Just got "Ricci on Glissando" (comes with DVD, a very useful feature). The book is largely an examination of Paganini's left-hand hold and shifting technique, and as son Viohazard has been thrashing his way through the Caprices, he was planning to use this book after finishing his guitar exam. But a broken guitar meant that he didn't take the exam, and meanwhile school exams are about to start - not that he's studying very hard, I suspect he's engrossed in a 3-volume history of Venice! Anyway, he doesn't know that the book has arrived, and I'm having a quiet read of it first .
Since I'm not a violinist, I can't comment on the musical side, and should mention that Ricci doesn't seem to think that everybody should stamp their chin and/or shoulder rests underfoot (unless they want to).
However, a couple of things caught my attention. Viohazard had such a laissez-faire teacher from ages 6-12 that he was never taught to shift positions - his teacher just said, "You seem to have worked it out for yourself while playing things by ear, away you go then!" His current teacher was horrified by his shifting, yet what Ricci describes sounds very much like the Viohazard approach - thumb follows fingers instead of hand moving all at once, and more stretching with less actual shifting.
I wonder if this approach is almost an instinctive one? It didn't seem to cause him trouble with intonation, though he did need to learn to manage his thumb when fingering high positions on the lower strings.
The other point, also raised in some other threads on chin-rests, is the connection between chin-angle and left-hand hold. With his old teacher, Viohazard was always struggling to find the right place to put his chin, and found it difficult to get comfortable with the shoulder rest. I wonder if the pain people often struggle with comes just at the time when they are working hardest on position shifting?
at the time it seemed that being left-handed, the problem was caused by favouring his left eye when reading the music. However, looking at all these chillingly familiar photos, I can't help thinking that the connection between left-hand grip/shifting and head/chin position is even closer than people keep saying it is! If you look at Ricci on Youtube, he is sometimes gazing right down the fingerboard, and at other times, his gaze is almost at right-angles to the violin.
Ricci comments that the left-hand technique he is demonstrating covers a 5-note chord per position, rather than 4 notes. I can't comment on how that works out, but it's an interesting thought.
It may be that Ricci is overstating or perhaps oversimplifying his case, but this is certainly a most interesting book. Would never have thought of buying it if Viohazard hadn't found Ricci such an interesting violinist to listen to.
P.S. Forgot to say, the DVD is on right hand technique. Takes some concentration to watch, as he's not a fluent presenter and definitely getting older, but his comments are very practical - "THIS is what happens if you use your hand like so..." and it looks to be well worth watching if you are in a "can't see the wood for the trees" state of mind over bowing and bow-grip.