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Ning Feng|Paganini: 24 Caprices + 1

Paganini: 24 Caprices + 1

Ning Feng

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On one hand, it's a testament to the modern tuition of violin technique that Paganini's 24 Caprices are widely played. In his time, they were outlandish enough to inspire various demonic legends recounted in the booklet of this Channel Classics release, including the delightful tale that Paganini strangled his wife and used her intestines to make one of his violin strings, the one that produced the sweetest tone. On the other hand, there are still differences among the available performances. They are not exercises producing a monolithic group. The more arcane details of the caprices may emerge with greater or lesser clarity, and the expressive dimension of the caprices may vary. Violinist Ning Feng, a Paganini specialist who has been at it for some years now, has every detail in place. It would be irrational to try to list every one but listen to the Caprice No. 3 in E minor and its delicately weighted little octave trills. Feng has sometimes been charged with mechanical playing, but it's not really true. Balancing the fantastically difficult elements in these pieces requires musicality, which Feng provides. However, he could deliver more warmth and charisma in the purely melodic passages, such as the aria-like amoroso opening of the Caprice No. 21 in A major; these were an important part of Paganini's appeal, and it's impossible to believe he didn't ham them up a bit. Still, for violinists especially, there is much to learn here. Channel Classics deploys various high-tech devices in the engineering, but none of it can make up for the fact that the church ambiance robs the music of intimacy and bears little resemblance to the places where it was played by Paganini.
© TiVo

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Paganini: 24 Caprices + 1

Ning Feng

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24 Caprices, Op. 1: Caprice (Niccolò Paganini)

1
No. 1 in E Major: Andante
00:01:46

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

2
No. 2 in B Minor: Moderato
00:03:03

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

3
No. 3 in E Minor: Sostenuto - Presto - Sostenuto
00:03:00

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

4
No. 4 in C Minor: Maestoso
00:06:09

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

5
No. 5 in A Minor: Agitato
00:02:43

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

6
No. 6 in G Minor: Agitato
00:04:31

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

7
No. 7 in A Minor: Posato
00:03:46

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

8
No. 8 in E-Flat Major: Maestoso
00:02:52

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

9
No. 9 in E Major: Allegretto
00:03:02

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

10
No. 10 in G Minor: Vivace
00:02:31

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

11
No. 11 in C Major: Andante - Presto - Andante
00:04:06

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

12
No. 12 in A-Flat Major: Allegro
00:02:59

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

13
No. 13 in B-Flat Major: Allegro
00:02:19

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

14
No. 14 in E-Flat Major: Moderato
00:02:09

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

15
No. 15 in E Minor: Posato
00:03:07

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

16
No. 16 in G Minor: Presto
00:01:35

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

17
No. 17 in E-Flat Major: Sostenuto - Andante
00:03:45

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

18
No. 18 in C Major: Corrente - Allegro
00:02:43

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

19
No. 19 in E-Flat Major: Lento - Allegro assai
00:02:38

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

20
No. 20 in D Major: Allegretto
00:03:15

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

21
No. 21 in A Major: Amoroso - Presto
00:03:20

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

22
No. 22 in F major: Marcato
00:02:57

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

23
No. 23 in E-Flat Major: Posato - Minore - Posato
00:03:46

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

24
No. 24 in A Minor: Tema quasi presto - Variazioni - Finale
00:04:48

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

25
Caprice d’Adieu in E Major: Allegro moderato
00:02:28

Niccolò Paganini, Composer - Ning Feng, Artist

(2021) Channel Classics Records (2021) Channel Classics Records

Album Description

On one hand, it's a testament to the modern tuition of violin technique that Paganini's 24 Caprices are widely played. In his time, they were outlandish enough to inspire various demonic legends recounted in the booklet of this Channel Classics release, including the delightful tale that Paganini strangled his wife and used her intestines to make one of his violin strings, the one that produced the sweetest tone. On the other hand, there are still differences among the available performances. They are not exercises producing a monolithic group. The more arcane details of the caprices may emerge with greater or lesser clarity, and the expressive dimension of the caprices may vary. Violinist Ning Feng, a Paganini specialist who has been at it for some years now, has every detail in place. It would be irrational to try to list every one but listen to the Caprice No. 3 in E minor and its delicately weighted little octave trills. Feng has sometimes been charged with mechanical playing, but it's not really true. Balancing the fantastically difficult elements in these pieces requires musicality, which Feng provides. However, he could deliver more warmth and charisma in the purely melodic passages, such as the aria-like amoroso opening of the Caprice No. 21 in A major; these were an important part of Paganini's appeal, and it's impossible to believe he didn't ham them up a bit. Still, for violinists especially, there is much to learn here. Channel Classics deploys various high-tech devices in the engineering, but none of it can make up for the fact that the church ambiance robs the music of intimacy and bears little resemblance to the places where it was played by Paganini.
© TiVo

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