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Paganini: 24 Caprices / David Garrett, Bruno Canino

Release Date: 09/09/2008 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 453489   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Bruno CaninoDavid Garrett
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Schumann's accompaniments brilliantly intensify Paganini's implied harmonies and arguably bring us a far richer musical experience. The combination of youthful enthusiasm, fine recording and exceptional piano accompaniment make this CD a winner.

In recent years, several teenage virtuosos have recorded the Paganini Caprices—Midori (Sony Classical, 3/90) and James Ehnes (Telarc, 9/96), for instance. The exposed technical demands of this music certainly provide a severe test of a violinist's capabilities, and David Garrett (b. 1980) survives the ordeal in great style, barring the occasional bit of uncertain intonation that no one seems able to avoid. But this is no ordinary set of Paganini's Op. 1. Schumann's piano
Read more accompaniment to the first 23 of the 24 Caprices, whilst it remains for the most part discreet and in the background, brilliantly points up and intensifies Paganini's implied harmonic movement and structure. Something is lost by adding the piano - the circus-act daring of casting such ambitious and extravagant music for a single violin - but Schumann's empathy with the earlier composer brings us a far richer musical experience.

The new issue offers several advantages over the Claves disc. The DG recording is distinctly superior - clear and brilliant, with a rich, warm resonance. And Bruno Canino's playing is wonderful, the simplest figures full of Schumannesque character. The dark, expansive playing by Garrett and Canino of the Fourth caprice is compelling, making one realize as never before Paganini's fascination for the romantic composers following him. As regards the violin-playing, however, it's Ingold Turban who gives the more imaginative interpretation - catching just the right mood and style for many of the Caprices where Garrett merely projects the music in a generally expressive way. Turban's senza vibrato horn imitation (No. 18) and his beautiful pastoral legato (No. 20) are just two of these special moments. Elsewhere, though, Turban sounds a bit underpowered alongside Garrett's verve and spirit.

For me the combination of youthful enthusiasm, fine recording and exceptional piano accompaniment just gives the edge to this new version.

-- Gramophone [8/1997]
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Works on This Recording

Caprices (24) for Violin solo, Op. 1 by Niccolò Paganini
Performer:  Bruno Canino (Piano), David Garrett (Violin)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1805; Italy 
Notes: Arranged: Robert Schumann 

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