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Title: Le Streghe (Witches' Dance)
Composer: Niccolò Paganini
Instrument: Violoncello
Edited By: Luigi Silva
Instrumentation: Solo with Piano
Pages: 18 including the violoncello and piano parts

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We all recognize the charming Witches dance theme from the Suzuki books.  Practicing this Paganini-Silva arrangement is like learning 10 Popper etudes.
-Hans Jørgen Jensen

Niccolò Paganini’s Le Streghe, Opus 8 was arranged for cello and piano by Luigi Silva and was first published in honor of The Silva Centennial Celebration presented by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in March 2004.  Originally composed for violin and orchestra by Paganini (1782 – 1840), Le Streghe (The Witches) is a theme and variations based on the music from the Sussmayr ballet Die Zauberschwestern im Beneventer Walde (The Magic Sisters in the Beneventan Woods).  The ballet was first produced in Vienna in 1802 and the theme for Le Streghe can be heard during the witches’ entrance onto stage.  The work begins with a majestic introduction and is followed by a theme and four variations.  It contains Paganini’s whole bag of virtuoso tricks: multiple stops in Variation I; rapid string crossings, pizzicato, and harmonics in Variation II; chromatic runs in octaves in Variation III; and runs up and down the fingerboard alternating with multiple harmonics in Variation IV.  The work concludes with the Finale – a blazing display of cello pyrotechnics that includes runs, arpeggios, and harmonics.

-Hans Jørgen Jensen

Click below to preview or purchase a recording of Grumiaux performing this piece arranged for violin and piano or Accardo performing the original arrangement for violin and orchestra.