It has been two centuries since Paganini, consummate violinist, wrote this piece of bravura for his own performances. It was eventually published in 1817 and was to inspire numerous variations (29 to date), ranging from low key (for solo guitar) to grandiose (for a full Zarathustra-style orchestra), some (by Schumann, Milhaud, Casella, Dallapiccola and others) now curiously forgotten. The theme has never ceased to serve as a showcase of technical prowess, the latest being Andrew Lloyd Webber’s acclaimed variations for cello and rock band (1977). Featured here are choice masterpieces – for solo piano (Liszt, 1851 and Brahms, 1863), for violin and piano (Szymanowski,1918), for piano and orchestra (Lutoslawski, 1978 and Rachmaninov,1934) and for symphony orchestra (Blacher,1947).
PRD 250 338