Album: Paganini, 24 Caprices/ James Ehnes (Onyx)

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There must be something in the air. Just as Thomas Zehetmair releases his second disc of Paganini's 24 Caprices, James Ehnes returns to the works that launched his recording career in 1995.

Where Zehetmair emphasises Paganini's improvisatory boldness, with often jarring results, Ehnes gives a performance that balances bel canto refinement with an almost Beethovenian heroism. Technically, this is faultless. The spiccato is crisp, the octaves dazzling. Even more impressive is the melodic sweetness.