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Paganini Concerto #1


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aarnbite, Yes, it's just toooo easy. But eat three cats for breakfast each day when you want to play the tripple harmonics.

But I personally believe there is hardly anything on earth which can sound so beautiful as harmonics/double harmonics played properly, even with vibrato. I don't think that Menuhins teenage recording of that passage was all that good, however, though he got it out technically OK, but perhaps that was all he was trying to do, as I believe, most people consider it quite a challenge (no, not really like aarntbite and iupviolin seemed to be saying!).

But, how do you play them? Don't do like I used to do, by playing them all in 4ths. I did some injury to my fingers for a few months by doing that!

You should do it the way it is written in the music. They tell you which fingers to hold down and which fingers to touch lightly on certain notes.

It helps to be quite exacting, and then you have to do very careful vibrato. That you will work out how to do yourself when you get there!

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>was vibrato particularly common during his era?

Without a time machine, it is not possible to know. If the earliest recordings of string players, and orchestras are any indication, at the end of the 1800's, audiences were receptive to a greater variety of sound production on stage then they are today. How much or little vibrato you used didn't seem to matter much back then. If I remember correctly, Mozart's father gave a warning, in one of his method books, for students not to use vibrato on all notes, as some string players in his day were in the habit of doing.

How did Paganini sounded will never been known on this side of the grave. Schubert wrote that he went to one of Paganini's concerts with certain expections, and was amazed when Paganini started to play it was with only a tiny,thin sound which soon captivated the audience in its "web". From that point on Schubert goes into the superlatives and gives us no further clues as to how Paganini actually performed. The small orchestras Paganini employed would indicate that Paganini had a small tone, and probably didn't have the type of vibrato which would cut through a large size orchestra. Wish someone like Carl Flesch lived back who would of left us a detailed, objective account of Paganini's playing.

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