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Thrilling Mastery

Tanja Becker-Bender
plays Paganini -
reviewed by
HOWARD SMITH

'... sparkling clarity and power ...'

Paganini Caprices Op 1. Tanya Becker-Bender. © 2009 Hyperion Records Ltd

With these performances, violinist Tanja Becker-Bender's power and brilliance are consistently in evidence; to her credit however she appears to steer well clear of the school of 'rookie' virtuosi who go at Paganini's 24 Caprices like 'a bull at a gate'.

Too often these miniatures are treated merely as displays of technical wizardry. Thankfully, in contrast, this exceptional German performer seeks to interpret each caprice in much the same way as fine pianists phrase, balance and colour Chopin's études.

What fleetingly sound like instances of caution seem to me evidence of a keen musical intellect.

No sensible violinist would willingly record these daunting works with the slightest doubt of his/her technical capabilities and each recording listed below is worth serious consideration...

Copyright © 11 May 2010 Howard Smith,
Masterton, New Zealand

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CD INFORMATION: PAGANINI 24 CAPRICES OP 1

NICCOLO PAGANINI

HYPERION

ITALY

GERMANY

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