DARK FIDDLER by Aaron Frisch


The Life and Legend of Nicolo Paganini
by and illustrated by
Age Range: 8 & up
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His name is familiar today only to lovers of musical virtuosity, but in his brief life the Italian-born violinist and composer thrilled late 18th- and early 19th-century Europe with his brilliant style, unnatural technique and stage presence. Frisch tells his life as a folktale that begs to be read aloud. Paganini almost died of the measles as a child, outshone the learned teachers of the time, gambled and chased women. A disease left his joints unnaturally loose. He dressed in black and had a complexion “the color of the moon.” Having refused the last rites of the Catholic Church, he was denied burial for years. Combine this story with Kelley’s dramatically dark full-page paintings that conjure up images of Van Gogh, Picasso cubism and a set design for Cabaret and you have a sure-fire Halloween program. Just add some music. The story is told by a fictional cemetery worker, which may, on a technicality, disqualify this as a biography. Still, the life remains with all its fascinating ups and downs. A discography should have been included. (author’s note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 8 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-56846-200-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Creative Editions/Creative Company
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2008


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