Monday, August 13, 2012

Ruggiero Ricci: Suggested Listening

My favorite Ruggiero Ricci recording was first issued as "Gypsy Melodies", subsequently released as "Violin Recital", and is currently out of print. But it's still available digitally for under $10 via Amazon and Itunes.

This is the stuff nobody plays anymore - the shmaltzy, garlic-inflected repertoire of late 19th and early 20th century violinists, later viewed as too corny or melodramatic for serious players. Of course, Ricci, who didn't give a damn what serious players were supposed to play, gave it his all (you can hear song samples at both links).

There are also tons of great YouTube videos. Don't miss his various performances of Paganini Caprices.

Finally, there's a good bio plus some excellent audio/video selections (including recordings from Ricci's childhood that sound perplexingly mature) on this NPR memorial page.

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