Emperor's birthday occurred some weeks
afterwards (August 15th,) I composed a sonata for the G string, which I
entitled 'Napoleon,' and played before the Court to so much effect, that
a cantata, by Cimarosa, given the same evening, fell through without
producing any impression on its hearers.[7] This is the genuine and
original cause of my prejudice in favour for the G string. People were
afterwards importunate to hear more of this performance, and in this way
I became day by day a greater adept at it, and acquired constantly
increasing confidence in this peculiar mystery of handling the bow."
More of the "Napoleon Sonata" later.

[Illustration: _Plate IV.--See Appendix._


When the Princess became Grand Duchess of Tuscany, the Court removed to
Florence, and Paganini, as a matter of course, was in the retinue. His
official career, however, came to an abrupt termination in the early
part of 1813. When appointed Court Musical Director, Paganini was
accorded the rank of Captain in the Royal Guard, and, as such, was
permitted to wear a brilliant uniform. Appearing in this garb at a State
function at Florence, in 1813, the artist was "commanded" to change it
for the ordinary dress suit. This request Paganini construed as an
insult, and refused compliance; whereupon there was a sudden rupture,
and instant resignation of office. Paganini, at different times,
obtained leave of absence, and undertook various professional tours; and
as he met with some strange experiences, we will follow him in his


[2] Anders, and others after him, give the name of the second singer as
Albertinotti. No such name can be traced, and it is probable that it was
the young Bertinotti, who was a juvenile prodigy, appearing in opera at
the age of twelve. She sang in London about the year 1812.

[3] William Gardiner many years later spoke of the transparent delicacy
of Paganini's complexion, and said of his little son Achille that he was
the handsomest boy he had ever seen.

[4] Fétis calls it "Foudroyante exécution."

[5] Naumann, "History of Music," p. 1140 (English Edition.)

[6] Professor Julius Schottky.

[7] Cimarosa, who died in 1801, espoused the revolutionary cause when
the French army entered Italy, and was imprisoned and condemned to death
when the reaction came, but was restored to liberty on condition of
leaving Naples. He would, naturally, have been popular with the
Bonapartists, and it was rather ungenerous vanity on the part of
Paganini to have exulted over this particular success.


In 1808 occurred the first of these excursions. Paganini went to
Leghorn, the scene of his early triumphs. He had not been there for
seven years, but his first concert, this visit, was attended with some
unpleasant mishaps. He had run a nail into his heel, and came limping on
the stage, whereupon the audience set up a titter--an incident quite
enough to upset a sensitive artist. Then, just as he was commencing his
concerto, the candles fell from his music-stand, and the laughter was
unrestrained; after a few bars of his solo, the first string of his
violin snapped, and the merriment became uproarious; but he finished the
performance upon the three strings, and the artist soon converted the
audience to a demonstration of a more grateful character. Thus his "one
string" experience served him in good stead.

At Ferrara something worse befell. For his concert there, Paganini had
engaged a vocalist, Signora Marietta Marcolini; but at the last moment,
the lady, either from indisposition or caprice, refused to sing.
Paganini went to his hostel boiling with rage, but was somewhat
mollified on being told there was a lady occupying an apartment in the
same house, who might perhaps take the place of the recalcitrant
singer. This was Signora Pallerini, the principal dancer at the theatre,
who had a very agreeable voice, but who made no pretension to being a
singer, although she was not without training and talent. Paganini lost
no time in seeking the young dancer, and by dint of perseverance
obtained her consent to his wish.

But when the Signora came on to sing she was seized with stage-fright.
Her voice failed her, and her song produced no effect. Paganini offered
his arm to conduct her behind the scenes, but just before they reached
the wing, a shrill whistle was heard--equivalent to a hiss in England.
This was too much; the poor _débutante_ lost consciousness, and fell
into the arms of her friend. Pale with rage, Paganini promised himself a
signal vengeance. The concert was drawing to a close when the angry
artist whispered to Signora Pallerini, "Come! Listen!" He rushed on the
stage, and announcing to the audience that he would conclude the concert
with a musical jest, proceeded to imitate the cries of various animals,
the chirping of birds, the howling of dogs, and the crowing of cocks;
then, with a stolen glance towards the wing, as if to make known the
carrying out of his revenge, he advanced to the footlights, rested his
bow on the "chanterelle," close to the bridge, and with a single stroke
brought it violently on the "G," producing distinctly the sound of the
donkey's hee-haw! "This is for the man who whistled," he exclaimed, with
an air of triumph, and for the second time gave his imitation--with
added energy. Then he awaited the shouts of laughter that should assail
the poor whistler, but something quite different happened. The pit rose
to a man, and howling, whistling, and stamping, the audience proceeded
to storm the stage; and only precipitate flight by means of a private
door, saved the unlucky artist's life.

The explanation came to Paganini later. The inhabitants of the villages
around Ferrara had from time immemorial a strong prejudice against their
Capital. The citizens they alleged were stupid in their nature, and
deserved the sobriquet "hee-haw." If a countryman, returning from
Ferrara, were asked where he came from, he replied by throwing back his
head and braying like an ass! Paganini had no knowledge of local
history; he was not a reader, he never even glanced at the papers,
except when they contained something concerning himself. His revenge
caused quite a tumult, in what way can be well perceived: and the
magistrate, to restore quiet, advised Paganini not to give his second
concert in the town, so that the offenders were really punished all

It is not necessary to enter into details concerning all Paganini's
tours. It appears to have been in 1810 that he wrote the "Napoleon
Sonata," and he performed it in public at a concert given by him at
Parma, August 18th, 1811. His fame was spreading beyond his own country,
and Schilling states that from 1812 the German musical journals bestowed
much attention upon him. He was at Milan in 1813, and his success there
was greater than ever. For that city he appeared to have a predilection,
for he was there, with the exception of a short stay at Genoa, until the
autumn of 1814. At that time he was by no means a recluse. He visited
the theatre, La Scala, and witnessed a performance of Vigano's ballet,
"Il Noce di Benevento," to which Süssmayer wrote the music; and from a
certain scene he took the theme of his variations known as "Le Streghe."
At a theatre he was inspired to write one of his finest movements. He
went to hear Demarini, Italy's greatest tragedian, and was so affected
by one scene that he could not sleep, and his emotion ultimately found
expression in music. This will be dealt with when noticing his

In October, 1814, Paganini went to Bologna, and there met Rossini for
the first time. Rossini, nine years the junior of Paganini, had already
produced a dozen operas--two in Milan that year. By Court favour Rossini
had just escaped the conscription, and had hastened away to Bologna. The
meeting of these artists was of importance to both. Meyerbeer went to
Italy in 1815, and was there for some years, producing several operas.
Laphaléque tells a story to this effect: Meyerbeer was on the eve of
leaving Florence to proceed to Naples to bring out one of his works. He
did not yet know that place, and it offered a double attraction; he
wanted to enjoy the beautiful blue sky as well as his artistic triumph.
But he went to hear Paganini, and dreamt no more of Naples, nor of his
opera. Paganini travelled all through Tuscany, and Meyerbeer followed;
and not until he had heard Paganini eighteen times could he tear himself
away from him.

Within the period of five years, Paganini returned to Milan five times,
making a long stay on each occasion, and giving a great number of
concerts. He played at Verona, Padua--where the "prison" stories seem to
have originated--returned to Milan early in 1816, when he met the
French violinist, Charles Lafont, with whom he played and of whom more
will be said. Then to Venice, Trieste, and back to Venice in time to
hear Spohr (October 18th), on whom he called both before and after the
concert. Spohr greatly desired to hear Paganini play, but the latter
excused himself.

Paganini must ere this have received invitations to visit other
countries, for Spohr in his diary remarks, when referring to Paganini's
first visit, that he had apparently abandoned his project of going to
Vienna. In 1817, Paganini visited Piacenza, where he met the Polish
violinist, Karl Joseph von Lipinski, who had gone to Italy expressly to
hear Paganini. The Italian treated his Polish brother artist generously,
and played with him at two concerts. Paganini was also again at Milan
that year and paid a visit to his mother at Genoa. According to Anders,
his father died in 1817. At the close of the same year Paganini was in
Rome, where Rossini's opera "La Cenerentola" was produced at the opening
of the Carnival season, December 26th. It is related that Meyerbeer was
also in Rome at this time, and that Rossini's "Carnovale" was sung in
the streets by the composer, Meyerbeer, and Paganini, who disguised
themselves for the frolic. Paganini in the Palace of Prince von Kaunitz,
the Austrian Ambassador, was introduced to Prince Metternich, who,
charmed with his talent, pressed him to visit Vienna. But the
violinist's health was in a precarious state. He suffered from an
intestinal disorder, aggravated by his addiction to some quack remedy.
He gave concerts in Rome, of which Schilling, who gives the date,
however, as 1827, gives a very curious account. The first concert,
though held in a Palace--such buildings being met with at every
step--was in a room like a hay-loft. The orchestra consisted of some
half-dozen shabbily dressed players, the singers were mechanics, members
of the chorus of the Teatro Argentina, and the audience scarcely
numbered fifty. Rome, professedly the first musical city of Italy, and
of Europe, was ignorant of Paganini, the greatest violin virtuoso of
Italy and the world. But his extraordinary genius kindled coldness into
enthusiasm. At his second concert the attendance increased tenfold; at
the third the success was even greater.

In 1818, and the following year, he gave concerts at Verona, Turin,
Florence, and other towns. At Verona, the conductor of the theatre
orchestra, one Valdabrini, persuaded himself that Paganini was little
else than a charlatan, one who might play the pieces of his own
repertory very well, but who could not execute a work such as a concerto
of his, Valdabrini's, composition. Paganini was informed of this
estimate of his abilities, and hastened to assure Valdabrini that he
would be happy to reproduce the inspirations of the _chef d'orchestre_
of Verona; and as this trial would be a powerful attraction, he would
reserve it for his last concert. The day of rehearsal arrived, and
Paganini was in his place. Instead of the music of the concerto,
however, the artist improvised all kinds of fanciful passages, insomuch
that the astonished orchestral players, lost in admiration, forgot to go
on with their own work. The disappointed Valdabrini exclaimed: "My
friend, this is not my concerto you are playing, I can recognise
nothing of what I have written." "Don't distress yourself," replied
Paganini, "at the concert you will recognise your work well enough, only
now I claim a little indulgence."

The concert night arrived, and Paganini commenced with pieces of his own
choice, reserving the concerto for the end. All were attention for the
great event. Paganini came on at last, holding in his hand a Malacca
walking cane. Everyone asked himself: What will he do with that?
Suddenly he seized his violin, and, employing the cane as a bow, played
the concerto (thought by the composer to be practicable only after long
study) from beginning to end, not only rendering the most difficult
passages, but introducing charming variations, never failing for an
instant to display the purity, grace and verve that characterised his
art.[8] This pleasantry was not to the taste of Valdabrini, we may be
sure; but it was a rebuke to his presumption. Such amenities are
scarcely possible now-a-days.

Paganini visited Naples in 1819 for the first time. When he arrived he
found the local musicians badly disposed towards him, and he had
something like a repetition of his experience at Verona, only he used
the cane no more! These musicians affected to doubt the reality of the
marvels fame attributed to Paganini, and proposed to amuse themselves at
his expense. They engaged a young composer, Danna (Dana?)[9] fresh from
the Conservatorio, to write a string quartet, filled with difficulties
of every kind--for the first violin--persuading themselves that the
great violinist could not overcome them. When all was ready--no doubt
the other parts had been well practised--Paganini was invited to a
musical réunion, where he found the violinists Onorio de Vito, Giuseppe
Mario Festa, the violoncellist Ciandelli, and the composer Danna. Hardly
had he arrived, when they placed the music before him, and invited him
to play it at sight. Perceiving that they had set a trap for him,
Paganini cast a hurried glance at the music, and played it off as though
it had long been familiar to him. Confounded by what they heard, his
assistants were prodigal in their admiration, and declared him

Paganini's health now gave way to an alarming degree, and his landlord,
fearing the malady was consumption--infectious, according to current
opinion--proceeded to turn the violinist and his belongings into the
street. Medical science has confirmed the views of the Neapolitans in
respect to the contagious character of consumption, and the open-air
treatment is now considered the proper method to adopt; but the
landlord's rough and ready application of the remedy was highly
objectionable, and so thought Ciandelli, who chanced to be passing at
the time. He gave the landlord a severe thrashing, and conveyed Paganini
to more comfortable lodgings, where he was carefully tended. Paganini
repaid this act of kindness, as will be seen. These little scenes throw
curious side-lights on life in Naples at that period.

In 1820, Paganini returned to Milan, where he founded an Amateur
Society, _Gli Orfei_, and conducted its concerts for a time; but the
roving habits he had acquired rendered a settled life irksome, and he
was soon again on the move. The winter found him once more in Rome,
where he must have stayed on and off for another year; for he was
there in December, 1821, when Rossini was about to produce his opera,
"Matilda di Sabran," at the opening of the Carnival season. On the day
of the last rehearsal the conductor fell ill, and Rossini was in
despair to replace him. Paganini, hearing of his friend's dilemma,
offered to conduct the rehearsal and the first performance--his
operatic experience at Lucca must not be forgotten--an offer Rossini
gratefully accepted. Without a moment's preparation, Paganini set to
work to communicate to an unskilled orchestra--it was at the _Teatro
d'Apollone_--the composer's intentions and the manner in which they
should be interpreted. Having no time for verbal explanation, he did
everything by example, playing the first violin part an octave higher
than it was written, and making himself heard above the strongest
_fortissimo_. At a glance he penetrated the meaning of every movement,
and he so worked upon the executants that they obeyed him as if
by enchantment. This single rehearsal sufficed to bring about an
irreproachable performance, the orchestra undergoing a veritable
metamorphosis, to the astonishment of everyone, Rossini included. So
far Laphaléque. Sutherland Edwards[10] says Paganini conducted the
first three performances, adding, "Never, it is said, did the band of
the 'Apollo' play with so much spirit before."

For the next two years Paganini was constantly travelling, and in the
year 1823 we have the first glimpse of him through the medium of an
English musical journal.[11] This first reference is quite incidental.
Giuseppe Rastrelli was playing in Naples in 1822 (or 1823), and was well
received, "although his predecessor, the celebrated Paganini," was still
fresh in the public remembrance. This assumes that Paganini was well
known to English readers. He had indeed been mentioned in books
published before this date. On his way to Pavia in 1823, Paganini was
attacked with illness, and his life was despaired of. At that time he
had again intended going to Austria, but a long rest was needed to
restore his health. This repose he enjoyed at Genoa, and recovered
sufficiently to give two concerts in the _Teatro da Sant'Agostino_, in
1824. The second concert introduced two youthful claimants to public
favour. The first was a Signora Bianchi, under twenty years of age, who
was characterised in the bills as the little _virtuosa forestiera_, and
who sang three airs; the other was a Signora Barette, who played a
_Pezzo Cantabile_ and a _Sonatina_ upon the violoncello. They both
experienced a flattering reception.[12] The young violoncellist was not
more than fourteen years old, and there is no reason to suppose that she
was the first of her sex to appear in public as a violoncellist. The
other "little guest" or stranger was to play an important part in
Paganini's history.

This concert afforded another proof of Paganini's power of attraction. A
certain M. Bergman, a (Swedish?) traveller and passionate lover of
music, reading accidentally the evening before in the journal at
Leghorn, an announcement of Paganini's concert, lost no time, but
instantly set out for Genoa, a distance of a hundred miles, and luckily
reached the spot just half an hour before the concert began. He went
with his expectations raised to the utmost, but, to use his own
expression, the reality was as far above his anticipations as the
heavens are above the earth. Nor could this enthusiastic amateur rest
content with once hearing Paganini, but actually followed him to Milan,
in order to hear him exercise his talents a second time. Now-a-days the
enthusiasts are young ladies, who mob their favourites in the artists'

In 1824 Paganini gave two concerts in _La Scala_, Milan, which was
crowded to excess. At the first he played a concerto, and three airs
with variations--all on the fourth string, so said the report. A
surfeit, this, even for his fervent admirers. In the same year at Pavia,
he gave two concerts, the bills being headed:


     _Farà sentire il suo Violino._

(Paganini will cause his violin to be heard.) He was received with no
less enthusiasm than at Milan. Paganini then returned to Genoa, but soon
left for Venice. There he formed an union with Antonia Bianchi, the
young singer he introduced at Genoa, who became his companion, sang at
his concerts, and shared his triumphs.

In 1825, Paganini was again at Naples, where he gave a concert, causing
his name to be announced in the bills as--


a term which gave rise to much discussion, some considering it as
indicating modesty, others just the reverse; but at all events it
savoured of affectation. In the summer of 1825, Paganini went to
Palermo, where he also gave a concert. The delicious climate of Sicily
had a great charm for him, and he remained there for nearly a year,
giving concerts at different places, but enjoying prolonged intervals of
repose. His health strengthened, Paganini again entertained the idea of
leaving Italy, but determined upon one more tour before carrying out his
intention. In 1826, he visited Trieste, Venice, and finally Rome, where
he gave five concerts. In April, 1827, Pope Leo XII. invested Paganini
with the order of the Golden Spur, a distinction so rare that it
afforded a topic for conversation for some time. From Rome Paganini went
to Florence, and as "Il Cavaliere Paganini" gave a concert at the
_Teatro Pergola_, which was attended by all the rank and fashion of the
place. He was detained for some time at Florence owing to a disease
breaking out in one of his legs. As soon as he was able to travel he set
out for Milan, where he was received with every demonstration of
affection. He gave four musical soirées at the close of 1827, and in
the early part of 1828, two concerts in _La Scala_, when he appears to
have played for the first time the concerto with the "Rondo ad un
Campanello;" the piece created a great effect. Paganini had now
traversed the whole of Italy at least three times, giving hundreds of
concerts, building up an ever growing reputation and exciting universal
admiration, despite those detractors whose machinations have been
exposed. At last, on the 2nd of March, 1828, Paganini started on his
long projected visit to Vienna.


[8] Laphaléque.

[9] Son of Giuseppe Dana, of Naples?

[10] The Life of Rossini, p. 226.

[11] With the exception of a Literary Supplement to the "New Musical and
Universal Magazine," 1774, there was no publication devoted to Music
until the year 1818, when "The Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review"
appeared, edited by Robert Mackenzie Bacon. This was followed in 1823 by
"The Harmonicon," edited by William Ayrton.

[12] Harmonicon, Vol. III., p. 37.


Paganini arrived at Vienna, March 16th, 1828, and gave his first concert
in the Redouten-Saal[13] on the 29th of the same month, creating a
_furore_ the like of which had never been witnessed. It must be borne in
mind that Paganini was now no romantic-looking youth to move the
feelings of sentimental or hysterical young ladies. He was in his
forty-sixth year, and his face bore the marks of suffering; he wore his
long hair in ringlets falling over his shoulders, but physically he was
a wreck. Yet no youthful artist of to-day has made a more sensational
_début_ than that of Paganini in the Austrian Capital in 1828. To repeat
the oft-quoted account given by Schilling: "At the first stroke of the
bow on his Guarnerius, one might almost say at the first step he took
into the hall, his reputation was decided in Germany. Kindled as by an
electric flash, he suddenly shone and sparkled like a miraculous
apparition in the domain of art."

Another account, if less familiar, is equally interesting. In a letter
from Vienna, addressed to the _Literary Gazette_, the writer says:--"The
great novelty and prodigy of the day is one M. Paganini, an Italian
performer on the violin.

"This is the first time he has left Italy; but I heard him previously,
about five years ago, at Milan, in competition with M. Lafont, whom he
beat fairly.[14] He is, without contradiction, not only the finest
player on the violin, but no other performer, upon what instrument
soever, can be styled his equal: Kalkbrenner, Rode, Romberg, Moscheles,
Jew and Gentile, are his inferiors by at least some thousand degrees;
they are not fit, as we say in Germany, to _reach him water_. He is
Mathews of the violin, performs a whole concert on a single string,
where you are sure to hear, besides his own instrument, a harp, a
guitar, and a flute. In one word, he is a necromancer, and bids fair
to beat _la Giraffe_. We have here hats, shawls, gloves and nonsense
of every description, _à la Giraffe_; but yesterday I actually
ate _Auflaufy_--a very innocent, rather insipid sweetmeat--_à la
Paganini_.... He has already performed twice to crowded houses in our
great masquerade-hall. The beginning of the concert was, as usual,
advertised for half-past eleven [in the morning]: at eleven o'clock not
a pin dropping from the roof would have reached the ground; people were
already there at nine o'clock. He came hither with six florins in his
pocket; now you may style him a warm man. From Vienna he intends to
proceed to Paris, and thence to London."[15]

Here a brief digression is pardonable. The Pasha of Egypt, a short time
before Paganini's visit, had presented to the Emperor of Austria a
Giraffe, an animal then new to Europe. That interesting quadruped, a
superb specimen of its kind, created such a sensation, and so completely
absorbed public attention, that as seen in the letter just quoted,
everything was _à la Giraffe_.[16] Paganini's phenomenal success gained
him a popularity that quite eclipsed the poor Giraffe, and now the mode
was _à la Paganini_. All kinds of articles were named after him; a good
stroke at billiards was a _coup à la Paganini_; his bust in butter and
crystallised sugar figured on every banquet table; and portraits, more
or less faithful, adorned snuff-boxes, cigar-boxes, or were carved on
the canes carried by the fops. Paganini himself went into a shop one day
to buy gloves. "_A la Giraffe?_" asked the salesman. "No, no, some other
animal," said the _maestro_, whereupon he was handed a pair _à la
Paganini_! It is said that a certain driver, whom Paganini had once
engaged, obtained permission to paint on his vehicle the words
_Cabriolet de Paganini_, by which means he gained notoriety and enough
money to set up as a hotel-keeper. Paganini was much sought after by the
leaders of society and fashion; but Prince Metternich alone received the
favour of a visit.

It may be remembered that Franz Schubert gave his first, and as it
turned out, his only concert, in the hall of the Musik-Verein, Vienna,
on the 26th of March, three days before that of Paganini. Schubert
cleared over £30--the first piece of luck that came to the poor
composer. The money flowed freely; he paid his five Gulden (something
over six shillings) to hear Paganini, and went a second time, not so
much for his own sake, as to take his friend Bauernfeld,[17] who had not
five farthings, while with him (Schubert) "money was as plentiful as
black-berries." Generous, simple Schubert! Did he and Paganini ever
meet? What a pair they would have made!

Paganini's Vienna concerts were so successful that he increased the
number from six to twelve. It is said that poor musicians actually sold
their clothes to raise the needful in order to hear him; and that no
halls were large enough to contain all who wished to attend his
concerts. Paganini's last concert was given by express command of the
Emperor of Austria, who honoured the occasion by his presence. Among
other things, Paganini introduced the National hymn "God preserve the
Emperor," which he performed with a truth and fervour of expression that
seemed to impart a novelty even to so familiar a theme. He did some
wonderful things on the G string, astonishing and delighting all
present, especially rivetting the attention of the Emperor, who led the

The Court Gazette announced that His Majesty, as a testimony of his
admiration, had sent Paganini a diploma, appointing him one of the
Emperor's chamber musicians, and exempting him from the usual fees of
office; this was accompanied by a splendid gold snuff-box set with
brilliants. The chief magistrate of Vienna presented Paganini with the
gold medal of San Salvador; and, to crown all, a medal was struck in
Paganini's honour. This, the work of J. Lang, has on the face a portrait
in relief of the violinist, with the inscription:--



and on the back the words:--


surrounding an open music book with the theme of the "Bell Rondo," upon
which lies the famous Guarnerius wreathed with laurel. This was the
city's parting gift to the great artist.

These doings were too good to escape the notice of the caricaturist, and
a two-act piece was produced at the _Theater an der Wien_, entitled "The
Counterfeit Virtuoso; or, the Concerto on the G string," the music by
Kapellmeister Franz Gläser. The overture was ingeniously made up of the
principal subjects of Paganini's concertos, ludicrously contrasted with
counter subjects of a popular kind. Several of the _quodlibets_ were
full of humour, and, with the _bon mots_ and anecdotes, tended to make
it a very amusing production for the moment.

It was at Vienna that the rumour spread abroad of Paganini being in
league with the Devil, which accounted for his marvellous performances.
The great violinist was much disturbed and annoyed by these calumnies,
and had to appeal to the press for aid in refuting them. It may be that
his estrangement from the world, his love of solitude, morose temper,
and the avarice which displayed itself, all had their origin in the
hostile attitude assumed by a section of the public during his foreign
tours, for when in Italy Paganini seems to have lived much as others
did. Paganini was accompanied by his companion Signora Bianchi, and the
son born to them, when he visited Vienna.

It was in May the little party left Vienna. The concerts had quite
prostrated Paganini, and the family went to Carlsbad. After resting
there some time Paganini departed for Prague, but an abscess in the face
kept him a prisoner for three weeks. Here is a contemporary account
which is interesting. Paganini was obliged to place himself under the
care of two celebrated medical men, Krumblholz and Nusshardt, and they
were the only visitors he received during his lonely residence up three
pair of stairs. After a successful operation on the jaw-bone, one of his
physicians expressed a desire which was cherished in vain by the whole
city--that of hearing some notes from the hitherto silent instrument of
the great master; and he entreated him to try if he could rest his
violin on his hardly healed chin. Paganini confirmed what has long been
said, that even before friends he was very niggardly in the display of
his talents. He took his instrument, played one stroke with his bow, and
said, "_Es geht schon_" (that will do). "For eight days before the first
concert," continues the writer, "every place was engaged. When I reached
the theatre at four o'clock in the afternoon, it appeared as if the
house was about to be stormed, so great was the throng on the outside.
Many magistrates and people of the first rank were amongst the crowd,
and shared my anxious expectation. At last I found myself, I scarcely
know how, in the pit, and there awaited for two hours and a half the
opening of the concert." The writer then goes on to describe the
violinist, his appearance, his smile that made everyone shudder, and the
extraordinary performance which roused the audience to the wildest
enthusiasm. He then quotes the saying of a Vienna critic: "Paganini has
nothing in common with other players but the violin and the bow," and
regrets that his friend will not for some time have the opportunity of
hearing the superb performer, for he learns that Paganini does not yet
intend to visit Paris or London.[18]

[Illustration: _Plate V.--See Appendix._


Paganini's first concert only was well attended. There was then a
reaction. Some attributed the falling off to the high prices charged for
admission, but there was, in fact, a traditional hostility in art
matters between Prague and Vienna; that which was praised in Vienna must
be condemned in Prague, and what was approved in Prague must not be
tolerated in Vienna. It was at Prague that Paganini actually published
this letter from his mother as proof that he was not the son of the

     DEAREST SON,--At last, after seven months have elapsed since I
     wrote to you at Milan, I had the happiness of receiving your letter
     of the 9th current, through the intermediary of Signor Agnino, and
     was much rejoiced to find that you were in the enjoyment of good
     health. I am also delighted to find that, after your travels to
     Paris and London, you purpose visiting Genoa expressly to embrace
     me. I assure you, my prayers are daily offered up to the Most High,
     that my health may be sustained, also yours, so that my desire may
     be realised.

     My dream has been fulfilled, and that which God promised me has
     been accomplished. Your name is great, and art, with the help of
     God, has placed you in a position of independence. Beloved,
     esteemed by your fellow citizens, you will find in my bosom and
     those of your friends, that repose which your health demands.

     The portraits which accompanied your letter have given me great
     pleasure. I had seen in the papers all the accounts you give me of
     yourself. You may imagine, as your mother, what an infinite source
     of joy it was to me. Dear son, I entreat you to continue to inform
     me of all that concerns you, for with this assurance I shall feel
     that it will prolong my days, and be convinced that I shall still
     have the happiness of embracing you.

     We are all well. In the name of your relations, I thank you for the
     sums of money you have sent. Omit nothing that will render your
     name immortal. Eschew the vices of great cities, remembering that
     you have a mother who loves you affectionately, and whose fondest
     aspirations are your health and happiness. She will never cease her
     supplications to the All-powerful for your preservation.

     Embrace your amiable companion for me, and kiss little Achille.
     Love me as I love you.

     Your ever affectionate mother,
     _21st July, 1828_.      TERESA PAGANINI.

From Prague, Paganini went to Berlin, where he remained four months. He
was received with the utmost enthusiasm, and on the evening of his first
concert he exclaimed: "I have found my Vienna public again." Wherever
Paganini stayed for any length of time it suddenly became the fashion to
learn to play the violin; and the fair members of the aristocratic
families were among the most eager to become pupils of the famous man.
Paganini made a great deal of money in Berlin. The critics were divided
in opinion as to his merits; but Rellstab, whom Schumann once called
"Wretched Berlinese reviewer," was favourably impressed. Paganini is
said to have received a challenge from Baron Sigismond von Praun, to a
public contest for supremacy in performance, but as the would-be
opponent was a youth of seventeen, Paganini disdained him. Perhaps he
thought of his own presumption in his young days!

Paganini's tour was one continual triumphal progress. At Königsberg his
first concert realised about £330, an unprecedented sum in that place;
at Frankfort his four concerts produced something like £1,000. A critic
wrote of him: "One striking peculiarity of his playing is the
extraordinary effect it produces on persons wholly devoid of musical
cultivation. Most _virtuosi_ play only for the learned; not so
Paganini. His performance is alike appreciated by men of business and
connoisseurs, by children and grown persons--it is felt and understood
by all. This is the distinctive characteristic of all that is great in

He was at Leipzig in 1829, and was among the visitors at the house of
Abraham Mendelssohn--the pleasant garden-house in the Leipziger
Strasse--and his portrait figures in Hensel's collection. In June, 1830,
Paganini was in Cassel, when Spohr heard him for the first time--of
which more later. In Hamburg the same year Heine heard him, and his
vivid and extraordinary notice of the artist must be briefly quoted. "I
believe," said Heine, "that only one man has succeeded in putting
Paganini's true physiognomy upon paper--a deaf painter, Lyser by name,
who in a frenzy full of genius has with a few strokes of chalk so well
hit the great violinist's head that one is at the same time amused and
terrified at the truth of the drawing. 'The devil guided my hand,' the
deaf painter said to me, chuckling mysteriously, and nodding his head
with a good-natured irony in the way he generally accompanied his genial
witticisms.... The Hamburg Opera House was the scene of this concert,
and the art-loving public had flocked there so early, and in such
numbers, that I only just succeeded in obtaining a little place in the
orchestra." Then he goes on to describe the audience and the entrance of
Paganini. "Is that a man brought into the arena at the moment of death,
like a dying gladiator, to delight the public with his convulsions? Or
is it one risen from the dead, a vampire with a violin, who, if not the
blood out of our hearts, at any rate sucks the gold out of our pockets?
Such questions crossed our minds while Paganini was performing his
strange bows, but all those thoughts were at once still when the
wonderful master placed his violin under his chin and began to play. As
for me, you already know my musical second-sight, my gift of seeing at
each tone a figure equivalent to the sound, and so Paganini with each
stroke of his bow brought visible forms and situations before my eyes;
he told me in melodious hieroglyphics all kinds of brilliant tales; he,
as it were, made a magic lantern play its coloured antics before me, he
himself being chief actor.... A holy, ineffable ardour dwelt in the
sounds, which often trembled, scarce audibly, in mysterious whisper on
the water, then swelled out again with a shuddering sweetness, like a
bugle's notes heard by moonlight, and then finally poured forth in
unrestrained jubilee, as if a thousand bards had struck their harps and
raised their voices in a song of victory." Thus, a poet on a poet in

In 1829 Paganini was in Warsaw, and Chopin was among those who heard
him. As he was leaving, in July, he was stopped some distance from the
city by a numerous company who had met together in a garden. They drank
the health of the artist, and Joseph Xaver Elsner, Director of the
Conservatoire, handed him a costly snuff box, bearing this inscription:
"Al Cavaliere Nicolo Paganini, gli ammiratori del suo talento, Varsovia
19 Luglio 1829." Paganini pressed it to his lips, speechless with
surprise, and affected almost to tears. At Munich he gave three concerts
in November of the same year; and at the close of the last _soirée_ the
artist was crowned by Stunz, the Kapellmeister, while thousands of
laudatory poems were showered from different parts of the hall. At
Stuttgart, the King of Würtemberg presented him with 100 _louis d'or_,
and it is said that before leaving Germany Paganini sent over £6,000 to
the Bank of England for safe custody, a proceeding which showed his good
sense, and perhaps revealed a mistrust of his continental friends.

Paganini's tours, extending over three years, embraced Bohemia, Poland,
Saxony, Bavaria, Prussia, and the Rhine provinces. Many more details
might be given, but they are really needless: it was always the same
story of the artist's success, excepting, indeed, at Augsburg, where the
criticisms were adverse, as at Prague. An anecdote may fitly close the
narration of Paganini's long stay in Germany, as it reveals an
interesting trait in the character of the peasantry. Paganini, in the
autumn of 1829, was summoned to appear before the Queen Dowager of
Bavaria, at the Castle of Tegernsee, a magnificent residence of the
Kings of Bavaria, situated on the banks of a lake of the same name. At
the moment the concert was about to begin, a great bustle was heard
outside. The Queen, having enquired the cause, was informed that about
sixty of the neighbouring peasantry, having been told of the arrival of
the famous Italian violinist, were come with the hope of hearing some of
his notes, and requested that the windows should be opened, in order
that they also might enjoy his talent. The Queen went beyond their
wishes, and with truly Royal good-nature, gave orders that they should
all be admitted into the saloon, where she had the pleasure of remarking
their discernment, and the judicious manner in which they applauded the
most striking parts of the distinguished artist's performance.

Frankfort seems to have been a favourite stopping place with Paganini,
and from there, at last, he quitted the fatherland, and arrived at
Strasburg, where he gave two concerts, and thence proceeded direct to

It has to be observed that France had just been through another
Revolution, and the turmoil, social and political, had not subsided. To
a populace seething in this fevered atmosphere anything by way of
diversion would be welcome. The man of the hour was Paganini, for in a
sense he combined within himself the surrounding elements and
influences. At the moment the public was just in the mood for Paganini,
and the artist met the craving for excitement. He gave his first concert
in the Opera House on March 9th, 1831, and notwithstanding that the
prices of admission were tripled, the house was crammed. It would be
impossible, says Fétis, to describe the enthusiasm with which the
audience were seized when listening to the extraordinary artist, an
enthusiasm approaching delirium, frenzy. Paganini's Studies had long
been known to Parisian violinists, but they remained enigmas impossible
of solution. At his third concert, March 25th, Paganini introduced a new
concerto, in D minor, which, like so much of his music, is lost. In
Paris the infamous persecution of the artist seems to have reached its
climax. Fétis states that Paris was above all places hostile to
Paganini, although that city had contributed more than any other place
to the _éclat_ of his success. His portrait was on every wall, and
exhibited in the windows of print shops. Paganini himself stopped to
look at one representing him in prison; and while scanning it with
some amusement, found he was being surrounded by a crowd who were
scrutinising him with close interest, evidently comparing his features
with those of the lithograph. This was too much, and Paganini sought his
friend Fétis, and confided to him his troubles, seeking his aid for
their amelioration. Fétis requested Paganini to supply him with
particulars, and then indited a long epistle, which, signed by Paganini,
appeared in the _Revue Musicale_. Quotation may be deferred until the
narration of Paganini's public career is completed, and a more detailed
consideration of the character of the man and the artist is entered

One incident that occurred during Paganini's visit to Paris may be
related. The officers of the different legions of the National Guard
combined to organise a grand ball to be held in the Opera House for the
benefit of the poor. They thought it would add greatly to the
attractions of the function if they could prevail upon Paganini to
attend and play a few pieces. To ask for violin solos in a place
prepared for a ball, and among an assemblage met for dancing, argued a
very curious taste, or want of it. Paganini owed it to his dignity as an
artist to refuse the invitation, which he did. For this he was bitterly
assailed by a section of the press, and was compelled to publish a
letter justifying himself.[19] He explained that he had already given up
the Opera House, which was at his disposal, for the preparations for the
ball, and that involved the loss of receipts for one concert--from
15,000 to 20,000 francs. He added that in Berlin, Vienna, and all the
towns where he had continued any time, he made it a duty to perform for
the benefit of the unfortunate; and he certainly should not leave Paris
without devoting the proceeds of one of his _soirées_ to the relief of
the poor of that capital. He kept his word; gave the promised concert,
and the poor profited by a refusal that was attributed to him as a

Berlioz, then in Italy--he had just won the Grand Prix de Rome--passing
through a crisis in his life, stayed a few days in Genoa. In his
autobiography he wrote: "All Paris was raving about Paganini, while I,
with my usual luck, was kicking my heels in his native town instead of
listening to him. I tried to gather some information about their
distinguished townsman from the Genoese, but found that, like other
people engaged in commerce, they cared little for the fine arts, and
spoke quite indifferently of the genius whom Germany, France and England
had received with open arms. They could not even show me his father's
house." So quickly and easily can one be forgotten! England had not yet
received Paganini, but it was many years after this time that Berlioz
penned his autobiography.

Liszt, in Paris, his first dream of love cruelly dispelled, shunned the
world and buried himself in seclusion. For the time the artist within
him was dead, and his thoughts turned to the priesthood. The revolution
of 1830 awoke him. The Magyar blood was aroused, and sympathising with
the people's struggles Liszt planned a _Symphonie révolutionnaire_. But
it was Paganini who, the next year, touched Liszt as it were with a
magic wand, and gave the direction to the genius and energy of the young
artist. Of this more in its proper place. Early in May, 1831, Paganini
left Paris for London.


[13] Where Beethoven gave his concerts in 1814.

[14] The writer's memory played him false. The meeting with Lafont took
place in 1816; or, according to some, in 1812!

[15] This letter was reproduced in the "Harmonicon."

[16] Lady Morgan, in her book, "France in 1829-30," gives an account of
the Giraffe just then arrived in Paris. The animal was added to the
collection in the London Zoological Gardens in 1836.

[17] Litterateur, of Vienna: writer of comedies, etc.

[18] This letter was published in _The Quarterly Musical Magazine and

[19] Addressed to _Le Corsaire_, and reproduced (in English) in _The


Fétis stated that Paganini's visit to London excited the most lively
curiosity, but did not awake that intelligent interest which welcomed
him in the Capital of France. This does not sound complimentary to
London, but perhaps Fétis read some of the introductory comments of the
press when Paganini was about to reach our shores. This is a specimen:
"We shall talk of Paganini very much till he comes. When he arrives
nobody will speak or think of anything else for nine, perhaps eighteen,
days: he will be everywhere: all other violinists will be utterly
forgotten: it will be agreed that the instrument was never before heard;
that his predecessors were all tyros; all other fiddles mere kits. There
will be Paganini rondos and waltzes; variations, long, short, hard,
easy, all _à la Paganini_. We shall have Paganini hats, caps, etc., and
the hair of all the beaux patronised by beauty, will be after his
curious pattern. His influence will extend to our tables, and there will
be Paganini puffs served up daily. Then, all at once, his very name will
cease to be pronounced by persons of _ton_; and, as a matter of course,
people not of _ton_--not of the Devonshire circle, not of Almack's--will
imitate those who are: and the Italian player, like the penultimate
fashion, will be utterly forgotten!--_in good society_. I will
even allow him to flourish here two whole months, provided no new
chin-chopper[20] arrive in the interim, no _danseuse_ with a miraculous
toe, to contest the supremacy of his wonderful bow: should any such
rival enter the lists with him, his glory will set in less than a moon,
and never blaze again above our fashionable horizon."[21]

[Illustration: _Plate VI.--See Appendix._--TITLE-PAGE OF COMIC SONG,

Here is another from _The Examiner_:--"There cannot be a more
inoffensive creature. His sole propensity is to gain money by his art,
and his passion to lose it at the gambling table. Paganini's bow
(_Scotticé_, boo) is almost as wonderful as his bow (_Anglicé_,
fiddle-stick)--the craw-fish would attempt something like it were he on
the stage, but not so well."

Well, we've improved in manners somewhat since 1831. No respectable
paper would publish now such notices in advance of any distinguished
artist, however eccentric he might be. Paganini duly arrived in London
in May, 1831. His first concert was announced for the 21st in this


     SIGNOR PAGANINI respectfully informs the Nobility, Subscribers, and
     Frequenters of the Opera, and the public, that he will give a
     this theatre, TO-MORROW EVENING.

     _Prices of Boxes_:--Pit Tier, 8 Guineas; Grand Tier, 10 Guineas;
     One Pair, 9 Guineas; Two Pair, 6 Guineas; Three Pair, 4 Guineas;
     Stalls, 2 Guineas; Orchestra, 1-1/2 Guineas; Admission to the Pit,
     1 Guinea; Ditto to the Gallery, Half a Guinea.

This announcement produced a storm of indignation. Articles appeared in
_The Times_, _The Courier_, _The Observer_, _The Chronicle_, and
correspondence of a heated character was carried on. The editor of _The
Harmonicon_, calculated that a full house at the prices would realise
more than 3,000 guineas, and M. Laporte, the manager of the King's
Theatre, was virtually accused of conspiring to rob the public. It must
be explained that Laporte "farmed" Paganini; and as the latter
invariably doubled the ordinary prices of admission, his impressario
naturally desired to share in the golden harvest. Laporte wrote to _The
Times_ a hurried note on May 19th, at eleven p.m., stating that at some
future time he would refute the charges brought against him; and the
next day a letter from Paganini to Laporte, and advertised in the
newspaper, gave pause to the wordy warfare. It was as follows:--

     Sir,                 _Friday_, 29th May.

     Finding myself too unwell, I request you will respectfully inform
     the public that the Concert announced for to-morrow will not take

         Your obedient Servant,
     To M. Laporte.        NICOLO PAGANINI.

Paganini was in a wretched state of health when he reached London, and
his condition was not improved by the turmoil his announcement had
created. The terms of his contract with Laporte were published in _The
Observer_, and it was shown that Paganini had practically surrendered
his freedom of action. This may be illustrated by a story that I have
not met with in any English publication, though it may be true all the
same. It is from the notice of Paganini in Mendel's "Musikalisches
Conversations-Lexikon." His Majesty William IV. sent to enquire what
honorarium Paganini required to play at the Court. Paganini answered:
£100, a mere bagatelle. As the messenger tendered him one half that sum,
Paganini haughtily replied, "His Majesty can hear me at a much cheaper
rate if he will attend my concert. But my terms are not left for me to

The concert postponed from May 21st was then announced for June 3rd, but
the question of the high prices had yet to be disposed of. Conflicting
statements were made--one to the effect that Paganini expressed his
regret that they had not been fixed still higher! Be that as it may,
that was not the time to trifle with an angry public. There was not a
moment to be lost, and some one must give way. The matter was soon
decided. On June 2nd, appeared in _The Courier_ and _The Globe_ the
translation of a letter from Paganini, which may be reproduced for the
sake of its contents:

     "The time appointed for my first Concert at the King's Theatre so
     nearly approaches, that I feel it my duty to announce it myself,
     and to claim the favour of the English nation, which honours the
     arts as much as I respect her. Having been accustomed in all the
     towns of the Continent to double the usual prices at the theatres
     where I have given my Concerts, and, but little acquainted with the
     customs of this Capital, where I present myself for the first time,
     I thought I might do the same here. But having been informed by
     several papers that the existing prices here are higher than those
     on the Continent, and having myself ascertained that the statement
     was correct, I willingly second the wish of a public whose esteem
     and protection I desire as my greatest recompense.

    (Signed)       NICOLO PAGANINI.
    London, June 1st, 1831."

At last the concert took place in the King's Theatre, June 3rd, 1831.
There was an orchestra erected on the stage. Many musicians have left a
record of the extraordinary impression made by Paganini on that
occasion, and have attempted to describe the man. In the present place
quotation may be limited to the remarks of the editor of _The
Harmonicon_, William Ayrton, a cultivated musician, and a sober-minded
critic. He wrote thus: "The long, laboured, reiterated articles relative
to Paganini, in all the foreign journals for years past, have spoken of
his powers as so astonishing, that we were quite prepared to find them
fall far short of report; but his performances at his first concert, on
the 3rd of last month, convinced us that it is possible to exceed the
most sanguine expectation, and to surpass what the most eulogistic
writers have asserted. We speak, however, let it be understood, in
reference to his powers of execution solely. These are little less
than marvellous, and such as we could only have believed on the evidence
of our own senses; they imply a strong natural propensity to music, with
an industry, a perseverance, a devotedness, and also a skill in
inventing means, without any parallel in the history of his instrument."

[Illustration: _Plate VII.--See Appendix._


So far, the musician. The critics on the press may also have been
musicians, though at that time it was not usual to have a musical
department, if such a term may pass, in the daily or weekly papers. _The
Athenæum_, in its notice, does not reveal the polished style of a
high-class literary journal. This is how it deals with the concert:--"At
length all differences have been arranged, and the _mighty wonder_ has
come forth--a very Zamiel in appearance, and certainly a very devil in
performance! He is, beyond rivalry, the _bow_ ideal of fiddling faculty!
He possesses a demon-like influence over his instrument, and makes it
utter sounds almost superhuman.... The arrival of this magician is quite
enough to make the greater part of the fiddling tribe commit suicide."

And now let us turn to the concert itself. The fashionable world did not
rush to the theatre, and only two boxes were let. The stalls and
orchestra were full, and also the pit, but not crowded. The audience
consisted in great part of musicians; and even those engaged in the
orchestra were listeners for the first time, as Paganini at rehearsal
only played such passages as served for "cues," and in nowise revealed
his powers.

The object of a great _virtuoso_ would naturally be an exhibition of his
own talent, but Paganini was not prodigal of his playing at the first
concert. He had engaged the orchestra of the Philharmonic Society, then
probably the finest in Europe, and his programme opened with Beethoven's
Symphony, No. 2, in D. It will be shown later that Paganini had a great
veneration for Beethoven. Then Signor Lablache was the solo vocalist, so
Paganini was in the best of company. His first piece was the Concerto in
E flat[22], and his second solo the Military Sonata for the G string,
the theme being Mozart's "Non più andrai." The receipts were £700.
Paganini had a most flattering reception, and his performances were
greeted with acclamations, and waving of hats and handkerchiefs. The
members of the orchestra were astounded. Mori avowed that if he could
not sell, he would at least burn, his fiddle; Lindley, who stammered
terribly, said that "it was the d-d-devil"; and Dragonetti (whose "he's
were she's") growled out, "She's mighty esprit!" Cramer thanked heaven
that he was not a violinist. A striking feature of Paganini's
performance was his playing from memory. The _Athenæum_ remarked, "He
plays without a reading desk or book stand; this gives an air of
_improvising_ to his performance, which we hope to see imitated, if any
one be found hardy enough to undertake a violin solo for the next seven
years." No violinist would venture to play a concerto now with the music
before him, but he may not be aware that it was Paganini who set the
fashion of playing without book.

The public now forgot all about the trouble of the high prices, and the
second concert, given in the same place on the 10th, was so well
attended that the receipts were about £1,200. On this occasion Paganini
played his Concerto in B minor, and Lablache struck the little silver
bell in the Rondo. He also gave his variations on "The Carnival of
Venice," and a Sonata on the fourth string, in which the Prayer from
_Mosé in Egitto_ was introduced. The third concert took place on the
13th, when Paganini brought out another new Concerto. Something like
£900 was realised. At the fourth concert, on the 16th, Paganini played a
_Cantabile_ on two strings, a _Rondo Scherzoso_, by Rodolphe Kreutzer--a
detail to be noticed,--a _Larghetto gajo_, the Military Sonata, and the
variations on "Non più mesta," from Rossini's _La Cenerentola_. The
fifth and last Concert was on the 22nd, when the house was crowded to
excess, and the enthusiasm greater than ever.

But Paganini, or his astute manager, began to presume a little too much
on the good nature of the public. Parting was "such sweet sorrow," that,
like another Juliet, Paganini was inclined to prolong that process as
long as possible. Final concerts succeeded each other--much like the
"Farewells" of popular singers--until the audiences began to dwindle. At
one, at the King's Theatre on July 4th, Paganini played a new Concerto
in E major, "all expression and grace," and by far the best proof given
of his talent since his arrival in London. Paganini gave two concerts at
the London Tavern in July. The first was well attended, but at the
second there was no orchestra. The concert was a failure--"and no
wonder, for the Signor tried an experiment on the forbearance of the
citizens, and actually took only a pianist and one or two second-rate
singers with him to make up a half-guinea concert! This was too much
even for John Bull to submit to."[23]

What a curious side-light this shows upon concert matters in the first
half of the nineteenth century! Now-a-days the "experiment" is for the
_virtuoso_ to engage an orchestra.[24]

Paganini played at some of the benefit concerts during the season,
taking one-third of the gross receipts. There was evidently ill-feeling
on this point, for Lablache and Rubini now refused to sing where
Paganini played. It was said, even, that the leader of his orchestra had
to sue Paganini for recovery of his fees, but the artist in question,
Spagnoletti, put the matter right by publicly stating that his action
was against M. Laporte, and that against Signor Paganini he had never
had the slightest cause of complaint. Time was found for a few
provincial visits. In July Paganini gave two concerts at Cheltenham, and
there he got into trouble. It was announced that his engagements would
not permit his remaining beyond the second day. His concerts were well
supported, and one of the Subscription Balls, at the Rotunda, was
relinquished in order that no hindrance should stand in the way of
those desirous of hearing the violinist. But when it was given out that
Paganini would give a third performance, there was a disturbance. Some
leading residents had a handbill printed calling upon the "nobility and
gentry" to support the established amusements of the town, by
patronizing the Ball, if only as an act of justice to the proprietor.
The effect was to secure a thronged attendance at the Rotunda, and so
poor an assemblage at the theatre, that Paganini refused to perform. Of
course the manager had to communicate this unpleasant piece of
information to the audience, at the same time offering to return the
admission money; but the people were in no pacific frame of mind, and
they marched straightway to the hotel where Paganini was staying, and
demanded the fulfilment of his engagement. A mob soon collected, and
their demeanour became so threatening that there was nothing left but
compliance with their demand. Paganini went to the theatre, played two
of his most favourite pieces with great success, and at midnight posted
off for London. It appeared that he had agreed to perform for two-thirds
of the receipts, but finding the house not half full, demanded two
hundred guineas in advance. This the local manager refused, and informed
the audience of the fact; and the outbreak was the natural result. The
local paper remarked: "We believe this is the only instance as yet upon
record of Paganini's playing to empty benches, and himself unpaid."
Paganini addressed a letter to the _Times_, giving another version of
the incident, but he did not appear to have come out of the affair very
well. His manager's share in the business may be left to conjecture.

One other little circumstance seems to have caused a certain amount of
irritation. Paganini was engaged for the Lord Mayor's banquet at the
Mansion House on July 9th. When the Lord Mayor proposed the toast of the
Lord Chancellor, before Lord Brougham's rising to return thanks,
Paganini played a solo. He evidently displaced the usual glee party, but
in any case it was not the most artistic function to assist at, and
money must have been the chief consideration.

Paganini carried his London concerts into August, and visited Norwich,
where again a third performance took place when only two were announced.
The local manager was a heavy loser, as Paganini (or his agent) had
arranged for a specific sum, and there was very little in excess for the
payment of vocalists, and general expenses. There was also a clashing
with an important fixture at the theatre, and feeling ran high, though
there was no violent demonstration as at Cheltenham. Towards the end of
August, Paganini set out for Dublin, being engaged for the first Musical
Festival held in that city.

[Illustration: _Plate VIII.--See Appendix._



[20] An allusion to Michael Boai, whose performances in London, in 1830,
were of a curious description,--producing tones by merely striking his

[21] The Dilettante, in _The Harmonicon_, VIII, 479.

[22] Now played in D.

[23] Harmonicon, IX. p. 190.

[24] At that time concert givers always engaged an orchestra, but the
gigantic combinations of the present day were, of course, unknown, and


Dublin held her first Musical Festival from August 30th to September
3rd, 1831, and in connection with this event, it is interesting to note,
Henry Fothergill Chorley contributed his first musical criticism to the
_Athenæum_.[25] There was very little about Paganini, but much about the
oratorio, "The Triumph of Faith," of Ferdinand Ries. It may be observed,
in passing, that in the first half of the nineteenth century musical
festivals were more numerous than they are now--there were five in 1831.
With the exception of those given in York Minster (1823-1835), they were
not on the large scale of the principal present day celebrations; but
they were relatively of more importance, inasmuch as there were then
fewer musical centres beyond the metropolis, and small towns would have
had little music but for those periodic gatherings.

Dublin's scheme was ambitious; for Paganini's fees for the three evening
concerts was 500 guineas. Braham and Henry Phillips were among the
vocalists engaged, and the latter, in his "Musical Recollections," gives
a very interesting and amusing account of Paganini at the festival. No
one seemed to know how Paganini arrived in Dublin, which gave rise to a
vague idea that he was wafted across by the _Flying Dutchman_. Where he
lodged was equally a mystery. He arrived at the stage door of the
Theatre Royal on the evening of the first concert, and immediately
ordered an apartment to be got ready, and the room to be perfectly
darkened. There he paced up and down, playing snatches of his music
until the time for his _début_ before a Dublin audience.

The Theatre was crammed to suffocation. The Lord Lieutenant and his
Suite attended in State, and all the _élite_ of Dublin were in the dress
tier. When the Conductor, Sir George Smart, led Paganini to the centre
of the stage there was a terrific outburst of applause, followed by
breathless silence, as the great artist went through his deliberate
process of adjusting his violin, raising his bow, and letting it rest
upon the strings before commencing. This was too trying to the mercurial
temperament of the occupants of the gallery, and before many seconds
there was a stentorian shout, "Well! we're all ready!" The house was
convulsed with laughter, peal after peal rang through the theatre.
Paganini, stamping with rage, turned to Sir George Smart, and cried,
"_Qu'est ce que c'est?_" The explanation seemed to make matters worse,
and Paganini left the orchestra. Some time elapsed before he could be
induced to return; but when he did so, and began to play, he created the
same effect as elsewhere. The next day everybody was exclaiming: "Ah!
sure, have you heard the Paganini; och murther! and his fiddle?" Such
is the account Henry Phillips gives, but it is not easy to attach
credence to all he has put in his book.

At one of the concerts Paganini played the concerto in B minor, with the
Rondo _à la clochette_, when an excited Hibernian shouted above the
storm of applause, "Arrah now, Signor Paganini, have a drop of whiskey,
darling, and ring the bell again!" Paganini's departure from Dublin was
as mysterious as his arrival. On his return to London he failed to
attract much attention, and seems to have been mostly on tour in the
provinces and in Scotland. One incident in London was so singular that
it deserves mention. Carlyle was supposed to have taken a walk with
Paganini. Fancy "the Sage of Chelsea" in company with "the magician of
the bow"! Thomas Carlyle was in London in 1831 vainly negotiating for
the publication of "Sartor Resartus." One day his friend, Edward Irving,
took him to Belgrave Square to dine with Henry Drummond. They walked
along Piccadilly, thronged with fashionable promenaders; and as both men
were of pecular personal appearance, they doubtless attracted some
attention. This is what Carlyle subsequently wrote:--"Irving, I heard
afterward, was judged, from the broad hat, brown skin, and flowing black
hair, to be in all probability the one-string fiddler, Paganini--a tall,
lean, taciturn abstruse-looking figure--who was then, after his sort,
astonishing the idle of mankind."[26] Carlyle has said many true, and
many beautiful things about music, but one may search his writings in
vain for a good word about musicians!

In December of this year (1831) Paganini was announced to play in
Bristol. The following "squib" or lampoon was issued:--



     FELLOW CITIZENS,--It is with feelings of unqualified disgust that I
     witness the announcement of SIGNOR PAGANINI'S Performance to take
     place in this City: Why at this period of Distress? With the
     recollection of so many scenes of misery still fresh in our minds,
     and whilst SUBSCRIPTIONS are required to the extent of our means in
     order to FEED and CLOTHE the POOR: why is this FOREIGN FIDDLER now
     to appear? for the purpose of draining those resources which would
     be infinitely better applied in the exercise of the best feeling of
     man--CHARITY. Do not suffer yourselves to be imposed upon by the
     Payment of Charges which are well worthy the name of extortion;
     rather suffer under the imputation of a want of TASTE than support
     any of the tribe of Foreign MUSIC-MONSTERS, who collect the Cash of
     this Country and waft it to their own shores, laughing at the
     infatuation of John Bull.

     _December 10th, 1831._      PHILADELPHUS.

     A. SAINT. TYP. CASTLE PRINTING OFFICE, 54, Castle Street, Bristol.

Paganini's concerts at Leeds, early in 1832, were so well managed that,
out of the profits, a liberal donation was presented to the fund for the
relief of the poor. At Birmingham, in February of that year, his visit
caused such an influx of strangers to the town, that neither lodgings
nor stabling could meet the demand made upon them. A popular song was
written for the occasion, and the streets rang with it long after the
violinist had left the place. Two lines ran thus:--

     "It's well worth a guinea to see Paganini,
     To see how he curls his hair."

At Brighton some time earlier, the high prices were nearly causing a
riot, through the issue of an inflammatory placard against them. Mr.
William Gutteridge, a well-known musician of that place, who had
arranged for the concerts, had to ask the protection of the magistrates,
but fortunately no outbreak occurred. The squabbles about prices, the
charges of avarice brought against Paganini, and the acrimonious tone of
part of the press, afford melancholy reading. His gains were said to
reach £20,000. In March, 1832, he left London for Paris. There, he gave
a concert for the poor on March 18th. He did not stay very long in
France, and on his way again to this country, occurred the incident
referred to as one of the indignities to which he was subjected. This is
the story.

Paganini having to pass through Boulogne on his way to England, decided
to give a concert in that town, which boasted of a Philharmonic Society.
Paganini deputed a friend to arrange for that Society to assist at the

All seemed going well until Paganini arrived on the scene, when the
amateurs stipulated for a certain number of free admissions for their
friends and families, as a recognition for their assistance. Paganini
represented to them that in a small concert room so many free admissions
would leave little room for the paying public, and he could not accede
to their demand. However, they would not give way, so Paganini declared
his intention to engage a professional band. This did not suit the views
of the amateurs, and they threatened the professional players with the
loss of patronage and pupils if they dared assist Paganini; and the
unfortunate artists, dependent as they were upon that support, had to
refuse the offer made them. But Paganini was not to be baffled; he
determined to give the concert, and to perform without any accompaniment
at all. This he did; and now came the ludicrous sequel. A number of
those amateurs actually paid for admission to the concert, on purpose to
hiss the independent artist. This they did as soon as he entered the
concert-room. Despising such petty spite, Paganini entrusted his revenge
to his art, and the rapturous plaudits of the audience proper soon
reduced to a pitiable silence those who had offered so gross an insult.
As a writer said at the time: "The amateurs of Boulogne have earned for
themselves a niche in the history of the art--they have _hissed_

To digress, for a moment. Paganini's performance, solus, was a recital
pure and simple; perhaps the first ever given in a concert room. In
Grove's "Dictionary of Music and Musicians" there is this definition:
"Recital, a term which has come into use in England to signify a
performance of solo music by one instrument and one performer." It was
probably first used by Liszt, in 1840, when he advertised his
performances as "Recitals." The first was given at the Hanover
Square Rooms, on June 9th, and was called by the _Musical World_ a
curious exhibition. The "one man show," as the recital has been
irreverently termed, may not conduce to the highest interest of art,
but Paganini--not Liszt--was its inventor.

[Illustration: PLATE 9. (_See Appendix._)]

Paganini made his _rentrée_ at Covent Garden Theatre on July 6th, but he
did not appear to have played anything new. Neither did he attract much
attention, and little need be said respecting his visit. He was back
again in London in 1833, but was out of favour, and was advised to
postpone his concerts until the public anger, caused by his refusal to
play for the distressed English actors in Paris, had subsided. His first
concert was given in the King's Theatre, on June 21st, when apparently
he played nothing new, and had but a small audience. The press in
general appeared to be hostile--the _Athenæum_ did not notice him at
all--and it is probable that his stay was not prolonged. He was in Paris
later in the year, and was present at the concert given by Berlioz on
the 22nd of December, when he heard the _Symphonie Fantastique_, and was
so impressed that he wished Berlioz to write a solo for the wonderful
Stradivari viola he possessed.[27]

Between Paganini and Berlioz there was a mutual attraction. Both had
something of the volcanic in their nature; both did much battling
with the hostile outer world. But more of their friendship later.

Paganini was in London once more in 1834, and gave a concert at the
Adelphi Theatre on April 7th. Again nothing new, according to report.
The next morning he gave a second concert at the Hanover Square Rooms,
at which it was said not more than one hundred persons were present, and
half of those went in with free tickets. The erstwhile popular idol was
now dethroned. Paganini fell ill after this, and postponed his third

The _Athenæum_ referred to Paganini's playing to crowded houses at the
Adelphi, and empty benches at the Hanover Square Rooms, and then went on
to say: "His performance on the _Viol di Gamba_,[28] or some such
instrument, is yet to come as is also a duet with Dragonetti, which, we
are told, is to be the _ne plus ultra_ of what is beautiful and amazing.
He has, hitherto, only repeated his best compositions, and, as before,
left every other violinist, ancient and modern, at an inconceivable
distance behind him." This concert was to be the last, which induced the
writer of the _Athenæum_ notice to attend it. He found the "new
instrument" nothing but a full-sized viola, tuned in the ordinary way.
"Considering the difference of stop between this and the violin, his
precision and brilliancy upon the former, as displayed in double stop
passages, harmonics, and _arpeggi_, of extraordinary difficulty, were
most amazing.... In his grand concerto in E flat, his cadenza was one of
the most wonderful combinations of novel harmony, and passages of
execution, we ever heard." Apparently the duet with Dragonetti was not
played, as nothing was said of it.

The directors of the music at the Oxford Commemoration week, May, 1834,
were anxious to add Paganini's name to the attractions offered. He was
approached, accordingly, and, through his manager, announced his
terms--one thousand pounds. Astounded by the answer, the Oxford Delegate
desired that it might be committed to writing. This was done, but when
shown to Paganini, he directed that guineas should be substituted for
pounds. He knew that art was not commerce! There is no record of his
playing at Oxford.

This last visit of Paganini to England had a romantic termination. He
had separated from Signora Bianca on account of her jealous temper, and
had fallen in love with a young English girl--that is if current report
may be trusted. He proposed, for the purpose of securing her a proper
legal settlement, that the marriage should take place in Paris, and he
left London on June 26th, arranging for her to follow him to Boulogne.
The young lady secretly left her home, but her father had his
suspicions, and apparently arrived at Boulogne first, for the daughter,
instead of meeting Paganini, was confronted, on landing, by her father,
with whom she returned home. There is no doubt as to the occurrence, for
it was "in the papers," and names were given. Schilling, whose
_Encyclopædia_ was published in 1837, gives a long account of the
affair, which he would not have done had there been no truth in it, even
though the law of libel was not then very stringent. Here it will
suffice to say that the young lady was the daughter of a man with whom
Paganini lodged, and who was associated with the concert work of the
artist. Moreover, the girl herself had, it would seem, sung at some of
the concerts, and had become fascinated with the great violinist.

The incident might be passed over, only for the fact that to it was
owing the impression that Paganini visited America before returning to
Italy. Dubourg, in the later editions of his work "The Violin," states
that Paganini spent part of his time in America, previous to his return
to Italy in 1834. Now George Dubourg was a contemporary of Paganini, and
his statement is not to be dismissed lightly, though he offers no
evidence in support of it. At the present time it is difficult to find
proof, one way or the other. The American papers in 1835 were
speculating as to the birthplace of Paganini, and some of the
explanations were meant to be funny, but are too vapid for repetition
now. The _Musical World_ for August 4th, 1837, in quoting an anecdote
concerning Paganini's kindness to a poor musician, ends by saying
Paganini took the poor man with him to America. The question was raised
in the _Musical World_ for January the 9th, 1886, and decided in the
negative. The legend had this slender foundation. In the early part of
1835, the young lady whom Paganini wished to marry, went to the United
States--she was an actress and vocalist of moderate ability--but her
stay was brief. Still, everybody wished to see her, for wherever she
went she was looked upon as the heroine of a romantic episode, and her
name was always coupled with Paganini's. The story of the elopement had
been carried across the Atlantic by scandal's winged feet; and it was
said that Paganini sent a special messenger to America to reopen
negotiations on the delicate subject--arrangements that came to
nothing. The agent might have been taken, by Dubourg, for the
principal--hence the mistake. Paganini never went to America, neither
did he again return to the shores of Albion.


[25] Chorley, then living in Liverpool, had previously sent some short
pieces in verse to that paper, but did not become a member of its staff
until 1833.

[26] "Reminiscences," by Thomas Carlyle, I., 311.

[27] Which resulted in the Symphony, "Harold in Italy," with a solo part
for the viola.

[28] The spelling betrays an ignorance of the instrument, though the
writer must have been Chorley himself. Interest in those antique
instruments had not then been revived, nor were there artists to play
upon them.


In the summer of 1834, Paganini, after an absence of six years, returned
to his native land. He was now a rich man, and he invested part of his
fortune in landed property, purchasing, among others, the Villa Gajona,
near Parma, which he made his home--the first he could really call his
own, and he was in his fifty-second year! His health was irretrievably
broken down; he suffered from consumption of the larynx, and was losing
the power of speech. He now sought peace and quiet, and thought of
preparing for publication a complete edition of his compositions, which,
if he had accomplished it, might have led to the explanation of his
alleged secret. In November, or December, Paganini gave a concert at
Piacenza--on the very same boards where he almost began his brilliant
career--for the benefit of the poor; this was the first time he had been
heard in Italy since 1828. The year 1835, Paganini passed alternately at
Genoa, Milan, and his villa near Parma. The cholera then raging at Genoa
was the cause of the rumour of Paganini's death. The dread scourge had
claimed him for a victim, it was said, and the Continental journals
devoted columns to him in the form of obituary notices.

The only English contribution to the necrology of Paganini known to me
was written by Chorley in the _Athenæum_. It is both interesting and
curious: for Chorley manages to squeeze in his account of Paganini at
the Dublin festival, which the editor evidently cut out in 1831. That
scarcely concerns us now, though it relates that the _furore_ caused by
Paganini's performance could not be appeased until he had mounted the
grand pianoforte, in order that the audience might obtain a better view
of his lank proportions! An extract from his notice must be given. It
begins thus:--"_E Morto!_--the words which the silent and absorbed man
murmured to himself, in a tone of deep feeling, after listening to one
of Beethoven's magnificent symphonies, are now--alas!--to be uttered
sadly for their speaker--Paganini is dead!

"We would fain believe that the newspaper reports are in error....
Let us hope that the intelligence from Genoa, received this week
[September], that the artist had been carried off by the sudden and
fearful death of cholera, may, by some happy chance, prove one of those
'mistakes which it gives them pleasure to contradict.' But, should it
not then, indeed, may Music put on sackcloth and sit in ashes for her
High Priest!" Then follows an "appreciation," to use a modern
expression, to which reference may be made later.

Chorley was an impressionable young man, in his twenty-third year, when
he attended the Dublin festival, and so excited did he become over
Paganini's performances, that he gave vent to his feelings in verse.
That poem he now inserted in the _Athenæum_, "as a farewell to one
whose like we shall never hear again!" There are really fine thoughts in
the poem, and, though too long to quote in its entirety, a few stanzas
may well be rescued from the periodical in which they are buried.

    O Paganini!--most undoubted king
      Of St. Cecilia's flock, alive or dead,
    Whether their pasture be of pipe, or string,
      Or mighty organ, which doth overspread
    Ancient Cathedral aisles with flood of sound,--
      In all the wizard craft, matured by labour,
    That doth the spirit move, delight, astound,
      Thou hast no peer--thou hast not even a neighbour,
      In the long lapse of years from Tubal Cain to Weber.

    Sages have said, who read the book of night,
      That once each hundred years some meteor flares
    Across the startled heavens with brilliant flight,
      Making strange tumults in the land of stars;
    And, 'mid the realm of constellations vast,
      In steady splendour ever rolling on,
    Sweeps far and wide with fierce and furious haste,
      Rushing from pole to distant pole anon;
      And, like the monarch's ghost--"'Tis here--'tis there--'tis gone!"

    Thou dost to these, the meteor-born, belong,
      O mighty monarch of the strings and bow!
    And though it were to do sweet Cupid wrong
      To call thee else like him--yet on thy brow,
    And in thy curved lips and flashing eyes,
      His clearest seal hath god-like Genius set,
    Who bade thee from the common herd arise
      And win thyself a crown--nor ever yet
      Hath Art her votary graced with brighter coronet.

    O that a stately temple might be reared
      On some wide plain--and open to the sky--
    Where all the great, the gifted, the revered
      Side close to side, ensepulchred might lie!
    And there, where many a breeze at evening's close
      In solemn dirge around their tomb should sweep,
    Should all the sons of melody repose,
      That pilgrims from afar might come and weep,
      And by their sainted dust a silent vigil keep!

    And there together in renown should rest,
      The Italian minstrel of the broken heart![29]
    And he whose Requiem for a spirit blest
      Was his own dirge--too early lost Mozart!
    And he of the Messiah--and the flight
      Of Israel's children from their bonds abhorred,
    When God was cloud by day, and fire by night!
      And he, who sung of darkness, at one word
      Bursting to light--and Earth created by its Lord!

    And many more--with whom ungentle Time
      Forbids my weak and wandering verse to say;
    Save one great master-spirit, whom my rhyme
      _Must_ pause to honour--for the meteor ray
    Burnt with intensest radiance o'er his head;
      Albeit too soon within his eager ear
    The realm of sound deep silence overspread,
      Whom yet the world is learning to revere--
      Beethoven! he should sleep with thee--the Wizard--near!

    There's left a space, beside his hallowed dust,
      For thee with whom began my feeble song;
    But be it long before the encroaching rust
      Of Time wear out thy energies--and long
    Ere the grim Tyrant with resistless call
      Beckon thee hence--before thy bow be hung
    In some gray chapel--and thy brethren all
      Strive for thy magic instruments unstrung;
      If Heaven were kind to man, thou shouldst be ever young!

A fortnight later, Chorley was able to reassure his readers by
contradicting the report. It seems that the rumour was started through
the death of Dr. Paganini (referred to at the beginning of this essay),
and there seems little doubt but that he was the brother of the

[Illustration: _Plate X.--See Appendix._


In 1836, some speculators applied to Paganini to give the support of his
name and his talent to the founding of a Casino in Paris, of which the
ostensible object was music, the real end, gambling. It has been
suggested that the project appealed to Paganini's avarice, which caused
him to lend himself to the accomplishment of the undertaking. On the
other hand, it is fair to assume that the artist was in ignorance of the
true motive of the promoters of the scheme; and the fact that certain
instructions to the trustees of the fortune settled on his son had been
made public some four years earlier lends countenance to the impression
that he was disgusted with gambling, and had long ceased to indulge in
the vicious pastime.

In the early summer of 1837, Paganini's health having improved, he gave
several concerts in Turin, both for the benefit of the poor, and on his
own behalf. Later in the year, however, he was in Paris, living in the
greatest seclusion. The CASINO PAGANINI was opened, apparently in
October, 1837. The building was situated in the Rue Mont Blanc, and was
supposed to be a kind of Club of Art and Literature. An orchestra of
some fifty performers was engaged for concerts, which were open to
subscribers only. In the grounds a brass band played to those
assembled, and admission there apparently was free to the public. The
object of the undertaking was not made known. A French paper stated by
way of a joke that Paganini's part in the proceedings was to walk round
the garden when the weather was fine. The Government refused to license
the place as a gambling-house, and the management had to rely upon the
concerts alone. It would appear that Paganini had signed a contract to
play at the concerts, but the wretched state of his health was the
excuse for his not doing so. He had been in Paris off and on from 1837
to some time in 1839. In 1838, certainly before April, he was there, and
went to hear a newly invented instrument termed the Harmoniphone. This
was the work of an ingenious musician, Jacques Reine Paris. It was a
small key-board instrument designed to imitate the oboe, and intended as
a substitute for it, in places where oboe players were not available. A
distinguished company was invited to meet Paganini, who was greatly
interested and pleased with the invention. Then, in December, Paganini
witnessed what Berlioz described as the massacre of his "Benvenuto
Cellini" at the opera. In the same month was inaugurated a society for
the production of classical compositions, and for the encouragement of
musical artists, and at this brilliant function, held in the Salle
Erard, Paganini was present, with Meyerbeer, Auber, De Beriot,
Donizetti, and a host of other celebrities. On the 16th of the month
Paganini attended the concert given by Berlioz at the Conservatoire,
when the symphony, "Harold," was performed. Paganini heard it for the
first time, and at the close of the concert occurred the affecting
incident of Paganini kneeling on the stage and kissing the hand of
Berlioz, the demonstration being followed by a magnificent donation of
20,000 francs. Paganini seems to have had a transient recovery, for the
papers spoke of his becoming corpulent.

Still, he did not play at the Casino Concerts, and a crisis soon arose.
Early in 1839, the directors of the Casino brought an action against
Paganini for breach of contract, and he was decreed to pay damages to
the amount of 20,000 francs. This decision so much displeased both
plaintiffs and defendant that they appealed against it. The case did not
come on again for some time, and Paganini sought rest and change in the
south of France. He stayed for some time at Marseilles, where, at the
house of a friend, he once more abandoned himself to his art, devoting
his time alternately to his violin and his guitar. Fétis states that
notwithstanding his feeble health, Paganini attended a performance of
Cherubini's _Requiem_ for men's voices; and on June 21st went to one of
the churches to take part in the performance of Beethoven's Mass in C.

But his malady could only be alleviated by frequent change of clime.
Accordingly, in October we find him at Genoa, in the vain hope that his
native air would prove beneficial; but he was prostrated by a violent
nervous attack almost immediately following his arrival. He must, soon
after, have left for Nice, which he never quitted alive. Nice, though a
pleasant place, was not regarded as at all a favourable retreat for
persons suffering from pulmonary or bronchial affections, and it proved
fatal to the great artist. But we must, for the moment, return to Paris.

The rehearing of the Casino case came before the _Cour Royale_, Paris,
on January 3rd, 1840. Paganini could not, of course, attend in person,
but he was represented by Counsel, and it may be of interest to name the
man who was entrusted with his defence. It was a certain Mons.
Chaix-d'Est-Ange. From accounts of the proceedings, this legal luminary
addressed the Court at great length. He described the prayers and
entreaties of the proprietors of what he termed "this catchpenny
establishment" to induce the grand _Maestro_ to lend his mighty arm and
name to their speculation. He had promised, in writing, to play nowhere
but at their concerts; but as he had played nowhere else, the
proprietors could have no legal right to such excessive damages. The
counsel for the plaintiff, Mons. Barillon, declared that as Paganini's
defection had ruined the speculation, the damages ought to be
proportionate to his transcendent talent. Going into details, he stated
that Paganini was installed in a splendid suite of apartments at the
Casino, one boudoir being lined with flannel expressly for him; and that
when he was complaining of his wretched health, he accepted a dinner
offered him by the musicians of the orchestra, and gave toasts in both
French and Italian. After that, he allowed bills to be printed,
announcing that he would play at the Casino concert. Hundreds of tickets
were eagerly bought at twenty francs each, when suddenly Paganini
refused to play. Entreaties were in vain; Paganini, in his own room,
with closed doors, would practise, but would not play at the concert.
Recourse was had to the musicians of the Grand Opera, so as not to
disappoint the audience, but the prefect of police would not allow the
_employés_ of the opera to be taken from their theatre, and ordered the
Casino to be closed. Ruin stared the proprietors in the face, and 20,000
francs was no adequate compensation. The former decision was reversed,
and Paganini was condemned by the Court in 50,000 francs[30] damages,
and ten years imprisonment in default of payment.

[Illustration: _Plate XI.--See Appendix._


Whether the fine was actually paid, I have found no evidence to prove,
but the imprisonment was certainly not enforced. In a few months' time,
the gaoler whom none can deny, touched Paganini with his icy hand, and
the troubled spirit left its frail earthly tenement on May 27th, 1840.

[Illustration: _Plate XII.--See Appendix._ TABLET ON HOUSE IN WHICH

But not to rest were the mortal remains consigned. No peaceful grave for
the wandering, restless being whose fitful fever of life was over at
last. Paganini died without receiving the last Sacrament of the Church.
He had indeed been visited by a priest, sent by the Bishop of Nice; but
not deeming his end so near, made no confession, nor prepared himself
for death according to the rite of the Church of Rome. The doubt as to
his faith caused the Bishop of Nice to refuse burial in consecrated
ground. The son, the friends of Paganini, and the principal artists of
the place solicited the authorisation of a solemn service for his
eternal repose, but in vain; all that was conceded was the offer of an
authentic record of death, with leave to transport the corpse whither
they might wish. This compromise was not accepted, and the matter came
before the Court of Justice, when the decision was in favour of the
Bishop. There was no alternative but to appeal to Rome, when the
Bishop's decree was annulled, and the Archbishop of Turin was charged,
conjointly with the Canons of the Cathedral of Genoa, to institute an
inquiry into the Catholicism of Paganini. Meanwhile the remains--stated
by the _Athenæum_ to have been embalmed for interment at Genoa--were
subjected to shocking indignities. The landlord wanted to let the house
where the artist had died, and the corpse was laid in the cellar until a
more fitting resting-place was found. Then it is said to have been moved
to the hospital of Nice, thence by sea to the _Lazzaretto_ of Villa
Franca, and finally to a country house Polcevera, near Genoa, part of
the property of the heir of the illustrious artist. There the body
remained four years. Rumours spread abroad of piteous moans and other
lamentable noises being heard at night. To put a stop to these
unpleasant reports, the young Baron Achille made an application for
permission for a solemn service to be celebrated at Parma, in virtue of
Paganini having been a knight of St. George. This was not fruitless. The
service was celebrated in the church of _La Steccata_, appropriated to
that order of chivalry. After the solemnity the friends of the deceased
obtained the permission of the Bishop of Parma to bring the body within
the boundary of the Duchy, when it was transferred to the _Villa
Gajona_, for interment in the Communal cemetery. So, at last, in May,
1845, the mortal remains of the illustrious violinist were laid in the
grave; by order of the government, there was no display of any kind, no
outward symbol of homage. The mourners might, however, hope at least for
the repose of the casket that once enclosed the fiery, turbulent,
soaring spirit of one who knew no rest in life. But, alas! even that was
not the end. In the letter addressed by Paganini to the Editor of the
Paris _Révue Musicale_, the closing sentence breathed a prayer that,
however calumniated he might be in life, the world would at least allow
his ashes to repose in peace. That appeal was not granted. It has been
shown that five years elapsed between his death and his burial; fifty
years more, and the repose of the grave was broken. The _Athenæum_ of
September 7th, 1895, contained this paragraph:--

     "In the Communal Cemetery of Parma the mortal remains of the great
     violin player, Paganini, have just been exhumed. The violinist was
     buried there fifty-five years ago, nevertheless his face has been
     found to be well preserved and easily recognizable. It is proposed
     to show the body to the public before it is re-interred."

Horrible! But first note the mistake. The body was buried fifty, not
fifty-five, years before. Those terrible five years seem to have been
unnoticed in this country, and I have been unable to find any reference
to the mournful function of May, 1845.[31]

Now, what was the reason for exhuming the remains? For the purpose of
removal to a more prominent site! Thus is homage paid to genius! Such,
too, was the fate of Beethoven. His remains were removed in 1888 to the
Central Cemetery at Vienna, and lamentable incidents attended the
exhumation. Schubert, who, by his own desire, was buried by the side of
the great master, did not escape the doom; but Mozart was mercifully
spared; he was buried in a pauper's grave, and his body has remained
undiscovered. The story of the preservation of his skull may be
dismissed as apocryphal. But what are gorgeous monuments? Does the true
artist value the case more than the instrument? Why seek ye the living
among the dead? The artist does not die--he puts off the "muddy vesture
of decay"; he lives in his art-work.

[Illustration: _Plate XIII.--See Appendix._



[29] Pergolesi.

[30] The _Athenæum_ puts the amount at 52,000 francs.

[31] In the _Musical World_ of February 16th, 1843, there is a paragraph
stating that Paganini's remains were still unsepulchred, the corpse
lying in an uninhabited house.


Having traced the career of Paganini "from the cradle to the grave," let
us now look a little more closely at the man, the artist. Glimpses of
his character have already been revealed, but so curiously interesting a
personality will repay further study. Totally uneducated, he yet made
himself so much a man of the world, as to enjoy the personal friendship
of such notabilities as Lord Byron, Sir Thomas Clifford Constable, Lord
Holland, Prince Metternich and others. In his official positions at
Court he comported himself with dignity. He had the pride of the artist,
and would not play if the conditions were not suitable. One instance has
already been given. Here is another, which also occurred in Paris.
Paganini was asked to play at a Court concert at the Tuilleries. He went
the day before to inspect the _salon_ where the function was to take
place, and found the heavy draperies so numerous that the tones of his
violin would be deadened, and the effect of his playing would be lost
unless the curtains were removed or rearranged; he acquainted an
official with his wish to alter them. To that august personage a
"fiddler" was a mere nobody, and Paganini was given to understand his
proper place. Highly offended with the manner of the official, Paganini
resolved not to play. The Court was assembled for the concert, but the
great violinist was absent. A messenger was sent to his hotel, and was
informed that the Signor had retired to rest very early.

Mobbed by ill-mannered crowds whenever he appeared in the streets, (and
this especially in London, when strangers not only spoke to him, but
even felt him, to ascertain if he was really flesh and blood), Paganini,
with his sensitive nature, shrank more and more from contact with the
outer world. He was not a Milton, "whose soul was like a star, and dwelt
apart," but he was essentially a solitary, a recluse. His character was
the result of his environment. Accustomed to brutal treatment in his
childhood, he became hardened; set free from restraint, he tasted the
wild joys of youth, only to find them turn to Dead Sea apples. Schumann,
in his "Advice to young musicians," wrote: "The laws of morality are
also the laws of art." But Paganini had no mentor, and learnt by bitter
experience the lesson of life. He was accused of avarice, and many
ridiculous stories were told of him. When at Prague, it is said that
even the members of the theatre were struck off the free list, and he
was annoyed that the police who watched the upper galleries could not be
made to pay for their places! He beat down a London laundress a
halfpenny in her charge for washing his shirts, and Moscheles gives
currency to the story, though he cannot vouch for its truth, that
Paganini gave his servant a gallery ticket for one of his concerts on
condition that the man served him gratuitously for one day! All these
wretched things may have been true, more's the pity. But there is one
little story that appears to have been overlooked. The father of Nicolo
Paganini was avaricious, and compelled his son to minister to his
avarice, even robbing him of the first-fruits of his own earnings;
Nicolo in turn became avaricious, but it was for the sake of his little
son, whose life he desired might be better than his own. "He saves for
his yet uneducated child," wrote Guhr, in 1829. Yes, this man, proud,
scornful, despising the crowds whose money made him rich, in the
recesses of his heart nourished a love, pure and unselfish. That was the
fine gold; his wealth was dross. His affection for the child was
boundless, and he allowed the little fellow to tyrannise over him
completely. There are pretty stories of his playing with the boy, but
there is nothing about teaching the boy to play--the violin. The memory
of his own childhood was quite sufficient to deter him from any attempt
to force instruction on his boy, and cloud the sunshine of his young

The world gave Paganini its plaudits and its money; but there never
seemed to be any bond of sympathy between the artist and the public. Yet
Paganini could appreciate kindness. Moscheles relates that the father of
his wife rendered Paganini some important service before the visit to
England. When Paganini first called upon Moscheles he was profuse in
expressions of gratitude, and taking down a miniature portrait of his
benefactor he covered it with kisses. "Meantime," Moscheles writes, "we
had leisure to study those olive-tinted, sharply defined features, the
glowing eyes, the scanty, but long black hair, and the thin, gaunt
figure, upon which the clothes hung loosely, the deep sunken cheeks, and
those long, bony fingers." Moscheles was of service to Paganini during
his first days in London, and, to use his own words, he was paid with
quite as many honied epithets as his father-in-law received. But he
suspected the Italian to be rather too sweet to be genuine. Indeed, the
friendship was too fervent to last long, and money was the cause of the
rupture. Mori commissioned Moscheles to write a piece "Gems à la
Paganini," taking the precaution of obtaining the violinist's consent.
His style is imitated, and he expresses his admiration of the piece. A
second and third book of "Gems" are published, and down comes Paganini
with the charge of musical piracy. His permission extended only to the
first book. A lawsuit was commenced, but Paganini effected a compromise
with Moscheles, conceding the free sale of the three books of "Gems" in
return for pianoforte accompaniments to twelve small violin pieces.
Moscheles reluctantly consented to write the accompaniments, but refused
to allow his name (which Paganini wanted) to appear on the title-page.
Mori had to pay something by way of damages, and Moscheles at last
rejoiced at being quit of an episode so little worthy of an artist, and
at having done with those dreadful lawyers.[32]

But quite enough has been said in reference to Paganini's avarice: it
has been shown that he had a motive for saving money. Is it as easy to
account for other traits of his character? That aloofness, that scorn
of the world, that hard bargaining: "Take me or leave me," revealing
callous indifference, was there no cause for all that? There is a very
graphic, and at the same time, appalling, account of the impression
produced by Paganini among the Parisians, which is translated at length
in Dubourg's "The Violin." Berlioz wrote of the weird genius making his
appearance in France during the uproar of the collapse of a dynasty, and
arriving in Paris--with the cholera. The terrors of the scourge were
powerless to check the tide of curiosity: the people were mad for the
time being. This is the conclusion of the notice just mentioned: "Of
such a public, and such an artist, how saddening is the sight!... The
public, made up of idlers--of beings isolated, cold, corrupt--must be
_amused_, forsooth! and the artist exhausts his taste and his sentiment,
and well nigh perspires blood and water, to comply with their
exactions--to _amuse_ them! and if he attain this end, the public clap
their hands, the manager of the theatre counts out to him a heap of
gold, and he goes away, with his ears deafened at the noise which has
surrounded him, and which, for a moment, it may be, has made his heart
beat high;--he goes away, with a loving grasp tightened over the coin he
has so hardly won; and now inwardly exclaims, with a smile of pity, 'The
blockheads--the barbarians! who is there among them that can comprehend
me--that can _feel_ my intentions!' and then the home-returning public,
selfish to the very soul, indemnify themselves for their finger's-end
applause by sottish contempt, by remarks that are empty, or worse--that
are scornful, bitter, shocking, disgusting even--such as those which may
have been buzzed into one's ears in Italy or in Paris, but varied in a
hundred ways, and aggravated at will, just as _he_ varies and enlarges,
twists and turns, beneath his magic bow, a subject of apparently
the most simple and insignificant kind. And now the voices most
distinguishable among the ebbing crowd murmur out the words, 'Gambler,
Libertine'! or worse.... And the privileged public resort again to the
theatre, to admire the talent of him who they comprehend not; and the
artist returns, in like manner, to _amuse_ those who provoke his pity,
and whom he beholds so far below him! Thus we have contempt on one side,
compassion on the other; applause from hands chilled with the touch of
gold, on the one part,--on the other, sounds that borrow their animation
from no social sympathy! Such are the relations between the public and
the professor--such the bonds that connect them!" Unhappy artist;
miserable public! How shall we account for this pitiful state of things,
this gulf between the performer and the auditor? We must seek the
explanation in the letter to the _Revue_, referred to more than once,
but now claiming our attention more directly.

[Illustration: _Plate XIV.--See Appendix._


The pictures of "Paganini in Prison," exhibited so lavishly while the
artist was in Paris in 1831, provoked him to remark that there were some
"honest fellows" making money of a calumny that had pursued his steps
for the last fifteen years. He then referred to the different versions
of the crime imputed to him: that he killed a rival whom he found in
company with his mistress; or that it was his mistress who had been the
victim of his jealous fury; the only point of agreement was the
imprisonment. "Let me tell you," the letter continued, "what happened to
myself in Padua about fifteen years ago (1816), on this very subject. I
had given a concert with some success: the next day I went to a
table-d'hôte; I entered the room late; was, perhaps, the sixtieth guest,
and took my seat unnoticed. One of the company expressed himself in
flattering terms of the effect produced by my performance the evening
before. His next neighbour agreed in the praises bestowed on me, but
added, 'Nobody ought to be surprised at Paganini's ability: he owes it
all to an eight years' solitary imprisonment in a dungeon, with nothing
but his violin to occupy his time, or soften the rigours of his
confinement. He was condemned to this long incarceration for having
assassinated a friend of _mine_, who was unfortunate enough to be his
rival.' As you may easily believe, every one was loud in denouncing the
enormity of my crime; when I addressed myself to the speaker, begging
him to inform me where and when this tragical adventure had occurred.
All eyes were in an instant turned upon me, and you may judge the
astonishment of the company at finding the hero of this tale of murder
and imprisonment one amongst them. The relater of the story was not a
little embarrassed. 'It was not a friend of his own that had fallen--he
had heard--he had been told--he believed--but after all it was very
possible he might have been deceived,' etc. Now see, Sir, how easy it
is to play with the reputation of an artist merely because men, inclined
to indulge in idleness themselves, cannot conceive it possible that he
may have studied as closely in his own chamber and in full possession of
his liberty, as he would if he had been chained up in a dungeon."

There was an occurrence that gave rise to these reports, and which
Paganini related in the same letter. "A violin player, named D----i,[33]
who was at Milan in 1798, associated himself with two other men of bad
character, and engaged with them in a plot to assassinate, by night, the
curate of a neighbouring village, supposed to be in possession of much
wealth. Luckily for the curate the heart of one of the conspirators
failed him, and he denounced his companions. The gendarmes watched the
spot, and took D----i and his accomplice into custody at the moment they
arrived at the curate's dwelling. They were condemned to twenty years'
confinement in irons, but General Menou, after he had been appointed
governor of Milan, at the end of two years restored the violinist to
liberty. Would you believe it, Sir? this is the sole foundation upon
which the whole history of my incarceration has been erected. A violin
player, whose name ended in _i_, had been engaged in a murder and
imprisoned--it could only be _Paganini_--the assassinated party
was converted into either my rival or my mistress, and it was I,
_Paganini_, who had been so many years loaded with chains, and immured
in a dungeon. Solely with the view of wringing from me the secret of my
new system, have they complimented me with fetters, whose only effect
would have been to paralyze my arms."

Paganini further stated that he called on the Italian ambassador
resident in Vienna, to testify that he had known the artist for nearly
twenty years, during all which time his conduct has been that of an
honest man. He also pointed out that having been constantly before the
public from the age of fourteen, he must have had a mistress and a rival
when he was seven! for there was no room for an interval of eight years
afterwards. It was at Vienna that one of the audience, while Paganini
was playing "The Witches' Dance," distinctly saw the devil close to the
violinist, guiding his fingers and directing his bow; the said devil was
dressed in red and had horns and a tail, and the striking likeness of
the countenances of the two, plainly proved the relationship between
them. That pretty story followed Paganini everywhere: and, as has been
seen, in Prague he had to publish a letter from his mother disproving
the rumour of his Satanic parentage. There is something intensely
pathetic in Paganini's conclusion: "I see nothing else for it but to
leave malignity at liberty to disport itself at my expense."

In this prosaic, materialistic twentieth century, which believes in
little besides money, there is no fear of any of our violin wonders
being associated with the arch-fiend. They may be regarded as physic
problems, but the supernatural is eliminated from the study. But
Paganini did not live in the twentieth century, and in his day the devil
was a very real personage, notwithstanding the temporary overthrow of
much belief through the French Revolution, and the enthronement of the
"Goddess of Reason" in the Church of Notre Dame, Paris. It may seem
absurd, now, even to recall these calumnies; but we have to deal with
the environment of a great genius, to study the cause of his failing to
become great as a man; for surely he had the making of a fine character.
That he should traverse the greater part of Europe, pursued by tales of
devilry and murder, is one of the saddest comments on that period; that
the "iron entered into his soul," and the man capable of affection
became a miser and a misanthrope, is more mournful still. He was the
"Flying Dutchman" of the violin.

How was it that the devil and the violin came into relationship? We have
it on the authority of Martin Luther that the devil hates music. Luther
not only believed in the devil, but he fancied he saw him: and in the
room of the Castle of Wartburg may still be seen the mark on the wall,
where he threw his inkpot at the fiend, who tried to thwart his work of
translating the Bible. It is curious that the only instrument which, to
the present writer's knowledge, Satan has been represented as playing
upon, is one of the precursors of the violin. There is a piece of
sculpture in the Cathedral of Amiens, depicting Satan playing on an oval
three-stringed Vielle, of the thirteenth century.[34] The story of
Tartini and his dream, when the devil played so marvellously on the
violin, is known to everyone, and is, moreover, perpetuated in the
sonata _Il Trillo del Diavolo_. It is related of Thomas Baltzar, the
first great violinist ever heard in England, that when he played at
Oxford he astonished everyone by "running up his fingers to the end of
the finger-board." John Wilson, the Oxford Professor of Music, "the
greatest judge of musick that ever was," according to Anthony à Wood,
"did, after his humoursome way, stoop down to Baltzar's feet, to see
whether he had a huff on, that is to say, whether he was a devil or not,
because he acted beyond the parts of man." As this took place in 1658
there was some excuse for the grim pleasantry; moreover music had
suffered an eclipse, and performers in this country were comparatively
few. Even the gentle and polite Corelli forgot himself so far as to
apply the term, devil, to another violinist. As the story may not be so
well known as the foregoing, I shall briefly repeat it. Nicolaus Adam
Strungk (or Strunck), violinist to Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover,
when in Rome (_circa_ 1684) made it his business to see Corelli.
Introducing himself to the Italian master as a musician, Corelli asked
what was his instrument. Strungk replied that he could play upon the
harpsichord, and a little upon the violin; but he particularly wished to
hear Corelli on the latter instrument, his fame being widely known.
Corelli obligingly consented, and played a piece to the harpsichord
accompaniment of Strungk. Strungk afterwards played a toccata, with
which Corelli was so much taken that he laid aside his instrument in his
transport of admiration. When Strungk had finished at the harpsichord,
he took up the violin, and began handling it in a careless manner,
whereupon Corelli remarked that he had a good bow-hand, and wanted
nothing but practice to become a master of his instrument. At that
moment Strungk put the violin out of tune, and played on with such
dexterity, attempering the dissonances occasioned by the mistuning with
such amazing skill, that Corelli cried out in broken German: "I am
called Arcangelo, a name that in the language of my country signifies an
Archangel; but let me tell you, that you, Sir, are an Arch-devil!"

There is nothing malicious in these stories of the devil and the
fiddler; and if Paganini had experienced nothing worse than what has
just been related, he might have treated the matter as a joke. But that
which malice or envy originated, a "reptile press" promulgated. Innocent
of crime, Paganini was branded as a felon; gifted with genius of the
rarest order, cultivated to a perfection absolutely unique, his skill
was attributed to the aid received from the devil. Add to this his
wretched health, and there is both mental and bodily suffering. In his
later years he was cut off from intercourse with others, like
Beethoven--but with this difference: Beethoven employed a tablet or
note-book for his friends to convey their words to him; Paganini
transmitted, through a similar medium, his thoughts to others. He was
dumb! Is there no brighter side to this picture? If there be, let us
turn to it.

It is, perhaps, fortunate that no man can be consistent throughout his
life; the morose must smile at times, and the misanthrope mitigate his
hatred of mankind. Paganini was but human, and his life was not all
shadow. Though his intimate friends were few, there were some who were
able to place on record details of the private life of the great
violinist. Of such, the most useful to biographers was George Harris. He
was an Englishman, attached to the Court at Hanover then connected with
Britain; a dramatist of a certain order, he accompanied Paganini on his
tours in Germany, acting for a time as his secretary, and apparently
he was with him when in England. From him we learn a good deal.

Paganini was always on the move, and travelling in his day was not
the rapid, comfortable, even luxurious process it is now. In the
post-chaise Paganini stowed his luggage, which was of the simplest--and
shabbiest--description. A dilapidated box held his beloved violin, his
linen, cash and jewellery; a carpet-bag and a hat-box completed his
outfit. He was philosophically indifferent to comfort, but in his later
years he always had the windows of his carriage closed. When he arrived
at his quarters, the windows of his room were thrown open, and he
indulged in a sun-bath--again anticipating modern medical advice.
Paganini, when travelling, was fond of taking a stroll when the horses
were changed. It was a relief to stretch his legs after the close
confinement of the post-chaise, but sometimes his rambles were so
prolonged that there was weary waiting for him when all was ready to
resume the journey, and drivers became exasperated. Paganini was made to
suffer on one occasion. That was when travelling from London to
Birmingham. He had already tried the patience of his coachman by causing
loss of time, and the man declared he would drive on without him, rather
than wait again. At the next stopping place Paganini walked off as
usual, leaving Harris asleep in the vehicle. The horses being changed,
the driver started, leaving Paganini behind. This caused some trouble,
for a post-chaise had to be sent from the next station in search of the
derelict, and Paganini in his rage refused to pay the extra expense. He
was summoned before the Birmingham magistrates, and the case going
against him he was compelled to discharge the debt. Poor Paganini, he
always suffered when he came into contact with the law.

[Illustration: PLATE 15. (_See Appendix._)]

[Illustration: PLATE 16. (_See Appendix._)]

[Illustration: PLATE 17. (_See Appendix._)]

In his personal habits Paganini was simplicity itself. Frugal to a
degree in his repasts, a cup of chocolate sufficed for a meal when
starting early on a journey, and often he would fast until evening. When
in a happy mood after a concert, he would join the table d'hôte and do
as others did, but the slightest indulgence was punished the next day.
He preferred solitude, but when he mixed with others he would join
freely in the conversation; if music were touched upon he became silent,
or left the room. So long as he could find accommodation that was quiet,
he cared little for its quality. Scenery had no charms for him, and all
climates but his own were equally indifferent to him. His accounts were
kept in a little red pocket-book (found under his pillow after his
death), in a kind of arithmetical shorthand only decipherable by
himself. He never had been taught the science of numbers, or he might
have been made a first-rate mathematician.

Harris stated that all the time he was with Paganini he never heard him
play a single note except before an audience. That may have been correct
so far as Germany was concerned, but the Rev. John Edmund Cox, in his
"Musical Recollections," has something very different to say about
Paganini. "During his career he visited my native town,[35] and as I
had the good fortune then to be able to converse in French, the friends
who had engaged him for a round of concerts in that place and its
vicinity placed me in direct communication with him somewhat in the
capacity of a secretary; so that I not only travelled in his company and
heard him at every concert at which he appeared, but I lived in the same
hotels and lodgings which had been secured for him. This kind of
semi-official position necessitated my seeing much of him during his
leisure hours, when he threw off the suspicious restraint which was
always apparent in his manner when he was among strangers, whom he
imagined were bent upon getting as much as possible out of him for their
own advantage. Then, indeed, he would evince anything but a hard and
ungenerous nature, his manner being not only kind but courteous; whilst
any attention that was afforded to his wants or to his comforts was
sure to elicit not only looks but words of gratitude. In public he
confined himself almost exclusively to the performance of his own
music,--... but in private--for he had his violin constantly in his
hand--he would sit and dash off by the hour together snatches from the
compositions of the best masters, and give readings of such originality
to passages that had been heard again and again, as apparently have
never been supposed to be possible by any other player. As an instance
in point, he one morning, whilst I was writing several notes for him,
commenced the first _motivo_ of Beethoven's magnificent violin concerto.
To write was then impossible; and he, perceiving how entranced I seemed,
asked whether I knew what it was. On my replying in the negative, he
promised, if it could be managed, that I should hear the whole of that
movement before we separated." The promise was redeemed. The above is
valuable as showing that Paganini was not quite so wanting in knowledge
as was generally supposed. He could converse in French, though at that
time--1831--he had only spent a few weeks in France. Education, proper,
he had none; but the statement that he could speak no language but his
own, is evidently incorrect. The allusion to strangers bent upon getting
as much as possible out of him for their own advantage, finds an
illustration in the story of the Englishman who is said to have followed
Paganini for some six months, watching his every movement, lodging at
the same hotels, and employing every means to get at the great secret of
the violinist's art. At last his perseverance seemed about to be
rewarded. Looking through the keyhole of Paganini's door, the
Englishman saw the violinist take his instrument from its case--raise it
to his shoulder, even shift the left hand up and down the neck; but not
the ghost of a sound. It was just a study of positions, and the violin
was then restored to its place. In despair, the inquisitive amateur gave
up the quest.

The concerts Paganini gave for the poor were evidence of his natural
goodness of heart. It is true, such efforts cost him little; he gave a
few hours' time: the public found the money. One day, when walking in
Vienna, he saw a poor little Italian boy playing the violin in front of
a large house. He drew from him a touching story of poverty, and a sick
mother; and emptying his pockets into the boy's hands, he took from him
his violin and began to play. He was soon recognised, and a crowd
assembled; the people were immensely diverted, and gave a generous
response when the hat was handed round. With "Take that to your mother,"
Paganini sent the boy off rejoicing, and turning to the companion of his
walk, he remarked, "I hope I've done a good turn to that little animal."
He was fond of applying the word "animal" to those sometimes spoken of
as "the lower classes," but was not altogether singular in that respect.

At the anniversary dinner of the Royal Society of Musicians, in 1832,
among the donations announced was one of ten guineas from Paganini. This
was thought so excessively mean an acknowledgment of the generosity of
the English nation, that the announcement was received with groans and
hisses. That was distinctly rude on the part of those who, having dined
well, ought to have been in a genial state of mind.

At least one generous action must be placed on record. It was told by
George Augustus Sala many years ago.[36] The mother of that voluminous
writer was a vocalist, and made her _début_ at Covent Garden Theatre in
1827, as the Countess in Bishop's version (or perversion) of Mozart's
"Marriage of Figaro." In 1828 she became a widow, and supported her
family by teaching singing and giving annual concerts, chiefly at
Brighton, where she lived. For one of her benefit concerts she engaged
Paganini. The most distinguished artists of her day had gladly given
their gratuitous assistance at similar functions, and Paganini accepted
the small fee of twenty-five guineas. Sala was a very small boy at that
time (born in 1828), and possibly drew upon his imagination when
recounting the event so many years later. This is what he wrote:--"'Take
your little boy with you, Madame Sala,' was the shrewd counsel of ----,
a valued friend of my mother; 'take the boy with you when you pay Pag.;
perhaps _that_ will soften him a little.' I was the smallest and
chubbiest of the tribe; then, duly washed, combed and made spruce, my
parent took me in her hand, and led me to the Old Ship, where Paganini
was staying. We were ushered, not without fear and trembling on my part,
into the presence of the mighty musician, who was at breakfast. Then my
mother, alluding as far as she in delicacy could to her large family
and small means, proceeded to count out--sovereign by sovereign,
shilling by shilling--Paganini's fee of five and twenty guineas. I can
see with the eye of memory the whole man before me now, his gaunt
angular form, his black elf-like locks falling in weird confusion over
his neck and shoulders, his cadaverous face and shaggy brows, his long
bony hands with the veins standing out like cordage, his amazingly large
feet, and especially his neck, disproportionately long, scraggy, and
corrugated. I can see the glare--so it seemed to me--which, when he
raised his bent brows, darted upon the pile of money, and the spasmodic
avidity with which he extended his hand and swept the pile towards
him.... 'A very nice little boy,' he was good enough to say, alluding to
myself; 'but time is bad, and there is no monish in de vorld: no, never
no monish at all.' My mother rose with a heavy heart to depart. 'Stop,
little boy,' said the great violinist, and he beckoned to me with a
skinny finger, which any of the witches in Macbeth would have been proud
to own; 'stop, take this, it will buy you a cake.' He thrust a crumpled
piece of paper into my hand, rose from his chair, and, without more ado
'bolted'--that is the only word suited to the action--into his bedroom.
He had given me a bank note for fifty pounds! Superstitious people used
to whisper that Paganini had sold himself to the enemy of mankind;
spiteful people used to draw him as a greedy, flint-hearted miser.... I
only know how he acted towards my mother."


[32] Life of Moscheles (English Edition), I., p. 252-7.

[33] Duranowski, a talented Polish violinist. He entered the French army
and was _aide-de-camp_ to a General. He lost his rank when released;
returned to his violin, and was living at Strassburg up to 1834.

[34] An engraving of it is in Naumann's "History of Music" (English
Edition), p. 255.

[35] Norwich.

[36] In the "Bow Bell's Annual" for 1878 (?)


From the man we now turn to the artist. Schiller wrote: "The artist is
the son of his age, but pity for him if he is its pupil or even its
favourite." It has been shown how truly Paganini was the child of his
age; the pity was that he became its pupil and its favourite; in
consequence he failed to attain the supreme height where dwell the
spirits of the greatest. But he was a great artist, in spite of his
concessions to the public taste; and he held in reverence that which he
found great in others. When in Vienna in 1828, exactly a year after the
death of Beethoven, Paganini attended a concert, and heard a performance
of the great master's Symphony, No. 7, in A. Profoundly moved by that
sublime composition, he remained mute, his gaze fixed and mournful;
suddenly the tears rolled from his eyes; his grief and emotion wrung
from him the words: _E morto!_ Anders, who relates the incident, adds:
"Never was the immortal author of _Fidelio_ more worthily extolled than
by those tears, by that simple word. The day may come when some
disciple, some friend of the Genoese artist, will say in his turn,
seized with bitter sadness, _E morto!_" Strange, that Chorley should
have employed the very words, in the premature obituary notice which
has been already referred to.

When in Paris, Paganini once visited the Institution for the Blind. He
was so much struck with the beauty and purity of intonation that
characterised the singing of the pupils, that he declared that never
before had he an adequate notion of what harmony was.

The artist, as well as the art, claimed his respect. There seems to have
been no artistic jealousy about him, and to the young performer he was
invariably kind, whilst to the established professor he was just. It is
said that when Paganini's concerts took place at the King's Theatre, it
was proposed to dispense with the services of the "leader" at the Opera.
When Paganini heard of this, he paid a well-merited compliment to the
abilities of Signor Spagnoletti, and insisted upon his engagement at all
the concerts, he, Paganini, might give at the Theatre. It is true, at
rehearsal, Paganini never gratified the members of the orchestra as to
what the concert performances were likely to be; but he was careful to
have the accompaniments well prepared. Quick-tempered, he was irritated
at any faulty work, but when all went well he expressed his approbation
by exclaiming, "_Bravissimi! Siete tutti virtuosi!_" ("You are all
artists!") Paganini brought the orchestral parts with him to rehearsal,
and took them away afterwards; as to the solo part, no one had a chance
of looking at that, for Paganini played everything from memory. His
kindness to brother-artists has been placed on record. The young
violoncellist Ciandelli, who rendered such service to Paganini when he
was turned into the street by the brutal landlord, was afterwards well
repaid by the instruction Paganini gave him. The great violinist told
Schottky, his biographer, that he took a lively interest in young
Ciandelli, and that he imparted to him his secret. He gave him lessons,
and at the end of three days so transformed his playing, that from being
a mediocre performer, he became the first violoncellist at the Theatre
Royal, Naples, with a possibility of becoming the first in the world.
However, as history is silent respecting the subsequent achievements of
Gaetano Ciandelli, he need not claim further attention.

The Bohemian violinist, Joseph Slavik, appeared at Vienna in 1826, when
he was twenty years of age. Moscheles heard him play, and said he was
considered in Vienna as the second Paganini. Of course that was hearsay;
_the_ Paganini had not then been heard outside Italy. When Paganini was
in Vienna, in 1828, he become acquainted with young Slavik, and held him
in affectionate regard. At all hours the young student had access to the
idol of his worship, and received many valuable hints and ideas upon
fingering, etc., and friendly encouragement to pursue his daring course
with unwearying application. He spent two years in retirement, zealously
studying the Paganini method, and when he reappeared in Vienna, he was
spoken of as no petty imitator, but a second original. A contemporary
notice, comparing Slavik with Paganini, states:--"The only difference
between the two at present is, that the pupil, carried away by the
ardour of youth, often suffers himself to be seduced into the most
gigantic attempts, the success of which on every occasion no mortal can
with certainty rely upon; while the other, possessing the plaintive and
deeply pathetic tones of a singer, at the same time resembles a
consummate piece of musical mechanism, which accomplishes the most
extraordinary feats quietly and without effort." Slavik died at Pesth,
in 1833, at the early age of twenty-seven; what he might have become his
actual achievements plainly indicated.

In his later years, Paganini appears to have had great delight in
listening to young artists. In 1836, Antonio Bazzini, then a youth of
eighteen, played to Paganini, who was enraptured with his performance. A
year later, in Paris, Paganini heard a much younger violinist, the boy
Apollinaire de Kontski, and actually went so far as to give him a
testimonial. Articles in the musical dictionaries all state that
Paganini gave some lessons to the child; some say that the friendship
between the two resulted in Paganini bequeathing to De Kontski his
violins and compositions. Grove, in quoting Mendel, says this statement
requires confirmation. When Apollinaire de Kontski died, in 1879,
nothing, so far as I have been able to ascertain, transpired concerning
the alleged bequest. But the testimonial seems to have escaped the
notice of dictionary compilers, so, as a curiosity, I reproduce it from
the _Musical World_, of June 21st, 1838:--

     "Having heard M. de Kontski, aged eleven years, perform several
     pieces of music on the violin, and having found him worthy of being
     ranked among the most celebrated artists of the present day,
     permit me to say, that if he continues his studies in this fine
     art, he will, in course of time, surpass the most distinguished
     performers of the age.

          (Signed) PAGANINI."

But if Paganini was fond of hearing and encouraging other artists, he
was averse to anything like competitive display. When he met Lafont at
Milan in 1816, as already related, he played at the concert given by
that artist. The function came to be regarded as a contest, and an
account of it appears in Laphaléque's pamphlet. Some paper, early in
1830, having quoted this notice, Lafont wrote a letter of protest, which
is interesting enough to reproduce in part. He wrote:--

"Sir, I have just read, in your journal of the 2nd of Feb., an extract
from the Notice published on the celebrated violinist, Paganini. As this
notice contains statements utterly erroneous, as regards me, I owe it to
truth, to the advice of my friends, and to the favour with which the
public has been pleased to honour me during twenty-five years, to give
an exact statement of the facts of the case. The following is a
narration of what occurred. In the month of March, 1816, I gave in
conjunction with M. Paganini, a concert in the great theatre, La Scala,
at Milan, and, far from making a cruel trial of the powers of my
adversary, or of being beaten by him, as is pretended by the author of
the Notice, I obtained a success the more flattering, as I was a
stranger in the country and had no other support than my talent.

"I played, with M. Paganini, the concerted symphony of Kreutzer, in
_fa_ major. For several days previously to the concert we rehearsed this
symphony together, and with the greatest care. On the day of the concert
it was performed by us as it had been rehearsed, with no change
whatever; and we both obtained an equal success in the passages executed
together or separately. On coming to the _phrase de chant_ in _fa_
minor, in the second solo of the first part, there was a decided
advantage for one of us. This passage is of a deep and melancholy
expression. M. Paganini performed it first. Whether the strong and
pathetic character of the piece was ill-suited to the ornaments and
brilliant notes which he gave in it, or whatever else was the cause, his
_solo_ produced but little effect. Immediately after him, I repeated the
same passage, and treated it differently. It seems that the emotion by
which I was then agitated, caused me to give an expression more
effective, though more simple, and it was so felt by the audience, that
I was overwhelmed with plaudits from all parts of the house. During
fourteen years I have been silent on this trifling advantage obtained
over M. Paganini in this instance, only in the symphony, and probably
rather by the superiority of the school than by that of talent. It is
painful to me to speak of myself; nothing short of the misrepresentation
of the article in question could have provoked me to reply. I was not
beaten by M. Paganini, nor was he by me. On all occasions, I have taken
pleasure in rendering homage to his great talent; but I have never said
that he was the first violinist in the world; I have not done such
injustice to the celebrated men--Kreutzer, Rode, Baillot, and Habeneck,
and I declare now, as I have always done, that the French school is the
first in the world for the violin."

After this modest assertion Lafont concludes with an expression of
rejoicing in the opportunity of praising a talent of which he felt it an
honour to be the rival, but of which no one could make him the

This epistle provoked a rejoinder from Francesco Cianchettini[37] who
wrote:--"As I was present at that contest, I do assert that the account
given by Mr. Imbert is not erroneous, but correct. The public decision
was in favour of Paganini; Mr. Lafont having acquiesced in silence to
such a decision, does not diminish one iota of his acquired fame: as not
only himself, but every living violinist who dares to enter into rivalry
with Paganini, will be prostrated, although the Signor has not had the
advantage of being a pupil of the _super-excellent Parisian Violin
School_. In Paris, I have heard how the talented violinists, mentioned
in Mr. Lafont's letter, speak of Paganini. The _Coriosi_ gladiators of
the Neronian age spoke with the same freedom of Hercules. Had this
demigod suddenly appeared on the arena with his club, all of them would
instantly have shrunk into pigmies."

In a footnote Cianchettini added that whatever excellence the Parisian
Violin School might lay claim to, was derived from Italians; from
Viotti, through Pugnani and Tartini, to Corelli, "the father of the

But the genius of Paganini was fully understood and appreciated by a far
greater Frenchman than Charles Lafont:--Hector Berlioz.

The friendship between Paganini and Berlioz has been briefly referred
to, but it is a subject for further consideration, as it reveals the
influence that the one artist wielded over the other. The first meeting
of the two men must be told in the words of Berlioz himself. A few
remarks are needed by way of preface. In the summer of 1833, Berlioz
married the English actress Miss Smithson, who, still weak from her
carriage accident, had, on her wedding day, "nothing in the world but
debts, and the fear of never again being able to appear to advantage on
the stage." To pay off these debts Berlioz organized a benefit
entertainment, beginning with drama and ending with a concert. But his
programme was too long, and he had forgotten something--_the claque_.
His poor wife could not conceal her lameness, and though talented as
ever, she failed to obtain a recall. Another actress, having taken
precautions, had an ovation. Then at midnight the band of the _Théâtre
Italien_, not being obliged to play after that hour, left the place, and
the _Symphonie Fantastique_ could not be played. Liszt assisted, and the
affair was not quite a failure, financially, though the promoter came in
for bitter attacks. Poor Berlioz was in despair, but he took his courage
in both hands, and announced a concert at the _Conservatoire_. He took
care to engage artists he could trust, and with his friend Girard as
conductor everything went well, the _Symphonie Fantastique_ taking the
room by storm. Now let Berlioz speak: "My success was complete, and the
former judgment on me was reversed. My musicians looked radiant with
delight as they left the orchestra. Lastly, my happiness was completed
when the public had all gone, and a man stopped me in the passage--a man
with long hair, piercing eyes, a strange and haggard face--a genius, a
Titan among the giants, whom I had never seen before, and at first sight
of whom I was deeply moved; this man pressed my hand, and overwhelmed me
with burning eulogies, which literally set both my heart and brain on
fire. It _was Paganini_ (22nd December, 1833). From that date my
relations with that great artist, who exercised such a happy influence
upon my destiny, and whose noble generosity has given birth to such
absurd and malicious comments."

It was some time in January, 1834, that Paganini called upon Berlioz and
said he had a wonderful viola, a Stradivari, upon which he should much
like to play in public, but he had no music for it. Would Berlioz write
a solo for him? Berlioz was flattered by the proposal, but replied that
in order to produce a composition sufficiently brilliant to suit such a
virtuoso, he--Berlioz--ought to be able to play the viola, and that he
could not do. So he thought Paganini alone could meet his own wishes.
Paganini, however, pressed his own point, adding that he himself was too
unwell to compose anything. Berlioz then set to work. To quote his own
words: "In order to please the illustrious virtuoso, I then endeavoured
to write a solo for the viola, but so combined with the orchestra as not
to diminish the importance of the latter, feeling sure that Paganini's
incomparable execution would enable him to give the solo instrument all
its due prominence. The proposition was a new one. A happy idea soon
occurred to me, and I became intensely eager to carry it out."

Paganini was impatient to see the music, and as soon as the first
movement was finished, it was shown to him. He did not like the long
silences. "That is not at all what I want," he said; "I must be playing
the whole time." "You really want a _concerto_ for the tenor," Berlioz
replied, "and you are the only man who can write it." Paganini said no
more, and soon afterwards left for Nice. Berlioz then gave free play to
his fancy, and wrote the series of scenes for the orchestra, the
background formed from the recollections of his wanderings in the
Abruzzi, the viola introduced as a sort of melancholy dreamer, in the
style of Byron's "Childe Harold." Hence the title "Harold in Italy."
Now, this is the point: "Harold" was inspired by Paganini, who
indirectly gave a new art-form to the world. The piece was produced on
November 23rd, 1834, but Paganini was then in Italy, and he did not hear
it until four years later.

But Paganini was destined to inspire something greater still. He was
again in Paris in 1838, and, as before related, was present at the
"horrible performance" of Berlioz' "Benvenuto Cellini." Sad at heart
Paganini said: "If I were manager of the _Opéra_, I would at once engage
that young man[38] to write me three such operas: I would pay him in
advance, and should make a capital bargain by it." The failure of the
opera threw Berlioz on a bed of sickness. But he had to live, and was
soon arranging to give concerts at the _Conservatoire_. The first barely
paid expenses, but the second, at which both the _Symphonie Fantastique_
and _Harold en Italie_ were performed, was more successful, and at this
Paganini was present. This has also been incidentally mentioned, but
further notice is required on account of the sequel. Again we must allow
Berlioz to speak for himself. "The concert was just over; I was in a
profuse perspiration, and trembling with exhaustion, when Paganini,
followed by his son Achilles, came up to me at the orchestra door,
gesticulating violently. Owing to the throat affection of which he
ultimately died, he had already completely lost his voice, and unless
everything was perfectly quiet, no one but his son could hear or even
guess what he was saying. He made a sign to the child, who got up on a
chair, put his ear close to his father's mouth and listened attentively.
Achilles then got down, and turning to me, said, 'My father desires me
to assure you, sir, that he has never in his life been so powerfully
impressed at a concert; that your music has quite upset him, and that if
he did not restrain himself he should go down on his knees to thank you
for it.' I made a movement of incredulous embarrassment at these strange
words, but Paganini seizing my arm, and rattling out 'Yes, yes!' with
the little voice he had left, dragged me up on the stage, where there
were still a good many of the performers, knelt down, and kissed my
hand. I need not describe my stupefaction; I relate the facts, that is

In his frenzied state Berlioz went out into the bitter cold, met Armand
Bertin on the boulevard, told him what had occurred, caught a chill, and
again had to keep his bed. Two days later, the little Achilles called,
the bearer of a letter, and of a message to the effect that his father
would himself have paid the visit, but was too ill to do so. The letter
ran as follows:--


     Beethoven dead, only Berlioz now can revive him; and I, who have
     enjoyed your divine compositions, worthy of the genius which you
     are, entreat you to accept, in token of my homage, twenty thousand
     francs, which will be remitted you by the Baron de Rothschild on
     presentation of the enclosed. Believe me always your most
     affectionate friend,

     Paris, December 18th, 1838."

Picture the scene! Berlioz, pale with excitement; his wife, entering the
room, imagines some new misfortune has befallen them. Told of what has
happened, she calls her son Louis. Berlioz' words again: "And my wife
and child ran back together, and fell on their knees beside my bed, the
mother praying, the child in astonishment joining his little hands
beside her. O Paganini! what a sight! Would that he could have seen it!"

The news soon spread abroad, and there were mixed feelings with regard
to Berlioz; delight on the one hand, detractions on the other, and
"scandalous insinuations" against Paganini. It was some six days before
Berlioz recovered sufficiently to visit and thank Paganini. The latter
would not hear a word; it was the greatest pleasure he had ever felt in
his life, he said; adding, "Ah! now none of the people who cabal against
you will dare to say another word, for they know that I am a good judge,
and that I am not easy" the last clause bearing two meanings: "I am not
in easy circumstances," or, "I do not part with money easily." I know
that this gift of Paganini to Berlioz is now regarded as a myth. One
version of the story is that Paganini was merely the agent, the real
donor being Armand Bertin, the great friend of Berlioz, who wished to
remain in the background. Another version is to the effect that Jules
Janin, editor of the _Journal des Débats_, compelled Paganini to make
the gift to Berlioz, who was the musical critic on that paper; and that
Paganini, fearing to lose his prestige with the public if Berlioz turned
against him, yielded to the pressure put upon him. I am going to give
chapter and verse for all this, for it is a matter that should be put at
rest. But first, what a condition is revealed of the press in relation
to art. Berlioz in money matters was incorruptable, though he was often
poor enough; therefore I leave him out of the discussion. But think of
the possibility of the transaction! Janin, years before, had written
bitter things of Paganini--things I have declined to quote in this
memoir; but Janin must have been quite as bad as he asserted Paganini to
have been, if he was capable of this monstrous proposition. There are
two details to be considered, and the first is the date. In 1838, the
public career of Paganini was at an end. There was the wretched Casino
business, it is true, but there was no performance by Paganini. In the
second place, supposing for a moment that Berlioz could or would employ
his pen in disparagement of the great violinist, could he have written
anything more violent, more depreciatory, than critics had been writing
for the previous twenty years, criticisms which Paganini had survived,
and grown rich upon? Besides, if the Janin story be true, the Bertin
must be false. Where then is the authority for the former? In 1840,
Liszt wrote a memorial notice of Paganini. In it passing reference is
made to some deeds of benevolence. Lina Ramann, in her "Life of Liszt,"
of which the first part was published in 1880, prints this essay, and at
the point above mentioned adds a long foot note[39] giving the Janin
story, which she averred Liszt knew through Janin himself. That was a
safe story to reproduce, though it might have been contradicted by Liszt
if he ever saw the book. Now for the Bertin version. The authority
quoted for that is always Ferdinand Hiller. In 1868, Hiller published
his work "On the Musical Life of our Time," in which he relates some
gossiping with Rossini, in 1856. The conversation turned upon Paganini
on one occasion, and Hiller asked about the kingly gift to Berlioz.
Rossini replied that all Paris knew it, and he must needs believe it,
but at bottom he held the thing impossible. Nothing more definite is
there recorded. In 1871, Hiller published a new series of similar papers
or essays, but of this work I know nothing. Rossini was a raconteur, and
fond of saying good things. There is no reason to doubt the good faith
of Ferdinand Hiller; he set down what Rossini said, which, after all,
was only the expression of a doubt. This reticence was perhaps owing to
the fact that Berlioz was still living. But how was Rossini likely to
know the facts of the case? He went to Italy in 1836, and returned to
Paris about the end of May, 1855; consequently he knew nothing of the
alleged gift at the time, and as Armand Bertin died in 1854, Rossini
could not have heard the story from him. So far, one would be justified
in attaching little credence to Hiller's gossip with Rossini.

But there was a sequel. Rossini died in November, 1868, and Berlioz
passed away in March, 1869. His Autobiography was published in 1870,
with the Paganini incident as it has already been related. To the last,
Berlioz believed that the money came from Paganini. In 1880, Hiller
published a work entitled "Künstlerleben," in which a chapter was
devoted to Berlioz. Again reference is made to the princely gift,
incredible from so mean a man as Paganini. "Rossini gave me the key to
this enigma," writes Hiller, "and I do not hesitate to communicate the
same, as it can no longer be unpleasant to anyone concerned in the
matter." He then goes on to say that Paganini consented to be the agent
of Armand Bertin, who really found the money. "Are you sure that this
was true?" asked Hiller; "I _know_ it," replied Rossini, seriously.
Hiller then states his conviction that Rossini's account must be
correct.[40] Now was this the outcome of a subsequent conversation with
Rossini, or an amplification of the "gossip" at Trouville? Hiller is
candid enough to say that some may doubt, and I should confess to being
among the doubters if his evidence was the sole support of the story.

But in 1896, appeared the evidence of one whose testimony was
unimpeachable. The late Sir Charles Hallé went to Paris in 1836, when a
youth of seventeen. In 1838, he was introduced to Paganini, was invited
to visit him, and often played to him; and, once, nearly heard Paganini
play! An extract from Hallé's "Autobiography" will show what he thought
of the great violinist: "From my earliest childhood I had heard of
Paganini and his art as of something supernatural, and there I actually
sat opposite to the man himself, but only looking at the hands that had
created such wonders. On one never-to-be-forgotten occasion, after I had
played and we had enjoyed a long silence, Paganini rose and approached
his violin case. What then passed in me can hardly be imagined; I was
all in a tremble, and my heart thumped as if it would burst my chest; in
fact, no young swain going to the first rendezvous with his beloved
could possible feel more violent emotions. Paganini opened the case,
took the violin out, and began to tune it carefully with his fingers
without using the bow; my agitation became almost intolerable. When he
was satisfied, and I said to myself, with a lump in my throat, 'Now,
now, he'll take the bow!' he carefully put the violin back and shut the
case. And this is how I heard Paganini." Hallé also became acquainted
with Berlioz and acquaintance ripened into a close friendship. He saw
the change worked in Berlioz through the Paganini incident; how his
courage was strengthened, and from a morose, he became a cheerful
companion. Then he divulges what had been a life-secret: "Armand Bertin,
the wealthy and distinguished proprietor of the _Journal des Débats_,
had a high regard for Berlioz and knew of all his struggles, which he,
Bertin, was anxious to lighten. He resolved therefore to make him a
present of 20,000 fr., and in order to enhance the moral effect of this
gift he persuaded Paganini to appear as the donor of the money. How well
Bertin had judged was proved immediately; what would have been a simple
_gracieuseté_ from a rich and powerful editor towards one of his staff
became a significant tribute from one genius to another, and had a
colossal _retentissement_. The secret was well kept and never divulged
to Berlioz. It was known, I believe, to but two of Bertin's friends
besides myself, one of whom is (Victor) Mottez, the celebrated painter;
I learned it about seven years later when I had become an intimate
friend of the house, and Madame Armand Bertin had been for years one of
my best pupils."[41] This must be accepted as a true statement of the
case, but it proves no more than that Paganini became a party to a
benevolent conspiracy; he never boasted of the gift, nor claimed any
credit for it. Even when Berlioz, relieved of his financial troubles,
set to work with a light heart at the composition which was to be worthy
of dedication to the illustrious artist to whom he owed so much (his own
words), even when he wrote to Paganini about a subject, all the answer
he could get was: "I can give you no advice." He chose Shakespeare's
"Romeo and Juliet" as a theme, worked at it for seven months, and
produced a masterpiece. Paganini inspired him, but never heard the work
"undertaken chiefly to please him."

To Paganini the world owes still more. It has been already stated that
Paganini's playing when in Paris in 1831 exerted an extraordinary
influence over Franz Liszt, and gave the direction to his genius. I use
the word "genius" advisedly, believing that Liszt is one of that sacred
band to whom the term belongs of right. This is not the place to discuss
the position Liszt occupies among composers; nor is this country yet
qualified properly to judge him. Wagner, Schumann and Chopin have passed
the ordeal; from persecution they have arrived at deification, so to
speak, and even their faults are regarded as merits. But prejudice dies
hard, and Liszt has yet to suffer. His earnest disciple Walter Bache
sacrificed time and means in his Liszt propaganda, but with scant
success. My point here is to try and show that Paganini, despite all
shortcomings as a man and as an artist, had a mission--whether he knew
it or not--and fulfilled it through others.

Beethoven's pianoforte playing, and pianoforte compositions, led makers
of that instrument to extend its compass; Liszt led the way to a new
system for the pianoforte, with effects hitherto undreamt of, and the
impulse came from Paganini. No other instance is on record of an
instrument like the violin absolutely revolutionising the treatment of
the pianoforte. I have already referred to Liszt in Paris, how,
depressed and suffering, he withdrew from art and buried himself in
solitude. The revolution of 1830 aroused him, but it was Paganini who
rekindled the flame of art. Here I must have recourse to Lina Ramann's
"Franz Liszt."

Liszt went to hear Paganini: "Charmed, stunned, yet seeing clearly at
the same time, he could have cried out for sorrow and exultation. This
playing! it was the vision of his soul, after which he had sought and
grasped and yet could never find or seize. Now here he felt it realised
before him. With kindling power it seized his artistic will. Until then
Liszt had groped and sought without any conscious aim; following the
hidden impulse of his spirit, he had given place to all kinds of
whims.... Now, all at once, he was led by Paganini into fixed paths and
the lost thread of his development was found again. By Paganini's
playing the veil had been torn away which lay between him and his
artistic will.... Paganini's playing had fanned the Promethean spark of
his genius to a brilliant flame. That for which the poets of the time
strove in their literary productions--freedom of form and of subject--he
saw here in the domain of reproducing music. With all this the serious
defects and onesidedness of the great violinist's capabilities and
genius did not escape the youthful pianist. He measured him by the
ideals of artistic culture which shone before his own eyes....
He recognised plainly the limits of the influence which Paganini
exercised over him, and saw how human was the mission of the artist--a
consciousness was awakened that _artistic culture is inseparable from
human sympathies, that only a great man can become a great artist_. This
conviction drew from his lips the proud but noble words 'Génie
oblige.'[42] With indescribable eagerness, and at the same time with
exulting triumph, Liszt, after having heard Paganini, turned again to
his instrument. He was seldom seen; in public, as a pianist, never. His
mother alone was the silent witness of his perseverance and restless
working. As Wieland, he hammered at his piano. He, who, already as a
boy, had climbed the Parnassus of study, now sat at the instrument often
six hours a day and practised; yes, he exercised the language of his
spirit, and created for it an organ of expression." The author then
goes on to describe the new ideas that came to Liszt when studying
the Twenty-four Capricii of Paganini, and how he discovered new
combinations, and also that the hand of the pianist had yet much to
learn. "With this perception a bridge was built to new technical
triumphs in the art of pianoforte playing.... On the one hand he
increased the beauty and breadth of sound of this instrument in a
marvellous degree, while on the other, he gave at the same time a fatal
blow to the modern pianoforte music of his day. This was the new
discovery which Liszt made through Paganini, and on the foundation of
which he has created an extension of the arena of sound.... Thus
Paganini's capriccios gave Liszt the first impulse towards the modern
system for the pianoforte, and at the same time prompted him to enter on
the territory till then unknown of transferring effects."[43]

What the influence of Liszt has been, is beyond the present purpose to
inquire. But, blot out Paganini and every note he has written, and he
reappears in the art work of at least one great French composer, and in
that of the greatest pianist the world has yet seen--one to whom the
high compliment has been paid in the epithet--"The Paganini of the


[37] Little is now known of this artist. He married Veronica, sister of
the pianist and composer J. L. Dussek, and was the father of Pio
Cianchettini, composer, who died at Cheltenham in 1851.

[38] Berlioz was then thirty-five, Paganini, fifty-six years of age.

[39] Aus dem Tonleben unserer Zeit, Vol. II., p. 55.

[40] Künstlerleben, p. 88.

[41] Life and Letters of Sir Charles Hallé, p. 69.

[42] The last words of Liszt's article "Sur Paganini, A Propos de Sa
Mort," published in the "Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris," December
23, 1840.

[43] Franz Liszt, Artist and Man, Vol. I., pp. 258-65.


Is it worth while at this distance of time to refer to the actual
playing of Paganini? Can one recall "the touch of a vanished hand?" This
memoir would not be complete without some account of Paganini's art
beyond that given in the story of his life. Here I do not venture to
write as a violin expert, and I shall only quote from Guhr's "On
Paganini's Art of Playing the Violin"--which is presumably still
accessible to students--in so far as it may be serviceable to the
general reader. Leaving æsthetic, and higher considerations generally,
out of count for the moment and limiting our attention to matters
technical, we find much that was absolutely new. As regards mere
extravagance and eccentricity of execution, Paganini was surpassed by
Locatelli. We have to take into consideration the concert-pitch in use
at the time of Paganini's public career. That, I take it, corresponded
very closely with the Diapason normal now coming into general use.
Paganini employed thin strings, and, for purposes to be named presently,
often tuned his violin a semitone higher than the pitch of the band
which accompanied him--equivalent to the English pitch, or high pitch
still in use in some places. These thin strings served another
purpose--the easy production of harmonics. If there was one thing more
novel than any other in Paganini's playing it was the introduction of
harmonics, melodies, double notes, and double shakes in harmonics. The
natural harmonics were of course known to all violinists, but the
artificial harmonics, if not the invention of Paganini, were first
employed by him as integral features of his compositions as well as of
his performances. Then there was his particular kind of _staccato_,
produced by throwing his bow forcibly on the string, "letting it spring
while he runs through the scales with incredible rapidity, the tones
rolling like pearls" (Guhr). The Rev. Dr. Fox said the bow seemed to act
with the elasticity of a spring fixed at one end, and made to vibrate.
The combination of bowing, with _pizzicato_ by the left hand, if not
new, was employed by Paganini to a degree never attempted before.
Lastly, there was his wonderful performance on the fourth string, which
he tuned up to B flat, and sometimes even a semitone higher. Much of his
use of these devices is put down as clap-trap, yet since his day many
violinists have employed the same means, if they have not achieved the
same result.

[Illustration: PLATE 18. (_See Appendix._)]

[Illustration: PLATE 19. (_See Appendix._)]

[Illustration: PLATE 20. (_See Appendix._)]

[Illustration: PLATE 21. (_See Appendix._)]

[Illustration: PLATE 22. (_See Appendix._)]

Let us consider, for a moment, the performances on the G string. It is
certain that Paganini was not the originator of that manner of playing,
for Leopold Mozart wrote of Esser[44] as playing on the G string alone
with the greatest ease. Compositions for a single string were also
written before Paganini's day, for Friedrich Wilhelm Rust (1739-1796)
composed a violin sonata for the E string. But Paganini made such a
feature of this species of performance because it pleased the public,
and, in giving the audiences that which they preferred rather than that
which his artistic conscience should have prompted, he became the pupil
of his age, and fell from his high estate. On the other hand, he may be
said to have discovered the powers of the fourth string, to which, by
the employment of harmonics, he gave a compass of three octaves. He was
censured for his partiality in this direction, but in these days every
violinist plays a solo on the G string. Is not Bach's "Aria" played
everywhere as a fourth string solo? Yet, as musicians know, it was not
written for that string, nor as a solo, forming, as it does, the theme
of the slow movement of the "Overture in D," for strings, two oboes,
three trumpets, and drums. Moreover, in Mozart's Violin Concerto in E
flat, No. 6, composed in 1766, there is in the slow movement, an
eight-bar period for the G string, and also one of the same length in
the Finale. In Beethoven's Violin Concerto the principal theme of the
Rondo is assigned to the G string, and also when it recurs after the
second subject. This work was composed in 1806, a short time after
Paganini wrote his "Napoleon Sonata," but was heard in public years
before Paganini's was so performed. These two compositions are mentioned
merely to show that the charm of the fourth string was not unknown in
early days; to refer to later works would be superfluous.

Now, as to Paganini's tuning his instrument a semitone higher than the
ordinary pitch. It will be conceded that the different keys have
distinctive qualities, to which some musicians are more sensitive than
others. Some term it key-colour: I prefer the expression key-character.
On the violin some keys are more sonorous than others. The effect may be
partly mental, and I believe--though I may be wrong--that a violinist
plays with a different feeling in the key of E, to that which would be
excited by the key of E flat, and this apart from the æsthetic import of
the composition itself.[45] In many concertos the chorus violins--if I
may so call them--sometimes play the same notes with the soloist, and so
absorb the tone of the latter that the listener can only hear the mass
of violin tone. It is on record that Paganini was never overpowered by
the _tutti_ in any of the pieces he played, though some writers say his
tone was not remarkable for volume. The explanation may be found in what
follows. Paganini had an almost morbidly keen musical organisation, an
acute sense of hearing, in which he resembled Mozart and Berlioz.
Paganini wrote the solo part of his first concerto in D (tuning his
violin a semitone higher), and the orchestral parts in E flat. Why? Not
because D was an easier key to play in, nor because some passages if
viewed as in E flat were marvels of execution; but because he felt the
difference in the "power" of the two keys. Mozart's Concertante for
violin and viola, with orchestra, is in E flat, but the viola part is in
D, and the instrument was to be tuned a semitone higher. This was done
"both to give it a clear sound and to make the execution easier."[46]
Mozart's piece was probably written in 1780, so here is one of the
expedients ascribed to Paganini as a trick made use of by a great master
before the famous violinist was born. Berlioz never heard Paganini play,
but he was the first among his contemporaries to understand and
appreciate Paganini's intention in this respect. In his _Soirées de
l'Orchestre_ he wrote: "He (Paganini) has known how to render distinct
and dominating the tones of a solo violin by tuning its four strings a
semitone above those of the orchestra; which enabled him to play in the
brilliant keys of D and A, while the orchestra accompanied him in the
less sonorous keys of E flat and B flat." Berlioz knew, if any one did,
what was the distinctive character of a key. It is highly improbable
that either he or Paganini ever heard, or even knew anything of Mozart's
"Concertante" just mentioned. So much by way of clearing Paganini from
the charge of charlatanry. Artistic faults and failings he had, and
these no attempt has been made to conceal; but every succeeding
generation of violinists has been deeply indebted to the great Genoese
for opening up new possibilities, by the way in which he advanced the
character and power of the violin. Leaving now the technical side of his
art, let us hear what his great contemporaries have to say of his
playing from the æsthetic standpoint. We need not refer again to Lafont
and Lipinski, but will begin with Spohr. It has been mentioned that
Spohr met Paganini at Venice, in 1816. Spohr wished to hear the great
Italian play something, but the latter declined. He afterwards
explained to Spohr that his style of playing was calculated for the
great public only; and that if he were to play to Spohr he must play in
a different manner, for which he was not then inclined. So it was not
until 1830 that Spohr heard Paganini at Cassel. This is what he wrote:
"In June, 1830, Paganini came to Cassel and gave two concerts in the
theatre, which I heard with great interest. His left hand, and his
constantly pure intonation were to me astonishing. But in his
compositions and his execution, I found a strange mixture of the highly
genial and childishly tasteless, by which one felt alternately charmed
and disappointed, so that the impression left as a whole was, after
frequent hearing, by no means satisfactory to me." Paganini was playing
to his "great public," and in that respect lost Spohr's esteem; but can
a great violinist, of strong personality, be perfectly just to a
contemporary of a different temperament? Schumann, as a composer, could
look upon Paganini from a different point of view. This is what he says:
"When I heard him for the first time, I expected him to begin with a
tone such as had never been heard before. But with how small, how thin a
tone he commenced! Then he began to weave his spells; invisibly he threw
out his magnetic chains among the public; they oscillated above and
around. And then the rings became more and more intricate; even
the audience seemed to contract, while he interlaced his tones
until they seemed melted into one--one with the master himself, all
counterbalancing each other with sympathetic influence." This is not
criticism; it is scarcely description: it is as fanciful as Heinrich
Heine's description, but it is a proof of the great violinist's power to
touch the imagination. Ignaz Moscheles, a virtuoso pianist, complains
of his utter inability to find language capable of conveying a
description of Paganini's wonderful performance. "Had that long-drawn,
soul-searching tone lost for a single second its balance, it would have
lapsed into a discordant cat's-mew; but it never did so, and Paganini's
tone was always his own, and unique of its kind. The thin strings of his
instrument--on which alone it was possible to conjure forth those
myriads of notes and thrills and cadenzas would have been fatal in the
hands of any other violin player, but with him they were indispensable
adjuncts." Again: "Nothing could exceed my surprise and admiration; his
constant and venturesome flights, his newly discovered source of
flageolet tones, his gift of fusing and beautifying subjects of the most
heterogeneous kind; all these phases of genius so completely bewildered
my musical perceptions, that for several days afterwards my head seemed
on fire and my brain reeled. I never wearied of the intense expression,
soft and melting like that of an Italian singer, which he could draw
from his violin." Yet, later, Moscheles had to say: "I find both his
style and manner of playing monotonous." Liszt, many years later said:
"No one who has not heard him can form the least idea of his playing."
Paganini indeed could soar to the Empyrean, but he had not the Peri's
pure gift which would open the gate of Paradise!

[Illustration: PLATE 23. (_See Appendix._)]

François Joseph Fétis, who befriended Paganini when first he visited
Paris, certainly held no brief for the celebrated artist, but rather
presided over him as judge. He stated that the art of Paganini was an
art apart, which was born with him, and of which he carried the secret
to the grave. He further stated that Paganini often assured him that his
talent was the result of a secret discovered by himself, a secret he
intended to reveal, before his death, in a method for the violin, which
should have but few pages, but which should throw all violinists into
confusion. Fétis questions the existence of the secret, and thinks the
great artist was labouring under a delusion. Yet he has to acknowledge
that there was something extraordinary and mysterious in the power that
Paganini possessed in the execution of unheard of difficulties in an
infallible manner. His intonation was always perfect.[47]

William Gardiner, the Leicester amateur, who became acquainted with
Paganini, wrote: "There was no trick in his playing; it was all fair,
scientific execution, opening to us a new order of sounds, the highest
of which ascended two octaves above C in alt."

An Italian physician, Francesco Bennati,[48] made a physiological study
of Paganini, accounting for his wonderful executive powers as due not so
much to his musical genius as to his peculiar physical formation. In
particular, the flexibility of his wrist, and the great lateral
extension of his finger joints, enabled him to execute passages
impossible to others. But there must have been something beyond
technique. I have heard many persons, professional and amateur, speak of
his playing as something beyond conception, not only in regard to
execution, but in the power of swaying an audience, playing upon their
emotions; the whole man was an instrument. No other artist was so widely
quoted by his contemporaries. Mendelssohn, Chopin, and others make
reference to Paganini whenever anything wonderful is spoken of. Chopin
was a great admirer of Slavik, and considered him only second to
Paganini. Every volume of reminiscences down to the present day includes
the name of Paganini, if only to relate that somebody once heard him
play. But not only musicians, poets also sang his praises. Is there
anything more beautiful than the tribute paid him by Leigh Hunt? A few
lines may be quoted:

    So played of late to every passing thought
    With finest change (might I but half as well
    So write!) the pale magician of the bow,
    Who brought from Italy the tales made true,
    Of Grecian lyres, and on his sphery hand,
    Loading the air with dumb expectancy,
    Suspended, ere it fell, a nation's breath.

    He smote--and clinging to the serious chords
    With godlike ravishment, drew forth a breath,
    So deep, so strong, so fervid thick with love,
    Blissful, yet laden as with twenty prayers,
    That Juno yearn'd with no diviner soul
    To the first burthen of the lips of Jove.
    The exceeding mystery of the loveliness
    Sadden'd delight; and with his mournful look,
    Dreary and gaunt, hanging his pallid face
    'Twixt his dark and flowing locks, he almost seem'd,
    To feeble or to melancholy eyes,
    One that had parted with his soul for pride,
    And in the sable secret liv'd forlorn.

    But true and earnest, all too happily
    That skill dwelt in him, serious with its joy;
    For noble now he smote the exulting strings,
    And bade them march before his stately will;
    And now he lov'd them like a cheek, and laid
    Endearment on them, and took pity sweet;
    And now he was all mirth, or all for sense
    And reason, carving out his thoughts like prose
    After his poetry; or else he laid
    His own soul prostrate at the feet of love,
    And with a full and trembling fervour deep,
    In kneeling and close-creeping urgency,
    Implored some mistress with hot tears; which past,
    And after patience had brought right of peace,
    He drew as if from thoughts finer than hope
    Comfort around him in ear-soothing strains
    And elegant composure; or he turn'd
    To heaven instead of earth, and raise a prayer
    So earnest-vehement, yet so lowly sad,
    Mighty with want and all poor human tears,
    That never saint, wrestling with earthly love,
    And in mid-age unable to get free,
    Tore down from heaven such pity.

It was urged against Paganini as a fault, that he rarely played any
other music than his own. Paganini was one of the latter-day examples of
the virtuoso and the composer represented by one and the same person.
From the days of Handel to the time of Beethoven, the composer was his
own interpreter, and never gave concerts with compositions by others.
But Paganini did at times play concertos by Rode and Kreutzer, though
it was said that in these he was less successful than in his own. The
Rev. Dr. Cox heard Paganini play the first movement of Beethoven's
Concerto--in fact it was performed for his special edification. This is
what he said of it: "Never shall I forget the smile on that sad, pale,
wan, and haggard face, upon every lineament of which intense pain was
written in the deepest lines, when I caught his eye, or the playing,
into which a spirit and sympathy were thrown that carried one wholly
away. As soon as he had concluded, and before I could rush up to him to
express my thanks, he glided away. I never saw him afterwards." It was
also stated that Paganini failed as a quartet player. His strong
individuality might have been an obstacle in the way of securing the
perfect unanimity of feeling and expression that characterise fine
quartet playing; but to imply that he could not perform the music was
absurd. As an executant, pure and simple, Paganini never had, and
possibly never may have, a compeer.

But the question remains: did Paganini's playing result in any permanent
benefit to the art? Had he a permanent influence, and if so, was it for
good? To take a material aspect, it was owing to Paganini that the fame
of Joseph Guarnerius was published beyond Italy. "The names of Amati and
Stradivarius became familiar to the musical world gradually, but
Guarnerius, in the hands of a Paganini, came forth at a bound. This
illustrious violin was often credited with the charm which belonged to
the performer; the magical effects and sublime strains that he drew
forth from it, must, it was thought, rest in the violin. Every would-be
violinist, whose means permitted him to indulge in the luxury,
endeavoured to secure an instrument by the great Guarnerius. The demand
thus raised brought forth those gems of the violin maker's art now in
the possession of wealthy amateurs and a few professors. When the
various works of the gifted Guarnerius were brought to light, much
surprise was felt that such treasures should have been known only to a
handful of obscure players, chiefly in the churches of Italy."[49]

[Illustration: _Plate XXIV.--See Appendix._


It has been shown that Paganini's performances caused a revolution in
the style of composition and execution in pianoforte music, as
exemplified in the works of Liszt. But did violin playing benefit? As
Paganini belonged to no school, so he founded no school. He had his
imitators, but he had few pupils, and no absolute successor. Camillo
Sivori is generally put forth as his only pupil. I have heard that great
artist, but--I say it with diffidence--I could never consider him the
equal of what I imagined Paganini to have been. According to William
Gardiner, Paganini was accompanied by Antonio Oury when he first went to
London. It was Oury who introduced Gardiner to Paganini, and the former
stated that Oury was Paganini's favourite pupil.[50] Then the Chevalier
Robbio, who appeared at Jullien's concerts at Drury Lane Theatre in
1854, claimed to have been a pupil of Paganini. Acknowledged pupils were
Teresa Ottavio, who was playing in Vienna, in 1835, and Mlle. Neumann,
who gave concerts in Venice and elsewhere, in 1838. But all these were
of small account. The question remains. Did Paganini influence the art
of violin playing, and in what direction? Let a very recent writer
contribute an answer. "We would not miss this greatest of fiddlers in
the annals of violin playing--no, not for a Spohr or any other great
modern violin master; but his influence can hardly be called beneficial.
It forced violin playing into a Procrustean bed unsuited to its true
nature and mission. Paganini had temporarily transformed the angel into
a devil, and the angel did not escape unscathed--Lucifer burned his
wings. Violin-playing will never be quite what it was before Paganini.
He helped to hurry the growing old process--brought out the lines, the
spots, and the wrinkles on the once fair face. He, before all others,
established the iron rule of technique, with its train of other evils,
in the place of the gentler reign of charming naiveté of the elder
master."[51] There is truth here, and cause for sadness; but can the
hand of time be turned back, and music regain the artless joy of the
seventeenth century, when technique was unknown? Paganini, after all,
was only one of the forces that effected the revolution that produced
the music of the last half of the nineteenth century. It is not too much
to say that the technique of the modern orchestra, in regard to the
string section, is due to Paganini. Compare the scores of the classical
composers with those of the most modern writers, and see what an
enormous difference there is in the work for the strings--from the
violins to the double-basses. The orchestral player of to-day is a
virtuoso. For good or evil, music has entered upon a phase that has
raised executive skill to a pinnacle never attained before: and this it
owes to Paganini: may it be the prelude to higher achievements in the
spiritual domain of art!


[44] Karl Michael Esser, born about 1736, date of death unknown.

[45] In the Tonic Sol-fa method great stress is laid upon the mental
effect of each note of the scale, altogether apart from pitch.

[46] Life of Mozart, Otto Jhan, English Edition, I., 319.

[47] In 1883, several musical papers stated that a certain amateur
collector of violins, during a tour in Italy, visited the little
Sardinian village, Ameglia, and purchased a collection of instruments
used by Paganini, which were at that time in the possession of the widow
of L. M. Germi, the intimate friend of Paganini. The said amateur also
became possessed of "the secret," but what he did with it has never

[48] Born at Mantua, 1798; died at Paris, 1834.

[49] "The Violin," by George Hart. Popular Edition, 1880, p. 202.

[50] It is strange that the Biographical Dictionaries are silent
concerning Oury, who must have been a man of some note. He is merely
named as the husband of Anna Caroline de Belleville, the once famous
pianist (1806-1880), who made her début in London at a Paganini concert
in 1831.

[51] The Story of the Violin by Paul Stoeving, p. 208.


There remains the consideration of Paganini as a composer. It is a
truism to say that a composition has primarily to be judged from the
standpoint of the age in which it was written. A Genius, we are told, is
not only before his own age, but before all ages. All the same, the
great Geniuses come into the world precisely at the right moment. To
some music one may fitly apply the epithet "Immortal"; for it seems to
be written, "not for an age, but for all time." That title is not
claimed for the music of Paganini, but, in view of what has been written
for the violin, it is necessary to take into consideration the date of
Paganini's compositions. Take the two greatest surviving forms--the
symphony and the concerto--and compare works in those forms, belonging
to different periods. Mendelssohn and Schumann were innovators, so it
was said, in regard to symphonic form. Both wrote symphonies of which
the movements were connected, and Schumann by the recurrence of themes
anticipated the "organic whole" of the symphonic poem. But in 1776, Carl
Philipp Emanuel Bach composed symphonies in the modern one-movement
style. This is not the time to discuss them, but just taking the first,
in D, I may point to the coda of the opening movement, which effects a
modulation to E flat, the key of the slow movement. In this the subject
enters, for the second time, in B flat; and a deceptive cadence is
followed by a passage ending on the dominant of D, and so returning to
the primary key for the last movement. The score is for flutes, oboes,
one bassoon, horns, first and second violins, viola, violoncello,
violone, and cembalo. Now, here is a work quite modern in its disregard
of key relationship, and in the linking together of the different
movements. Yet it would not be right to judge it by comparison with the
symphonies of the last half century.

With regard to the concerto, take that form for the violin only. To go
no further back than the works of the great Leipzig Cantor, Johann
Sebastian Bach, we find his two concertos, in A minor, and E major, are
scored only for strings, though the "continuo" implies the harpsichord.
The concerto in D minor for two violins is scored in the same manner;
and in all there is evidence that the soloist took part in the _tutti_
sections. Then there is the Symphony movement, from an unknown church
cantata, for violin concertante, with accompaniment of two oboes, three
trumpets, drums, two violins, viola and continuo. In all these the basic
principle is the contrasting of the _tutti_ and _solo_ sections, which
sustain a kind of dialogue. Much the same form is observed in Mozart's
violin concertos, which, with one exception, are scored for oboes, horns
and strings. The exception is the sixth, in E flat, which is scored for
one flute, two oboes, bassoons, and horns. In this the form approaches
that of the sonata, though the _tutti_ and _solo_ contrasts still
remain, and evidently the soloist played in the _tutti_ sections. To
Viotti, born in 1753, three years before Mozart, must be assigned the
honour of giving the violin concerto its fullest classical form. His
orchestral background was rich in colour, he having adopted the complete
Haydn Combination; and his solo parts were of prime importance.
Beethoven's concerto (1806), and Mendelssohn's (finished in 1844),
employ the same orchestra. Beethoven links the slow movement to the
Finale, and Mendelssohn connects the whole. The latest concerto form is
in part a reversion to the earliest type. The solo part is but a more
elaborate line in the orchestral column, and the soloist is scarcely
distinguishable from his orchestral colleagues.

In view of the question I wish to raise, I hope the reader will pardon
this digression. Paganini sometimes played pieces by Kreutzer and Rode,
but I have not been able to find evidence of his acquaintance with the
concertos of Viotti. The reason may not be far to seek. Paganini
remained in Italy until 1828; Viotti, born in Italy, left his country,
and only once returned to it--in 1783, and that for a very short time.
His long residence in Paris led to his being identified with the French
School of violinists. His works were played by other performers during
his life-time, but it is questionable whether they were known to
Paganini. What I want to ask is simply this:--upon what work, or whose
work, was Paganini's first concerto modelled? It was written in 1811,
according to the _Musical World_ (Vol. for 1851, p. 822), or in 1820
according to the "Oxford History of Music" (Vol. VI., p. 225). The form
of the work will be dealt with later; here the question is one of
instrumentation. Berlioz wrote: "It was said of Weber, 'He is a meteor!'
With equal justice it may be said of Paganini, 'He is a comet!'" I would
paraphrase Berlioz and say Paganini's First Concerto came upon the world
as a comet--a comet with a most portentous tail! Paganini was the
Richard Strauss of his day. Fancy, in the scoring of a concerto,
trombones, double-bassoon, cymbals, and bass-drum! and that in the year
1811, possibly. Why, it only requires a few more horns and trumpets,
some tubas, a rattle and other percussion instruments, to come up to the
latest twentieth century scoring. But a truce to badinage. A big score,
of itself, is not necessarily a thing to be praised; however, Paganini's
full scoring never obscured the solo part, and that is more than can be
said of some violin concertos of later date. I do not pretend to a
knowledge of the whole of the literature for the violin, but I have
heard much of it; yet I can recall no violin concerto going beyond the
orchestral resources adopted by Beethoven in his work, of earlier date
than Paganini's first concerto. I have further to confess that I have
never seen an original score of any of Paganini's works, but I have
written out a score from what I believe to be authentic band parts. I
have heard the First Concerto, "reduced to one act," with the exordium
cut out; and however much such a rendering may be in accordance with
modern taste, I can only regard it as unjust to the composer. In the
present day Paganini's music is looked upon with pity not far removed
from scorn; how did his contemporaries esteem it?

Rossini is reported to have said: "Truly, it is fortunate that Paganini
did not devote himself exclusively to lyric composition; he would have
become a very dangerous rival."[52] Moscheles wrote: "His concertos are
beautiful, and have even their grand moments; but they remind me of a
brilliant firework on a summer's eve, one flash succeeding the
other--effective, admirable--but always the same. His 'Sonate
Militaire,' and other pieces, have a southern glow about them, but this
hero of the violin cannot dispense with the roll of the drum; and
completely as he may annihilate his less showy colleagues, I long for a
little of Spohr's earnestness, Baillot's power, and even Mayseder's

Very little was said of Paganini's compositions--I mean by way of
description, orchestration, or even criticism--when the composer was in
England. The writers seemed always engrossed and absorbed by the
performance and personality of the man.

Schumann repeats what was said of Paganini; that he, himself, rated his
merit as a composer more highly than his talent as a _virtuoso_. We know
that Rubinstein desired to have his name handed down to posterity as a
composer rather than as a pianist. The fates have been unkind to both.
To return to Schumann. He remarks that "if general opinion has not,
until now, agreed with him (Paganini), it must at least be allowed
that his compositions contain many pure and precious qualities,
worthy of being firmly fixed in the richer setting required by the
pianoforte." This of course referred to the caprices, Op. 1, but the
observation is a curious illustration of the way in which individual
minds regard things from their own standpoint.

Paganini's music appealed to Liszt as a means of creating a new school
of pianoforte technique, as well as composition; very little can be
gleaned from Liszt as to his æsthetic views regarding it. Fétis says
great worth is revealed in the compositions of Paganini, as much by the
novelty of the ideas as by the elegance of the form, the richness of the
harmony, and the effects of the instrumentation. These qualities shine
above all in the concertos; but, he adds, these works require the magic
of his talent to produce the effect he intended. Berlioz was, perhaps,
the most appreciative of Paganini's contemporaries. In his _Soirées de
l'Orchestre_ he says: "A volume might be written in telling all
that Paganini has created in his works of novel effect, ingenious
contrivances, noble and grandiose forms, and orchestral combinations
unknown before his time. His melodies are broad Italian melodies, but
full of a passionate ardour seldom found in the best pages of dramatic
composers of his country. His harmonics are always clear, simple, and of
extraordinary sonorousness. His orchestration is brilliant and
energetic, without being noisy. He often introduces the bass drum into
his _tutti_ with unusual intelligence."

During Paganini's lifetime no one else seems to have played his music,
although one of his imitators is said to have reproduced some pieces
from memory. After Paganini's death, the propagandist of his works was
his nephew and pupil, Ernesto Camillo Sivori. He made his début at the
Leipzig Gewandhaus Concerts, October 3, 1841, and a week later
introduced there Paganini's Variations on the Prayer from _Mosé in
Egitto_. In all, some dozen pieces by Paganini were given at those
famous concerts from 1841 to 1876. Sivori also introduced Paganini to
the then very conservative concerts of the Philharmonic Society, London,
in 1844. But they did strange things in those days. The first movement
of the Concerto in B minor was included in the first part of the concert
on April 29, 1844; the Adagio and Rondo coming in the middle of the
second part! Poor Sivori had to submit to similar treatment of his own
concerto at the Society's concerts in 1845. It would be interesting
to know how Paganini's music fared at the concerts of the Paris
Conservatoire, but I have not been able to procure any reliable data
relating to the subject.

Rumour was long busy with the project entertained by Paganini's son, the
Baron Achilles, of publishing a complete edition of the compositions of
the great violinist; and in 1887 a paragraph in the _Athenæum_ announced
on apparently good authority that the Baron was preparing for immediate
publication the whole of the works of his father which still remained in
manuscript. Several of those were named, but nothing more has been heard
of the undertaking. I have scrutinised the musical press from that date
to the present time, and have failed to gather any further information
on the subject.

From every available source I have compiled the following list of
Paganini's compositions:--

     Op. 1. Twenty-four Capriccios, for violin alone.

     Op. 2. Six Sonatas, for violin and guitar.

     Op. 3. Six Sonatas, for violin and guitar.

     Op. 4. Three Grand Quartets, for violin, viola, violoncello and

     Op. 5. Three Grand Quartets, for the same.

     Op. 6. Concerto, No. 1, in E flat (D), for violin and orchestra.

     Op. 7. Concerto, No. 2, in B minor, for the same.

     Op. 8. "Le Streghe." Introduction and Variations.

     Op. 9. "God Save the King." Variations.

     Op. 10. "Carnaval de Venise." Variations.

     Op. 11. "Allegro de Concert." "Moto Perpetuo."

     Op. 12. "Non più mesta." Introduction and Variations.

     Op. 13. "Di tanti palpiti." Introduction and Variations.

     _All for violin and orchestra._

     Op. 14. Sixty Studies in Variation form, on the Air "Barucaba," for
     violin alone.

_Works without Opus number._

     Sonata in A, for violin, with accompaniment of violin and

     Bravura Variations on a theme from Rossini's "Moses in Egypt," for
     violin and string quartet, or pianoforte.

     Bravura Variations on an Original Theme, for violin and guitar, or

     Introduction and Variations on the Theme, "Nel cor più non mi
     sento," for violin alone.

     Duo in C major, for one violin. Solo.

     Recitative and Variations, on Three Airs, for the fourth string.

     "Le Charme de Padua," Divertissement, for violin and pianoforte.

_Works that are unpublished, or that have been lost._

     Concertos in D minor, E minor, E major.

     Concerto in two movements. Violin and orchestra.

     Four Concertos, the scoring unfinished.

     Concerto, for bassoon, with string trio accompaniment.

     Nine Quartets, for violin, viola, violoncello and guitar.

     Fantasia. Violin and orchestra.

     Dramatic Sonata, "The Storm," for the same.

     Military Sonata on Mozart's "Non più andrai."

     Napoleon Sonata for the fourth string.

     Sonata on a Theme by Haydn. Ditto.

     Sonata di un Canto Appassionata, e variazioni sopra un Tema
     Marziale. Ditto.

     Sonata with variations on a Theme from Jos. Weigl's "L'Amor

     Sonata Amorosa Galante, e Tema con variazioni.

     Sonata for viola and orchestra.

     Sonata Sentimentale.

     Sonata, "Varsovie."

     Sonata for violin alone.

     Preludio e Rondo brilliant, violin and orchestra.

     Chant of the Monks of the Monastery of St. Bernard.

     "La Primavera," Sonata for violin alone.

     Preludio e Fandango, con Variazioni.

     "La ci darem la Mano," Variations.

     Cantabile, violin and pianoforte.

     Polonaise avec variations.

     Cantabile e Valse.

     Cantabile, for two strings.

     Three duos, violin and violoncello.

     Duets and small pieces for guitar.

     Variations sur un thème comique.

     "The Vagaries of a Farm Yard."

     Romance pour le Chant. Fantasie Vocale.


Op. 1. The full title reads:--_Ventiquattro Caprici per Violino solo,
dedicati agli artisti; Opera prima._ It is not necessary to refer to
these pieces in detail; they are in the repertory of the leading
violinists, and have been played by Joachim and many others. They
embrace almost every kind of violin technique, and have merits apart
from that standpoint. Schumann in his _Etudés d'apres les Caprices de
Paganini_, Op. 3, has transcribed for the pianoforte six numbers. They
are, No. 5, Agitato, in A minor, without the alteration of a single
note; No. 9, Allegretto in E, quite as closely; the Andante of No. 11,
in C; No. 13, Allegro, in B flat, beautifully harmonized; No. 19, Lento,
Allegro assai, in E flat, more freely treated; and No. 16, Presto, in G
minor, the melody assigned to the left hand, and written two octaves
lower. These studies were the result of Schumann's hearing Paganini at
Frankfort in 1830. The impression the great violinist made on the
susceptible youth was so deep, that Wasielewski stated that it was more
than probable Schumann's decision to devote himself to music dated from
that experience. So here is another debt the musical world owes to
Paganini. Schumann's Op. 3 bears the date of 1832. The next year he
returned to the Italian master, and his Six Studies, Op. 10, are further
transcriptions of the Capriccios. The first is a very free arrangement
of No. 12, Allegro molto, in A flat; next is a paraphrase of No. 6,
Adagio, in G minor, in which different figuration was absolutely
necessary for the keyboard instrument. In No. 10, Vivace, in G minor, he
divides the melody for the two hands, and accompanies with bold
harmonies. The transcription of No. 4, Maestoso, in C, is almost
literal, but there are "cuts," as also in No. 12. No. 2, Moderato, in B
minor, with its "leaps and bounds," is altered to bring the intervals
more within reach of the hand. The bare octaves which form the opening
of No. 3, have been filled in with rich harmonies, and to the Presto
movement a counterpoint in semiquavers has been added, making it a very
attractive piece of the Tocatta order. It will be remembered that one
short movement of Schumann's "Carnival" is entitled Paganini, but it is
a reflexion of his style rather than an adaptation of his music. Liszt
has borrowed much, in regard to form and melodic outline, from the
Capriccios, in his _Etudés d'exécution transcendante_. Of his _Grandes
Etudes de Paganini_ notice will be taken later. Brahms has written two
sets of variations on the theme of the Capriccio, No. 24, Quasi presto,
in A minor. These are extraordinarily difficult and brilliant. They were
published in 1866, and Carl Tausig was fond of playing them. Paganini's
Op. 1, was published by Ricordi about the year 1820.

Op. 2, and Op. 3. The house of Ricordi publish the Twelve Sonatas for
violin and guitar, and Breitkopf and Härtel publish an edition for
violin and pianoforte, edited by Ferdinand David. There is no clue as to
the arranger of the pianoforte part, but it may be the work of
Moscheles, who, it will be remembered, was induced "to make a pianoforte
accompaniment for twelve small violin pieces," but who refused to have
his name affixed to the title-page. Anyway, the pianoforte accompaniment
is the work of a good musician. The title page of Op. 2 runs thus: _Sei
Sonate per Violino e chitarra, Composte e Dedicate Al Signor Dellepiane,
Da Nicolo Paganini_. The pieces are sonatas in the primitive sense of
the term. Each contains two movements only. No. 1, Minuetto, Adagio in
A, three-four, the violin part in the nature of a florid _cadenza_ but
very clear in rhythm, the guitar accompaniment in semiquaver groups of
broken chords. Second movement, Polonese, Quasi allegro, A major,
three-four, tuneful, all derived from a short motive, not difficult. No.
2, Larghetto expressivo, C major, six-eight, lyrical, melody highly
embellished after the first phrase, varied bowing. Allegro spiritoso,
same key and measure, in the style of a _Canto popolare_. No. 3, Adagio
maestoso, D minor, two-four, principal motive of a dramatic kind, with
brilliant passages intervening. Andantino gallantement, a crisp,
staccato melody, with middle section in D major. No. 4, Andante
calcando, A major, four-two, theme, in sixths, thirds and octaves. The
movement is entitled _La Sinagoga_, but I can trace no Jewish melody
corresponding to its subject. The second movement, Andantino con brio,
in two-four measure is as bright and sparkling as the corresponding
movement in No. 3. No. 5, Andante moderato, D major, two-four, two
strains of eight bars, with a lyrical theme. The second movement in
six-eight rhythm, is another specimen of the Italian _Cantilena_. No. 6,
Largo, A minor, six-eight, a combination of recitative and Cadenza
passages. Tempo di Valse, in three-eight measure, a tripping, fluent
theme, for light bowing. The music altogether is light and pleasing,
abounding in showy passages, and with the real Italian gift of melody.
The accompaniments are in no way difficult.

The Six Sonatas, Op. 3, have rather a curious dedication: _Alla Ragazza
Eleonora_. "Ragazza" is a familiar term for a girl, and may be
translated as "lass," or even "wench." The Eleonora it may be impossible
now to identify, though the lady possibly was connected with the period
of Paganini's disappearance when Napoleon invaded Italy. Sonata, No. 1,
is in two movements, as are all the others. The first, Larghetto, A
major, six-eight measure, has a theme resembling a popular melody, the
close of each strain being highly embellished. Ricordi's edition gives
an alternative reading of the penultimate bar, in the style of a
cadenza. The second movement, Presto variato, in two-four rhythm, has a
dance-like theme, with one variation. The two bars preceding the final
cadence have semiquaver groups to be played pizzicato, each note with
right and left hand alternately. No. 2, Adagio, con dolcezza, G major,
three-eight, theme, pure Italian cantilena, in thirds or sixths
throughout. Andantino scherzoso, two-four, crisp, tripping melody,
chiefly for staccato bowing, ending with arpeggios extending to four
octaves. No. 3, Andante sostenuto, D major, two-four, theme for six bars
to be played on the second string. Rondo, Molto allegro, six-eight,
bright and spirited; the opening might have been inspired by the Irish
air "Garyone"--the lilt is so much the same. The movement ends with a
rapid descending chromatic scale of three octaves. No. 4, Andante largo,
A minor, two-two, the opening bars of the theme for the third string,
declamatory, sad. Allegretto mottegiando, two-four, light, tripping
melody, to be delivered in a spirit of banter. No. 5, Adagio amorosa, A
major, two-four, theme, Italian melody embellished, in thirds
throughout, with some semi-staccato bowing. Allegretto energicamente,
two-four, a merry, quick-step movement of two eight-bar periods. The
second part, in the tonic minor, has the theme divided equally for
guitar and violin, in each strain. A coda of four bars, major, is added
by way of close. In the arrangement for pianoforte, the violin has the
theme throughout. No. 6, Andante innocentemente, E minor, four-four, a
pathetic melody, simple, but touching. Allegro vivo e spiritoso,
six-eight. One could imagine an Italian peasant singing this melody; it
has all the characteristics of a folk-song. It is written throughout in
double-notes, mostly thirds. The second part, in the minor, is in a
different manner to the first part, which is repeated after it. The
guitar accompaniments, with the exception named, are all in chords or
arpeggios. The pianoforte part has more variety. It may be observed that
the movements in two-four measure have much of the spirit of Haydn's

Op. 4, Three Quartets for violin, viola, violoncello and guitar. These
were once in the Circulating Music Libraries of the firms of Novello and
Augener, but are no longer to be met with. I have failed to obtain
copies elsewhere.

Op. 5, _Tre Quartetti a Violino, Viola, Chitarra e Violoncello. Composti
e Dedicati Alle Amatrici Da Nicolò Paganini. Milano. Presso Gio.
Ricordi._ By the courtesy of the firm of Novello, I have been enabled to
examine this set, the title page of which I quote. The copy I examined
is evidently of the original edition. Each quartet is in four
movements. No. 1, Presto, D major, sixteen-eight, a peculiar signature,
but apparently adopted by reason of the "figures" in quavers. This
movement is very much in Rossini Overture form. Andante sotto voce e
staccato, D minor, three-four, Canone a tre. The violin begins, the
viola answers one bar later, an octave lower, and the violoncello
follows in like manner. The guitar is silent. The Canon is kept up
strictly to the end. The Trio--not in Canon--is in B flat major, and the
guitar supports the strings with full chords. Tema con variazioni,
Cantabile quasi Larghetto, D major, two-four, two strains of eight bars,
the theme in each begun by the viola, and repeated by the violoncello.
Three variations follow, the theme being allotted to each instrument in
turn, the guitar included. Finale, Prestissimo, D major, three-eight, a
brilliant, showy movement.

No. 2, Allegro, C major, four-four measure, in binary form, the subjects
given to the violin and violoncello. Minuetto, Allegretto, A minor,
three-four, with Trio in two sections, F major and D minor. The violin
has the theme, the others accompany with chords. Cantabile, Larghetto, A
major, six-eight, the melody, floridly embellished, for violin, the
other instruments accompanying. Polacca, Quasi presto, C major,
six-four. The violin has the chief melody, subordinate parts being given
to the viola and violoncello. The guitar has full chords throughout.

No. 3, Allegro, D minor, four-four rhythm, Coda in D major, principal
themes for the violin, the viola and violoncello taking up portions here
and there with chords and arpeggios for the guitar. Allegro moderato, D
minor, three-four, Canone a tre, theme for violin, answered by viola and
violoncello at one bar interval, an octave below, as in No. 1. Guitar
tacet. Tema Cantabile, Quasi adagio, B flat major, two-four. The
movement consists of two periods, the theme for viola and violin
alternately, in each. Variation I., florid, violoncello and violin in
response; II., in G minor, more elaborate, theme for violoncello and
violin, rapid arpeggios for guitar; III., in B flat major, theme for
viola and violin, alternately, and finally for guitar. Polacchetta,
Allegro con brio, D minor, three-four, a brilliant movement, with themes
for the violin; the viola and violoncello share in the figurated
passages, and the guitar has an accompaniment in chords and arpeggios.

Paganini is said to have repudiated this work, although according to
Fétis, the quartets were published at Genoa under his very eyes. I
should rather say that the Milan edition was the first, and perhaps the
only one. Paganini's assertion was that some one had taken a few of his
themes, and badly arranged them. Fétis further states that various
pieces published before, and up to, 1851, must be considered as
"commercial frauds." Some of them are named, and will be referred to in
due course. The music of Op. 5 cannot be regarded as in any way great,
but there are graceful melodies, and the movements in Canon form are
ingeniously worked out.

Op. 6, _Premier Concerto (Mi Bémol), pour le violin avec accomp. de
l'orchestrè._ This was the first of the posthumous works, published
by the firm of Schott and Co., Paris, in 1851. It is scored for
two flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoon, double bassoon, two horns,
trumpets, three trombones, kettle drums, bass drum, cymbals, and the
usual quintet of strings. The solo violin is tuned a semitone higher,
and the part is in D, while the orchestra plays in E flat. Breitkopf
and Härtel publish the orchestral parts in the key of D. There is an
arrangement of the first movement, by August Wilhelmj, but with that I
have nothing to do here. First movement, Allegro maestoso, E flat,
four-four. The orchestral exordium extends to ninety-four bars,
six more than in the introduction of Beethoven's Concerto. The
movement--so it may be termed--is symphonic in form, with second
subject in the dominant, and it is richly scored. The exception I take
to it is the persistent employment of the cymbals with the bass drum.
There is a delightful little touch in the canonic imitation for
first violins and violoncellos. The solo has a principal theme scarcely
indicated in the introduction, and also several important episodes.
The slow movement, Adagio, C minor, four-four, was inspired, as already
mentioned, by the Italian tragedian, Demarini. Paganini witnessed
his performance in a prison scene, where, after recapitulating his
misfortunes, he supplicated Providence to relieve him of the burden of
his life. Paganini retired to rest still under the influence of the
emotions excited by the actor. He could not sleep: he rose and sought
through his violin a means of expression by which he could pour out the
feelings that consumed his soul. Thus, genius tortures and produces. It
must have been this movement in which William Gardiner heard "tones
more than human, which seemed to be wrung from the deepest anguish of a
broken heart." Observe, especially, the recitative passages that close
the movement. Finale, Rondo, Allegro spiritoso, E flat, two-four. This
is the longest concerto movement known to me, running on to four hundred
and eighty-three bars, but the "measure" is short. The concerto is not
so long as that of Beethoven, the first and second movements containing
fewer bars. It may be noted that in the first and last movements
Paganini introduces harmonics, and passages in tenths, most probably for
the first time in a concerto. In the slow movement there is no double
stopping. The Cadenzas were improvised, and Paganini, like Beethoven, in
his improvisations surpassed anything he ever committed to paper.

Op. 7, Concerto No. 2, in B minor. Allegro maestoso, B minor,
twelve-eight. Adagio, D major, two-two. Rondo, Andantino allegretto
moderato, B minor, six-eight. This is not so long as the first concerto
by some two hundred bars, and is not so fine a work, but it is a piece
worthy of being occasionally heard. In the principal theme of the Rondo
occur the passages where the silver bell three times echoes the violin
note--the top F sharp of the pianoforte keyboard. Failing the bell, the
violinist produces the sound by an artificial harmonic. It is this Rondo
that Liszt has included in his _Grosse Etüden von Paganini_. His
treatment of Paganini must be briefly described. There are six
"studies," the first a transcription of Paganini's Caprice, No. 6,
Adagio, G minor. To this Liszt adds a prefix, the arpeggio prelude of
No. 5. The Caprice itself is very literally copied, the whole being an
octave lower, and at first assigned to the left hand alone. After the
sixteenth bar the treatment becomes more free, while the figuration is
much the same. The study ends with the arpeggio passage as at the
beginning. The second takes for subject No. 17, Andante, E flat.
Scarcely a note is omitted, but the passages are placed higher or lower,
and the runs given to either hand. This is a marvel of ingenuity,
forming a most brilliant pianoforte solo. It is followed, as by a second
sonata movement, by the "Campanella" Rondo, the two being intended to be
performed in succession. For this purpose the Rondo from the Concerto is
transposed to G sharp minor, the closing E flat of the previous movement
changing enharmonically to D sharp.

The first exposition of the subject follows Paganini very closely, but
in the development and further progress of the movement Liszt follows
his own bent, repeating the principal theme again and again with ever
varying treatment. This is a piece for the _virtuoso_, and one of the
most showy in the pianist's repertory. The fourth study is an extremely
clever transcription of the Caprice No. 1, Andante, E major. Not a note
of Paganini's piece is left out, and the arpeggios are ingeniously set
out for interwoven fingering, causing the performance to be something to
look at as well as to hear. It is nearly all cross-handed work. The
fifth study is an arrangement of the Caprice No. 9, Allegretto, E major.
On paper it appears easier than the setting by Schumann, but it is more
difficult to play. Here, again, the phrases are divided for both hands.
The _glissando_ passages in sixths are impossible on modern instruments.
The sixth and last study, on the Caprice, No. 24, Tema, con variazioni,
A minor, is the most ingenious of all. The theme is simply harmonised at
first, then used as a counterpoint to the arpeggios in the first
variation. The next is more simply treated, and in the third variation
Paganini's theme forms the bass upon which the figuration of the initial
motive is superposed. To the end Liszt shows what possibilities in
keyboard execution were latent in Paganini's violin figures; and if the
latter had written only these Capriccios he would survive as the cause
of the most original inventions in pianoforte technique that have yet
seen the light.

Op. 8, _Le Streghe._ Variations on the "Witches' Dance," theme from the
Ballet, "Le Nozze di Benevento," by Vigano, music by Süssmayer. It has
already been stated that Paganini witnessed a performance of this
ballet, at La Scala, Milan, in 1813. He took the theme from a fantastic
scene where the witches appear. In his London programmes Paganini thus
described the piece; "Variations on the Country Dance Della Streghe alla
Noce di Benevento (or the comic dances of the Witches under the walnut
tree of Benevento), composed and performed by Signor Paganini." The
piece is in the key of E flat, and the violin is to be tuned a semitone
higher, the soloist playing in D. There is an orchestral prelude of
eighteen bars, Maestoso, followed by a solo, Larghetto, a beautiful
Italian melody, embellished, in two short strains. The theme is simply
set forth, and the variations serve for the display of bravura playing
with pizzicato and harmonics in the second movement, fourth string
melody, and double harmonics in the third, and with the Finale
resembling a Galopade. Orchestral parts are published, as well as the
arrangement with pianoforte.

Op. 9, Variations on "God save the King." Théme, Andante, G major, with
Six Variations. One principal feature is the intermingling of left hand
staccato with bowed notes. At the close there are sustained open notes
on the G and D strings, bowed, with double pizzicato, in sixths, above.

Op. 10, Variations on "The Carnival of Venice." For this the violin
is tuned a semitone higher, the solo being played in A, and the
accompaniment in B flat. The theme is a popular Venetian air, "O Mamma!"
Paganini heard it when in Venice in 1816, but whether he then composed
the variations is not certain. It was not long, however, before Paganini
made the air a favourite everywhere he went, and it is to him the melody
owes its world-wide popularity. The composer of the air remains unknown.
Joseph Ghys published, at Paris and Berlin, what purported to be
Paganini's variations; Ernst and Sivori played versions more or less
exactly in accordance with the original; but the text was finally
settled by the publication of the piece in 1851. There are twenty
variations. The 9th and 14th are for the fourth string; the 11th has
alternate bowed and pizzicato notes; the 15th and 18th are pizzicato
throughout; the 19th is in tenths and thirds; and the piece ends with a
short brilliant coda.

Op. 11, _Moto Perpetuo._ Allegro vivace, C major. Fétis terms this piece
a movement from a Sonata for violin and orchestra. It is in the
repertory for all violinists, and its running passages of staccato
semiquavers need no description.

Op. 12, Introduction and Variations on the air "Non più mesta accanto al
fuoco." The theme is from Rossini's opera "La Cenerentola" (Cinderella),
produced at Rome during the Carnival season of 1817, and forms the
concluding number of the work. Paganini again directs the violin
to be tuned a semitone higher, writing the solo part in D, and the
accompaniment in E flat. The Introduction, Adagio Cantabile, is another
example of Paganini's pure Italian style of melody. The theme seems to
have appealed to him--doubtless he witnessed the _première_ of the
opera--for the variations have a spontaneity and brilliance of their
own. There are four variations, and a Finale full of dashing _bravura_.

Op. 13, Introduction and Variations on the air "Di tanti palpiti," from
Rossini's first serious opera, "Tancredi," produced at Venice in 1813.
Rossini is said to have taken the theme from a Greek Litany he heard
sung in a church on one of the Islets of the Laguna, near Venice. A
Signora Righetti, a singer, writing in 1823 (?), stated that there was
no truth in the assertion. Be that as it may, "Di tanti palpiti" made
the opera, and Paganini's variations extended its popularity. The
introduction is an elaborate movement, the violin tuned a semitone
higher, and the part written in A, with accompaniment in B flat. There
are three variations, the second being almost throughout in harmonics,
single and double, and excessively difficult. This piece is very rarely

Op. 14, Sixty Studies in Variation form, on the air known at Genoa as
"Barucabà," for violin alone. This is one of the composer's latest
works, and was written at Genoa in February 1835, and dedicated to
Paganini's friend the Advocate, L. G. Germi. The theme is short, in
simple ternary form, the opening sentence of four bars being repeated
after the middle period of eight bars. The theme is in A major,
Maestoso. The variations are studies upon various species of
difficulties, and a special feature is the order of keys. Of the
fifteen possible major keys, Paganini employs thirteen, and he is
quite modern in the way in which he causes the one to succeed the
other. Thus the second variation is in D, the third in B flat, the
fourth in F sharp, and the fifth in D--in each case the drop of a
major third or its enharmonic equivalent. Then he starts a new series,
from D to B, thence to G, E, C, A flat, F, D flat, back to A. In 1835
such a sequence was very uncommon; even Beethoven, in his Variations,
only has one such, in the Variations in F, Op. 34. The Variation form
is again in full vogue; at this distance we can afford to be just in
our estimate of Paganini's achievements. He was not a Beethoven, but
his Variations are not to be despised.


Sonata in A major. As published in the collection of posthumous
compositions, this Sonata is for violin, with pianoforte accompaniment.
The piece consists of an Introduction, Theme, Three Variations and Coda,
the term "Sonata" being employed quite in its primitive sense:--a piece
to be played. The Introduction is only eight bars in length, ending with
a short cadenza leading to the theme, Andantino, A major, two-four
measure. The first part consists of two four-bar phrases, repeated; the
second has a phrase extended, by a Codetta, to six bars, and ends with a
repetition of the first phrase, with close in A. The first variation has
a more florid version, in triplets, of the melody; the second begins
with a simple form of the theme for the fourth string, and introduces
harmonics; the third is a bravura movement, chiefly for staccato bowing
in demisemiquaver passages. The coda, termed Finale, is made up of
cadences, on a tonic pedal for eight bars. The accompaniment is easy.
Messrs. Schott also publish the Sonata for violin, with accompaniment of
violin and violoncello, very easy parts for these last.

_Variazioni di bravura sopra Temi del Mosè di G. Rossini, per Violino
sulla quanta corda, di Nicolo Paganini._ This was originally for violin
and orchestra. Berlioz has a reference to this piece, in which he states
that Paganini employed the bass-drum with better effect than did Rossini
himself in the accompaniment to the prayer, "Del tuo stellato soglio."
Paganini placed the stroke of the drum on the syncopated beat to which
the verbal accent was assigned, whereas Rossini gave the drum stroke on
the first beat of the bar. Some one, complimenting Paganini upon his
composition, added; "It must be confessed that Rossini furnished you a
very beautiful theme." "That's very true," replied Paganini, "but he
didn't invent my bang of the big drum." It is said that in this piece
Paganini produced a tone that dominated the whole orchestra even in
fortissimo passages.

The firm of Ricordi publish an arrangement, for string quintet, and for
pianoforte accompaniment. The G string of the solo violin is raised to B
flat, and the Adagio is played in C minor and major, while the
accompaniment is in E flat minor and major. The strain in the minor key
is played three times. The second time, the first eight bars are to be
played an octave higher then the first time; the third in harmonics. The
Introductory Adagio is the celebrated Prayer. Then follows a Tema, Tempo
alla Marcia, E flat, four-four, the violin part in C. This is a
different theme, and appears to be a paraphrase of part of the March and
Chorus (in the Oratorio), "Hail, happy day!" There are three variations,
and a short coda. Harmonics are sparingly introduced. Rossini's opera,
"Mosè in Egitto," was produced at Naples in 1818, and was remodelled by
the composer some years later, for performance at the Grand Opera, Paris
(1827). It is not known when Paganini wrote his variations, but his
themes were most probably taken from the first version of the opera.

_Variazioni di Bravura per Violino sopra un tema originale con
accompagnamento di Piano o Chitarra._ The theme is that of the
Twenty-fourth Caprice, from Op. 1, and the variations are the same, only
the notation of the eighth is different. The accompaniment, for either
guitar or pianoforte, is extremely simple. There is a short interlude
(called _Tutti_ in Ricordi's edition) of six bars to be played between
the variations.

_Introduzione e Variazioni sul Tema nel cor più mi sento per Violino
solo di Nicolò Paganini._ So runs the title in the edition published by
Ricordi and Co. The theme is the duet in Paisiello's opera, _La
Molinara_, which Beethoven also took as a subject for variations (in
1795). Ricordi's publication agrees in every particular with the version
to be found in Guhr's treatise on Paganini's "Art of Playing the
Violin," published in 1831--preface dated Frankfurt, November, 1829.
Guhr[53] heard Paganini many times, closely watched his playing, and
frequently conversed with him on the subject. This piece was written
from memory, and is certainly a great accomplishment; but it can
scarcely be regarded as an authentic version. The introduction is
brilliant, the theme, Andante, G major, six-eight measure, is profusely
ornamented, and each of the seven variations--No. 6 is in G minor, the
others in G major--has some special form of virtuosity. In the third
there are double shakes in harmonics, which Guhr explains. The last is
in widespread ascending and descending arpeggios throughout. The theme
and third variation are written on two staves, one for bowed melody, the
other for left hand pizzicato.

That Paganini did not always play the piece in the form in which Guhr
wrote it down, is proved by the existence of another manuscript, which
is, perhaps, very little known. It was written by the late Mrs. Tom
Taylor, who gave it to Mr. Alfred Burnett many years ago, and that
gentleman has kindly permitted me to examine it. For this the violin is
tuned a whole tone higher. The Introduction is altogether different, and
the theme much less floridly embellished. The first variation
corresponds to Guhr's No. 2, but the harmonics are not quite the same.
In this the melody floats above tremolando chords. The second, in
outline, resembles Guhr's No. 4, but whereas the latter has alternate
natural notes and harmonics, Mrs. Taylor gives alternations of detached
bowed notes and pizzicati. The third is like Guhr's No. 3, in that it
has short figures in double notes, alternately for fundamental and
harmonic sounds. Guhr's variation consists of twenty-five bars; Mrs.
Taylor's of thirty-one, there being a short cadenza. The fourth
resembles Guhr's No. 7 in the wide-spread arpeggios, but the harmonics
are differently distributed, and the coda is not the same as in

[Illustration: PLATE 25. (_See Appendix._)]

[Illustration: PLATE 26. (_See Appendix._)]

In the Imperial Library, Berlin, there is a manuscript by Paganini,
inscribed "Capriccio a Violino Solo di Nicolo Paganini In cor più non mi
sento," in which the embellished theme differs from both those already
described. The first page is reproduced in facsimile in Paul Stoeving's
"Story of the Violin," p. 213. Then there is an autograph copy in the
British Museum with this inscription: "In cuor più non mi sento, Thema
con variazioni per Violino, con Accompagnementi di Violino e Violoncello
Composta da Niccolo Paganini." The piece consists of an Introduction,
Theme and four Variations, and, so far, agrees with Mrs. Taylor's copy.
Finally, Paganini played the piece with the orchestra, as will be seen
from this extract from a programme: "Prelude and Variations on the Tema,
'Nel cor più non missento,' with orchestral accompaniment, by Signor
Paganini." This was played at the concert of June 27th, 1831, at the
King's Theatre, and the programme from which this extract is taken is in
possession of Mr. Richard Harrison, of Brighton, who most obligingly
copied it for me.

Duo pour le violon seul. This begins with an Adagio, C major,
three-four measure, with a melody for the bow, and left hand pizzicato
accompaniment. A short Allegro molto follows, in square time, the
pizzicato accompaniment being chiefly in double notes, with occasional
chromatic harmonics. This little piece must have been on sale in London
a year before Paganini arrived, for the following anecdote was in print
in May, 1830. "A few days since, a footman went into Mori's music shop
to buy a fiddle string. While he was making his choice a gentleman
entered the shop, and began to examine various compositions for the
violin. Among the rest he found Paganini's celebrated _Merveille--duo
pour un seul Violon_ and, perceiving the difficulties in which it
abounded, asked the shopman if he thought that Mori himself could
play it. The young man, a little perplexed and unwilling to imply that
his master's powers had any limits, at length replied, that he had no
doubt he could perform it, provided he practised it for a week. Upon
which the footman, who stood intent upon the conversation, broke in on
the discourse and swore that Mori could do no such thing, for that he
himself had been practising the piece for three weeks and could not play
it yet."

Trois Airs Variés pour le Violon, pour étre éxécutes sur la Quatrieme
Corda seulement, avec accompagnement de Piano par Gustavo Carulli. Fétis
says these are merely souvenirs arranged by the author of the
accompaniments.[55] Antonio Minasi includes them in the lists of works
performed by Paganini in England. The fourth string is to be raised to
A, for all three. The first is in C, with two easy variations; the
second, in G, resembles a folk song, and has three variations; the
third, in C, also has three variations. The first two are marked
Andante; the third, Andantino. The accompaniments are of the easiest
song kind.

Le Charme de Padua, Divertimento pour Violon et Piano concertant,
composé par Nicolo Paganini. This piece was published in London before
the date of Paganini's first concert, and possibly before the arrival of
that artist in England. It was issued by a firm of repute, Wessel and
Stodar, who were the first publishers in England of the works of Chopin.
The music was reviewed in _The Harmonicon_, June 1831, the notice
concluding thus: "It perhaps is a bagatelle on which he (Paganini) has
bestowed little time and less thought. It certainly is a flimsy affair,
and might have been produced by the dullest and most mechanical
_repieno_ in the band of a suburb (_sic_) theatre." The piece consists
of a Larghetto and Presto, in C major, the slow introduction being in
six-eight rhythm, the Presto in six-four. There is one principal theme
in the first part, given out by the violin and repeated by the
pianoforte, a simple melody, with embellishments. The Presto is in Rondo
form, with leading theme for pianoforte, continued by violin, and
relieved by an episode contrasted in character. The music is not great,
but unprejudiced musicians will scarcely endorse the captious remarks of
the reviewer. The firm of Edwin Ashdown (successor to Wessel) publish
the composition, also a version by S. Godbé for viola and pianoforte. In
this the themes are written an octave lower, and modifications occur in
double-stops, and so forth, to suit the viola. There is likewise an
arrangement for flute and pianoforte, by J. Sedlazek. It is not stated
by whom the pianoforte part was written, but it is very well done, and
is not a mere accompaniment.


Concerto in D minor. Fétis terms this a magnificent concerto; it was
performed by Paganini at the first concert he gave in Paris, March 25th,
1831, and that seems to be all that is known about the piece. Concerto
in E minor. This was in three movements; Allegro maestoso; Adagio
flebile, con sentimento; Rondo, Andantino Gàjo, "with a triangle
accompaniment." It was played by Paganini at the King's Theatre, June
13th, 1831. Concerto in E major. The three movements of this piece were;
Allegro Marziale; Cantabile Spianato; and Polacca brillante. Paganini
played this concerto at his concert, July 4th, 1831. Concerto in two
movements. This was a medley. The one movement, Cantabile a doppie
corde, was by Paganini; the other, Ronda scherzoso, by Rodolphe
Kreutzer. Played, August 17th, 1831.

Four Concertos, of which the instrumentation was not written. Of these
nothing seems now to be known. Fétis says that the last of the four was
composed at Nice a short time before the death of Paganini.

Concerto for bassoon, with string trio accompaniment. This was
discovered at Stockholm in 1890, and the manuscript was said to be in
the composer's hand-writing. The announcement of the discovery will be
found in _The Musical Times_, of November, 1890, page 681. I have found
no further reference to the subject.

Nine Quartets for Violin, Viola, Violoncello and Guitar. These are in
the list drawn up by Constabile as being among the manuscripts preserved
by the son of the composer. It is impossible now to say where these
manuscripts are; the first three seem completely lost. A copy, probably
unique, of the Quartets, Nos. 10 to 15, is among the treasures in the
possession of Mr. Alfred Burnett, and by his kindness I am enabled to
give a description of the music. Five of the Quartets, Nos. 10 to 14,
were composed and dedicated "Al suo Amico Il Sig. Avvocato Luigi
Guglièlmo Germi." No. 14 was composed "expressly" for that friend. The
Quartets dedicated to Germi might be designated "house music," for
though they are difficult, they do not seem to have been written for the
"great public." They contain the most lovely music Paganini ever penned.
If only the guitar were once more in fashion, these pieces might be
heard, and I feel certain they would charm lovers of pure melody.[56]
But this is to anticipate.

Quartet, No. 10, in A major, in four movements (as indeed are five out
of the six). Allegro, A major, four-four rhythm, in free sonata form,
with first and second subject--both lyrical--middle modulatory section,
and recapitulation. The violin has the melody, the other instruments
accompanying. Minuetto Scherzo, Allegretto, A major, three-four measure,
with first short strain on a figure in triplets. Trio in D major,
Cantabile theme for violin, doubled by the viola in the octave below.
Adagio Cantabile, D major, two-four rhythm. A melody that might be
signed Haydn or Mozart, but embellished with a grace peculiar to Italian
art. Here the violin is the solo instrument, the others supporting with
rich harmonies, the 'cello emphasising the rhythm with frequent
pizzicato notes. Rondo Andantino con brio, A major, two-four measure, a
bright, sparkling principal theme, staccato, with contrasting episodes,
one in D, with fourth string phrases, also with brilliant passages in
thirds for the violin, which again has all the thematic work. This is a
well developed movement.

Quartet, No. 11, in B major. For this the guitar is tuned a tone higher,
the _capo tasto_ raising the E strings to F sharp, and the guitar part
is written in the open key of A. The first movement, Allegro moderato, B
major, four-four rhythm is free in form, with repeat of the first part.
The thematic material is assigned chiefly to the violin, but in the
second part there is an episode, a sort of folk-tune, given to the
violoncello. Minuetto, Allegretto, B major, three-four, with Trio in G
major. The melodies are fresh, and move step-wise, very much like those
in the Minuet of Beethoven's first Symphony. They are in scale
formation, up and down, and there is only one skip of a third in the
first sixteen bars. Again the violin takes all the themes. Larghetto con
passione, F sharp minor, six-eight measure, a Lament, a fine expressive
theme, opening nobly, but with the elevated style not maintained
throughout. The viola and violoncello parts are in keeping with the
pathetic feeling of the movement, but the rhythmic figure of the guitar
part detracts from its dignity. Polacca, Andantino mosso, B major,
three-four measure, a well-written movement, with three clearly defined
subjects, two of which are taken up by the viola and violoncello. The
violin part in this quartet is brilliant, but not particularly
difficult; there is no double-stopping, excepting in chords of

Quartet, No. 12, in A minor. This number is in three movements only.
The first, Allegro giusto, A minor, four-four rhythm, is quite
orchestral in character, and opens with a theme of symphonic breadth.
There is science displayed in the development of this movement. In the
first part the second subject is in C major, and in the recapitulation
in A major. The slow movement, Adagio tenuto, con precisione, C major,
three-four measure, has at first a very broad and declamatory theme for
the violin. The writing becomes very elaborate, and the rhythmic
figuration complex, passages with four and five-stroke notes occurring.
The Finale, Minuetto, Allegretto mosso, is a fully developed movement
quite in sonata form, with first part repeated. The exposition has a
first subject of two extended members, the second in the major mode. The
second subject, in E, is well contrasted. There is a long working out
section, with episodial matter, and the recapitulation is very happily
led up to. The music has a lilt that is irresistible, and the writing is
interesting for each instrument.

Quartet, No. 13, in F. The first movement, Allegro con brio, F major,
four-four time, opens with a theme of a declamatory type, and the
expression is dramatic. The second subject in C, is in the style of the
Italian _aria_, concluding with the lively _Cabaletta_ strain. A short
_Coda_ ends the first part. In the working out section there is an
important episodial theme for the violoncello, and in the recapitulation
the second subject, now in F, is allotted to the viola, the violin
taking up the _Cabaletta_. Both parts are marked for repetition.
Minuetto, Allegretto, F major, three-four measure. The violin has the
theme of the first strain of eight bars repeated; the violoncello
responds with the subject of the next strain of twenty-five bars, one
phrase lengthened to five bars. The Trio in B flat has a tripping theme
for the viola, legato and staccato bowing in the same "figure." Later
the phrases are broken into dialogue for violin and viola. In the Minuet
the guitar has a "second" to the violin melody. Larghetto tenuto, con
anima, D flat major, six-eight rhythm, a broad, cantabile theme for the
violin, with spare embellishment. The movement must be slow, for there
are arpeggios of eight notes to the quaver beat in the guitar part.
Finale, Prestissimo, F major, two-two measure. The theme for the violin
resembles very much some of those merry "tributary" motives found
in Mozart's symphonies towards the close of the first part of a
movement--the "Jupiter," first movement for instance. The second subject
affords contrast. The whole is most spirited and light-hearted. Paganini
must have been in a happy mood when he wrote this quartet.

Quartet, No. 14, in A major. The first movement, Allegro maestoso, A
major, four-four measure, is very brilliant, opening with a theme in
which arpeggio and scale figures abound. This closes in B, and the
second subject begins in E. Here occurs some very free chromatic
writing, suggestive of Richard Strauss, as, for instance, D sharp for
violoncello against E flat for guitar and viola; and C natural opposed
to B sharp. But it is a mere matter of spelling. The first part ends in
E, and is marked for repetition. Then, with a single prefatory chord of
E minor, the working out section begins in C, with a new motive, which
passes through a number of keys, the primary returning with the second
subject. Minuetto, Scherzo affettuoso, A major, three-four. The subject
is based on a three-note figure, giving, by cross accents, to the
four-bar phrase the effect of a six-bar phrase in duple measure--Tempo
rubato. The Trio, in D, has a theme in triple measure, but the middle
sentence has the displaced accents of the Minuet. Largo, con sentimento,
G flat major, four-four measure. For this the pitch of the guitar is
raised a tone, and the part written in E major. The movement is in song
form, the melody opening in stately fashion, but the writing soon
becomes florid. At the second entry the theme begins in A major, the
return to G flat being ingeniously effected. There are some rapid
pizzicato passages for the violoncello. Finale, Allegro vivace, A major,
four-four rhythm. This is a moto perpetuo, sempre staccato, for the
violin. The theme is quite unlike that of the movement known as Op. 11.
After the exposition of the subject, the violin has figure-playing of an
easy kind, while the violoncello has a Cantabile theme. This recurs, and
snatches of it are heard in the brief coda. The other instruments merely
accompany. This quartet has distinct character.

Quartet, No. 15. The title simply runs: "Composto da Nicola Paganini,"
without any dedication. Note the copyist's spelling of the Christian
name. In the first movement, Maestoso, A minor, four-four measure, the
first subject is given out by the viola. It begins with a mournful,
somewhat stern motive, bold, and with an embellished subordinate theme.
The second subject, also assigned to the viola, is an impassioned
lyrical theme in C major. In the working out section, the violin takes
the first subject, and joins the violoncello in an episodial theme, the
viola contributing a florid counterpoint. There are modifications in the
recapitulation, but the viola again has the second subject now in the
tonic major. The guitar is busy throughout the movement, with full
chords and extended arpeggios. Minuetto a Canone, Andantino, A major,
three-four measure. The Canon is confined to the violin and viola, the
latter starting with a theme in short, detached figures, the violin
following, an octave higher, one beat later. Guitar and violoncello give
supporting harmonies. In the Trio, in D major, the melody is given to
the guitar, with a pizzicato accompaniment for the other instruments. At
the seventeenth bar, there are again four bars of canon, this time in
the unison, staccato bowing. The Minuet, abbreviated, is then repeated.
The canon is not continuous, a cadence occurring at the end of each
eight bars. Next comes an Interlude, Recitative, Andante sostenuto, con
sentimento, D major. This is for the viola, and extends to twenty-one
bars, the expression being dramatic. The other instruments have a rather
elaborate accompaniment. The slow movement immediately ensues, Adagio
Cantabile, D major, two-four rhythm. The viola has the melody, in the
form of the Italian aria, embellished with prima donna fioriture. The
movement is short, only running to forty-six bars. Rondo, Allegretto, A
minor, two-four. The leading theme, marked by syncopations, is given to
the viola, the violin joining in the repetition. The tonality is
constantly changing from the minor to the major and back again. There is
a new theme in the middle section, and some elaboration before the first
subject returns. The close is abrupt. The viola has the chief part in
this quartet, which is quite different to the others.

I have only a few notes concerning some of the works yet to be
considered. Dramatic Sonata, "The Storm," for violin and orchestra.
This was evidently a piece of programme music, for it was thus
described:--Part I., the approach of the storm; II., the commencement of
the tempest; III., the prayer; IV., the fury of the sea; V., the
hurricane; VI., the tumult at its height; VII., the stilling of the
tempest; VIII., an outburst of the most lively joy. It was played at
Paganini's third and last concert at Prague, December 20th, 1828, and
one account refers to it as a "dramatic sonata for a full orchestra,
with analogous embellishments and solos and variations, by Paganini on
the fourth string."[57]

"Sonata Militaire," in G, for the fourth string, theme, the air "Non più
andrai," from Mozart's opera "Le Nozze di Figaro." This piece was
composed expressly for the second of the two concerts Paganini gave in
Genoa in 1824, when the young singer, Antonia Bianchi, made her début.
The Sonata was played by Paganini at his first concert in London. All
traces of it appear to have been lost.

"Napoleon Sonata," for the fourth string. Paganini gave an account of
the origin of this piece to his friend, Julius Schottky, and to what has
already been related in connection therewith may now be added the
further statement he made. Paganini sang to his friend the first
movement of this Sonata "in an animated though feeble tone," and said
that Rossini transferred the theme into one of his earlier operas. It
would be interesting to know the opera in question, but the early works
of Rossini would be searched in vain without the clue afforded by the
Sonata, which appears to have vanished completely.

"Sonata Maestosa Sentimentale," with variations on a theme by Haydn, for
the fourth string. It is probable that the theme for these variations
was the well-known Emperor's Hymn, and that this Sonata was performed by
Paganini before the Austrian Court in 1828.

Sonata with variations on a theme from the opera "L'Amor Marinaro."
Nothing is now known of this Sonata, nor of the particular theme chosen
from the opera. "L'Amor Marinaro" (the Corsair in Love) was one of the
early productions of Joseph Weigl, being written in 1798. An opera
buffa, it was distinguished by natural charm, freshness of colouring and
beauty of melody, and to the latter quality Paganini's choice of it must
doubtless be attributed.

"Chant of the Monks of the Monastery of St. Bernard." This was the title
given to a piece in the programme of a concert at Covent Garden Theatre.
It was performed on a darkened stage and the solemn character of its
music was emphasized by a beautiful scene representing a monastery with
stained glass windows. The introduction, a movement of some length of
the basses in unison, was followed by a chant "of lovely harmonies,
performed in harmonics (I believe, on the fourth strings) in combination
with the wood instruments." Minasi, who gives this account of the piece,
states that he believes it to be merely the second movement of the
Concerto in B minor, Op. 7.

Cantabile for two strings. This piece was performed at the King's
Theatre, on June 13th, 1831. Possibly it was the same as the musical
fantasia already referred to as played at Lucca under the title of "A
Love Scene." Of the remaining pieces, except the one mentioned below,
nothing seems now to be known save the names.

The one exception is the piece entitled "The Vagaries of a Farmyard,"
which contained a wonderful series of imitations of farmyard sounds. In
this connection the following anecdote, illustrating Paganini's
extraordinary power of portraying curious sounds on his violin, may
be worth repeating. One fine night, when staying at a little inn
just outside Frankfort, he was sitting at his window lost in the
contemplation of the glorious heavens. The striking of a clock broke
through his reverie and called back to his mind an occurrence of which
he had but recently been an ear-witness. He seized his violin, and there
arose on the stillness of the night the moans and cries of a mother and
her new-born babe. The landlord of the inn, awakened by the unusual
sounds and wondering how such visitors had found their way into his
house without his knowledge, called his son and hastened to the room
whence the plaintive cries proceeded; and he found Paganini, too deep in
thought to perceive his entrance, making his violin bring forth these
human sounds. It is stated of Paganini that he was wont to produce his
animal cries under the stress of special excitement or during an access
of fever, and that with his farmyard piece he electrified the audience
at one of the last of his concerts in London.


[52] Lapheléque, p. 45.

[53] Carl F. W. Guhr, born at Militsch, Silesia, October 30th, 1787,
violinist, pianist and composer, became Director of the Museum Concerts
and Conductor of the Opera at Frankfort-on-the-Main, in which city he
died July 22nd, 1848.

[54] Mrs. Tom Taylor (_née_ Laura Wilson Barker) was a fine musician, a
composer, and almost phenomenal performer on the pianoforte and the
violin. She played with both Spohr and Paganini, and took down this set
of variations after hearing Paganini play them twice. She died at
Coleshill, Bucks, May 22nd, 1905, at the advanced age of eighty-six.

[55] Gustavo Carulli was the son of the celebrated guitarrist,
Ferdinando Carulli, and was born at Leghorn in 1801.

[56] They were performed at the private quartet concerts given by Mr.
Burnett in the Art Club, Blackheath, from about the year 1893 onward.

[57] _The Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review_, Vol. X., p. 205.


This may have been the concert at which, according to a lithograph,[58]
Paganini received "the homage of five thousand persons after having
pocketed £2,000 for two hours' performance." While the great world
showed their appreciation of his playing in this way, and Royal patrons
delighted to invest him with noble orders, the more humble admirers of
Paganini caused medals to be struck in his honour. One of these, a
tribute from the city of Vienna, has already been referred to; another
very fine medal, struck in Paris during Paganini's first visit there in
1831 is reproduced here. The inscription round Paganini's head fills one
with a strangely ironical feeling, when one remembers that the fame of
Paganini did but survive to lead to the homage of exhumation.

[Illustration: _Plate 27.--See Appendix._


True, the world has remembered him sufficiently to place memorial
tablets on the houses where he was born and died. Fifty years after his
death a tablet was affixed to the house wherein he breathed his last,
and at the centenary celebration of his birth the following inscription
was placed on the house wherein he first saw the light: "A great honour
fell to the lot of this modest house, in which, on the 27th October,
1782, Nicolo Paganini, unsurpassed in the divine art of tone, was born,
to the glory of Genoa and to the delight of the world." At present one
may enquire in vain of most Genoese people as to the position of
Paganini's birthplace, and chance alone will direct one, who trusts to
them for the information, to the slum quarter and the narrow street
where the building stands. Difficult though it may be, however, to find
this spot, it is an easy task to find the Palazzo Municipale where
reposes the famous Guarnerius violin of Paganini.

This superb instrument, bequeathed to the city of Genoa by Paganini
himself, has been most carefully preserved by the civic authorities.
It has only twice been heard in public--once at the 1882
celebrations--since Paganini's death, and on both occasions it was
played by his favourite pupil Sivori. It was carefully examined and
photographed by Mr. Edward Heron-Allen in 1885, and a very interesting
account was given by him[59] of the manner in which the violin was worn
away by Paganini's peculiar method of playing. After describing its
general condition he says, "The patch by the side of the tailpiece and
the large wear on the back tell of the force with which he held the
instrument in those high and pizzicato passages, which account for the
long groove down the side of the fingerboard and the broad patch at the
side of the neck, on the table of the instrument. The wearing away of
the edges in the curves of the instrument bear a striking testimony to
the force with which he sawed the gut in his bravura passages on the
first and fourth strings." In the same glass case as the violin is
placed the medal presented to Paganini by the Decurional Council of
Genoa in 1834. On the reverse it bears this inscription:--

     Nic. Paganino, Fidicini, cui nemo par fuit civique bene mecrenti

Such outward honours as the world gives to its dead have indeed been
offered to the memory of Paganini; but it is doubtful whether the higher
honour of a frank recognition by the musical world of the work that
he did for it, has ever been his. Unlike the great composer the
instrumentalist leaves behind him no visible proof of the part he has
played in the development of his art. And the world has easily forgotten
that from the day of Paganini not only was the violin transformed into a
new instrument, not only were its capabilities, previously undreamt of,
newly revealed, but also in other branches of musical art, in orchestral
music especially, a fresh field was opened up before the composer. It is
scarcely too much to say that the scores of Tchaikovsky and Richard
Strauss could not have been written, had Paganini never lived. We do not
desire to see another Paganini, so complete a slave to his instrument,
albeit its master; we do not desire to see another such life, with
bodily health and moral vigour sacrificed to so absorbing a devotion to
one single end. We would fain believe that Nicolo Paganini did not live
in vain, that like a real artist he had and fulfilled his mission, that
the evil he did died with him and that the good lives on to benefit the

    THE END.


[58] Reproduced on page 144.

[59] _The Musical Times_, May 1st, 1886.



_Plate 1_--Frontispiece.

Portrait of NICOLÒ PAGANINI, by Maurin, a French Artist. Free from
caricature, it is probably the most authentic picture of the great
virtuoso. It appeared in the seventh volume of the "Revue Musicale."

_Plate 2_--Facing page 4.

Genoa, Italy. The house is in a squalid neighbourhood--a dirty, narrow
alley now occupied by the poorest of the city. Probably no worse than at
the time of Paganini's birth. There is a tablet which reads as

     Alta ventura sortita ad umile luogo
     in questa casa
     il giorno XXVII di Ottobre dell' anno
     a decoro di Genova a delizia del mondo
     Nicolò Paganini
     nella divina arte dei suoni insuperato maestro.

The date 1782 given here confirms the latest research that Paganini was
born in that year and not in 1784 so usually quoted.

_Plate 3_--Facing page 14.

PAGANINI'S VIOLIN, BOW, CASE, ETC., in the Municipal Museum at Genoa.
This is the celebrated Joseph Guarnerius on which the great virtuoso
invariably performed. The instrument is under a glass shade, and with
other relics of Paganini, preserved in a strong safe. It is stated that
£5,000 has, in vain, been offered for the violin.

_Plate 4_--Facing page 20.

THIS IS ANOTHER CARICATURE--Paganini performing on a tight rope--under
which is printed "Exercices sur une seule corde,"--in reference to his
one string solos. This was published by Mori and Lavenu, London, circa

_Plate 5_--Facing page 40.

This is, we believe, from a contemporary German picture.

_Plate 6_--Facing page 50.

This humorous picture is on the title-page of a comic song, "The
wonderful Paganini, or London fiddling mad." The poetry by W. T.
Moncrieff, Esq., and the melody by one of the first composers of the
day! London, published by Leoni Lee, circa 1831. The "poetry" is not of
a classical standard.

    "What a hubbub! what a fuss! all London sure are frantic Sirs,
        The Prince of Fiddlers has arriv'd, great Paganini has come.
    So wonderful, exorbitant, so frightful, so romantic, Sirs, the
            world of Music at his mighty presence are struck dumb.
    So firm his touch, so fine his stop, everyone must own his sway,
    Great King King of Catgut! Agitato! presto! Who but he Sirs,
        Mori, Spagnoletti, now must second fiddle play, Sirs--
    Glory be to Tweedle dum! Success to Tweedle dee! Sirs--
    Such golden sounds, he from one string can draw, no sum can pay
            him, Sirs,
    Germany, France, Italy, combined his fame to puff
    The prices must be doubled, all the world crowd to survey him, Sirs,
    Four thousand pounds a night to pay him is not half enough,
    Sixpences, none, after this, must dare call fiddlers' money Sirs.
    Thousands, tens of thousands, must the wondrous man reward,"
                    etc., etc.,
            and so on for five verses!

_Plate 7_--Facing page 54.

SIGR. PAGANINI. During one of his performances at the King's Theatre,
June, 1831. From a contemporary lithograph of the celebrated sketch by
D. Maclise, R.A., now in the Foster Collection, South Kensington Museum.
In the background are J. B. Cramer, Lindley, Dragonetti, Mori, etc. This
is, perhaps, the most interesting print of the great violinist. It was
published on July 12th, 1831, by W. Spooner, 259, Regent Street, London.

_Plate 8_--Facing page 60.

Reproduction of the celebrated Statuette (caricature), by Dainton.

_Plate 9_--Facing page 66.

PAGANINI WITH THE VIOLIN, Rossini at the pianoforte and the celebrated
prima-donna Pasta. (Jos. McGuire, delt., printed by Englemann & Co.),
circa 1832.

_Plate 10_--Facing page 76.

at Genoa. The face full of intellect, shows the ravages of the disease
which was so soon to terminate his existence.

_Plate 11_--Facing page 80.

THE HOUSE AT NICE IN WHICH PAGANINI DIED on the 27th May, 1840. It was
formerly the residence of the Count de Sessol. The lower part has been
converted into shops.

_Plate 12_--Facing page 80.

THE TABLET, with inscription, fixed on the front of the house, Rue de la
Prefecture, Nice, France.

_Plate 13_--Facing page 84.

THE TOMB OF PAGANINI AT PARMA. Neither religious nor political martyr
ever had so many objections made to his obsequies. To the cemetery, near
Parma, in November, 1876, the embalmed remains of Paganini were
transposed from the family villa at Gaione, by order of his son, the
Baron Achille (who died in December, 1895). The funeral was held at
night by torchlight. A nephew, the Baron Attila Paganini, followed, and
crowds of curious sightseers joined the procession. In 1893 there was
erected the beautiful mausoleum which is now depicted from the only
known photograph, taken expressly for THE STRAD. It bears this

        Qui riposano le ceneri
          di Nicolò Paganini
    Che traendo dal violino armonie divine
    Scosse genio insuperabile tutta Europa
          e cinse all'Italia,
        Nuova sfolgorante corona.

          Mente elettissima
    Compose stupendamente in musica
    Ammirato dai piu illustri maestri.

        Cuore oltremodo generoso
          donò largamente
    ai parenti, agli artisti ai poveri.

Beneath this cupola of white marble, with its granite columns, may the
ashes of Paganini rest in peace. His true remains--his reputation, his
influence, his music, are with us for ever.

_Plate 14_--Facing page 90.

PAGANINI IN PRISON. One of the many scandals which is contradicted in
the text. (See page 90.) There is another prison story that during
Paganini's incarceration, he was reduced to the G, in consequence of the
other strings having broken--hence his wonderful development of the
fourth. This is again apocryphal. Paganini has greater claim to a
scientific knowledge of the acoustical property of strings.

_Plates 15, 16, and 17_, see pages 101, 102, and 103,

are reproductions of Paganini's MSS. in the British Museum. No. 15, a
letter (dated April 16th, 1832, and in French) thanking the person
addressed, for kindness shown to his "cher fils Achille," Nos. 16 (dated
February 19th, 1835) and 17 (dated May 5th, 1838); short notes (in
Italian) are interesting autographs. Paganini was proverbially a "silent
man"--his epistles are very rare.

_Plates 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22_--Pages 129-133.

These reproductions of rare programmes tell their own tales--they are
interesting, because there are seen the items and the arrangement of
concerts, also the prices, for admission, etc.--in those years.

_Plate 23_--Facing page 136.

FACSIMILE OF A LETTER BY PAGANINI, dated 1829. It was formerly in the
possession of the late Mr. Carrodus, the great English violinist.

_Plate 24_--Facing page 144.

A SEMI-CARICATURE OF PAGANINI with the inscription.

     The Modern Apollo (not Belvedere)
     Receiving the homage of 5,000 persons, after having pocketed
     £2,000 for two hours' performance.

Sketched at his last Concert at the King's Theatre. Published by G.
Madeley, Wellington Street, Strand, 1831.

_Plates 25 and 26_, see pages 176 and 177.

Reproductions of music MS. in British Museum. A Theme, with variations
for violin, with accompaniment, is a curious example of the great
master's compositions.

_Plate 27_--Facing page 190.

COPY OF A RARE COPPER MEDAL struck in Paganini's honor in 1831.


The extraordinary career of Paganini has received more attention than
the life of any other instrumentalist. Of these biographies, it is
impossible to give a complete list.

The following may, however, be commended.

     "Paganini in seinem Reisewagen und Zimmer, in seinen redseligen
     Stunden, in gesellsschaftlichen Kirkeln, und seinen Concerten."
     Brunswick, Vieweg, 1830. Mr. George Harris, the writer of this
     pamphlet, was an Englishman, who in order to study Paganini, became
     the Violinist's secretary and interpreter.

     "Leben, Charakter und Kunst N. Paganini's--Eine Skizze,"--by M. F.
     Shütz, a Professor at Halle. Leipzig, 1830.

     "Paganini's Leben und Treiben als Künstler und als Mensch." Prague,
     1830. Written by Professor Schottky.

     "Paganini's Leben und Charakter," by M. L. Vinela. Hamburg, 1830.

     "Notice sur le célèbre violoniste Nicolò Paganini," by M. J. Imbert
     de Laphaléque. Paris.

     "Paganini et de Bériot, ou Avis aux artistes qui se destinent à
     l'enseignement du Violon," by F. Fayolle. Paris, 1831.

     "Paganini, his life, his person, and a few words upon his secret,"
     by J. L. Anders. Paris, 1831.

     "Vita di Nicolò Paganini di Genova, scritta ed illustrata da
     Giancarlo Conestabile, socio di varie Academie." Perugia, 1831.

     "Nicolo Paganini," by F. J. Fétis. Published by Schott and Co.

     "L'Album." "Paganini." Rome, 1840.

     "Good Words." Three articles by Rev. H. R. Haweis, M.A.

     "Musical Gem." "Paganini." Portrait by R. J. Hamerton. London,

     "The Violin," with some account of that leading instrument and its
     most eminent professors, by George Dubourg, 1836 and 1878. This
     interesting book contains a long account of Paganini (illustrated.)

     "Life of Moscheles." Two vols. 1873. In Vol. I., chapters 13 and
     14, "Paganini."

     "Louis Spohr's Autobiography," _vide_ "Paganini," Vol. I., page
     279, and Vol. II., page 168. Spohr says: "His (Paganini's) left
     hand and his constantly pure intonation were to me astonishing."

     "Dictionary of Music and Musicians," by Sir George Grove, D.C.L.,
     _vide_ article Paganini.

     "Encyclopädie der gesammten musicalischen Wissenschaften," by Dr.
     Gustav Schilling. Article Paganini.

     Dr. Riemann's "Dictionary of Music," article Paganini.

     "The Strad," various articles and paragraphs in the series of this

     "The Violin," by George Hart. Engravings of Paganini's Violin.

     "Old Violins and their Makers," by James M. Fleming.

     "Ole Bull," by Sara C. Bull. Various notices of Paganini.

     "Musical Opinion," July, August, and September, 1888. A renowned
     fiddler (Paganini.) Three articles by Richard Harrison.

     "Musical News," 1903.

     "A Wooden Shoe" (Story of Paganini) by M. P. Audebrand.

     "Paganiniana," (circa 1865.)

     "Troubadour," August, 1899. Paganini, by Richard Harrison.

     "The Athenæum," 1831. Critiques on Paganini.

     "The Tatler," 1831.

     "An account of Paganini's début in London," June 3rd, 1831, by Mr.
     Gardner of Leicester, appears in Dubourg's "Violin."

     "Paganini's Concerts in Paris." A clever description was published
     in "Le Globe."

     "Foreign Quarterly Review" (circa 1832).

     "Catalogue of Paganini's compositions," by M. Conestabile.

     Paganini's works are published by Ricordi and Co., of Milan, and
     Schott and Co., of Mayence and London.

     "Revue et Gazette Musicale de Paris," December 23rd, 1840. Article

     "Story of the Violin," by Paul Stoeving.

     "The Quarterly Musical Magazine and Review," Vol. X.

     "Ueber Paganini's Kunst, die Violine zu spielen," by Carl F. W.
     Guhr, original edition 1831. Modern. Schott and Co.

     "Biographical Sketches of Celebrated Violinists." London: Bentley,

     "Celebrated Violinists, Past and Present." Translated from the
     German of A. Ehrlich, and edited with notes and additions by Robin
     H. Legge (eighteen pages devoted to Paganini). Portraits. STRAD
     Office, London.

     "Notice of Antony Stradivari," by F. J. Fétis. Translated by John
     Bishop. London, 1864.

     "The Harmonicon." An excellent musical journal. Published in London
     (contemporary with Paganini).

     "The Life of Rossini," by Sutherland Edwards.

     "History of Music," by Emil Naumann. 2 vols. Cassell and Co.,
     London, 1886.

     "Life and Letters of Sir Charles Hallé." Paganini is mentioned by a
     musical amateur (Count de Stendhal), 1814 and 1817.

     "Diary of an Invalid," by Mathews, 1818.

     "History of the Violin," by William Sandys and S. A. Forster, 1864.

     "Old Violins," by Rev. H. R. Haweis, M.A. 1898.

     "Researches into the History of the Violin Family," by Carl Engel.

     "Musical World." 1836.

     "Musical and Personal Recollections," by Henry Phillips, 1864.

     "Music and Manners in France and Germany," by Henry F. Chorley.

     "The Student's History of Music," by F. L. Ritter. 1880.

Collectors will be interested in the Medals and Busts of Paganini.

The English and Continental contemporary Press notices, etc., would
alone make a Paganini volume.

Of Paganini, there are many portraits, though too generally caricatures.
M. Fétis, in his Life of Paganini, gives a short but incomplete
catalogue. Those included in this volume have been carefully selected
from contemporary prints, etc.



_Crown 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9._

_"THE STRAD" LIBRARY EDITION is the only Authorised Edition of_

     Technics of Violin Playing


     With Folding Plates, containing Fifteen Illustrations.



MY DEAR MR. COURVOISIER: I have read the book on Violin Playing you have
sent me, and have to congratulate you sincerely on the manner in which
you have performed a most difficult task, _i.e._, to describe the best
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It cannot but be welcome to thoughtful teachers, who reflect on the
method of our art, and I hope that your work will prove useful to many

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Berlin, November 3rd, 1894.

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     By J. T. CARRODUS.


Strings and Tuning. The Bow and Bowing. Faults and their Correction.
Scales and their Importance. Course of Study. Advice on Elementary
Matters. Concerning Harmonics, Octaves, etc. Orchestral Playing. Some
Experiences as a Soloist. With full page portraits of Carrodus, Molique,
Paganini, Spohr, Sivori, De Beriot, Blagrove and Sainton, and a
photo-reproduction of Dr. Spohr's testimonial to Carrodus.

"An interesting series of articles 'How to Study the Violin,' which
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before his death, have now been collected in cheap book form. The
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and from such a pen most valuable."--_Daily News._

"But a few weeks before his sudden death the most distinguished of
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Pleasant gossip concerning provincial festivals at which Carrodus was
for many years 'leader' of the orchestra, ends a little volume worthy a
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of the life-work of an artist universally esteemed."--_Daily Chronicle._

"It is surely, hardly necessary to direct the attention of students to
the unique value of the hints and advice given by so experienced and
accomplished a virtuoso as the late Mr. Carrodus, so that it only
remains to state that the 'Recollections' make delightful reading, and
that the book, as a whole, is as entertaining as it is instructive. The
value of the _brochure_ is enhanced by an excellent portrait of Mr.
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printing, paper, and get up generally are good as could possibly
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     THE BOW
     Its History, Manufacture and Use


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     _Translated from the German of_
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"Those who love their fiddles better than their fellows, and who
treasure up every detail that can be found and recorded about their
favourite and cherished players, will not fail to provide themselves
with a copy of this book."--_Musical Opinion._

"This book of 280 pages is a most interesting and valuable addition to
the violinist's library. It contains 89 biographical sketches of
well-known artists, ancient and modern, of all nations. This is not
intended to be a perfect dictionary of violinists; the aim of the Editor
of the present volume being merely to give a few more up-to-date details
concerning some of the greatest of stringed instrument players, and we
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Germany is represented by 21 names, Italy by 13, France by 10, England
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_Copy of Letter received by the Author from the great 'cellist, SIGNOR

    Cadenabbia, Lake of Como, March 9th, 1898.

DEAR SIR,--I received the book you kindly sent me on "The Technics of
Violoncello Playing," which I found excellent, particularly for
beginners, which naturally was your scope. With many thanks for kindly
remembering an old ex-violoncello player.

    Believe me, yours sincerely,

_Copy of Letter received by the Author from the eminent 'cellist, HERR

    Budapest, February 22nd, 1898.

DEAR SIR,--In sending me your book on "The Technics of Violoncello
Playing" you have given me a real and true pleasure. I know of no work,
tutors and studies not excepted, which presents so much valuable
material, so much that is absolutely to the point, avoiding--I might
say, on principle--all that is superfluous and dispensable. Every
earnest thinking violoncello student will in future make your book his
own and thereby receive hints which will further and complete the
instructions of his master.

I congratulate you and ourselves most heartily on the new violoncello
book. With kind regards, Yours most sincerely,



_Crown 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9._




INTRODUCTORY--Qualities indispensable to the ideal Violinist--Hints on
the Choice of a Teacher--Some Tricks of pretending professors exposed.

ON THE CHOICE OF A VIOLIN AND BOW--Advice regarding general adjustment
and repairs.

ON THE CHOICE OF STRINGS--Stringing the Instrument and keeping the Pegs
in Order.

ON THE GENERAL POSTURE--The manner of holding the Violin and Bow as
accepted by the leading artists of the day.

ON FINGERING GENERALLY--The various positions--Scales recommended--The
Modern Orchestral "Principal" or (so-called) Leader.

ON GLIDING--Special Characteristics of some of the most Eminent Players.

DOUBLE STOPPING--The main difficulty in Double Stopping--How to gain
Independence of Finger.

BOWINGS--Smooth Bowings--Solid Staccato--Spiccato--Spring Bow--Mixed

TONE PRODUCTION--Character of Tone--Rules and Conditions necessary to
produce a good tone--Style and Expression.


_Crown 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9._

     Chats to 'Cello Students


"Musicians, devotees of the 'cello in particular, will welcome the
latest volume of THE 'STRAD Library,' 'Chats to 'Cello Students,' by
Arthur Broadley.... Mr. Broadley not only knows what he is talking
about, but has practised what he says. From the choice of an instrument
to finished delivery and orchestral playing, 'Chats to 'Cello Students'
leaves nothing undiscussed. The treatment is simple and practical. The
exhaustive chapter on 'bowing' should be an invaluable aid to students.
In the last chapter of his book, 'On Delivery and Style' Mr. Broadley
has given a lucid expression to a subject which has sadly needed
voicing."--_The Tribune, Nuneaton._

"Is a brightly written little volume filled with practical information
for those who seek to bring out the wealth of expression of which the
violoncello is capable. The instruction is presented in homely,
common-sense fashion, and there are upwards of fifty examples in music
type to illustrate the author's meaning."--_Lloyd's Weekly._

"Every kind of bowing and fingering, the portamento, harmonic effects,
arpeggios and their evolution from various chords, are all ably treated,
and the work concludes with a few remarks on orchestral playing which
are of especial interest."--_Musical News._

"As a writer on the technique of his instrument Mr. Broadley is known
all over the world, perhaps his most successful work being a little book
published by THE STRAD, 'Chats to 'Cello Students.'"--_The Violinist._


_Crown 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9._



_Of the Music Jury, International Inventions Exhibition, South
Kensington, 1885; International Exhibition, Edinburgh, 1890; Expert in
Law Courts, 1891; President of the Cremona Society._


"This is the history of the life-work of the great Italian stringed
musical instrument maker.... There is a most interesting analysis of
Stradivari's method of mechanical construction which again is
illustrated by original drawings from the many Strads which it has been
Mr. Petherick's privilege to examine. All lovers of the king of
instruments will read this delightful little volume."--_Reynolds._

"Among makers of violins Stradivari perhaps occupies the premier
position, and this account of his work, designs, and variations in
finish of details will afford pleasure to many readers."--_Morning

"This is a monograph which all students of the violin will be happy to
possess. The author is a connoisseur and expert, and his account of the
great Cremonese master and his life-work, is singularly well and clearly
told, whilst the technical descriptions and diagrams cannot fail to
interest everyone who has fallen under the spell of the violin.... Mr.
Petherick traces the career of Stradivari from his earliest insight into
the mysteries of the craft to his highest achievements. Numerous
illustrations lend attraction to the volume, not the least being a view
of Stradivari's atelier, from a painting by Rinaldi, the sketch of which
was made on the premises."--_Music._

"Mr. Petherick is well known in the musical world as a violin expert
with a special knowledge of the instruments made by the Cremonese
master, whose biography he has here given us. He tells us how the master
worked, what his pupils did, and where their work differs from that of
their preceptor. In fact, the volume is as much a dissertation on the
violins of Stradivari as a biography of the master, and is full of
deeply interesting matter."--_Lloyds._


_Crown 8vo., Cloth, 5/-, Post Free, 5/4._



With Thirty-one Full-page PHOTO ETCHINGS,

Illustrating the process of Violin-making in every stage--from the rough
slab of wood to the finished Instrument.

The text is written by an =Actual Violin Maker=, in a very clear and
lucid style.

"'Popular lecture' style, with photographic illustrations."--_The Times._

"A feature of the book is the clearness of the illustrations."--_Morning

"Describes a very fascinating art from start to finish."--_Morning

"This new booklet, on how to make a violin, is an admirable exposition
of methods. Mr. Mayson avoids learned terminology. He uses the simplest
English, and goes straight to the point. He begins by showing the young
learner how to choose the best wood for the violin that is to be.
Throughout a whole chatty, perfectly simple chapter, he discourses on
the back. A separate chapter is devoted to the modelling of the back,
and a third to its 'working out.' The art of sound-holes, ribs, neck,
fingerboard, the scroll, the belly. Among the illustrations is one
showing the tools which the author himself uses in the making of his
instruments. To learners of the well-known Manchester maker's delicate
art we commend this little volume."--_Daily News._


_Crown 8vo., Cloth, 2/6, Post Free, 2/9._



     Critically discussed, and Illustrated with over


The book contains analytical and historical notes upon the Chamber
Music of Beethoven, in which the violin takes part as a solo instrument,
with some account of the various editions of the principal works;
Beethoven's method of working, as shown by his Sketch Books, etc. It is
dedicated to Dr. JOACHIM, who has furnished some notes respecting the
stringed instruments possessed by Beethoven.

_Extract from Author's Preface_:--

"Young students often suppose that they ought to admire every work which
proceeds from a great genius; an attempt therefore has been made to
convey some idea of the relative art-value and importance of the various
compositions discussed in these pages. For between the best work of any
man and his least inspired, there is a wide difference. Certainly
nothing annoyed the great master more than to hear his least mature
works praised, especially at a time when many of his greatest creations
were too little studied to be understood save by a few."

"Mr. John Matthews--dealing with Beethoven's music in pleasant fashion,
and at not too great length--gives an historical account, and in many
instances short analyses, with illustrations in music type of
Beethoven's works for this instrument, and particularly the sonatas (to
which considerable space is devoted), the trios, the quartets, and other
compositions in which the master employed the violin. The book will be
found by amateurs both interesting and instructive."--_Daily News._




12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.

_"THE STRAD" LIBRARY EDITION is the only Authorised Edition of_

     Technics of Violin Playing


     With Folding Plates, containing Fifteen Illustrations.



MY DEAR MR. COURVOISIER: I have read the book on Violin Playing you have
sent me, and have to congratulate you sincerely on the manner in which
you have performed a most difficult task, _i.e._, to describe the best
way of arriving at a correct manner of playing the violin.

It cannot but be welcome to thoughtful teachers, who reflect on the
method of our art, and I hope that your work will prove useful to many

Believe me, my dear Mr. Courvoisier, to be most faithfully yours,


Berlin, November 3rd, 1894.

The New and Revised Edition of "Technics of Violin Playing," issued by
THE STRAD, is the only authorised edition of my work. The several
English Editions which have all appeared without my knowledge are
_incomplete_ and _faulty_.



12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.

     By J. T. CARRODUS.


Strings and Tuning. The Bow and Bowing. Faults and their Correction.
Scales and their Importance. Course of Study. Advice on Elementary
Matters. Concerning Harmonics, Octaves, etc. Orchestral Playing. Some
Experiences as a Soloist. With full page portraits of Carrodus, Molique,
Paganini, Spohr, Sivori, De Beriot, Blagrove and Sainton, and a
photo-reproduction of Dr. Spohr's testimonial to Carrodus.

"An interesting series of articles 'How to Study the Violin,' which
Carrodus contributed to THE STRAD, and completed only a week or two
before his death, have now been collected in cheap book form. The
technical hints to violin students, which are practical, plainly worded,
and from such a pen most valuable."--_Daily News._

"But a few weeks before his sudden death the most distinguished of
native violinists completed in THE STRAD a series of chats to students
of the instrument associated with his name. These chats are now
re-issued, with a sympathetic preface and instructive annotations. All
who care to listen to what were virtually the last words of such a
conscientious teacher will recognise the pains taken by Carrodus to
render every detail as clear to the novice as to the advanced pupil.
Pleasant gossip concerning provincial festivals at which Carrodus was
for many years 'leader' of the orchestra, ends a little volume worthy a
place in musical libraries both for its practical value and as a memento
of the life-work of an artist universally esteemed."--_Daily Chronicle._

"It is surely, hardly necessary to direct the attention of students to
the unique value of the hints and advice given by so experienced and
accomplished a virtuoso as the late Mr. Carrodus, so that it only
remains to state that the 'Recollections' make delightful reading, and
that the book, as a whole, is as entertaining as it is instructive. The
value of the _brochure_ is enhanced by an excellent portrait of Mr.
Carrodus, as well as of a number of other violin worthies, and the
printing, paper, and get up generally are good as could possibly
be."--_Musical Answers._


12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.

     THE BOW
     Its History, Manufacture and Use


With Full Page Illustrations (exact size) by Photo Process.

MONS. EMILE SAURET writes--"I have read it with great interest, and
think that it supplies a real want in giving musicians such an excellent
description of all matters referring to this important instrument."

SIGNOR GUIDO PAPINI writes--"Thanks so much for your splendid and
interesting book. You are quite successful and all the artists and
amateurs are indebted to you for so exact and correct a '_Texte_' on the

ADOLF BRODSKY writes--"I am delighted with the book and find it very
instructive, even for those who think to know everything about the bow.
It is very original and at times very amusing. No violinist should miss
the opportunity to buy it."

THE TIMES--"A useful treatise on the Bow, in which the history,
manufacture and use of the bow are discussed with considerable technical

DAILY TELEGRAPH--"To the student there is much of interest in the work,
which has the advantage of being copiously illustrated."

DAILY NEWS--"This book seems practically to exhaust its subject."


12MO., CLOTH, 2.00.


     _Translated from the German of_
     A. EHRLICH,

     _And Edited with Notes and Additions by_



"Those who love their fiddles better than their fellows, and who
treasure up every detail that can be found and recorded about their
favourite and cherished players, will not fail to provide themselves
with a copy of this book."--_Musical Opinion._

"This book of 280 pages is a most interesting and valuable addition to
the violinist's library. It contains 89 biographical sketches of
well-known artists, ancient and modern, of all nations. This is not
intended to be a perfect dictionary of violinists; the aim of the Editor
of the present volume being merely to give a few more up-to-date details
concerning some of the greatest of stringed instrument players, and we
must concede that no name of the first importance has been omitted.
Germany is represented by 21 names, Italy by 13, France by 10, England
by 4, Bohemia by 8, Belgium by 7, and the fair sex by seven well-known
ladies, such as Teresina Tua, Therése and Marie Milanollo, Lady Hallé,
Marie Soldat, Gabrielle Wietrowetz, and Arma Senkrah. Altogether this is
most agreeable reading to the numerous army of violinists, both
professionals and amateurs, and after careful examination we can find
nothing but praise for this translation into English of a book well
known on the Continent."--_The Piano, Organ and Music Trades Journal._


12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.




_Copy of Letter received by the Author from the great 'cellist, SIGNOR

    Cadenabbia, Lake of Como, March 9th, 1898.

DEAR SIR,--I received the book you kindly sent me on "The Technics of
Violoncello Playing," which I found excellent, particularly for
beginners, which naturally was your scope. With many thanks for kindly
remembering an old ex-violoncello player.

    Believe me, yours sincerely,

_Copy of Letter received by the Author from the eminent 'cellist, HERR

    Budapest, February 22nd, 1898.

DEAR SIR,--In sending me your book on "The Technics of Violoncello
Playing" you have given me a real and true pleasure. I know of no work,
tutors and studies not excepted, which presents so much valuable
material, so much that is absolutely to the point, avoiding--I might
say, on principle--all that is superfluous and dispensable. Every
earnest thinking violoncello student will in future make your book his
own and thereby receive hints which will further and complete the
instructions of his master.

I congratulate you and ourselves most heartily on the new violoncello
book. With kind regards, Yours most sincerely,



12MO., CLOTH, 1.00




INTRODUCTORY--Qualities indispensable to the ideal Violinist--Hints on
the Choice of a Teacher--Some Tricks of pretending professors exposed.

ON THE CHOICE OF A VIOLIN AND BOW--Advice regarding general adjustment
and repairs.

ON THE CHOICE OF STRINGS--Stringing the Instrument and keeping the Pegs
in Order.

ON THE GENERAL POSTURE--The manner of holding the Violin and Bow as
accepted by the leading artists of the day.

ON FINGERING GENERALLY--The various positions--Scales recommended--The
Modern Orchestral "Principal" or (so-called) Leader.

ON GLIDING--Special Characteristics of some of the most Eminent Players.

DOUBLE STOPPING--The main difficulty in Double Stopping--How to gain
Independence of Finger.

BOWINGS--Smooth Bowings--Solid Staccato--Spiccato--Spring Bow--Mixed

TONE PRODUCTION--Character of Tone--Rules and Conditions necessary to
produce a good tone--Style and Expression.


12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.

     Chats to 'Cello Students


"Musicians, devotees of the 'cello in particular, will welcome the
latest volume of THE 'STRAD Library,' 'Chats to 'Cello Students,' by
Arthur Broadley.... Mr. Broadley not only knows what he is talking
about, but has practised what he says. From the choice of an instrument
to finished delivery and orchestral playing, 'Chats to 'Cello Students'
leaves nothing undiscussed. The treatment is simple and practical. The
exhaustive chapter on 'bowing' should be an invaluable aid to students.
In the last chapter of his book, 'On Delivery and Style' Mr. Broadley
has given a lucid expression to a subject which has sadly needed
voicing."--_The Tribune, Nuneaton._

"Is a brightly written little volume filled with practical information
for those who seek to bring out the wealth of expression of which the
violoncello is capable. The instruction is presented in homely,
common-sense fashion, and there are upwards of fifty examples in music
type to illustrate the author's meaning."--_Lloyd's Weekly._

"Every kind of bowing and fingering, the portamento, harmonic effects,
arpeggios and their evolution from various chords, are all ably treated,
and the work concludes with a few remarks on orchestral playing which
are of especial interest."--_Musical News._

"As a writer on the technique of his instrument Mr. Broadley is known
all over the world, perhaps his most successful work being a little book
published by THE STRAD, 'Chats to 'Cello Students.'"--_The Violinist._


12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.



_Of the Music Jury, International Inventions Exhibition, South
Kensington, 1885; International Exhibition, Edinburgh, 1890; Expert in
Law Courts, 1891; President of the Cremona Society._


"This is the history of the life-work of the great Italian stringed
musical instrument maker.... There is a most interesting analysis of
Stradivari's method of mechanical construction which again is
illustrated by original drawings from the many Strads which it has been
Mr. Petherick's privilege to examine. All lovers of the king of
instruments will read this delightful little volume."--_Reynolds._

"Among makers of violins Stradivari perhaps occupies the premier
position, and this account of his work, designs, and variations in
finish of details will afford pleasure to many readers."--_Morning

"This is a monograph which all students of the violin will be happy to
possess. The author is a connoisseur and expert, and his account of the
great Cremonese master and his life-work, is singularly well and clearly
told, whilst the technical descriptions and diagrams cannot fail to
interest everyone who has fallen under the spell of the violin.... Mr.
Petherick traces the career of Stradivari from his earliest insight into
the mysteries of the craft to his highest achievements. Numerous
illustrations lend attraction to the volume, not the least being a view
of Stradivari's atelier, from a painting by Rinaldi, the sketch of which
was made on the premises."--_Music._

"Mr. Petherick is well known in the musical world as a violin expert
with a special knowledge of the instruments made by the Cremonese
master, whose biography he has here given us. He tells us how the master
worked, what his pupils did, and where their work differs from that of
their preceptor. In fact, the volume is as much a dissertation on the
violins of Stradivari as a biography of the master, and is full of
deeply interesting matter."--_Lloyds._


12MO., CLOTH, 2.00.



With Thirty-one Full-page PHOTO ETCHINGS,

Illustrating the process of Violin-making in every stage--from the rough
slab of wood to the finished Instrument.

The text is written by an =Actual Violin Maker=, in a very clear and
lucid style.

"'Popular lecture' style, with photographic illustrations."--_The Times._

"A feature of the book is the clearness of the illustrations."--_Morning

"Describes a very fascinating art from start to finish."--_Morning

"This new booklet, on how to make a violin, is an admirable exposition
of methods. Mr. Mayson avoids learned terminology. He uses the simplest
English, and goes straight to the point. He begins by showing the young
learner how to choose the best wood for the violin that is to be.
Throughout a whole chatty, perfectly simple chapter, he discourses on
the back. A separate chapter is devoted to the modelling of the back,
and a third to its 'working out.' The art of sound-holes, ribs, neck,
fingerboard, the scroll, the belly. Among the illustrations is one
showing the tools which the author himself uses in the making of his
instruments. To learners of the well-known Manchester maker's delicate
art we commend this little volume."--_Daily News._


12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.



     Critically discussed, and Illustrated with over


The book contains analytical and historical notes upon the Chamber
Music of Beethoven, in which the violin takes part as a solo instrument,
with some account of the various editions of the principal works;
Beethoven's method of working, as shown by his Sketch Books, etc. It is
dedicated to Dr. JOACHIM, who has furnished some notes respecting the
stringed instruments possessed by Beethoven.

_Extract from Author's Preface_:--

"Young students often suppose that they ought to admire every work which
proceeds from a great genius; an attempt therefore has been made to
convey some idea of the relative art-value and importance of the various
compositions discussed in these pages. For between the best work of any
man and his least inspired, there is a wide difference. Certainly
nothing annoyed the great master more than to hear his least mature
works praised, especially at a time when many of his greatest creations
were too little studied to be understood save by a few."

"Mr. John Matthews--dealing with Beethoven's music in pleasant fashion,
and at not too great length--gives an historical account, and in many
instances short analyses, with illustrations in music type of
Beethoven's works for this instrument, and particularly the sonatas (to
which considerable space is devoted), the trios, the quartets, and other
compositions in which the master employed the violin. The book will be
found by amateurs both interesting and instructive."--_Daily News._


12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.

     Advice to Pupils & Teachers
     of the Violin,


_Strongly recommended by_ =AUGUST WILHELMJ= & =GUIDO PAPINI=.

    _London, March 18th, 1903._


I read your book, "Advice to Pupils and Teachers of the Violin," with
great interest, and find it very useful. Hoping your book will meet with
the success it deserves.

    I am, yours sincerely,

    _London, Feb. 19th, 1903._


I have read with interest your admirable book, "Advice to Pupils and
Teachers of the Violin." I have no hesitation in recommending it as an
indispensable work to all aspiring violinists and teachers. Your remarks
on the acquirement of the various bowings, with the many musical
examples, are excellent. I know of no work on this important subject so
explicit and exhaustive. Wishing your book the great success it

    Believe me, yours sincerely,

"I have read the 157 pages that go to form the book in question, and can
say, without any misgiving, that Mr. Althaus has successfully achieved
what he set out to do."--_Musical Standard._


12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.

     Repairing and Restoration
     of Violins,


_Of the Music Jury, International Inventions Exhibition, South
Kensington, 1885; International Exhibition, Edinburgh, 1890; Expert in
Law Courts, 1891; President of the Cremona Society._



The proper sort of glue--Its preparation and use--Loose
fingerboards--Injuries to the scroll--Insertion of fresh wood--Fracture
of peg-box and shell--Worn peg-holes--Refilling or boring
same--Grafting--Lengthening the neck--Treatment of worm-holes--Fixing on
graft on neck--Ways of removing the upper table and the neck--Cleansing
the interior--Closing of cracks in upper table--Getting parts
together that apparently do not fit--Treatment of warped lower
table--Repairing old end blocks by new ones--Matching wood for large
cracks--Replacing lost portions--Repairs to purfling--Removal of a fixed
sound-post--Fitting a fresh part of worm-eaten rib--Lining a thin
back--Fixing the bar--Varnishing, etc., etc.

"The author is a man of wide experience, and with him it is a labour of
love, so that few more suitable hands could be found for the task. To
him fiddles are quite human in their characteristics, needing a
'physician within beck and call,' and developing symptoms capable of
temporary alleviation or permanent cure, as the case may be, and no
remedial measures are left undescribed."--_Musical News._

"Mr. Petherick is a man of wide experience in violins, so his hints
about the treatment and care of the instrument are invaluable. His
imaginary interviews are both clever and amusing, and, moreover, contain
useful information of what to do, and avoid, in the treatment of
violins."--_Hereford Times._


12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.

     Solo Playing, Soloists and Solos,


"Mr. William Henley is an excellent performer, and his book, 'The
Violin: Solo Playing, Soloists and Solos,' is the result of considerable
practice in the art he discusses.... The opening advice to violin
students, the insistence on tune first and then on tone, the latter
depending greatly for its excellence upon the correctness of the former,
is not only worth saying, but is said well, and with conviction. Mr.
Henley discriminates well between violinists: Joachim, the classic;
Carrodus, the plain; Sarasate, the neat and elegant; and Wilhelmj, the
fiery and bold.... The list of violin concertos, given in the last
chapter but one of the book, seems a very complete one, and should be
useful for purposes of reference."--_The London and Provincial Music
Trades Review._

"For the student whose intention it is to make the violin a means
of livelihood--the professional soloist or orchestral player in
embryo--this little work, written in a spirit of obvious sincerity, is
well-nigh invaluable.... The chapters on 'Teaching and Studies,' 'The
Artist,' 'Phrasing,' 'Conception,' and 'True Feeling,' are very
well written, and the whole work is worth careful and diligent
perusal."--_The Musical World._

"The author of this book has thought much and deeply on the fascinating
subject of which he treats, and is entitled to a hearing.... The
author's remarks on 'Tone' are excellently conceived, and of no small
interest, the subject being less hackneyed than that of ordinary
technique. In his chapter on 'Style' he reminds the readers of the many
factors which go to the making of a fine violinist, among which
Style--which is the outcome of the imagination and the sensibility of
the player--is one of the most important. The fine executant is common
enough now-a-days, but the fine stylist as rare as ever."--_Musical


12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.



     (_Author of "Advice to Pupils and Teachers of the Violin."_)

With 283 Musical Examples.




    GRADE A.--Elementary Pieces.

    GRADE B.--Easy, not exceeding First Position.

    GRADE C.--Easy, using First and Third Position.


    GRADE D.--Moderately Difficult, not exceeding the Third Position.

    GRADE E.--Moderately Difficult, as far as the Fifth Position.

    GRADE F.--Difficult, especially as regards Sentiment and


    GRADE G.--Difficult, using all Positions.

    GRADE H.--Very Difficult, including Standard Concertos and
    Concert Pieces.

    GRADE I.--For Virtuosi.


12MO., CLOTH, 1.00.


     OR THE

     _Translated and Adapted from the German of_



"The school of Cremona is dealt with at great length, but in the most
interesting way. Short biographical sketches are given of the great
exponents of this school, which was founded by Andreas Amati. To it
belonged Antonio Stradivari, who is said to be the greatest of all
violin makers, and Joseph Guarnerius. The pupils of the Amati and the
others mentioned are duly tabulated before the schools of Milan and
Venice are discussed. Following these we have the German school, etc.,
etc. Part III. of the book under notice deals with the constituent parts
of the violin, and there is nothing that the seeker after knowledge
cannot find here, even to the number of hairs which should go to the
making of a bow. Strings, bridges, sound-posts, bass-bars, nuts,
pegs--indeed, everything about a violin is treated in an authoritative
way. Not for a very long time have we been so interested in a book, and
for that reason we wish our violin players to share that pleasure by
getting a copy."--_The Cumnock Chronicle._


12MO., CLOTH, 2.00.



(_Of the Music Jury, International Inventions Exhibition, South
Kensington, 1885; International Exhibition, Edinburgh, 1890; Expert in
Law Courts, 1891; President of the Cremona Society_).

With numerous Illustrations by the Author, 41 full-page Reproductions of


220 pages of Letterpress.

"Mr. Petherick is well known in the musical world as a violin expert
with a special knowledge of the instruments made by the Cremonese

This is the only exhaustive work published on JOSEPH GUARNERIUS, and the
Author claims to have discovered his Teacher in Andreas Gisalberti,
whose name is here mentioned for the first time as a maker of renown.



       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

"Nicolò" and "Nicolo" were both used in the text. Many other variant and
alternative spellings have been preserved, except where obviously
misspelled in the original. Obvious punctuation errors have also been

The illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up paragraphs
and so that they are next the text they illustrate. Thus the location of
an illustration may not match the references to it in the text.

The printed text was followed by two series of advertisements. The first
series was reproduced in the second, except with American rather than
British pricing. The first series bore a header "Advertisements." on each
page; this has been replaced by a heading preceding the advertisements.
Only the second series had page numbers.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Nicolo Paganini: His Life and Work" ***

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+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.