A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Carnaval de Venise
CARNAVAL DE VENISE. This popular air, which was heard by Paganini at Venice, when he visited the Queen of the Adriatic in 1816, 1824, and 1826, and which his magic bow has made a favourite tune all over the world, is the effusion of an unknown musician probably of the end of the last century. Several talented composers have embroidered it, and all pianists have played the brilliant variations and fantasias written upon it by Herz and Schulhoff. It has been even introduced on the lyric stage. Ambroise Thomas has composed very clever variations on the tune for the overture to his opera 'Le Carnaval de Venise,' and Victor Massé, in his 'Reine Topaze,' introduces an air varié upon it to the words
'Venise est tout en fêtes,
Car voici le carnaval.'
In England it was for long known to the words
'O come to me, I'll row thee o'er
Across yon peaceful sea.'
The air, as given by Paganini, is as follows:—
[ G. C. ]