Luigi Rinaldo Legnani (1790 – 1877) was an Italian Romantic composer, guitarist, and luthier.
As a composer, Legnani is most known for his 36 Caprices Op. 20. The caprices were written in all of the major and minor keys and perhaps take inspiration from the great Italian violinist and composer Niccolo Paganini. Not only were the two close friends, but they traveled and performed together. Legnani was an accomplished violinist, just as Paganini was also an accomplished guitarist, and so at times they would even swap their chosen instruments when performing together.
Another important work is Legnani’s Fantasia Op. 19. This is perhaps his most substantial work, taking the form of a fantasia with a long introduction and an exciting A Major section, showing off the virtuosity of the performer.
Legnani also partnered with the famous Romantic luthier Johann Georg Stauffer, creating designs Stauffer and son Anton would implement into their guitar builds. Some of these instruments still survive, with “Nach dem Model des Luigi Legnani” (“Following the design of Luigi Legnani”) written in the label.
36 Caprices, Op. 20:
36 Caprices, Op.20 Complete (PDF download)
Fantasia, Op.19 (PDF download)
Fantasia, Op.19 (video), Pavel Steidl — guitar