Roman Kim's version of Nicolo Paganini's I Palpiti

August 21, 2014 at 04:07 AM · Roman Kim's version of Niccolo Paganini's I Palpiti and what a brilliant one at that - probably the best yet (including all other versions).

His technique is just demon like - watch his up and down bow staccatos - the fastest and cleanest yet imo; his harmonics; his scales; his vibrato - too much to list so just watch and close your mouth afterwards.

I do reckon he's pushing violin technique even higher.

Simply incredible!!!!

Replies (31)

August 21, 2014 at 09:29 AM · Must be the ultimate in showmanship, but fantastic and incredibly entertaining!

What a technique!!

Just to add, thought it worth a mention ...

He uses a shoulder rest (So he can't really be much good ...) Or does it matter???????????????????

August 21, 2014 at 11:54 AM · OK, that's just freaky. If I didn't just see and hear it with my own eyes and ears, I would have said it's impossible.

August 21, 2014 at 01:07 PM · Long fingers help a bit, especially with double harmonics.... the rest is, well, one of a kind.

August 21, 2014 at 01:12 PM · Yes!! In this genre he is the best I've ever heard. living or dead!

August 21, 2014 at 02:31 PM · In reference to the harmonic double stops, I think I can handle one note at a time at half tempo. But double the tempo and add the double stops, that does complicate things :-)

August 21, 2014 at 02:33 PM · I spent a good part of my life using physics and math to figure out how the universe moves on the most arcane levels.

But this! Surely some sorcery is at work...

Thanks for sharing.

August 21, 2014 at 03:07 PM · This guy is a monster!

September 9, 2016 at 02:29 PM · Does anyone what kind of fingerboard Roman Kim uses? It seems to be fretted, I've messaged him to ask but have not heard back.

September 9, 2016 at 04:09 PM · I don't see any evidence of frets--and I don't know how chromatic glissandos would be possible if there were frets.

September 9, 2016 at 04:36 PM · Very low frets might even help a truly chromatic glissando - but would prevent a vibrato under the note.

September 9, 2016 at 05:26 PM · Very well done, and the ending had some real fire. I would like to hear it with better recording equipment, I can't tell if his right hand is not as good as his left or if it's just the sound quality. Great playing either way, though.

September 9, 2016 at 07:17 PM · Here is your "evidence" tho this is not a formal investigation! haha I'm curious if this is even ebony and if so how often does he need the fingerboard planed.

 photo 14231929_1062732333763356_4368304350278057636_o_zpss5v66igw.jpg

September 10, 2016 at 12:16 AM · I have never seen a fingerboard like in this picture. Is it possibly some kind of lighting illusion or reflection? My two guesses.

September 10, 2016 at 12:18 AM · There are some videos online where he plays in brightly lit rooms, and the frets are visible.

September 10, 2016 at 12:51 AM · Thanks Steven for verifying I'm not nuts! It's an awesome idea!

September 10, 2016 at 03:03 AM · There it is:

you'll see it defined at 6:15

September 10, 2016 at 04:31 AM · Hi Jon!

It is not frets, at least in the traditional sense, as can be heard in the Paganini cantabile recording (the glissandi and portamenti). True frets (i.e fixed pitches like on the guitar) would be horrible for mixed intonation, like we violinists like :)

But there are something that can be seen. My guess is that it is just some kind of pattern. Either intentional or not.

September 10, 2016 at 04:36 AM · Maybe it's more of a visual que? He does seem to value looking at the fingerboard, since he uses that eye goggle thing he sometimes wears

September 10, 2016 at 08:03 AM · Admirable technique. In slow legato music though for my taste it's a little brash and the sound is a bit unforgiving. No "air" as Ricci would say. (I know the recording was rubbish and in a better professional setup the recording would be more flattering).

September 10, 2016 at 11:15 AM · Re frets: Some people have a hard time weening themselves off the fingerboard tapes. Maybe Roman is one of them.

September 10, 2016 at 05:46 PM · I think it is a visual queue personally which would explain his glasses, these are to help him see these better. It is cute how he says these glasses are to help him concentrate and see his fingers markings (which are perfectly spaced, this is no illusion or grain patter) :-) they are to more clearly see his fingerboard, more power to him for his inventiveness!

September 10, 2016 at 07:18 PM · Some double bassists have decorative inlays that also serve as general positional markers, especially for solo high-register playing.

Mark Wood's electric violins can be ordered with a subtle fret pattern in the fingerboard, which really helps to find where you are when playing amplified in a very loud setting without the benefit of an in-ear-monitor.

In a recording session one time, I had to hit a very high note on the E string, at the very end of the fingerboard as a sound effect in the middle of a low-register passage (composer was not a string player). Ended up using my pencil to make a small mark, and nailed it on the second take. ;)

September 10, 2016 at 10:34 PM · I made the mistake of watching the Roman Kim video before my practice this morning. One word kept ringing around in my head "inadequate"

September 11, 2016 at 12:04 AM · What really blows my mind about Roman's style is how each note !Starts! with such intensity, or complexity, I don't have the right word, but someone here may.

Regardless of how short the note is, he seem to make it sound like that note has been warmed up and ready to go.

September 11, 2016 at 08:02 AM · The term "attack" seems very appropriate!

September 11, 2016 at 08:12 AM · Re: frets. He gives the lie to those who maintain that visual clues will inevitably block ear-based intonation. They are not like guitar frets where the finger is behind the fret.

I use pencil marks occasionally; I prefer to spend an hour improving a note rather than the same hour seeking it.

September 11, 2016 at 12:36 PM · Re: frets. He gives the lie to those who maintain that visual clues will inevitably block ear-based intonation.

BUT, Adrian - it's different for an established advanced virtuoso to do things like frets or markers, but for beginners and less advanced players, using visual aids by-passes the ear at a time when good ear training is vital. (Read Ricci's Glissando book).

September 11, 2016 at 03:25 PM · How exciting to watch! I get a sense of how an 19th century audience must have reacted when Paganini first worked his magic. And Roman Kim is pushing the technical boundaries even further. In the niche he has found for himself he is absolutely unrivalled and I hope to hear and see more of him in the future.

September 11, 2016 at 04:23 PM · Frets are for the eye, not the ear. And even beginners should play as in tune as possible when I am not there to harass them.

September 11, 2016 at 04:26 PM · I want to watch him play Ernst variation of last rose of the summer. Midori played it very well, and I wonder what Roman Kim can do to top that.

September 12, 2016 at 03:35 PM · I'm sure he will make a recording or play it as an encore. With the glasses of course!

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine