• Corpus ID: 44003688

Virtuosity, the violin, the devil…what really made Paganini “demonic”?

@article{Kawabata2007VirtuosityTV,
  title={Virtuosity, the violin, the devil…what really made Paganini “demonic”?},
  author={Maiko Kawabata},
  journal={Current Musicology},
  year={2007},
  volume={83}
}
Our inherited image of Nicolo Paganini as a "demonic" violinist - a Gothic figure exemplifying Romanticism and epitomizing instrumental virtuosity - has never been analyzed in depth. What really made him "demonic"? According to the most popular legend, Paganini, like Faust, made a pact with Satan to acquire magical powers - enabling him to create effects on the violin beyond the reach of anyone else. Others thought he was possessed by the devil and coaxed the violin to produce what they… 

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