Paganini, Niccolo (Ricci): Cantabile and Waltz for Violin & Piano.
Edited by Ruggerio Ricci.
The Cantabile is a perfect example of three-part song form. In the opening bars of the violin melody, which begins without accompaniment, Paganini immediately betrays his indebtedness to two somewhat related influences: Italian opera and the decorative arabesque style of instrumental writing characteristic of the piano music of Chopin. A second section, in A major, follows in much the same manner as the first, climaxing in a three-measure cadential pattern whose elegant but fevered ornamentation spans nearly the entire range of the violin. As the music of the opening is reprised in the third and final section, Paganini allows the melody to unfold an octave lower than before. A wild virtuosic flourish–the only one of its kind in the piece–dissolves into the tender coda, which eventually sums up the work in two gentle pizzicati.