Paganini flashed across the musical heavens of Europe like a meteor, regarded as the "King of Violinists," "Demon of Fiddlers," "Virtuoso in Excelsis." Never has a musician created such a furor during his own time and long thereafter. His life and music were shrouded in secrecy, mystery, and legend. Largely self-taught as a violinist, he developed his own technique, enabling him to perform unprecedented feats with dazzling perfection. Not a single new device for the fiddle has been invented since; and the fact that the violin is one of the most difficult instruments to master makes his accomplishments even more amazing.1
There is a near-law in music that lasting greatness is achieved only by composers. Paganini is the outstanding exception, being remembered as a virtuoso and a revolutionary technical innovator.2 He was a talented composer also; but we are less familiar with his compositions because they are seldom
Smith RD, Worthington JW. Paganini: The Riddle and Connective Tissue. JAMA. 1967;199(11):820–824. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120110092014
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