August 3, 2008 at 12:01 PMWe live in a soundbite-time, because everybody had a busy life. Soloists never listen to rare non-commerciaal violinconcerto's. Youtube is a medium to get people in contact with rarities. But also Youtube is part of that sound-bites era, because you only got 10 minutes. The fact is that there are a lot of recordings of the 1th violinconcerto on Youtube and perhaps Paganini 2th violinconcerto Campanella is also a little bit well known.
Paganini violinconcerto 4,5,6
We have to make sure music doesn't get dropped by the wayside by acknowledging only 1 or 2 works of a famous composer's genre. Really in this last year I've discovered many pieces like the ones I've mentioned and the ones Bram has shared with us, and I honestly can't see why the famous ones have become more famous.
What separates a masterpiece from these unknown works? I myself am really having a blast discovering pieces like this and I can't say it enough.
Thank you for this blog. I have always believed that Paganini as a composer has always been underrated. While he was living, he was underrated because all of the focus was on his gifts as a performer. Later, his music became the model for the technical "show-off" aspect of musical performance.
In today's world, I think his music is viewed as primarily audience-pleasing without much depth, technically showing off the performer, and dotted here and there with quaint but musically obsolete melodies supported by simplistic harmonies meant to be kept strictly in the background.
I believe (and I don't think this is particularly original) that Paganini was not only a technical pioneer as well as the model for the modern-day rock-star-type performer, but he was also a great composer in the sense of being a great communicator.
In his childhood and youth he was absolutely captivated by the music and the spectacle of Italian opera, and if you listen to any of his music (especially the 6 concerti) as being instrumental "operas," you begin to see the composing genius. All of those "banal" and "trite" and "sentimental" melodies are in effect operatic arias. The fast passages are arias for the violin as a sort of superhuman voice. Listened to as arias rather than as violin melodies, and listening to the accompaniments as operatic, one begins to get it. You can almost put words to his melodies.
At the same time, the sheer projection of raw emotionality is so much beyond even the greatest music of his day, that Paganini has to be seen as one of the true fathers of the Romantic Era of classical music.
It is music to be performed in a theater, with an audience, just like an opera. Consider the opening of the 2nd Violin Concerto, with those ominous tremelos in the strings. You can almost see a curtain rising on some grand, operatic tragedy.
And that's my take on it.
I saw the Accardo recordings on Amazon.
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