Zino Francescatti
An Evening of Paganini

$ 14.99

Fanfare: Best of Year

This never before issued recital was given in 1954, when Zino Francescatti was at the peak of his formidable powers. The legendary French violinist, whose musical ancestry goes back to Paganini, plays with such stunning precision and musicality that these works leap off the page with acrobatic joy. Francescatti's `old world' approach to this music includes his use of piano accompaniment in the famous D major Concerto, and in the seven Caprices. (Francescatti never made a commercial recording of Caprice No. 17, so this stands as a new addition to his discography.) This electrifying CD is for enthusiasts of the grand era of virtuoso violin playing, and reconfirms Francescatti's place, along with Heifetz and Milstein, among the three greatest players of their generation.



“Paganini’s music seldom has been so lovingly and intelligently served, and the archival recording boasts ample bloom and presence for its time and place. An absolute must for violin fans.” - ClassicsToday.com

“The recital highlights all Francescatti’s greatest qualities; technically magnificent, tonally expressive, lyrical and with exceptional elegance. Fiddle fanciers won’t hesitate; those who know Francescatti’s Concerto with Ormandy may not have the 1947 Caprices. But there isn’t a huge amount of live Francescatti around and as far as I’m concerned you can never have too much of a good thing.” - MusicWeb International

"Francescatti’s performances from 1954 at the Library of Congress make a significant contribution to his discography, adding a footnote to his still benchmark performance of the [Paganini] First Concerto, as well as providing new repertoire (the 17th Caprice, which he hadn’t recorded commercially….Zino Francescatti deserved to be anyone’s hero; and his legacy – this part in particular – should still be required listening. In almost 11 years of reviews for Fanfare, I’ve come across only a handful (or two) of issues I could recommend with such enthusiasm." - Robert Maxam, FANFARE, March/April 2003

"This recital highlights all of Francescatti's greatest qualities: technical magnificence, tonal expressivity, lyricism and exceptional elegance." - Jonathan Woolf, Classical Music Web

"Francescatti's staggering technique is on ample display in a 1954 recital at the Library of Congress, newly released in freshly scrubbed mono sound that makes modern stereo seem superfluous. Prepare to be amazed, not only by Francescatti's technical wizardry, but also by his velvet tone, "speaking" phrasing, and singing legato, all endangered species these days." - Dan Davis, AVguide.com

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PDF Booklet

Zino Francescatti

Niccolo Paganini

Concerto in D major, Op. 6
The Carnival of Venice
Caprice No. 13, in B flat major
Caprice No. 15, in E minor
Caprice No. 21, in A major
Caprice No. 9, in E major
Caprice No. 17, in E flat major
Caprice No. 24, in A major
I Palpiti, Op. 13
Caprice No. 20, in D major

Artur Balsam, piano


Related Balsam discs:

9063, 9066, 9110, 9148, 9175, 9185, 9196A/B, 9217A/B, 9225, 9226A/B