WORKS: La campanella; Introduction and Variations: on ‘Non più mesta’ from La Cenerentola, Op. 12; on ‘Di tanti palpiti’ from Tancredi, Op. 13; Moto perpetuo, Op. 11; Caprices Nos 13, 20 & 24; Le streghe, Op. 8
PERFORMER: Philippe Quint (violin), Dmitriy Cogan (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 8.570703
Fritz Kreisler was not only one of the greatest violin virtuosos of the last century, he was also a gifted composer and arranger without whose many colourful miniatures the violin repertoire would be much the poorer.
Philippe Quint possesses the ideal combination of tonal allure, technical finesse and expressive intensity to bring these Paganini adaptations pulsatingly to life. The lifted and thrown bow strokes that litter La campanella are handled with a gently cushioned cantabile which allows the music to sing even when Paganini starts applying his infamous technical thumb-screws.
This also works wonders in the fizzing La Cenerentola Variations, throughout which Quint maintains a remarkable degree of composure, even managing to apply a little vibrato during the notorious double-stopped harmonics variation.
To be pedantically hypercritical for a moment, the left-right hand coordination of the notorious Moto perpetuo (taken at phenomenal speed) is not always absolutely precise, although Quint’s flying spiccato, left-hand agility and forced/natural harmonics throughout the finger-breaking Tancredi Variations are truly phenomenal. Warmly recommended. Julian Haylock