Il Cannone: Francesca Dego plays Paganini’s Violin

March 16, 2021, 9:00 am

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Paganini’s violin, the legendary Il Cannone, made by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù in 1743, is one of the most important instruments in the history of Western music. Paganini was the greatest virtuoso of his time, acclaimed throughout Europe and an inspiration to performers and composers alike. On his death, he bequeathed Il Cannone to his home city of Genoa, where it is permanently housed under high security in the Town Hall. It has been heard on record just a handful of times. Francesca Dego was given the honor of recording with it after the success of her first performance on the instrument in 2019. Dego says: “I remember thinking long and hard about the ideal program and carefully selecting a series of works paying homage to Paganini. Il Cannone has pretty much only ever been used to record music by Paganini, so the idea of its celebrated tone teaming up with composers who idolized the Italian virtuoso throughout history is really exciting to me!”