Paganini began his European tour in Vienna in 1828 and performed these three concertos to great acclaim. Paganini would distribute the orchestral parts of the concertos only at the last minute and always played his solo part from memory. In those days before copyright, music was constantly being 'pirated' by music publishers with the composer getting nothing in return for their work. Paganini amassed a large fortune from his concert tours, not least of all because he was so secretive with his music.
All three of these concertos follow the same general plan of three movements, as do contemporary works of the genre. These concertos are Italianate in style, like the music of Paganini's countrymen Rossini and Donizetti. The middle slow movements of the concertos are like short operatic scenes for violin and orchestra, while the first and last movements are more involved. As Paganini was the violin virtuoso of his age, the solo violin parts ask for a brilliant technique that covers all aspects of violin playing. They are still demanding works to play nearly 200 years after their composition, so it's no wonder that Paganini caused such a furor with his playing of them. The music world had never seen or heard the likes of Paganini before.
Violin Concerto No. Three begins with an introduction for orchestra, as do the first two concertos. The orchestra then proceeds with the exposition of the first movement. Paganini's orchestration is colorful, straightforward and competent, but with a difference in timbre perhaps caused by Paganini using the guitar as his preferred instrument for composing. Berlioz also played the guitar, and his orchestrations have a slightly different sound also. The violin enters and immediately takes center stage as the orchestra takes its role as accompaniment. The solo violin expands on the themes earlier stated by the orchestra until a place for a cadenza is reached, after which the orchestra brings the movement to a close.
The 2nd movement is a sweet aria for violin and pizzicato strings with the woodwinds adding pastel colors.
The 3rd movement is a Rondo in the tempo of a polonaise, a Polish dance. The violin dialogues with the orchestra in different episodes between repeats of the main theme. Paganini uses left-hand pizzicati, flying bow work, double stops, harmonics, the whole gamut of pyrotechnics for the violin until the work comes to a close.