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Hello Mr. Paganini

Ning Feng


SKU: 80807

Year of release: 2007

1. Non Piu Mesta, Op. 12 Paganini 13:21
2. Caprice No. 24 From 24 Caprices, Op. 1 Paganini 06:37
3. Variations On God Save The King, Op. 9 Paganini 05:04
4. Cantabile Paganini 04:29
5. Nel Cor Piu Non Mi Sento Paganini 14:55
6. Le Streghe, Op 8 Paganini 13:01
La Campanella 05:48
7. The Bell, Op. 7 Paganini 05:48
8. I Palpiti, Op. 13 Paganini 11:24
Total time: 74:42

About this album

Anyone playing the violin cannot get around the music of Paganini. Paganini is usually associated with the impossible and yet possible violin technique he invented, so much so that – because of their degree of complexity – a large part of his compositions is used for technical practice purposes. But meanwhile, the musical artistry in his works has often been overlooked or ignored. Undoubtedly, most of Paganini’s works are technically incredibly challenging, and his historical 24 Caprices are often used as the ultimate technical étude. Besides the 24 Caprices, Nel Cor Piu Non Mi Sento and God Save the King, the two theme pieces with variations for solo violin, are probably even more iconic in that all technical aspects of violin playing are demonstrated. Using the left hand pizzicato to accompany the theme, which is played at the same time using the bow, as well as the double harmonics, did not even appear in his 24 Caprices. But underneath all those dazzling skills, we should not forget about the music itself. I can hardly think of a Paganini piece without a beautiful and enjoyable Italian operatic aria. So, why not sing along? Therefore , I hope when listening to Paganini’s music on this recording, we can all appreciate not only the diabolic finger fireworks on the outside, but also the angel-like lyrical melodies on the inside.’ (from liner notes)

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Feng kan lezen en schrijven met zijn Stefan-Peter Greiner viool uit 2005, die volgens mij net zo goed klinkt als een Guarneri of Stradivarius (die stokoude violen lijken een cultus op zich te zijn geworden). Paganini moet volgens zijn tijdgenoten een 'duivelskunstenaar' op de viool zijn geweest, wat ook wel blijkt uit de talloze aantal technische hoogstandjes die hij in zijn partituren heeft gestopt en waarop menige topviolist ook vandaag de dag nog steeds bijna zijn vingers breekt. Feng breekt niets in deze briljante Paganini- en Kreisler-arrangementen, die we menigmaal tijdens een recital als het epaterende nagerecht krijgen geserveerd, zoals Paganini's Non più mesta en La campanella, de laatste caprice uit zijn 24 Caprices op. 1, Nel cor più non mi sento van Paisiello en Kreislers I palpiti. Feng speelt als een god in Frankrijk, speels, zwierig, charmant, poëtisch, maar ook op het scherpst van de snede, met groot virtuoos vertoon, in grote stijl. Thomas Hoppe is in dit bijzonder veeleisende programma zijn ideale partner. Prachtig opgenomen!

International Record Review

Rheinische Post

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Audiophile Audition

(...) A fine introduction to a new talent playing formidable music with grace and affection. So, if you like Paganini, you will mighty pleased with this. If not, I am sure at least some of this recital will win you over. And at the very least, it serves as a fine welcome to a highly talented newcomer playing on an instruments made in 2005, if you can believe it!

Opus Klassiek

(...) Feng peelt als God in Frankrijk speels, zwierig, charmant, poëtisch, maar ook op het scherpst van de snede, met groot virtuoos vertoon, in grote stijl. Thomas Hoope is in dit bijzondere veeleisende programma zijn ideale partner. Prachtig opgenomen.

De Gelderlander

Ja hoor, een schot in de roos! Onder het speelse motto, Hello mr. Paganini' bedwelmt Feng de luisteraar 5 kwartier lang met technische hoogstandjes eb pure muzikaliteit. Zijn lyrische verbeeldingskracht horen we in Paganini's Cantabile, zij mieterse techniek in de variaties Nel cor più non mi sento.

Classic Fm

(...) Feng maintains exceptional purity of intonation, with the minimum of noices off. Above all, even in the forced-harmonic acrobatics and dancing left-hand pizzicatos he always sounds as though he is enjoying himself enormously. Thomas Hoppe accompanies with discretion and the engineering is as unimpeachable as the playing itself The Strad Ning Feng, struts his stuff in 8 dazzling showpieces. An impressive calling card.

DomPost / New Zealand

The Paganini pieces might be musically a bit insubstantial, but they are all designed to show off a master player, and Ning Feng stands out, even in an age full of dazzling young string players. His virtuosity is breathtaking but he also possesses a real sense for the poetic, and he makes a wonderfully pure sound as well. His accompanist Thomas Hoppe abets him, when needed, with real style and the recording, made in Eindhoven, is almost holgraphically realistic. Merit with the highest rating five stars

HP de Tijd

Technical Specifications

Recording SoftwareMerging Pyramix
Recording Type Bit RateDSD64
Recording LocationEindhoven Holland
Recording EngineerJared Sacks
ProducerJared Sacks
Mixing BoardRens Heijn custom design
MicrophonesBruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mastering EquipmentB&W 803 diamond series
Mastering EngineerJared Sacks
Digital ConvertersMeitner AD/DA
Cablesvan der Hul