“At the age of five and a half, I learned the mandolin from my father.”
With these words, in March of 1828, Niccolò Paganini tells his biographer Peter Lichtenthal about the beginning of his relationship to music. Only two years later he will learn, again from his father, “the first steps on the violin” and most likely it is during this period that he also studied the guitar. Mandolin, guitar and violin are the three instruments that marked the life of the great Genoese musician.
If we can say that the violin - his ‘Cannone’ - was the instrument he used for his great performances throughout Italy and Europe, then the mandolin and the guitar were Paganini's preferred instruments for which he composed music for his friends and with which he loved to play in small chamber groups.
Carlo Aonzo and René Izquierdo have dedicated themselves with remarkable passion and skill to this ‘intimate’ Paganini.
- Maria Rosa Moretti - Civico Istituto di Studi Paganiniani di Genova
This repertoire was chosen to evoke the atmosphere of intimate concerts in which Paganini himself enjoyed using the mandolin and guitar combination.