Dick Wellstood (1927-1987)
Dick Wellstood was an American jazz pianist. He was one of the great stride pianists. Wellstood had a real knack for taking just about any jazz tune or classical tune and turning it into a really exciting stride piano piece. Here he takes a well known piece for violin called the Caprice no. 24 in a minor by Niccolo Paganini and turns it into a stride piano piece. If you aren’t familiar with the original version of the piece on the violin, I suggest that you listen to that before you listen to Dick Wellstood’s version. If you understand what the original piece sounds like you will appreciate the stride piano version of the piece more. Enjoy!
Nicolo Paganini (1782-1840)
Italian violinist, guitarist, and composer. Paganini was famous as a violin virtuoso and a composer who helped expand violin technique through works such as the 24 Caprices and 6 violin concertos. Paganini also composed close to a 100 duets for violin and guitar. Sadly the duets for violin and guitar have been neglected because most people only know about the 24 Caprices for solo violin and the violin concertos of Paganini. Paganini’s caprices and concertos were the only works of his published during his lifetime.
Leonid Kogan (1924-1982) was one of the great Soviet violinists of the 20th century.
Here is a recording of Leonid Kogan (violin) and Alexander Ivanov Kramskol (guitar) playing Paganini’s Sonata in A Major, op.2. Listen how the violin melody cascades in between the guitar chords. What a beautiful tone that Kogan produces on the violin!
I decided to post this piece because it is a Paganini piece that most people have not heard. It is also very simple and beautiful. This music also shows a different side of the composer and virtuoso. It is not simply virtuosity for the sake of virtuosity, but real music.