Pavel Sporcl

Pavel Sporcl Plays Paganini

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On this 2004 release, Pavel Sporcl performs Paganini's devilishly virtuosic violin music with fiendish delight and delivers an album that is upfront about its flashiness, with no pretense of subtlety or profundity. It is almost pointless to single out one work as the most difficult, or one track that especially shows Sporcl's prowess, for virtually every piece presents outrageous technical challenges, and Sporcl meets Paganini's demands each time. Accompanied competently by pianist Petr Jirikovsky (whose understated and slightly distant playing suggests he is safely out of the way of flying rosin), Sporcl is a perpetual motion machine, spewing out sixteenth and thirty second notes with fastidious execution and concentrated effort. Sporcl has a chance to relax his bow arm in David Baker's Ethnic Variations on a Theme of Paganini -- yes, that hoary favorite of composers, the Caprice No. 24 -- and he drops the role of virtuoso for a few minutes of easygoing, jazz-flavored lyricism. Sporcl also catches his breath in Paganini's serene Cantabile in D major, but that is the last break he gets before closing out the disc with five caprices and an encore, I Palpiti. Supraphon's recording is clean and focused, and gives Sporcl an almost palpable presence. This package also includes a video of Sporcl for Windows PCs.

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