rachel barton pine

Lisa-Marie Mazzucco / rachelbartonpine.com

The finger-blistering virtuosity of the music of early 19th-century violin virtuoso Niccolo Paganini is so astonishing that when Paganini performed it, the rumor mill creaked of Faustian bargains. Today, one violinist aims to show the lyrical side of Paganini’s music in a brand-new recording that moves the soul as much as it amazes the senses.

color photo of Rachel Barton Pine sitting down and playing her violin in the chancel area of St. Paul's UCC, Chicago
artist publicity video/YouTube

Violinist Rachel Barton Pine’s playing isn’t the only sound you hear on her new recording, Testament: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by Johann Sebastian Bach (Avie Records). The venue in which Pine made the recording had a voice from the beginning of the project, and shines forth as a brilliant collaborator on the new disc.

Concert violins are the thoroughbreds of the violin world, a breed apart from even fine professional-caliber orchestral violins. A concert Stradivarius or Guarnerius violin can cost millions of dollars, making these instruments prohibitive for gifted artist from modest backgrounds. In this video, hear violinist Rachel Barton Pine talk about the "ex-Soldat" Guarnerius violin the is hers to play, on generous loan from her patron.  And hear Rachel play that instrument live on Classcial 101 today at 1 p.m.