One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS

Nicolò PAGANINI (1782-1840)
24 Caprices, Op 1 (1801-07) [79:42]
Tanja Becker-Bender (violin)
rec. January 2007, Chapel of Castle Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany
HYPERION CDA67763 [79:42]
Experience Classicsonline

Tanja Becker-Bender has all the artistry and technical chops necessary for this monument of the virtuoso repertoire. Her performance is here caught in a red meat recording of towering power.

Paganini's 24 Caprices for solo violin have provided the linguistic glossary for the violin repertoire. Tchaikovsky and Sibelius are predicted through No. 5. Glazunov must have known the Ninth before writing his Violin Concerto. Vivaldi might well have been an influence on the young Paganini.

Some of the Caprices are concerned with velocity and some with scudding effects. In others such as No. 18 it is the imitative fanfaring qualities that matter. Becker-Bender certainly has the wow factor. But by no means all of these pieces are wrapped up in awe-inspiring virtuosity. Their staying power would have been non-existent if they did not also have some melodic pabulum. Listen for example to the lyrical address of No. 4 and the hurdy-gurdy scrunch of No. 20. The balalaika effect of No. 6 contrasts with the liturgical contours of No. 7. The louche and slippery-casual No. 13 is superbly slid and nudged. The piercing birdsong of No. 24 is given a burly power that is always ripe and never skeletal or malnourished.

Becker-Bender can be heard breathing at times but somehow this simply adds to the humanity and musicality of these performances. Speaking of which hats off to Hyperion and the musicality of their decisions for the good long pauses between tracks.

There are truly excellent notes from Calum Macdonald.

I hope that we will hear more from Becker-Bender. She is here heard playing a violin by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù (Cremona, 1728), owned by ‘Blue de Brasil’ of the Fazenda Ipiranga, on loan through the Instrument Fund of the German Music Foundation.

This is a very musical set of Caprices. For this violinist the technical accomplishment required is a given and is recognised only as the first plateau. The further ascent into musical communication is what matters.
Rob Barnett


1  No 01 in E major: Andante 'L'arpeggio'  [2'03] 
2  No 02 in B minor: Moderato  [3'08] 
3  No 03 in E minor: Sostenuto – Presto  [3'31] 
4  No 04 in C minor: Maestoso  [7'10] 
5  No 05 in A minor: Agitato  [3'02] 
6  No 06 in G minor: [Adagio]  [4'41] 
7  No 07 in A minor: Posato  [3'54] 
8  No 08 in E flat major: Maestoso  [3'28] 
9  No 09 in E major: Allegretto 'La chasse'  [3'03] 
10  No 10 in G minor: Vivace  [2'15] 
11  No 11 in C major: Andante – Presto  [3'44] 
12  No 12 in A flat major: Allegro  [2'26] 
13  No 13 in B flat major: Allegro 'The Devil's Laughter'  [2'37] 
14  No 14 in E flat major: Moderato  [1'58] 
15  No 15 in E minor: Posato  [3'07] 
16  No 16 in G minor: Presto  [1'30] 
17  No 17 in E flat major: Sostenuto – Andante  [3'46] 
18  No 18 in C major: Corrente. Allegro  [2'31] 
19  No 19 in E flat major: Lento – Allegro assai  [3'01] 
20  No 20 in D major: Allegretto  [2'53] 
21  No 21 in A major: Amoroso  [3'09] 
22  No 22 in F major: Marcato  [3'01] 
23  No 23 in E flat major: Posato  [5'11] 
24  No 24 in A minor: Tema con variazioni. Quasi presto  [4'33]


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount




Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.