Goran Sollscher and Gil Shaham : Paganini for two: CD
Sonata Concertata in A Major MS2; Sonata in A Major MS 27 Op3 No1; Sonata in Em MS27 Op3 No4; Sonata in Em MS27 Op3 No6; Grand Sonata in A Major MS3; Sonata in D Major MS112 NO2; Cantabile in D Major MS109; Sonata A Preghiera in Fm MS23; Allegro Vivace A Movimento Perpetuo In C Major M.S. 72 (Op. 11).
Goran Sollscher (Gtr) Gil Shaham (Vn)
Deutsche Grammophon 437 837-2
Goran Sollscher’s guitar playing is well – known as being exceptional and his violinist compatriot here Gil Shaham, is equally important, so this volume of some of the works of the legendary violinist Paganini has some wonderful musicians to perform it.
Paganini was, as many may not realize, also a guitarist, and wrote numerous works for just solo guitar, but it was his violin writing and playing that has gone down in the history books as second to none, and the fact that he had a technique few before and many since, have had, as witnessed by some of his violin writing. As you would expect from an album of compositions by Paganini, the album is violin first and guitar second. Even though Goran Sollscher has a solo work, namely the Grand Sonate in A which shows how wonderful his technique actually is, for the rest of the CD, the guitar part most definitely takes second place to the violin writing. The scoring for guitar is very definitely much more an accompaniment to the complicated, musically challenging passages for violin. As you would expect from an album of violin showpieces by the master violinist of his age, many of these pieces are fast, for example, the Moto Perpetuo, op. 11, which closes the album where there are lightning swoops up and down the register and changes from bowed to plucked violin and back again, throughout it.
Yes the music is beautifully played, and recorded. No quibble there at all. At its best, as here, the actual content of the music is dazzling but with not a great deal of emotional depth. But nevertheless it’s musically interesting and a pleasure to listen to, providing you can get over or around that lack of emotional involvement in these works, and as such with that proviso, I can say that the CD has some wonderful performances that will please many who love this repertoire.