Niccolò Paganini

Terzetto concertante, for viola, guitar & cello in D major, MS 114

    Description by Peter Bates

    From the opening bars, when the instruments greet each other like friends across a room, the Terzetto concertante is a warm and amiable piece. This may surprise those who think of Paganini as "the devil's fiddler," a soloist who amazed audiences throughout Europe, playing breath-taking works such as the dazzling Violin Concerto No. 1, and inspiring numerous wild legends of superhuman prowess and pacts with the devil. Hardly the creation of a possessed virtuoso, this charming work emphasizes melodic invention and instrumental color rather than sheer virtuosity. On the surface, it sounds similar to guitar pieces by Boccherini; at a deeper level, it reminds one of Mozart in its tonal structure and variation technique. Particularly moving is its Adagio cantabile movement, which carries a tender lyrical charm. In the end, however, Paganini's nonconformist spirit prevails: he violates Classical form with his informal Rondo, which refuses to return to its opening theme.


    1. Allegro
    2. Minuetto - Allegretto vivo
    3. Adagio - Cantabile con cavata
    4. Valtz a Rondo - Allegretto con energica

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Proprius Music PRCD 2078
    2008 Dynamic 553/1-10
    2003 Droffig Recordings 2
    1997 ESS.A.Y. 1053
    1996 Dorian 90237
    1995 Bongiovanni 5507
    1995 Dynamic 76
    NG Productions 2000
    Biddulph Recordings 002