Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840)
24 Capricci opus I
“The electricity I feel when I’m dealing with the magic harmony […]”, Paganini wrote on 15 January 1832 in a letter to his friend Luigi Guglielmo Germi. There could be no better definition of Paganini’s musical temperament. This is what Schubert said after hearing Paganini play in a concert: “I have heard the voice of an angel”. And Liszt’s comment was: “How much passion, how much suffering in those four strings […]”. This recording of the Capricci in a new version, that is one that uses an antique instrument, and antique bow and strings, encourages us to imagine what their sound quality was in Paganini’s time. The timbre of an antique instrument, a different bow, and above all the catgut strings, made out of sheep intestines cut into strips and twisted, similar to a vibrating nerve, created a sound that expanded in the wooden concert halls, immense natural soundboxes.