• Published

In the world of somewhat ridiculous instrumental adaptations of classical masterworks meant for other instrumentations altogether, no one will ever beat the Japanese virtuoso guitarist who wanted to prove you could play Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” on the guitar. When the Great Gate of Kiev ended up sounding like music for the opening of a new Olive Garden, the heights of absurdity had been reached. Marina Piccini’s flute adaptation of Paganini’s 24 Capricci for Violin isn’t quite that absurd. John Coltrane, after all, used to claim he was influenced by these classical masterworks for solo violin (much more likely an influence on him was the Bartok Second concerto, but that’s another story.) For all the flutist’s virtuoso brilliance – and for all Paganini’s own dedication of the work to all musicians – this disc is distinguished by one unanswerable question: why? 2 stars (Jeff Simon)

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