Nicolò Paganini’s works for guitar were only published in their entirety in 1989. The Genoese musician was a sensation during his lifetime and is still counted among the greatest violinists of all time, yet he was also an excellent guitarist. At the other end of the compositional spectrum to his works for violin, Paganini’s guitar works have a more intimate feel; not intended for the concert hall, they are often free from the virtuosic display that was typical of solo works of the era.
The Ghiribizzi collection contains a charm and simplicity appropriate to the musical proficiency and development of a young guitar student, concentrating on areas such as ornamentation, scalic exercises and pedal notes. The 37 Sonatas are a collection of two-movement pieces (with the exception of No.11 and Nos. 34–37); among the movements are charismatic minuets, mellow Andantinos and lilting waltzes. A further wealth of compositional variation can be found in the Guitar works MS85–105. The Grande Sonata, one of Paganini's most popular works, originally employed the violin as an accompaniment to the guitar; this collection provides a performance of the Sonata for solo guitar -- a real treat. The use of a period guitar for this recording adds a special quality to the collection.
Luigi Attademo, prizewinner in the 1995 Concours International d’Exécution Musicale (Geneva), is an acclaimed performer of both Baroque and contemporary guitar music. He regularly travels throughout Europe to give recitals and participate in recordings; he also appears on the 2009 Brilliant Classics release of Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas for guitar.
- Recorded in 2012.
- Niccolo Paganini went into history as a violinist whose supernatural gifts led his audiences to believe he had a pact with the devil (and such indeed was his appearance…). Lesser known, but no less attractive, are his works for guitar, an instrument he “owned” as well (evidently it came in the same pact).
- Paganini’s guitar works are attractive genre pieces written in classical/early-romantic style, gallant, witty and melodious, meant rather for the salon than the concert hall.
- Master guitarist Luigi Attademo (already recorded Scarlatti Sonatas on Brilliant Classics 9125) plays on a magnificent historic instrument, a Guadagnini from 1851 (Gabriele Lodi Collection, Carpi, Italy).