Magazine article The Spectator

This Charming Man

Magazine article The Spectator

This Charming Man

Article excerpt

Charlie Siem, the half-British, half-Norwegian violinist, only came to the virtuosic style late in his development ('probably because I was lazy', he explains, not convincing me for a moment);

but when he did he was hooked.

His new, self-titled album (Warner Classics) is, ostensibly, a homage to the virtuosic tradition established in the early-19th century by Paganini, who once proclaimed, 'I am not hand some , but when women hear me play, they come crawling to my feet.' Siem, who is currently the global face of Dunhill, does not have that problem.

But, in other ways, the young violinist does bear a striking resemblance to his Italian predecessor. His fingers move impossibly quickly, and the album is a fantastic whirlwind of demisemiquavers, ricochet bowing and left-hand pizzicato. …

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