Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Paganini, Aonzo, Volta|
Complete Works for Mandolin & French Style Guitar
Genres: Miscellaneous, Classical
Eugene C. Braig IV | Columbus, OH United States | 12/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Paganini is mostly remembered for his pioneering, fiery virtuosity for the violin, and justly so. It comes as a surprise to many classical music fans that Paganini not only played the guitar, but was considered by some of his day to rank amongst the finest guitarists, second only to Giuliani. It sends those fans into shock to discover Paganini cut his musical teeth on an all-but-extinct relative of the mandolin. The bulk of his published music is not comprised of the virtuosic terrors of professional violinists, but light and charming chamber music accompanied by guitar. This recording is an effort to capture some of that period charm. Carlo Aonzo has chosen an interesting 6-course Genovese mandolin for this recording. This music was written for Genovese mandolin (amandorlino), but the featured instrument comfortably predates Paganini's birth. For those not accustommed to early mandolins, this instrument may prove more pleasing to the eye than ear; its tone is a touch nasal and intonation not quite what the modern ear expects--a little jarring. This recording's highlights are certainly the pieces involving mandolin. Carlo Aonzo makes his plucky tool sound as good as it can; his sense of the music is natural and fluid. Sandro Volta's performance is solid and studied as always. However, his playing tends to sound more like scholarship than music in the guitar solos: e.g., the rondoncino excerpted from M.S. 84, no. 4 simply falls limply lifeless--not quite fitting of Paganini's legendary virtuoso status. In general, the music is charming and the performances solid; I very sincerely enjoyed this. The instrumental sound is foreign and anachronistic enough that I believe it may strike general music fans as slightly abrasive. This recording should be owned by serious fans of Paganini and anybody with an interest in early music and period performance by plucked strings; it maybe should occupy a slightly lesser priority for a general audience."