Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The tragic career of Michael Rabin, cut short at the age of 35, left behind only a handful of reminders of his violin genius. Here is one of the most impressive of them, as well played and exciting a set of the Paganini ... more »
The tragic career of Michael Rabin, cut short at the age of 35, left behind only a handful of reminders of his violin genius. Here is one of the most impressive of them, as well played and exciting a set of the Paganini Caprices as anyone has recorded. Rabin tears into these pieces with tremendous energy, willing to sacrifice tonal suavity (of which he had plenty) when the excitement of the musical moment demands something else. Hearing the whole set at once is exhausting, and not recommended, but in small enough groups these performances are exhilarating. The same recording appears in EMI's comprehensive Rabin set (64123-2), but in mono, this edition is genuine stereo. --Leslie Gerber
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Technically and musically supreme
Mr. Alan K. Payne | 09/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I agree with the previous review about the recording quality, this however should not distract one from listening to the playing, the quality of intonation, and the mature shaping of the phrases. I wonder if Matias listened to more than the second and third Caprice, he seems adimant that Markov is the most brilliant violinist of all time, and his intonation is perfect, well then listen to Rabin. Although intonation slips are evident, one must remember this is Paganini, where even greats such as Perlman and the 'Paganini specialist' Accardo make many slips. Rabin's recording was impressive to say the least, recognisable especially by violinists, but still enjoyable for other music lovers. The Caprices are show pieces, not to be listened to one after the other, if fact Paganini not once played any of his Caprices in public recital. Rabin tackles this challenging opus with great intensity and bravado, full marks to him, although the single star is lost due to recording quality, admitted."
D. R. Schryer | Poquoson, VA United States | 08/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although Jascha Heifetz was the most acclaimed violinist of the 20th century, Michael Rabin was fully his equal technically but far superior artistically. In fact, Rabin was equal to, or better than, every violinist of whom we have recordings. Unfortunately, Rabin died in his mid thirties and left relatively few recordings, but his recording of the Paganini Caprices is still regarded as a standard against which all other performances of these works are compared. If you've never heard this outstanding violinist this CD will show you why decades after his premature death Michael Rabin is still regarded as a legendary violinist."
David Saemann | 10/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit to having a thing for the Paganini Caprices. I may own six or seven complete recordings, and I really enjoy sitting down and listening to all 24 Caprices at once. There are numerous fine recordings of these works, starting with the very first by Ossy Renardy, on 78s with piano accompaniment. This was reissued by Biddulph. I enjoy Midori and James Ehnes in particular in these works, even though stylistically they are quite different from Michael Rabin. Rabin's recording is often cited as a classic of the gramophone, and I must agree. The stereo sound from 1958 is clear and close up, perhaps not ideal for sonority but nevertheless revealing all of Rabin's nuances. I can't imagine a more exciting traversal of the Caprices. It's revealing that Itzhak Perlman dedicated his recording of these works to Rabin's memory, an indication of the esteem Rabin's version is held in by his fellow violinists. I would have a very hard time recommending just one recording of the Caprices (and Rabin's teenage recordings of some of them on Columbia should not be ignored), but if I had to live with just one, it might very well be this one."