Niccolò Paganini

Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor ("La campanella"), Op. 7, MS 48

    Description by Edward Moore

    Paganini composed his second violin concerto about eight years after the first, when his fame as a virtuoso soloist had been fully established. It is perhaps for this reason that the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2, in B minor, Opus 7 -- subtitled "La Campanella" ("The Bell," after the persistent use of a triangle in the famous theme of the final movement) -- focuses more on pure melodic content and thematic development than virtuoso flourish. Indeed, in this piece, perhaps more than any other, we see Paganini's virtues as a composer shining forth. Of course there are technical displays, but the focus is on the unity of the concerto and its effect as a dramatic, indeed operatic, piece of music. Paganini had an immense fondness for Italian opera, especially the music of Rossini (who in turn rejoiced that Paganini had not become an opera composer). Rossini's influence is especially marked in the opening movement of the Concerto No. 2, which bears a remarkable resemblance to the overture to Rossini's Barber of Seville. However, the rondo theme of the final movement is its most interesting feature. This brilliant theme has a marked gypsy feel, and is a fine example of pure virtuosity harnessed to the service of a grand musical idea. The theme was used by pianist-composer Franz Liszt in his influential Études d'exécution transcendante d'après Paganini. The overall structure of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 2 is very precise, with each theme either presaging or echoing another, and echoes of the work resound in many later concertos of the Romantic era.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro maestoso
    2. Adagio
    3. Rondo

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4796220
    2016 Decca
    2016 SWR Music SWR 19019CD
    2016 EuroArts / Warner Classics 555050
    2016 Warner Classics 555054
    2016 Warner Classics 0825646777815
    2016 SWR Music SWR 19005CD
    2014 Naïve V 5344
    2014 Profil - Edition Günter Hänssler PH 14010
    2013 Brilliant Classics 94803
    2013 IDIS 66501
    2011 Telos TLS047
    2011 Brilliant Classics 94096
    2010 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 Brilliant Classics 93992
    2009 Berlin Classics 00116462BC
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Challenge Classics 72343
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Dynamic 622/1-8
    2007 Scandinavian Classics 220506
    2007 Apex 699872
    2006 Doremi Records 7897
    2006 Doremi Records 7874-9
    2006 Artek 30
    2005 EMI Music Distribution 47088
    2005 EMI Classics
    2005 Edition HERA 2115
    2005 Brilliant 92436
    2003 Decca 000151002
    2003 Dynamic 450/1-4
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 557150
    2001 Brilliant 99582
    2001 Forlane 53
    2001 Erato 27001
    2001 Doremi Records 7781
    2000 DG Deutsche Grammophon 463754
    2000 Dynamic 260
    1999 Claves 509408
    1999 Philips 462 865-2PM2
    1997 Decca
    1996 Ambassador 1017
    1996 Chandos 9492
    1995 APR (Appian) 7016
    1994 Vox 3020
    1994 London 440293
    1994 Naxos 550649
    1993 DG Deutsche Grammophon 437210
    1992 Erato 45788
    1990 DG Deutsche Grammophon 429524
    1990 EMI Classics 007777470882
    1986 DG Deutsche Grammophon 415 378-2GH
    Classico 114
    Collins Records 1045
    All Russia
    Arabesque 6597
    One-Eleven 95013
    Denon Records 77611
    Rca Red Seal 7844
    Brilliant 92436/7
    Bayer Records 200004
    One-Eleven 50080