Wolfgang Hentrich / Markus Gottschall

Paganini: Cantabile

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The pieces by Niccolò Paganini that are routinely played are for the most part the ones that still challenge violinists with their technical requirements. The apparent idea of this release from the Papageno label in the east German city of Chemnitz is a good one: to put together a program that might more closely resemble one Paganini might have offered his audiences, in this case when he appeared, as he often did, with a guitarist. The positive corollary of this is that some unusual works are included. The Duetto amoroso is the highlight here. Its 10 movements, each about a minute long, constitute a work unlike anything else in the virtuoso violin literature. They embody the stages of a relationship, from The Beginning and The Request through Shyness, Argument, Signs of Love, and finally Parting. The melodic idiom is simple but expressive. Violinist Wolfgang Hentrich and guitarist Markus Gottschall put these little pieces across affectingly, but Hentrich is less tonally secure in the opening Cantabile and in the three sonatas on the disc. These, and the "bravura variations" of Caprice No. 24, provide a few fireworks, but in most of the album the atmosphere is low-key. Paganini lovers and perhaps violinists in general will want to have this album, which offers all kinds of programming ideas that other players may execute more crisply. Boxy sound that seems to place the guitarist off to one side is a negative here. Notes are in German only.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:55
Sonate Nr. 1 a-Moll
2 0:45
3 3:59
4 3:00
Duetto amoroso
5 0:47
6 1:12
7 1:10
8 1:38
9 1:11
10 0:38
11 0:46
12 0:38
13 1:01
14 0:55
Sonate Nr. 2 D-Dur
15 3:00
16 3:57
17 6:04
Sonate Nr. 3 C-Dur
18 0:48
19 4:10
20 8:18
21 5:09
blue highlight denotes track pick