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Listen to Paganini’s Romanze in A Minor

This has always been one of my favorite classical guitar pieces. It’s the middle movement of Paganini’s Grand Sonata in A Major, which was originally written for guitar and violin.

Most of his works for guitar and violin had virtuosic violin parts, and relatively simple accompaniment parts for guitar. The story goes that Paganini’s guitarist friend Luigi Legnani, with whom he performed these, complained that he wasn’t getting enough of the musical limelight. So Paganini offered to let Legnani play violin for the next sonata. He then proceeded to write his only virtuosic showpiece for guitar, this time with rudimentary violin accompaniment, leaving him the center of attention once more.

Since the violin barely adds anything, this piece is usually played as a solo guitar arrangement now.