Niccolò Paganini: 24 Capricci per violino solo Thomas Zehetmair

Cover Niccolò Paganini: 24 Capricci per violino solo

Album info

Album-Release:
2009

HRA-Release:
21.11.2013

Label: ECM

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Concertos

Artist: Thomas Zehetmair

Composer: Nicolò Paganini (1782-1840)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • Nicolò Paganini (1782-1840): 24 Capricci per violino solo, op.1
  • 1No. 1 in E Major. Andante01:50
  • 2No. 2 in B Minor. Moderato02:52
  • 3No. 3 in E Minor. Sostenuto - Presto02:40
  • 4No. 4 in C Minor. Maestoso05:33
  • 5No. 5 in A Minor. Agitato02:24
  • 6No. 6 in G Minor. Lento04:33
  • 7No. 7 in A Minor. Posato03:41
  • 8No. 8 in E-Flat Major. Maestoso02:49
  • 9No. 9 in E Major. Allegretto02:53
  • 10No. 10 in G Minor. Vivace02:15
  • 11No. 11 in C Major. Andante - Presto03:27
  • 12No. 12 in A-Flat Major. Allegro02:21
  • 13No. 13 in B-Flat Major. Allegro01:29
  • 14No. 14 in E-Flat Major. Moderato01:10
  • 15No. 15 in E Minor. Posato02:42
  • 16No. 16 in G Minor. Presto01:27
  • 17No. 17 in E-Flat Major. Sostenuto - Andante03:10
  • 18No. 18 in C Major. Corrente - Allegro02:26
  • 19No. 19 in E-Flat Major. Lento - Allegro assai03:06
  • 20No. 20 in D Major. Allegretto02:22
  • 21No. 21 in A Major. Amoroso - Presto02:50
  • 22No. 22 in F Major. Marcato02:19
  • 23No. 23 in E-Flat Major. Posato02:58
  • 24No. 24 in A Minor. Tema con variazioni. Quasi presto03:56
  • Total Runtime01:07:13

Info for Niccolò Paganini: 24 Capricci per violino solo

Thomas Zehetmair’s manually overwhelming and thought-provoking ECM recording of the complete sonatas for unaccompanied violin by Eugène Ysaÿe – released in 2004 to great critical acclaim – offered ample proof that alleged virtuoso pyrotechnics can be surprinsingly multi-faceted and complex when approached by a musician with a rare awareness of stylistic layers and expressive traditions. His (long deleted) Teldec version of the Capricci dating from the early nineties quickly won the status of a new benchmark recording. In 2007 he went to the Austrian monastery of St. Gerold to record a second – even more ambitious – interpretation. In an interview with English journalist Ivan Hewett Zehetmair recently explained his ever-growing interest in this particular repertoire: 'Every violinist grows up with these pieces, because they are such fantastic technical studies. Paganini sometimes had these showman's tricks, like playing on only one or two strings. But you know, all the great musicians who heard him, like Schumann, took him totally seriously. These Caprices aren't just studies, or showpieces. They're improvised character pieces, so full of poetry and fantasy.'

Conductor, chamber musician, ardent pioneer of contemporary composition and an adventurous soloist, Thomas Zehetmair is equally at home with violin concerti from Mozart to Karol Szymanowsky, and from Schumann's chamber music to Heinz Holliger's most recent works. In addition, as his thought-provoking 2004 ECM recording of the complete sonatas for unaccompanied violin by Eugène Ysaÿe proved, virtuoso pyrotechnics can be surprisingly multi-faceted and complex when tackled by a musician with a rare awareness of stylistic layers and expressive traditions. Zehetmair now brings a similar dazzling approach to the Caprices for solo violin by Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), a set of 24 hair-raisingly difficult studies which, when first published in 1820, immediately established new standards of violin technique.

Zehetmair's (long deleted) Teldec version of the 'Capricci' dating from the early nineties quickly won the status of a new benchmark recording and in December 2007 he went to the Austrian monastery of St. Gerold to record a second - even more ambitious - interpretation. Its improvisational freedom conveys all the demonic and haunting aspects of the music. Zehetmair: 'As a violinist you grow up with the Caprices; like the cycles by Bach and Ysaÿe, they are one of the main challenges you have to face as a violinist - and a creative musician,' says Zehetmair in the CD booklet liner notes. 'I've often performed the complete cycle in concerts, and I also enjoy combining the Caprices with solo works by other composers. In order to recreate something of that intensity in the recording, I played the complete cycle twice in three days. The second performance was to an audience. While these live versions are the backbone of the recording, I also recorded the Caprices in groups of four to six per day.'

Zehetmair's tempi are always flexible, his array of sound-colours is uniquely imaginative and in the 'Da-capo' repeats he offers stunning variations and embellishments. 'I really do think that there is scope for this kind of interpretation. Modifications of this kind and a greater level of virtuosity can add a whole new dimension to what would otherwise simply be literal repetition. Sometimes I just feel like taking the game to an even higher level. There's no getting away from it, in Paganini's music there has to be something of the circus ring. The Caprices are absolutely wonderful improvisations; they all very much have a character of their own. But they don't hit the mark unless there's also that hint of the circus.' Although Zehetmair's enormous stylistic scope certainly informs his interpretation of Paganini's Caprices his basic approach is marked by gripping physicality. 'Above all I approach them as a violinist, this is where the violinist is in his element.'

„Zehetmair employs an astonishing dynamic range, articulated by a glittering array of lifted and legato bow strokes that tickles both the ear and the imagination. He relishes the music’s manic virtuoso chuckling, and even throws a few extra tricks of his own into the mêlée.“ (Julian Haylock, BBC Music Magazine)

Thomas Zehetmair, violin

Recorded December 2007 Propstei St. Gerold
Tonmeister: Stephan Schellmann
Produced by Manfred Eicher

No biography found.

Booklet for Niccolò Paganini: 24 Capricci per violino solo

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