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Unread 03-12-2008, 07:51 PM   #26
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I used to think the Fisk version sucked, but it's got a certain fire that's been growing on me. If you want to see some crazy ...., this is probably the hardest thing in the violin repertoire. IMO.

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Unread 03-13-2008, 05:34 AM   #27
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Eliot Fisk is famous in the classical world for playing "too fast" and "sloppy", but what the heck, Paganini is all about showoff anyway! I have the Fisk recordings of all the Paganini caprices and his recordings of the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin by Bach, and I do think his road race approach is a little unsuited to Bach. I'm totally into classical violin, concertos and all, and Fisk is the only one doing what he's doing - he's having fun, and he doesn't care if anyone likes it - like, my opinion matters to him? It's easy to imagine that if Fisk had just a tiny tweak in his background, he'd be playing a flying V with his teeth while the smokebombs went off.... Some people say Steve Vai plays too fast too.

My experience is that when another musician starts effusing about "taste" and "soul" and "touch" it means they got no chops - who doesn't like to haul ass? The reason Eliot Fisk pissed off so many other classical guitarists was that they had gotten fat and lazy playing the same old Sor and Tarrega and Rodrigo stuff that people'd been playing for 50 years, then Fisk came out playing Paganini, and Scarlatti harsichord pieces that he'd transcribed playing the left and right hand keyboard parts at the same time. Of course they were pissed, they had to start practicing again....

That Carmen piece is impressive, I'll have to track one down. I got real fanatic a few years back about reading through some violin concertos for structural reasons, they've got a narrative, really cinematic quality that I love. I'll bet John Petrucci would give his left nut to have the chops of Tchaikovsky, though it's a different kind of chops. The hardest concertos I found were some of the 20th Century ones like Sibelius and Prokofiev - the sheet music is like all accidentals, I couldn't make head or tail of it. It's not so much that it's fast, it just isn't in any key... They were writing with a lot of arbitrary, mathematical scale constructions like Stravinsky, anything to escape that tired ol' do-re-mi. I just can't read anything besides do-re-mi, I'm afraid it's not Sibelius's fault for being "too weird".... the .... sounds cool, for sure.

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