Ruggiero Ricci at his absolute best!!
Glenn David Naydan | Santa Clara, CA United States | 10/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We all should be fortunate that Ruggiero Ricci is a prolific recording artist and that every stage of his career is on disc. These 1952, '54 and '58 recordings display Ricci's unbelievable technique played in his prime that seems to span several decades!
Originally released as " Paganini Recital" the first 8 Paganini pieces on disc 1 are performed without equal and are the focus of this 2 CD release. Recorded in 1954 they evidence Ricci's true genius as a "Paganini specialist". With his renowned teacher Louis Persinger on piano, Ricci sets forth a head turning, jaw-dropping performance. Highlights are: Le Streghe- Rapid left hand pizzacato followed by "flute-like" artificial harmonics with the incredible Kreisler ending, Moto perpetuo- at an amazing mm=200 !! Ricci takes the repeat!,God Save the King - No one performs this piece like Ricci (even though I prefer his unaccompanied versions).
Vecsey's Le Vent actually sounds like "The Wind" with Ricci's performance, his doublestopped string crossings are clean and flawless.
The Sarasate dances are performed wonderfully, however, recordings by other artists (ie: Aaron Rosand) are of better tone quality and interpretation. The exceptions are: Caprice Basque- Ricci's tempo is fast with perfect technique and Introduction and Tarantelle which is crisp and exciting.
The rest of the 2 CD set is played with style, the Smetana standing out with remarkable expression.
This 2 CD set is worth every penny and a must for any Ricci fan.The great remastering by Decca should be applauded, however, save some of that applause for Ruggiero Ricci!!"
I Owned the Vinyl
Faddle | California | 03/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know how good the transfers to CD are since I owned only
the vinyl of this set until it wore out. This is a great set. There are some gems on here that you probably won't find anywhere else.
My favorite of these tracks is Ricci's playing of Franz Vecsey's
'Le Vent'. It's gooseflesh time. Ricci can do that to me. His
version of 'Tzigane' is not on here but that's another one where
Ricci gives me spinal chill. This is one of my top 'encore' albums of all time. I remember a nasty evaluation Ricci got from a reviewer on his interpretation of Prokofiev's concertos. They're still my favs. He called him 'Screechy Ricci'. Ruggiero does screech a bit sometimes, but he's going for the soul of the piece, not just trying to play typewriter perfect. I love Ricci, always have. You'll love him and this album. I'm getting the CD version today. It's about time. I've owned that scratched up album for over 40 years and no longer have a turntable."