The excellent chamber music organization, Chamber-on-the-Mountain, will offer a solo recital by the dazzling Czech violinist Pavel Šporcl, famous for both the brilliance of his playing and and the unconventional aspects of his stage presence, especially his frequent sporting of a headscarf and his blue violin.
The program is derived from two Pavel Šporcl CDs: his 1999 album, “Á Paganini,” and his just-released “Paganiniana.” It includes Fritz Kreisler‘s “Recitative and Scherzo-Caprice for Solo Violin, Opus 6 “(1911); the “Chaconne” from Johann Sebastian Bach‘s “Partita No. 2 in d-minor, BWV 1004” (1720); Alfred Schnittke‘s “’Á Paganini’ for solo violin” (1982); Pavel Šporcl’s own virtuoso variations on the Czech national anthem, “Kde můj domov/Where Is My Home” (2016); and Nathan Milstein‘s “Paganiniana Variations” (1954).
Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) did for the solo violin recital what Franz Liszt did for the solo piano recital — he offered his fellow virtuosos, if they had a flare for self-presentation and breath-taking technique to match, the chance to become pop stars. Like so many virtuosos, he was frequently accused of having sold his soul to the Devil.
Although he wrote half a dozen excellent and beautiful violin concerti, he is remembered as a composer today for his “24 Caprices for Solo Violin” (1802-17), which have inspired so many composers to write sets of variations on their themes, including Boris Blacher, Johannes Brahms, Nathan Milstein, George Rochberg, Eugène Ysaÿe, Karol Szymanowski, Darius Milhaud, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Luigi Dallapiccola, Witold Lutosławski, Alfredo Casella, and, of course, Sergei Rachmaninov.
Šporcl plays at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 10, in Logan House, at the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, 8585 Ojai-Santa Paula Road, in upper Ojai. Tickets to this concert are $30, and your first step in obtaining them is to click here.
— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at email@example.com. The opinions expressed are his own.