In 1820, an Italian violinist--then little known outside his own country--published a collection of virtuoso pieces--including one that would inspire works by Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Andrew Lloyd Webber, among others.
Paganini, who lived from 1782 to 1840, was a virtuoso violinist, with a reportedly breathtaking command of his instrument. He was so good, in fact, that he could not find enough showcase pieces to satisfy the demands of his audiences, and so he turned to writing his own.
His 24 Caprices, Op. 1, from 1820, written before he attained fame outside Italy, are still the supreme test of any great violinist. Of the 24, however, it is the final one that has attracted the most attention.
In this hour, the astonishing impact of Nicolo Paganini's 24th Caprice for Solo Violin.