On December 12, 1829, Paganini wrote his friend Germi: "The variations I've composed on the graceful Neapolitan ditty, 'Oh Mamma, Mama Cara,' outshine everything. I can't describe it!" He was writing from Karlsruhe, in the midst of his triumphal tour through Germany. That letter marks the earliest known mention of the variations that would become famous as "The Carnival of Venice." At the time of his letter, Paganini had already performed the piece in at least four concerts. From then on, it would be one of his most popular compositions.