Video Pick of the Week: Chaconne Klaverenga Plays Paganini’s Daunting ‘Caprice No. 5’

To celebrate the 235th birthday (October 27) of Italian virtuoso violinist, guitarist, and composer Niccolò Paganini (1782–1840), here’s a video of of one of his most challenging pieces, Caprice No. 5. Many of you undoubtedly know his Caprice No. 24, which has become a virtual standard in the repertoire of advanced classical guitarists—well, No. 5 might be even more wickedly difficult, requiring incredible speed and dexterity from the fingers of both hands. It’s played here with calm confidence by the young American guitarist Chaconne Klaverenga, who studied with Jason Vieaux and earned her master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music (where Vieaux teaches). Paganini wrote his Caprices for solo violin, and here Chaconne plays the guitar transcription by the great Eliot Fisk, who was the first guitarist to record all 24, on his 1993 album, Paganini: 24 Caprices.  —Blair Jackson


As a bonus, here Ms Klaverenga playing Caprice No. 24, another Fisk transcription, in May 2017: