Paganini-Liszt – (Paganini 1782–1840, Liszt 1811-1886)

La Campanella

Of Liszt’s six Paganini etudes, La Campanella is the only one which is not drawn from one of Paganini’s 24 violin caprices.  This piece is a transcription based on a tune written by the famous violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini.  The etude’s title means “bells” and you can hear their ringing from the very first sounds!

Whereas Moskowski generally inhabits his etudes and his “sparkles” with a single pianistic problem (in the case of “sparkles” that being fast and light) Liszt generally inhabits his etudes with a multiplicity of challenges.  Note lightness, leaps, brilliant sounds, fast finger work, fast octaves, and all around fun for both player and listener!  And of course the tune is quite catchy!