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Thomas Zehetmair
Niccolò Paganini
24 Capricci

Thomas Zehetmair violin
24 Capricci per violino solo, op. 1
No. 1 E major Andante
No. 2 b minor Moderato
No. 3 e minor Sostenuto - Presto
No. 4 c minor Maestoso
No. 5 a minor Agitato
No. 6 g minor Lento
No. 7 a minor Posato
No. 8 E-flat major Maestoso
No. 9 E major Allegretto
No. 10 g minor Vivace
No. 11 C major Andante - Presto
No. 12 A-flat major Allegro
No. 13 B-flat major Allegro
No. 14 E-flat major Moderato
No. 15 e minor Posato
No. 16 g minor Presto
No. 17 E-flat major Sostenuto - Andante
No. 18 C major Corrente - Allegro
No. 19 E-flat major Lento - Allegro assai
No. 20 D major Allegretto
No. 21 A major Amoroso - Presto
No. 22 F major Marcato
No. 23 E-flat major Posato
No. 24 a minor Tema con variazioni. Quasi presto

Recorded December 2007

ECM New Series 2124

Thomas Zehetmair’s manually overwhelming and thought-provoking ECM recording of the complete sonatas for unaccompanied violin by Eugène Ysaÿe – released in 2004 to great critical acclaim – offered ample proof that alleged virtuoso pyrotechnics can be surprinsingly multi-faceted and complex when approached by a musician with a rare awareness of stylistic layers and expressive traditions. His (long deleted) Teldec version of the Capricci dating from the early nineties quickly won the status of a new benchmark recording. In 2007 he went to the Austrian monastery of St. Gerold to record a second – even more ambitious – interpretation. In an interview with English journalist Ivan Hewett Zehetmair recently explained his ever-growing interest in this particular repertoire: "Every violinist grows up with these pieces, because they are such fantastic technical studies. Paganini sometimes had these showman's tricks, like playing on only one or two strings. But you know, all the great musicians who heard him, like Schumann, took him totally seriously. These Caprices aren't just studies, or showpieces. They're improvised character pieces, so full of poetry and fantasy."