Each one of the 24 Caprices by the 19th-century violin virtuoso is designed to develop both a violinist’s technique, AND to expand the potential of the instrument’s tone colors and expressive range. Though often the musicality of Paganini gets lost in devilishly tricky technical challenges!
Heifetz Institute alum and 2019 Artist in Residence and Teaching Fellow Shannon Lee was more than up to the task in taking on the Caprice No. 6 in G minor. It’s not only the longest of all 24 of Paganini’s Caprices, but arguably the most stamina-taxing, as it’s sometimes called “The Trill” for its constant-tremolo melody (with many tricky fingerings) on one string. Musically, it creates, in the words of fellow violinist Rachel Barton Pine, “an amazing, mysterious atmosphere, almost an impressionistic sound that emerges from the violin.”
Shannon Lee played this Paganini in a “Heifetz Sunday Matinee” runout concert in Perkinson Recital Hall, at the Modlin Center at the University of Richmond. Check it out, and don’t forget to subscribe to our Videos of the Week!