Rachel Talitman-Harp,Pierre-Henry Xuereb-Viola, Manfred Stilz-Cello | The Marvels of Paganini

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Classical: Chamber Music Classical: Romantic Era Moods: Instrumental
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The Marvels of Paganini

by Rachel Talitman-Harp,Pierre-Henry Xuereb-Viola, Manfred Stilz-Cello

The viola, cello and the harp playing the romantic melodies-the marvels of Paganini
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
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Tracks

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1. Paganini-Serenata, Allegro Spiritoso
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7:59 album only
2. Paganini-Serenata,Adagio non tanto
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1:37 album only
3. Paganini-Serenata,Rondo
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1:27 album only
4. Paganini-Serenata,Minuetto
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2:38 album only
5. Paganini-Sonata for the Gran' Viola and Harp
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13:58 album only
6. N.C.Bochsa-The Marvels of Paganini
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11:46 album only
7. Paganini-L.M.Magistretti-Thema and Variations
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9:37 album only
8. Paganini-Terzetto Concertante
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11:54 album only
9. Paganini-Terzetto Concertante
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6:24 album only
10. Paganini-Terzetto
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3:33 album only
11. Paganini-Terzetto
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8:28 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Viola-Violin, both combined into one instrument must have seduced Paganini, who was familiar with Rolla’s work and knew perfectly well the art of the viola, enough to write a "Sonata per la Gran Viola". By adding a string, the sound evolved and became part of a new instrument, so unique that the comparison with one of its brothers (whether higher or lower in the scale). becomes irrelevant. Everything tends to suggest that the shape of Paganini’s left hand, with long and slender fingers, possibly enabled him to play the high register on a normal viola as easily as on a violin. The rich possibilities of the 'Gran Viola’ were exploited wonderfully in this sonata. A five-string instrument had been used by J.S. Bach for his Sixth Suite (one octave below). The term "Quinton " has also been used to refer to the "Gran Viola", which, mostly electrified, has also been used for over a century now by jazz musicians. In April 1834, Paganini was in London for a series of concerts and it is for this occasion that he created the sonata for "Gran Viola", which at the time drew more reservation than admiration. It has been suggested that the "Gran Viola" in question was suffering from poor settings and that the strings, including the E string, were thicker than the violin strings, so that producing harmonics probably became much more problematic. The sonata, in typical Paganini style, begins with a very short introduction and an alto recitative, that is followed by a cantabile that originally was used in his Sonata No. 4 for violin and guitar. The main theme, which was taken from Sonata No.3 for violin and guitar, is followed by three virtuosistic and original variations. In this version, it is the adaptation of the harp by Rachel Talitman which plays the orchestral part. To this effect, The Times of April 28, 1834 wrote: "Some passages by the lower strings were executed with fullness and softness, and arpeggios proved excellent, although the high notes did not come out clearly and with flexibility; the fast passages, which demand long fingers, do not seem executed with the same efficiency that can be obtained from the violin. Overall, the experiment does not seem to match Paganini’s reputation". The "Sonata for Gran Viola" was played again some time later in Bridgnorth. An announcement for the concert is much more explicit, this time, about the nature of the instrument: "Sonata specially composed for the new instrument, the Paganini viola. It consists of Introduction, Recitative, Cantabile for double strings and Theme with variations".Paganini did not write for the harp, in spite of A. Gatti’s painting (1804) on "Paganini’s first success" showing him play on stage with a female harpist and in spite also of the fact that he was a friend of Italian virtuoso composer Vincenzo Maria Graziani. The two pieces for harp solo were written by harp composers Magistretti and Bochsa, who took their inspiration from original themes and wanted to show all of the virtuosity spectrum for which the harp was capable. The Paganini Trios show a viola that is more focused on the quality of melodies than on feats of virtuosity. A parallel can be drawn between the quality of many works for viola by H. Vieuxtemps. The Terzetto Concertante for viola, cello and guitar was created on May 15, 1833 at Dr. Billing’s home, as reported by the Morning Post: "It is frequently said that Paganini cannot play in a quartet without adding a few tricks. That is far from accurate. During a recent soirée at Dr. Billing’s home, Paganini, Mendelssohn and Lindley played a trio for viola, guitar and cello (composed by Paganini). Mendelssohn had the guitar part transcribed for piano and he added a clever bass part". In this version, as in the other two trios, it is the harp that plays the part of the guitar thanks to the arrangement made by Bernard Boetto. In 1808 he had written Terzetto No. 1, also called Serenade, for his sister Domenica on the occasion of his marriage and the Polacca for his granddaughter.


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