Sharing the same opus number as the famous set of 24 Caprices for solo violin, these three wonderful quartets enjoyed considerable popularity during Paganini’s own lifetime. Composed 1815–18, they were dedicated to the King of Sardinia and the Duke of Naples, Vittorio Emanuele I.
That Paganini often performed these works himself explains why they differ somewhat from quartets by his contemporaries: the first violin is effectively a soloist, giving the composer the opportunity to display his virtuosic brilliance against a background of support from the other players. In lieu of writing markings and instructions in the parts, therefore, it is left to the performers, especially the first violinist, to improvise decorative passages – a freedom Paganini would have enjoyed and encouraged.
The style of the music is pre-Romantic, and the overall feel is one of Haydn and Mozart’s world – only simplified. Well constructed and balanced with a hint of the romantic exuberance found in the composer’s concertos and caprices, these delightful works contain some beautiful melodic writing and comprise a fantastic disc which illustrates another facet of Paganini’s genius.
-Nicolo Paganini developed the violin technique to an unparalleled level of virtuosity, which even today is attainable by only a few.
- Recording made in 2011
- Booklet notes