Niccolò Paganini

Pekka Kuusisto, violin
Ismo Eskelinen, guitar



Booklet with liner notes in English and Finnish


September 2009 (Finland)
October 2009 (internationally)

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1142-2


Track listing

CD 54:02
Nicolò Paganini (1782-1840)
Sonata concertata in A major, MS2 (Op. 61) 13:50
1 I. Allegro spiritoso 7:56
2 II. Adagio assai espressivo 3:41
3 III. Rondeau. Allegretto con brio, Scherzando 2:13
4 Cantabile in D major, MS109 (Op. 17) 4:44
Sonata in A minor, MS112/1 (Centone di Sonate, Op. 64, Letter A/1) 8:08
5 I. Introduzione. Larghetto - Tempo di Marcia, Allegro maestoso 5:11
6 II. Rondoncino. Allegro 2:57
Sonata in D major, MS112/2 (Centone di Sonate, Op.64, Letter A/2) 7:35
7 I. Adagio cantabile 3:50
8 II. Rondoncino. Tempo di Polacca, Andantino 3:45
Sonata in A major, MS112/4 (Centone di Sonate Op. 64, Letter A/4) 10:10
9 I. Adagio cantabile 3:20
10 II. Rondo. Andantino, Allegretto 6:50
Sonata in E minor, MS27/6 (Op. 3/6) 4:09
11 I. Andante innocentemente 2:40
12 II. Allegro vivo e spiritoso 1:29
13 Tarantella in A minor, MS76 (Op. 33) 4:19

Also recommended...

Awards '10 • 10 • 10'

Press review

From the stylistically appropriate yet subtly ironic portamenti of the beautiful Cantabile in D to the arrogance with which the rapid pizzicati of the E minor Sonata's second movement are dashed off, Kuusisto is cheeky, bold and unfailingly musical. Both he and Eskelinen aslo favour a crisp attack and lots of tonal variation; (...) sterling entertainment.
William Yeoman, Gramophone, April 2010

Der Reiz dieser Kompositionen besteht in der Mischung des intimen, runden und meist warmen Klangs der Gitarre mit den hell strahlenden Melodielinien der Violine. (...) In ihrem musikantischen Zugriff vereinen (Pekka Kuusisto und Ismo Eskelinen) Eleganz, Brillanz, Gesanglichkeit und tiefes Empfinden auf eine den jewiligen Werken sehr entgegen kommende Art, die schon mal den Atem stocken lassen kann.
Christof Jetzschke,, 5.11.2009, 10 • 10 • 10

Verrattomat muusikot Pekka Kuusisto ja Ismo Eskelinen tekevät riemullista kuultavaa Niccolò Paganinin vaatimattoman tuntuisista viulu-kitara-duoista.
Jukka Isopuro, Helsingin Sanomat, 31.10.2009

Pekka Kuusiston ja Ismo Eskelisen taiturillisen elegantit esitykset tempaavat mukaansa.
Lauri Kilpiö, Suomen Kuvalehti, 9.10.2009

Okonventionella Paganinitolkningar som får smilbanden att stiga mot öronsnibbarna.
Lena von Bonsdorff, Hufvudstadsbladet, 7.10.2009

Tämä raikastettu salonkityyli on taattua Kuusistoa. (...) Erityisen riemukkaita ovat soinnilliset innovaatiot pizzicatoissa ja aksenteissa. (...) Vaikea kuvitella, että kukaan saisi tätä musiikkia tämän elävämmäksi. Vaikka levy on Kuusiston näytöstä, kitaristi Ismo Eskelinen on hänelle tasaveroinen kumppani. (...) Eskelisen suurin ansio lienee siinä, että hän sekä soinnillisesti että rytmisesti paitsi seuraa Kuusiston päähänpistoja, myös tasoittaa niitä.
Kare Eskola, YLE Radio 1, 17.9.09

Complete description

Pekka Kuusisto, Finland's cutting-edge violinist, is featured on this new album together with acclaimed guitarist Ismo Eskelinen. Together, they perform entertaining and unjustly neglected duo works for violin and guitar by Niccolò Paganini.

Upon the recording, Pekka Kuusisto commented: "As music has moved over the centuries to bigger and bigger halls to reach increasingly large audiences, intimate expression has had to give way to an ever bigger sound. And that is a shame. I believe that expressive speaking is always more interesting than screaming. In fact, the surest way of getting people to pay attention is to whisper. You do not need to sell your soul to the devil to realize that not even Paganini's music is a continuing orgy of bliss. There should be no such thing as a basic, all-purpose sound - that would be boring. Every musical entity should on any given occasion be endowed with a character that fits into its context but is clearly independent. I believe that this is what compelling performances are made of, and I hope that what we are doing will be acceptable to you. But not to worry - we will perform even if it is not."

Hailed by the British press as "absolutely mesmerising" and "maybe the best thing to happen to classical music in years," (The Guardian - U.K., 16 Jan 2007), Pekka Kuusisto is acclaimed for his tone and technique, as well as for the spontaneity and freshness of his playing. His award winning recording of Sibelius's Violin Concerto remains a bestseller in the Ondine catalogue and was only recently listed by the BBC Music Magazine (June 2009) among the best ever renditions of this work.