The Romantic Era

nineteenth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Niccolo Paganini



Paganini was born in Genoa m Italy. He was given a violin by his parents, who cherished hopes he would become a great virtuoso - something his father sought to encourage by locking the boy in a room to practise for hours at a time. At the age of 11 he made his first public appearance, performing a set of his own variations to a rapt audience; at 13 he made His first tour.

In 1801 Paganini moved to Lucca and soon became leader of the new national orchestra. There he was persuaded by his lover to take up the guitar, and wrote several delightful compositions, including 12 sonatas for violin and guitar. In 1805 Napoleon Bonaparte's sister. Princess Elisa, was installed m Lucca. Paganini improvised for her a piece on two strings of his violin, intending to represent a pair of lovers; he commemorated Napoleon's birthday with his Sonata Napoleone for performance entirely on one string.

Paganini left Lucca m 1809 and toured Italy, mesmerizing audiences with his brilliant musicianship, performing any piece of music at sight. In order to show off his abilities he composed pieces ot exceptional difficulty, one such being the 24 Caprices for solo violin, whose technical demands are so great that for a long time they were thought of as unperformable except by their composer. He turned his hand to orchestral works as well, writing numerous violin concertos and the Le streghe (Witches' Dance) variations for violin and orchestra. An aura of mystery began to surround Paganini. With his unkempt appearance and wild stare, he was thought by many to derive his uncanny gifts from a pact with the devil, and was dubbed "the devil's son."

In 1824 Paganini started a liaison with Antonia Bianchi. When the relationship later faltered, he gained custody of their son, Achille. Paganini gave triumphant performances in Vienna, Berlin, and Pans

from 1 828 to 1831, but his experiences in London were less happy. Exorbitant ticket pricing gave rise to a furore of protest conducted through the pages of The Times. The admission prices were reduced, and The Times was forced to acknowledge Paganini's genius, although a reputation for meanness was less easily dispelled. From 1834 increasing illness put an end to Paganini's playing career. He developed an interest in gambling and even bought a stake in a Parisian casino, before succumbing in 1 840 to cancer of the larynx.

Paganini's influence was twofold. For other performers he provided a model of technical brilliance and advanced the cult of the virtuoso; for composers he pointed to the possibilities of including virtuoso elements m their music. Chopin's dazzling Etudes owe a debt to Paganmi; Brahms and Schumann were also admirers. A final indication of his appeal is the range of composers who have composed variations based on his Caprice Nо. 24 in A minor, including Brahms, Rachmaninov, Lutoslawski, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Niccolo Paganini



Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840)



Ilia Gringolts
Capriccio No. 1

Kim Soovin
Capriccio No. 11

Nate Robinson
Capriccio No. 17

Alexander Tomescu
La Campanella

Volodja Balzalorsky

Sayaka Shoji
I Palpiti, op. 13

Ilia Gringolts
Nel cor piu non mi sento

Jan Cerkow
Violin concerto No.1 in D major


Eugene Delacroix





















J.S. Strauss







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