Tuesday, 30 December 2008

218. Nicolo Paganini - Twenty-four Caprices (1817)


Title: 24 Caprices for Solo Violin
Performer: Massimo Quarta
Year: 2002
Length: 1 hour 19 minutes


The name Paganini is synonymous with virtuoso violin playing, a lot of that fame really rests on these 24 caprices and it is easy to see why. Each of the pieces is a masterclass in violin playing.

This means however, that sometimes the composition and the melody are sacrificed on the altar of virtuosism, making about half the caprices not very interesting. Fortunately the other half marry extremely impressive playing with beautiful music.

The last caprice is by far the most famous, nut not the only amazing piece here, the 3rd, 5th and 21st are up there on my list as well. It ends up in the end being slightly hit and miss, although I like virtuosism it is a pity that at times the collection is not more than that, but when it is it is truly impressive.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Caprice No. 24 in A minor is the final caprice of Niccolò Paganini's 24 Caprices, and a famous work for solo violin. The work, in the key of A minor, consists of a theme, 11 variations, and a finale.
It is widely considered one of the most difficult pieces written for the solo violin. It requires many highly advanced techniques such as parallel octaves and rapid shifting covering many intervals, extremely fast scales and arpeggios including minor scales in thirds and tenths, left hand pizzicato, high positions, and quick string crossing. As a result, most violinists even after studying for many years still lack the technique required for such a demanding piece.

Perlman plays Caprice 1, 5 and 24:

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