Paganini caprice no. 1

December 12, 2017, 12:05 PM · I have the new Paganini caprices edition by Endre Granat and in measure 25 the 2nd note he has a C-natural rather than a B-natural as in most other editions. I looked at the manuscript and it's just a big blob on ink. I think it sounds like it should be an e minor chord rather than C major. I wanted to get other's opinions on this.

Replies (15)

December 12, 2017, 1:04 PM · Ooh! A real gear-head question! Not a rosin thread! Loving it. Too bad I don't have any idea because I'll never play that.
December 12, 2017, 1:13 PM · What rosin is best for Paganini caprice no.1 ?

Business idea: market different rosins for different repertoire. "This is the Sibelius violin concerto rosin."

Every time someone struggled with a piece, they could be like "oh! I just don't have the sibelius rosin! Duh!"

Nothing like having the right tool for the job.

December 12, 2017, 3:26 PM · You can't go by what it sounds like it "should" be. You should look at the harmony, especially in the case of Paganini, who use fairly typical progressions.

Back up and look at the chord before (if we're in the same place--don't count the first 1/2 bar as bar 1):
It's a B-D#-F#-A chord. What kind of chord is that? A B7 dominant chord. What should it lead to?
An E chord, either major or minor. But still an E chord.

Would it make sense for a B7 chord to lead to C? No. I can guarantee you that it will NOT lead to a C chord.

Edited: December 12, 2017, 3:57 PM · Not sure what I think, but here's the music!



First Edition

That blob is clearly in the C space, but maybe Mr. Granat got it wrong harmonically.

December 12, 2017, 4:32 PM · I can think of a ton of examples where a dominant 7th chord would lead to the chord a half step above.
December 12, 2017, 6:01 PM · I played them both (slowly;) and I think the C sounds better, for what that's worth.
December 12, 2017, 7:34 PM · "I can think of a ton of examples where a dominant 7th chord would lead to the chord a half step above."

You're probably thinking of a German 6+ chord used in a modulation. But I don't think Paganini is doing that here. Maybe you can think of a ton of exceptions, especially in later music, but when analyzing music and trying to figure out whether a note is correct or not I look for obvious solutions first before assuming anything else.

"I played them both (slowly;) and I think the C sounds better, for what that's worth."

Well, I suppose you can just rewrite any of the repertoire to whatever sounds better.

December 12, 2017, 8:08 PM · Paganini caprice no. 11, measure 11.
December 12, 2017, 8:12 PM · I will say that again that I’ve always believed it’s an e minor chord. I was just wondering if there were any good reasons for it to be c major over e minor.
December 12, 2017, 9:49 PM · C is certainly possible coming from the preceding chord ("deceptive cadence"), but it gives parallel fifths with the D chord that follows, and so is very unlike;y to be correct.
Edited: December 12, 2017, 10:48 PM · Scott, I don’t think you’re following the facts here correctly in this case: we know Paganini never saw the proofs for the first edition, and that ink spot is clearly in the C space. So, i’m not rewriting anything by saying perhaps it’s C, only that the evidence already pointing to C doesn’t sound terrible in practice.

The issue here seems to be whether Paganini made a mistake in this case, which should be corrected, or an unconventional choice, which should not. Given it doesn’t sound bad and the manuscript is not very ambiguous, it seems to have been a mistake for the original editors to publish a B to begin with.

I’ll email Mr Granat and solicit his opinion—we’re really debating his choice in this case to trust the blob:)

December 12, 2017, 11:26 PM · Sorry everyone: I stand corrected on one issue: yes, a V or V7 can indeed lead to a vi or even iv6.
And that means up by a step. However, in this case, in bar 24 of Paganini 1, look at the pattern:
Beat 2 is an A dominant chord leading to D: V-I. So my argument is that according to the pattern he has established, he just does the same thing in the next bar by writing V7-i. Most of the time when you see a common practice composer using V-vi, it's for dramatic effect.

If someone says "well I think he wanted V-vi because that is also a common chord progression" that's fine--at least they've used a logical argument.

But I don't think it's valid to simply say one sounds better. That just means you don't know or remember theory I.

December 13, 2017, 12:07 PM · "Urtext" editions with a "C"
Henle (Barbieri, 1990)
Carnisch (1996)
Bärnreiter (Macchione, 2013)
LKM Music (Granat)

Other "Urtext" editions with a "B"

So most urtext editions in my collection prints a "C"

December 13, 2017, 1:38 PM · Parallel 5ths never stopped Mozart.
Edited: December 14, 2017, 9:17 AM · Another note question:

Measure 66 second beat. Is it a German 6th or diminished 7th chord? I prefer the C natural, but in the manuscript it appears to be c#.. In the previous progression it's also marked as a C# Comments?

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