The 'Demonic' Virtuoso

    Mai Kawabata

    Boydell 2013

    Hardback 303pp Illustrated

    9781843837565   Product Code: 23124

    The uncanny virtuosity of the Italian violinist-composer Nicolo Paganini (1782-1840) gave rise to the story that he had sold his soul to the Devil, inspiring countless literary works, films and pieces of music. In this study Mai Kawabata, herself a professional violinist, explores the origins of the myth in Gothic literature and contemporary attitudes towards music and the supernatural, gender, sexuality, virtuosity and power. An appendix brings together 19th-century British press reports that fostered the legend.

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