Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Fleet Fingers of Ruggerio Ricci

This is a past Tuesday Blog from Feb-11-2014. 

This month, I have programmed two Once Upon the Internet posts. This week’s completes last week's audition of the complete Caprices for Solo Violin by Paganini, in the legendary first recording by American violinist Ruggerio Ricci.

Born in San Francisco in 1918, Ricci began learning the violin at age six and was taught by Yehudi Menuhin's teacher, Louis Persinger. A recognized child prodigy, and winner of local violin competitions, made his full recital debut in his home city in 1928 and went to study in Berlin before returning home to work with Persinger again.

Soon established as a touring violinist, he took a hiatus during World War II to join the Army Air Force, becoming an "entertainment specialist" who played for the troops. All told, he went on to perform more than 5,000 concerts in 65 countries.

Ricci taught at Indiana University, the Juilliard School, the University of Michigan and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
His many recordings include works by Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. However he is best known best known for his association with Paganini and was sometimes referred to as the Paganini of the 20th Century.

In 1947, Ricci was the first violinist to record the complete 24 Caprices, Op. 1, by Paganini, in their original form. Ricci's first recording – our feature - was on the Shellac recording label (he later made three other recordings of the Caprices, including his 1997 recording on Paganini's own Guarneri, Il Cannone, on loan to him by the City of Genoa, Italy.).

More Paganini with Ricci (Violiin Concerto no. 2): http://itywltmt.blogspot.ca/2012/11/montage-82-in-memoriam-they-left-use-in.html

More on Ricci on his official website: http://www.ruggieroricci.com/index.html

Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840) 
Caprices for Solo Violin, Op. 1
Ruggerio Ricci, violin