“The electricity I feel when I’m dealing with the magic harmony […]”, Paganini wrote on 15 January 1832 in a letter to his friend Luigi Guglielmo Germi. There could be no better definition of Paganini’s musical temperament. This is what Schubert said after hearing Paganini play in a concert: “I have heard the voice of an angel”. And Liszt’s comment was: “How much passion, how much suffering in those four strings […]”.
How can we imagine Paganini’s art today, at such a distance in time, unless we refer to the impressions of his contemporaries, of the people who had the chance to see him, listen to him, be thrilled by his music? The search for a performance that endeavours to get as near as possible to the magic of the 'live' concerts of the great Genoese musician can only start from here.
In order to attempt this feat, that is to move back two centuries, it is necessary to add to the wood, horsehair and strings a painstaking attention to the directions left by Paganini in his scores (this was the advice of A Grumiaux), and the talent of a present-day virtuoso – in the reasonable hope that talent is less subject to the harsh law of time and can find another way of bringing back to our time the masterpieces of the past.
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Paganini: Caprices for solo violin, Op. 1 Nos. 1-24