Emil Kross and Playing Paganini

 Let us dive in together into the mind of the German violinist, pedagogue, editor, and arranger, Emil Kross. Little is known about this masterful musician's history aside from his contributions to the violin. He was born in July 24th 1852 and lived until the 10th of May, 1917. Often, his work would be advertised on the Strad magazine - especially his 'Die Kunst der Bogenführung' or 'The Art of Bowing' dedicated to violinist Hugo Heermann, another student of Lambert J. Meerts and Joachim, one who's had the honor of premiering Brahms' violin concerto in multiple countries. Much of his greatest work was published by Bosworth & Co. as well as Carl Fischer, including the work we will introduce in a series of articles. See a list of Emil Kross' contributions. To list some of the most popular arrangements and editorials he produced: Gossec Gavotte, Boccherini Minuet from String Quintet in E, Vitali Chaconne, and Paganini's Perpetual Motion. All of which you can find the sheet music and backing tracks for in the listed links.

To reach the core of this article; a very little-known approach to mastering impossible violin music. We have uncovered an extremely rare work titled The Study of Paganini's Twenty-Four Caprices by Emil Kross, 1908 published by Carl Fischer, Cooper Square, NY. English translation by Gustav Saenger. The book is very difficult to get a hold of and, while possible, the quality is often quite low. This project is meant to digitize the book with far improved imagery and legible text and make it widely and freely available on the web. To fit the topic of the book, we will disperse its' content in twenty-four pages, in sync with the number of Paganini caprices. If you wonder, 'How can one play Paganini's compositions with small hands?', Emil Kross ensured that this book answers such a question.


Chapters:

  1. The Study of Paganini's Twenty-Four Caprices: Preface
  2. Correct Position of the Hand and Arm
  3. Chinrest and Correct Positioning
  4. Louis Spohr's Fourth Position
  5. Paganini's Hand Positions
  6. Playing Demanding Music with Proper Hand Posture
  7. Practicing the Left-Hand Hold of the Violin or Viola
  8. Records and Witnesses to Paganini's Manner of Performing