Who do you think is the best interpreter of Paganini music? Not just one piece, but overall. People say Leonid Kogan played the best Concerto No. 1. But he didn't play too much other Paganini stuff.
I would say, that definitely, Salvatore Accardo is THE Paganini man. Everything I listen to by him is so perfect and clean. His Paganini Concertos No. 1, No. 2, No. 4, No. 5, and No. 6 (So pretty much everything except for No. 3, which Szeryng plays the best) is just amazing. His technique is amazing, and his staccato is so elegant and clean. I have never heard a more cleaner and faster flying, up-bow staccato from anyone else.
I have the whole 6-CD Box set of Salvatore Accardo's "Complete" Recording of Paganini. The box says that it's a complete recording of Paganini, but I have two more CDs that Accardo plays that's not included in the Box set. Some of them are The Carnival of Venice, Variations on Theme of "Mose", Moto Perpetuo, and more.
With those 8 CDs, Accardo recorded every single violin pieces by Paganini (excluding the violin and guitar sonatas and short pieces such as the Cantabile), and I have listened to all of them. There is no doubt that Salvatore Accardo was born to play Paganini. It's not just that his technique is amazing and his playing is clean, but also that his playing has the Paganini spirit, the style of Paganini. It has much character and liveliness. His playing has extreme risk and craziness. That, to me, is the way to play Paganini. Not too mellow or "romantic" like Perlman, Rabin, or Chang. Francescatti played Paganini well, but it was too much of Francescatti's style. Ashkenasi's sound feels too thin for me. To me, although Paganini lived and composed in the Romantic Period, his playing shouldn't be played like Tchaikovsky or Brahms. I'm not saying it should be played like Contemporary music or Baroque music. Paganini had its own period, its own genre. There was, in my opinion, Baroque, Classical, PAGANINI, and then Romantic period.
So that's my opinion. Do you guys agree with me about Salvatore Accardo? If not, who do you think is the best interpreter of Paganini? Not just one piece, but overall.
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