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Pag. Caprices and youtubes.

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It seems to me, that not many people tend to post on youtubes things not played almost technically perfect. Not even slowly. It seems as if people, even children, will not have anything put up there, which might hurt their pride, due to some technical weakness.

Nevertheless, there is seldom much feeling or real artistery in it.

One thing which seems to be gaining popularity in youtube postings recently, seems to be Paganini Caprices.

These works are not so great imho, for sounding like great music and real artistic emotion, however, if learned to technical perfection, one CAN take that too, as a challenge (to make them sound like great works). Otherwise, I would think that if it were played with several slips, the caprices are still respectable enough to be put up.

However, this is not what seems to be acceptable. Even when a 6-year old girl played caprice no. 24, not too badly for any average person of any age, posters seemed to curse her out. We see, that technical prowess is a must, however, musical aspects are very voluntary, and much less than more, seen.

Then we have Velioz, who is a boy who a few yers ago, put up quite a few caprices, and atleast this was something which I enjoyed, BECAUSE it shows a young person, playing them, in a way that we can see some of the difficulties showing, and in this way, perhaps it's easier to appreciate more what IS good about the performance, and something about how much work goes into it.

Otherwise, it seems that perfect technicality (by perfect, I mean, almost no slips, and up to speed, but not brilliant) is like a must, and artistry is not important at all, the way things seem to be today, on youtubes.

I was wondering how interesting it would be to the youtube audience to have someone eagerly (and carefully) playing all the caprices, just about, but with some feeling too, even with the technical prowess being lower than the average youtube expectation. Or would the player just be making a fool of himself?

(perhaps the lowest technical level possible, to get through them, without messing up, from beginning to end. AND, musically too. I think that this alone would be a wonder. But the player might be making a fool of himself in some peoples minds, so I'd advise him not to do it!)

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Or "how to make music" with Paganini at 9 or at 38.

By a strange coincidence Tedi PAPAVRAMI is playing on a violin by the author of the last post.

Just been listening to his JS Bach solo recordings on iTunes - wonderful tone colours - is that the Bayon fiddle I wonder?

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One of the best (actually possibly *the* best) Paganini performances I can remember seeing was Jiafeng Chen doing No. 24 when he was runner up in the 2008 Menuhin competition. Unfortunately, the recorded performances no longer seem to be on the Menuhin website.

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I can't speak for the "youtube audience" (after all, have you seen what earns five stars on youtube?), but for me, even if the Paganini Caprices were played perfectly with the highest degree of artistry and emotional impact possible, I would still be disinterested.

It's crappy music.

Sorry to skewer anyone's sacred cow, but this is painfully obvious to most music lovers who are not violinists.

Rat

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I can't speak for the "youtube audience" (after all, have you seen what earns five stars on youtube?), but for me, even if the Paganini Caprices were played perfectly with the highest degree of artistry and emotional impact possible, I would still be disinterested.

It's crappy music.

Sorry to skewer anyone's sacred cow, but this is painfully obvious to most music lovers who are not violinists.

Rat

When they are well played my reaction to the Paganini caprices, as a violinist, is amazement that anyone could get around the instrument like that. From a more general musical perspective I'd have to agree that the Caprices are not very rewarding musically. I feel the same about the Paganini Concerti for violin. However, some seriously good composers found enough inspiration in #24 to write variations based on it.

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I can't speak for the "youtube audience" (after all, have you seen what earns five stars on youtube?), but for me, even if the Paganini Caprices were played perfectly with the highest degree of artistry and emotional impact possible, I would still be disinterested.

It's crappy music.

Sorry to skewer anyone's sacred cow, but this is painfully obvious to most music lovers who are not violinists.

Rat

post-23651-1260374315.jpg

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To Derest Rat,

I find the comment a bit strange, the caprices have been popularized on several instruments and your comment does not really reflect the truth. I have many friends who dont like all the virtousic passages of violin playing and only enjoy simple melodies (I totally understand that) but you have to realize that even if theyr most apealing to violinists, there are several musicians (even "legendary" ones) who have enjoyed paganini's music (especially the caprices). The most famous are perhaps on the piano (Rachmaninoff and Liszt), but there are several transcriptions for numerous instruments like flute, viola, cello, guitar, double bass. mandolin and trumpet.

I hope you give another chance to paganini's music. Try to find interpretations by musicians who focus a bit more on the musical side or even softer sounding instrument like viola, cello, flute or even trumpet. If after that you still dont like it then thats ok, not everyone does.

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post-23651-1260374315.jpg

Cute. But misplaced.

My low opinion of the works in question is not based on their being 'low-brow,' as you seem to imply with your cartoon. In addition to classical and jazz, my extensive music collection includes plenty of basic country, rock, pop, and even [gasp] bluegrass recordings.

My point? Quality music is not dependent on pedigree. It must, however, be honest and must have soul. Paganini's caprices are cynical, self-indulgent sideshow attractions. Virtuosic for the sake of being virtuosic.

I'm impressed by music, not technique.

Rat

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...I find the comment a bit strange, the caprices have been popularized on several instruments and your comment does not really reflect the truth...

I'm comfortable with of the acuracy of my statement.

...I hope you give another chance to paganini's music. Try to find interpretations by musicians who focus a bit more on the musical side or even softer sounding instrument like viola, cello, flute or even trumpet. If after that you still dont like it then thats ok, not everyone does.

I never said I hated everything Paganini wrote. His 2nd Concerto is pleasant enough. (No.1 is a mess.) Here's one of his works that is simply beautiful:

By the way, it's funny that you mention Liszt. I consider him in much the same vein as Paganini. He can be quite soul-stirring at times, but the works that seem to get the most attention amount to banging on the keyboard both loud and fast.

If the caprices were viewed as studies/excercises, I'm sure I wouldn't have this gag reflex. But it's a bit much when they are held up as the keystone of classical violin literature.

Rat

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There's no such thing as 'crappy' music - only 'crappy' performances IMO.

This reminds me of that inane old saw often used by school teachers; "There's no such thing as a stupid question."

In reality, there are infinate stupid questions. Often, what renders them "stupid" is their context. Other times it's their content.

So,

There's no such thing as 'crappy' music - only 'crappy' performances IMO.

Do you really believe that? Honestly?

I suspect you're just trying to avoid making waves, because, regardless of one's opinion of Paganini's Caprices, that assertion is just plain silly.

Rat

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Cute. But misplaced.

My low opinion of the works in question is not based on their being 'low-brow,' as you seem to imply with your cartoon. In addition to classical and jazz, my extensive music collection includes plenty of basic country, rock, pop, and even [gasp] bluegrass recordings.

My point? Quality music is not dependent on pedigree. It must, however, be honest and must have soul. Paganini's caprices are cynical, self-indulgent sideshow attractions. Virtuosic for the sake of being virtuosic.

I'm impressed by music, not technique.

Rat

I'm sorry but you do come over as amazingly arrogant. Your comments might have been more acceptable if you had expressed them as merely your opinion but you present them as categorical imperatives emanating from some higher, unchallengeable authority.

I won't defend the music - generations of music lovers have already done that. I'm merely agreeing that the Lord Snooty hat fits you very well.

Glenn

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...you present them as categorical imperatives emanating from some higher, unchallengeable authority...

Glenn

Ehem, I'm sorry to have to correct you on this, but my exact title is Highest Unchallengeable Authority. Also, please note the use of capital letters.

Rat

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I'm inclined toward Desert Rat's opinion. Firstly, I much prefer Baroque or Classical period works to anything in the Romantic period and these pieces are definitely Romantic. Secondly I don't care much for music that is aimed at demonstrating virtuoso technique to the detriment of musicality. I think the caprices cross that line. They may be a challenge and give a sense of accomplishment to play but they aren't anything I want to hear very often. I definitely don't want to hear them played badly.

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I'm inclined toward Desert Rat's opinion. Firstly, I much prefer Baroque or Classical period works to anything in the Romantic period and these pieces are definitely Romantic. Secondly I don't care much for music that is aimed at demonstrating virtuoso technique to the detriment of musicality. I think the caprices cross that line. They may be a challenge and give a sense of accomplishment to play but they aren't anything I want to hear very often. I definitely don't want to hear them played badly.

Oldgeezer, You are perfectly entitled to an opinion and I respect that. Rat is also entitled to an opinion but, at the end of the day, these are no more than personal opinions. To state that the caprices are 'crappy music' is shamefully arrogant and disrespectful of those who have a different opinion.

None of us wants to hear them played badly. Most players seek to dazzle with their own virtuosity but there are one or two performers who discover the music within and are able to convey it. But that's just my opinion stated with suitable humility.

Glenn

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By a strange coincidence Tedi PAPAVRAMI is playing on a violin by the author of the last post.

Just been listening to his JS Bach solo recordings on iTunes - wonderful tone colours - is that the Bayon fiddle I wonder?

:) No, the Bach CD was the last one before to have my violin, all the CD after are with the Bayon fiddle (Scarlatti, Brahms, Paganini and next Chausson Poème and nº3 St Saens concerto)

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:) No, the Bach CD was the last one before to have my violin, all the CD after are with the Bayon fiddle (Scarlatti, Brahms, Paganini and next Chausson Poème and nº3 St Saens concerto)

The fiddle sound on the Paganini is excellent - congrats. I wonder why there are two versions, one live and one recorded?

I prefer this recording to the Bach which is difficult to listen to because of the constant sound of breathing, which detracts considerably from the playing. Shame the producer didn't fix this. Ilya Kaler also has splendid Bach but somewhat ruined by continual traffic noise, cars accelerating do not mix well with Bach adagios. A high pass filter could have eliminated most of the noise.

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Two version, maybe the live version is not for every violonist, it´s a risky choice to plays the Caprices in concert, not only a bis after a concerto, but a full concert.

And a studio version to go further in a technique and musical research, not only circus performance?

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