Paganini

(Genoa, 1887-1891)
Complete Introduction : Italian | English

Prepared by Flavio Menardi Noguera and Marcello Conati
1 volume 1 volumes (1993)

Published in Genoa by the Tipografia del Regio Istituto Sordo-Muti, the monthly (and later bi-monthly) journal Paganini reflects the culmination of three decades of work to modernize the musical life of Genoa. The revitalization of Genovese music making was begun by a circle of professional musicians and music scholars whose goal was the expansion of knowledge and the performance of instrumental music. The principal editor was Lorenzo Parodi, a composer, theorist and music critic who had studied with Massenet and Giraud in Paris. There Parodi developed a strong interest in French music, which is reflected in the pages of Paganini.

For five years, Paganini revealed fully the variety of artistic events in Italian musical life: years of affirmation of a new generation of Italian opera composers including Franchetti (Asrael and Cristoforo Colombo), Catalani (Edmea and Loreley) and Puccini (Le Villi and Edgar), the introduction of Mascagni with Cavalleria rusticana (winner of the Sonzogno prize), and of a new model for melodrama, opera verista. The journal paid as much if not more attention to French musical life demonstrated by critical and frequently penetrating appraisals of, among others, Bizet, Chabrier, Gounod, Massenet, Saint-Saëns and Bourgault-Ducoudray. The journal’s modern orientation is reflected in its constant attention to instrumental music through detailed reporting of concert activities, reviews of published music, reviews of symphonic concerts, and some critical investigations: César Cui on music in Russia and Anton Rubinstein’s series on keyboard literature.

Eighty-four pieces of music, many composed for the journal, by fifty-nine composers are included in the eighty-six issues of Paganini. While the priority is given to compositions by native Genovese composers, compositions by Puccini, Alfredo Catalani, Luigi Mancinelli, Alberto Franchetti, Saint-Saëns and Théodore Dubois are included. Among the principal collaborators are composer and critic Odoardo Damele, music critic and composer Achille De Marzi, and music critic Ernesto Ferretti. Correspondents from the main Italian cities—Milan, Naples, Reggio Emilia, Siena and Florence—are also regular contributors.