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Bram Heemskerk

Paganini violinconcerto's 1,2,3,4,5,6

August 3, 2008 at 12:01 PM

We 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.
To help you to get to learn more of Paganini violinconcerto's I made 2 video's of his violinconcerto's. Every violinconcerto has 3 movements, so 3 violinconcerto's makes 9 minutes if I let you hear the first minute of every movement, just like when you want to buy a cd with
Do you really think the first 2 violinconcerto's are much better than his last 4? Personally I like the slow part of the 4th very much and also the 2th movement of his 5th vc.
Paganini violinconcerto 1, 2, 3

Paganini violinconcerto 4,5,6

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on August 4, 2008 at 2:31 AM
Thanks for posting these things and for embedding the videos in your post so that they will be easy to find and listen to.
From Christopher Ciampoli
Posted on August 4, 2008 at 3:12 AM
Bram, you're absolutely right! I frankly enjoy these concertos as good music in their own right. There is a ton of "undiscovered" music, if you will, even by the big name composers! Imagine, Dvorak wrote 10 operas, and how many of them have you heard? And his first 6 symphonies? His OTHER piano quintet? His piano concerto (a favorite of Sviatoslav Richter)?!

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.

From Yoonil Auh
Posted on August 4, 2008 at 6:28 PM
The video is no longer available from Youtube. What happened to it?
From Bram Heemskerk
Posted on August 4, 2008 at 8:52 PM
I don't have problems with hearing and seeing those 2 video's on Youtube.
From carlos majlis
Posted on August 4, 2008 at 10:10 PM
Hallo Bram. This is your old trade pal Carlos Majlis. To me, the second muvement
of Paganini's second is one of the most
beautiful melodies I ever heard. And the
finale of the fifth is just extraordinary
But you and I know many,many other forgotten works, didn't we?
From Bram Heemskerk
Posted on August 5, 2008 at 10:32 AM
Hi Carlos. Sure we know a lot of rarities. This site with Toutube is a possibility to promote these rarities, although the influence is small and the conservatism of the iron repertoire is strong. But in 10 minutes you give people with a busy job, raising children, a busy social life, etc a chance to broaden their horizon.
Soon the unknown Lalo op.29 (violin)concerto Russe will be on my blog.
Perhaps you can also use Youtube to give people a chance ever listen in their life to this beautiful and rare music, which you probably will never hear in a concerthall in your life or on the radio. (perhaps if you listen to your radiostation in Argentina)
From Sander Marcus
Posted on August 6, 2008 at 12:35 AM

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.


From Emily Tyler
Posted on August 6, 2008 at 12:52 AM
Please tell me, who is the artist we hear playing these concerti? I would like to get the complete set of recordings!!! I just became a Paganini fan today!
From Bram Heemskerk
Posted on August 6, 2008 at 10:46 AM
Hi Emily. The soloist is Alexandre Dubach and here are those 3 cd's:
Also Salvatore Accardo had recorded all 6 violinconcerto's of Paganini. with different cadenza's compared to Alexandre Dubach.
All 5 violinconcerto's of Mozart have been recorded by several soloists many times. Now there must be more soloists doing the same with all 6 Paganini violinconcerto's!!
OK Paganini is perhaps more difficult to play than Mozart or the sheetmusic is harder to get. So unknown music stays therefore unknown although the quality is good.
From Bram Heemskerk
Posted on August 6, 2008 at 11:03 AM
Sure MArcus, Paganini sings with his violin. There fore he write often "cantabile" next to his notes of his sweet and sentimental melodies, you also can whistle.
From Emily Tyler
Posted on August 6, 2008 at 3:24 PM
Which recording is better, Dubach or Accardo?

I saw the Accardo recordings on Amazon.

From Bram Heemskerk
Posted on August 6, 2008 at 5:26 PM
Difficult to judge. First I had the Accordo's Paganini's on lp and was familiair with the cadenza's. Dubach on cd now has different cadenza's. I have not heard for long the Accardo Paganini cd's. They are both good professional violinist, so difficult for me to say who is better. If you buy them both you can judge.
Perhaps soon I will listen to the Accardo lp's again to compare them.

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