Paganini, Nicolò. (1782–1840)
24 Caprices, op. 1 - Group of Early Editions and Facsimile Manuscript Score
An attractive group of first and early editions of the violin virtuoso's famous collection of Caprices, together with a facsimile edition of the original manuscript and housed together in a handsome custom leather box. Box in full brown leather, marbled edges, with raised bands and gilt lettering and ornaments to the spine: "Niccolo Paganini / 24 Capricci (Erstdrucke) und Original-Handschriften / 1782–1840." Slight rubbing to one edge, but overall very fine. Overall size 11.5 x 13.75 x 2 inches (29 x 35 x 5 cm). Complete contents as follows:
24 Caprices pour le Violon composés par N. Paganini. Oeuv. 1. À Leipzic Chez Breitkopf & Härtel, . [PN] 3936. 38 pp. Engraved. First German edition of the Caprices, 3 years after their initial release by Ricordi of Milan. Marbled cardboard wrappers with hand-written label. Rather heavy foxing; spine partially split. Overall very good. 10 x 12.5 inches (25.5 x 32.5 cm).
Vingt-quatre Caprices ou Etudes pour le Violin Composés et Dédiés aux Artistes par N. Paganini. Oeuv. 1er. Nouvelle édition doigtée par Henry, Auteur des Etudes dédiés à Kreutzer. À Paris: Richaud, [ca. 1824-5]. [PN] 1028. Engraved. Edition with fingerings by the violinist Benigne Henri. Ownership signature, ownership blind-stamp, and bookseller stamp to the title. Sewn binding reinforced with paper tape. Title page rather soiled, some internal foxing; overall fine. 10 x 12.5 inches (25.8 x 32 cm).
Etude pour le Violon composée de Vingt-Quatre Caprices dédiés aux Artistes par Nicolo Paganini. Oeuv. 1er. À Paris: [Pacini], . [PN] 950. 42 pp. Engraved. Imprint partially scratched out, but with the address of Pacini (Boulevard des Italiens no. 11) and stamped on the title by Pacini. Annotated throughout, with note to the title reading: "Nouvelle edition doigtée par Henry auteur des études dédiées à Kreutzer," fingerings throughout in ink, and a headnote to each Caprice noting its difficulty; these annotations are taken from the previous edition. Sewn binding, repaired to some pages with paper tape. Spine partially split; light foxing; some edge damage. Overall very good. 9.5 x 12.5 inches (24 x 32 cm).
Niccolo Paganini. 24 Capricci op. 1, per violono. Facsimile dell'autografo. Milan: Ricordi, 1974. No. 19 of 1000 copies. Softcover,  pp, together with a separate volume containing an introduction by Yehudi Menuhin and a preface by Federico Mompellio. Enclosed in a portfolio and slipcase. Very fine. 12.5 x 9 inches (32 x 23 cm).
In his opus 1, Paganini proudly announces the new era of the virtuoso on his title page, in that his work is explicitly aimed at professional virtuosos rather than amateur musicians. Paganini's Caprices became the inspiration for a new era in instrumental virtuosity in general, and provided well-known themes for many works modelled on them, including by Schumann (1831), Liszt (1851), Brahms (1863), Szymanowski (1918), Rachmaninov (1934), Lutoslawski (1941) and Lloyd Webber (1977).