Paganini's Fire by Ann Abelson is the story of history’s most celebrated violinist and composer, Niccolo Paganini. His meteoric rise from favorite musician in the corrupt court of Napoleon’s sister to Europe’s first celebrity performer is punctuated by nocturnal trysts with a real or imagined Dark Mistress. His remarkable musical feats and bizarre appearance cause many to suspect that Paganini has entered into a satanic pact.
A notorious rake, reckless gambler and callous lover who father’s a child, Paganini achieves fame, glory and wealth even though scandal and imprisonment haunt his career. Defying the odds in life, Paganini returns triumphantly time and again to the stage, but in death, scandal plagues him to the grave and he is denied a Christian burial, the ultimate scandal of all.
“Nearly one hundred seventy years following his death at age fifty-seven from a throat ailment, the name of the Italian virtuoso, Niccolò Paganini, continues to conjure up a variety of associations: those of a gaunt, nearly spectral showman and breathless daredevil of the violin, an inveterate gambler, an incorrigible womanizer, and -- stated sotto voce -- the Devil’s collaborator…A ‘devilish’ master performing his wizardry only inches away from the powerful Christian symbols placed at the very heart of his majestic violin! This, indeed, is the stuff of legend and provides the perfect vehicle for Paganini's Fire.”
- Stephanie Chase, Concert Violinist and Educator
Reviews of Ann Abelson’s other books:
“…a highly interesting story.”
- New York Times Book Review of The Little Conquerors.
“Miss Abelson has something to say and says it with individuality…”
- New York Times review of Angels’ Metal.
Ann Abelson was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Grant for her writing. Her son, Lenny Cavallaro, edited and revised Paganini's Fire after her death.
Lenny Cavallaro is an American pianist, composer and author. He was awarded a Foundation Fellowship and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance and literature from West Virginia University. A top prizewinner in the J.S. Bach International Competition for Pianists, he subsequently performed that composer’s Six Partitas at Carnegie Recital Hall.
Thirsty : 2019 Vol. 103 : A Conversation with Violinist Anais Chen
Thirsty : 2018 Winter : A Conversation with Violinist Joshua Bell about the Virtual Violin
Thirsty : 2016 Fall : A Conversation With Violinist Joshua Bell about Brahms
Thirsty : 2016 Winter : A Conversation With Pianist Christina Kobb
Thirsty : 2015 Fall : A Conversation with Baroque Music Composer Gianluca Bersanetti
Thirsty : 2015 Summer : A Conversation with Composer Grant Colburn
Thirsty : 2014 Fall : A Conversation with Violinist Pinchas Zukerman
Thirsty : 2014 Spring : A Conversation With Maestro Leonard Slatkin
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Thirsty : 2014 Winter : A Conversation With Pianist Hélène Grimaud
Thirsty : 2013 Summer : An In-depth Conversation With Rachel Barton Pine
Thirsty : 2013 February : An Interview with Joshua Bell
Thirsty : 2012 December : An Interview with Violinist Stephanie Chase – Part II
Thirsty : 2012 November : An Interview with Violinist Stephanie Chase – Part I
Thirsty : 2012 September : In the Footsteps of Paganini: An Interview with Alexander Markov
Thirsty : 2012 March : Interview with Stewart Pollens
Thirsty : 2012 February : Interview with Lenny Cavallaro on Niccolò Paganini
Thirsty : 2011 December : PAGANINI'S FIRE - Scandalous Virtuoso or In League with the Devil?