Niccolò Paganini’s short but scintillating international career influenced a generation of composers and performers, and Franz Liszt’s encounter with him in Paris in 1832 stimulated a determination to become as great a virtuoso on the piano as Paganini was on the violin. Impressed by the 24 Caprices Op. 1, Liszt transcribed and transformed these challenging solo violin pieces into equally spectacular works for piano, the famous Caprice No. 24 given eleven variations and an elaborate Coda. Le Carnaval de Venise shares its popular theme with a version by Paganini, these variations building in complexity towards a final burst of Lisztian virtuosity.
Grandes Études de Paganini (6), S. 141
Variations sur Le Carnaval de Venise (Paganini) S700a