Paganini's “Il Cannone” Visits Norway
Joins the Ole Bull birthday celebration in Bergen
“Il Cannone,” Nicolò Paganini’s famous 1743 del Gesù violin, made a rare appearance at the Ole Bull Celebration in Bergen, Norway May 26–June 9. “At this exhibition it seems to be better lit for viewing than I have ever seen it,” reported Chicago violin dealer and expert Jim Warren. The exhibition featured several other del Gesùs, including the 1738 “Kemp,” possibly the earliest of the “late” period instruments, which Paganini selected when commissioned by Napoleon to find a match for “Il Cannone,” and Bull’s famed (and now much-copied) 1744 violin, a rakish instrument made in the last year of the maker’s life.