Vieuxtemps and Paganini were not only two of the greatest violinists the world has ever seen, they were also both virtuoso viola players…Unlike Paganini, Vieuxtemps never chose virtuosity for itself. Ysaye, his most famous pupil, quotes him as saying ‘not runs for the sake of runs – sing,sing!’ Vieuxtemps combined the virtuosity of Paganini with the classicism of Kreutzer, and this can clearly be seen in the Capriccio as well as in his concertos.
– Violist and writer Diana Mathews
Our Video of the Week features a touching tribute from one 19th-century violin virtuoso to another…but with a twist! #Heifetz2019 student Steven Baloue has the backstory, and then the brilliant performances of the Capriccio in C minor, Op. 55, a tribute by Belgian violinist, violist and composer Henri Vieuxtemps (1820 – 1881) to the memory of his late friend Niccolò Paganini. Performed in concert in Francis Auditorium on the campus of Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, VA, as part of the Heifetz Institute’s 2019 Festival of Concerts.