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Paganini: Caprices Import

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, January 12, 2010
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$20.80 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

James Ehnes revisits the most demanding work in the violin repertoire, and delivers an astonishing new interpretation, focusing on the lyrical rather than the pyrotechnics in the 24 Caprices -- though there is ample virtuosity on display here. There works have never been exceeded in the challenges they present for the performer and as such are the ultimate studies for solo violin. This Onyx release has been selected as the CD of the month in the January issue of Gramophone.
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Product Details

  • Conductor: none
  • Composer: Paganini
  • Audio CD (January 12, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: ONYX CLASSICS
  • ASIN: B002NUHJT0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,150 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I am a violinist myself, and I must say that I have never heard the Paganini Caprices played to such a degree of technical and musical perfection and beauty. This recording, to my knowledge, has no equal, and it definitely establishes James Ehnes as one of the greatest violinists alive -- actually, as one of the greatest violinists of all time, period. What is truly remarkable here is that Ehnes goes much further than sheer technical prowess and gives the Paganini Caprices a true musical legimitacy. Ehnes here does not indulge in a cheap show of virtuosic showmanship, but instead plays each of these caprices in a sensitive, heartfelt, thoughtful, and almost understated manner -- never saying through his playing "let me show you what I can do" -- which is both refreshing and humbling. The beauty of the tone, the nobility of the musical phrasing, the absolute technical perfection, but also the ease with which Ehnes goes through this set of incredibly challenging pieces -- a violinist might feel that "everything falls into place" and that this type of playing is possible only when a ideal bodily balance has been achieved: all of these attributes contribute to a recording that, in my opinion, sets a new standard. I was also extremely impressed by Ehnes' other recording, "Homage," which displays many of these same qualities. Both recordings are not only enjoyable but will be incredibly inspiring for all violinists out there -- no small feat! Bravo, Mr. Ehnes.
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Format: Audio CD
This must rank as one of the supreme recordings of these virtuosic pieces, bar none. In recent weeks I have also heard the much touted recording by Julia Fischer. But, as good as she is, her document is no match to what Ehnes accomplished here. This is Ehnes' second recording (I have not heard the first) of these pieces and obviously he has made them a central part of his repertoire. To the reviewer who called Ehnes "the Heifetz of today", I wholeheartedly concur. As for why he is not better known or as well-known as Julia Fischer, well, it is one of the mysteries of the music industry. But what a violinist! Can we please have J.S. Bach's Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin? The potential alone of an Ehnes Bach cycle must have many a violinist out there quivering in sheer fear. But a delight to his admirers.

[See what I mean about not being as well known? Ehnes has indeed previously recorded the Bach Sonatas & Partitas, for the Analekta label. Must seek it.]
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Format: Audio CD
Any student, teacher, or violin enthusiast must have a copy of Ehnes' second take on the Caprices. This is one of the great recordings of these works. The "Heifetz" of today? There is no doubt.
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