The conventional view of Niccolò Paganini's 24 Caprices puts them among the encores and etudes violinists use to hone their skills and show off their prowess. But Julia Fischer regards them primarily as expressive works that are as rich in lyricism and emotional color as they are in advanced techniques, and her 2010 Decca album shows her considered approach to the music. There's no doubt about Fischer's impressive abilities, which are apparent from hearing the first Caprice, and all the trickiest double- and triple-stops, bowing styles, and various means of articulation that are included in this fantastic work reveal her phenomenal gifts. But as amazing as Fischer's performance is for sheer technique, it is highly pleasurable because of her polished musicality and firm control of every nuance that is either overt or suggested in the music. Highly recommended. (AMG)
The dazzling showpieces of violin legend Pablo Sarasate meet their match in Julia Fischer, one of the most sought-after musicians of her generation, delivering virtuoso pyrotechnics in a stunning recital disc. The key track is Sarasate’s most celebrated composition: Zigeunerweisen (‘Gypsy Airs’). With its heady czardas rhythms and folk flavour, it is best known as a showpiece for violin and orchestra, but Fischer and her long-standing accompanist Milana Chernyavska present it here as it was originally written, for violin and piano.