Thomas Zehetmair and Paganini

Getting closer and closer to the "official" beginning of the Gallay Project.  I'm just coming towards the end of a tour with Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique and John Eliot Gardiner in which we're performing Schumann Manfred Overture, Brahms Double Concerto and Schumann 3rd Symphony (Rhenish).  Quite a lot of notes for the horn section and it's been quite exhausting but a lot of fun.

The Brahms concerto was quite unknown to me prior to this project and it's been an utter revelation.  An amazing piece and fantastic soloists - Thomas Zehetmair on violin and Christian Poltera on cello.  I was rather slow in realising that Thomas Zehetmair is the same Thomas Zehetmair renowned for performing the Paganini Caprices in their entirety (duh!).  He very kindly let me pick his brains the other day and it was extremely interesting to hear his views on the Paganini works.  I have his amazing EMC recording which I love.  I was really struck by something Zehetmair wrote in the liner notes; "there's no getting away from it, in Paganini's music there has to be something of the circus ring.  The Caprices are absolutely wonderful improvisations; they all very much have a character of their own.  But they don't hit the mark unless there's also that hint of the circus".