24 Caprices

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PAGANINI
24 Caprices
Tanja Becker-Bender (violin)

[ Hyperion / CD ]

Release Date: Monday 2 March 2009

This item is currently out of stock. We expect to be able to supply it to you within 2 - 4 weeks from when you place your order.

'A sparkling, cleaned-up version of Paganini, sounding the more amazing for its polish and clarity, and bringing into focus the poetic, romantic sensibility that enthralled the composer's contemporaries.' Editor's Choice Gramophone May 2009

Editor's Choice Gramophone May 2009

'A sparkling, cleaned-up version of Paganini, sounding the more amazing for its polish and clarity, and bringing into focus the poetic, romantic sensibility that enthralled the composer's contemporaries. I can't remember hearing the flute and horn imitations in the Ninth Caprice more persuasively performed, and in No 21, marked amoroso, Becker-Bender manages to retain a tender, intimate tone where many of her rivals equate amorousness with crude intensity. The more brilliant passages are just as successful … I'm sure Paganini himself would have been impressed and delighted' (Gramophone)

'This superb new recording … These are marvellous performances, full of freshness and vitality, technically accomplished yet spontaneous sounding and highly expressive … Becker-Bender's imagination really shines through in those of a more picturesque nature … Another exceptional release from Hyperion' (International Record Review)

'If anyone is ever likely to convince you that there is more to Paganini's music than Rossini-in-technical overdrive melodramatics, it is Tanja Becker-Bender … Becker-Bender gives the Italian's coruscating roulades more room to breathe, characterising each caprice as though it was microcosmic masterpiece of musical expression' (BBC Music Magazine)

'[An] elegant album.. Hewitt's sensitive clarity of line propels the light figures forward while retaining the charm of musical personality… To paraphrase G.B. Shaw, happy is the pianist whose Haydn is his profession' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

Paganini's 24 Caprices Op 1 were considered simply unplayable by most contemporary violinists, but the composer himself bestrode their difficulties with contemptuous ease. A forerunner and inspirer of his younger contemporaries Chopin, Liszt and Berlioz, Paganini was the archetype of the virtuoso performer. His technique was so phenomenal, and his saturnine presence so magnetic, that he was popularly believed to be in league with the Devil. He communicated a new vision of what the violin could achieve.

Virtuoso violinists are plentiful these days, but the challenges posed by the Caprices are still daunting and it is a rare performer who can achieve such insouciant brilliance in this repertoire as the young German violinist Tanja Becker-Bender has in her debut recording for Hyperion.

Tracks:

1 No 01 in E major: Andante 'L'arpeggio' [2'03]
2 No 02 in B minor: Moderato [3'08]
3 No 03 in E minor: Sostenuto - Presto [3'31]
4 No 04 in C minor: Maestoso [7'10]
5 No 05 in A minor: Agitato [3'02]
6 No 06 in G minor: [Adagio] [4'41]
7 No 07 in A minor: Posato [3'54]
8 No 08 in E flat major: Maestoso [3'28]
9 No 09 in E major: Allegretto 'La chasse' [3'03]
10 No 10 in G minor: Vivace [2'15]
11 No 11 in C major: Andante - Presto [3'44]
12 No 12 in A flat major: Allegro [2'26]
13 No 13 in B flat major: Allegro 'The Devil's Laughter' [2'37]
14 No 14 in E flat major: Moderato [1'58]
15 No 15 in E minor: Posato [3'07]
16 No 16 in G minor: Presto [1'30]
17 No 17 in E flat major: Sostenuto - Andante [3'46]
18 No 18 in C major: Corrente. Allegro [2'31]
19 No 19 in E flat major: Lento - Allegro assai [3'01]
20 No 20 in D major: Allegretto [2'53]
21 No 21 in A major: Amoroso [3'09]
22 No 22 in F major: Marcato [3'01]
23 No 23 in E flat major: Posato [5'11]
24 No 24 in A minor: Tema con variazioni. Quasi presto [4'33]