Music: Lucifericm Legacy

He was the devil himself, or at least in league with him. He looked like Ichabod Crane done up as Mephistopheles, allegedly spent more time in illicit beds than in his own, was a fabulous showman and died, denying nothing, at 57. Not even Don Juan had such high-powered publicity—but then Don Juan couldn't play the fiddle.

Nicolo Paganini could. According to 19th century writers, Paganini was the greatest violinist who ever lived. His fingers were like steel snakes, his bow arm a saber that sawed through unheard-of technical difficulties. During one performance, swore a Viennese listener, old Lucifer himself appeared beside...

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