See also:Italian virtuoso on the
See also:violin, was
See also:born at Genoa on the 18th of
See also:February 1784 . His
See also:father Antonio, a
See also:amateur, who was in the
See also:shipping business, taught him the violin at a very early age, and he had further lessons from the
See also:maestro di cappella of the
See also:cathedral of
See also:San Lorenzo . He first appeared in public at Genoa in 1793, with triumphant success . In 1795 he visited
See also:Parma for the purpose of taking lessons from Alessandro Rolla, who, however, said that he had nothing to teach him . On returning home, he studied more diligently than ever, practising single passages for ten
See also:hours at a
See also:time, and
See also:publishing compositions so difficult that he alone could
See also:play them . His first professional tour, through the cities of
See also:Lombardy, was made with his father in 1797 . For some years he led a chequered career; he gambled at
See also:cards, and had to
See also:pawn his violin; and between 18or and 1804 he lived in retirement, in Tuscany, with a
See also:lady who was in love with him . In 1805 however he started on a tour through
See also:Europe, astonishing the
See also:world with his matchless performances, and especially with his unprecedented playing on the
See also:string alone . The princess of Lucca and Piombo,
See also:sister, made him her musical director, and he became a prominent figure at the
See also:court where his caprices and audacities were a by-word . He abandoned this in 1813, and visited Bologna, Milan, and other cities, gaining further fame by his extraordinary virtuosity . In Venice, in 1815, he began a liaison with Antonia Bianchi, a dancer, which lasted till 1828; and by her he had a son Achillino, born in 1826 . Meanwhile the world rang with his praises .
In 1827 the
See also:pope honoured him with the
See also:Order of the
See also:Spur; and, in the following
See also:year, he extended his travels to Germany, beginning with Vienna, where he created a profound sensation . He first appeared in
See also:Paris in 1831; and on the 3rd of
See also:June in that year he played in
See also:London at the
See also:King's Theatre . His visit to England was preluded by the most romantic stories . He was described as a
See also:political victim who had been immured for twenty years in a
See also:dungeon, where he played all
See also:day long upon an old broken violin with one string, and thus gained his wonderful
See also:mechanical dexterity . The result of this and other foolish reports was that he could not walk the streets without being mobbed . He charged what for that time were enormous fees; and his
See also:net profits in England alone, during his six years of
See also:absence from his own
See also:country, amounted to some £17,000 . In 1832 he returned to Italy, and bought a
See also:villa near Parma . In 1833 he spent the winter in Paris, and in 1834
See also:Berlioz composed for him his beautiful
See also:symphony, Harold en Italie . He was than at the
See also:zenith of his fame; but his
See also:health, long since ruined by excessive study, declined rapidly . In 1838 he suffered serious losses in Paris through the failure of the "
See also:Paganini," a gambling-
See also:house which was refused a licence . The disasters of this year increased his malady—laryngeal phthisisand, after much suffering, he died at
See also:Nice on the 17th of May x840 . His will
See also:left a
See also:fortune of £8o,000 to his son Achillino; and he bequeathed one of his violins, a
See also:Joseph Guarnerius, given him in early
See also:life by a kind French
See also:merchant, to the
See also:municipality of Genoa, who preserve it as one of their treasures .
See also:style was impressive and passionate to the last degree . His cantabile passages moved his
See also:audience to tears, while his
See also:tours de force were so astonishing that a Viennese amateur publicly declared that he had seen the devil assisting him . His name stands in
See also:history as that of the most extraordinary executant ever known on the violin; and in spite of greater artists or no less remarkable later virtuosi, this reputation will remain with Paganini as the inaugurator of an epoch . He was the first to show what could be done by brilliance of technique, and his compositions were directed to that end . He was an undeniable
See also:genius, and it may be added that he behaved and looked like one, with his tall, emaciated figure and long black hair . There are numerous lives of Paganini ; see the article and bibliography in
See also:Dictionary of
See also:Music .
PAGAN (Lat. paganus, of or belonging to a pagus, a ...
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