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** 1/2 PAGANINI 24 Caprices for Solo Violin, Opus 1 Michael Rabin, violin, EMI Classics

April 15, 2001|DANIEL CARIAGA

The leading violin prodigy of the 1950s and '60s, the New York-born Michael Rabin recorded Niccolo' Paganini's virtuosic and daunting 24 Caprices in 1958, when he was 22. This document captures Rabin's fluent musicality and abundant technical aplomb. He gives each caprice its particular character, sails through the endless mechanical thickets with demonic ease and makes all the composer's songfulness irresistible. This is great music handsomely and engagingly, if in a few moments scratchily, performed.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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