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Showing posts from March, 2016

Caprice no. 4

When preparing to record Caprices 1-4, this was the one that held me up and admittedly caused some anxiety for the recording session. The culprit was the jeté stroke, featured prominently at the beginning of the caprice. Having never played violin in my earlier days, I was excused from having to learn this stroke, and developed jeté phobia as a result.

So kudos to Campagnoli for believing that violists can do it too. It isn't the most practical, everyday manner in which we use the bow- but if you master it, you have really accomplished a hyper-control of your bow hand. At least that's how I felt once I got the technique down.

To practice the jeté stroke for this piece, I spent a lot of time on open strings practicing a semi-controlled bounce of the bow. The challenge is that the four times it happens, it is over an eight-note descending scale, each one a note lower then the last - meaning that your open string pattern will be slightly different each time. Of course the tensio…

Caorice no. 3

Here is another caprice that ends on a half-cadence: its resolution can be found at the beginning of Caprice no. 4. I find it curious that Camapagnoli ends a string of the first caprices on half-cadence question marks. My hypothesis is that he composed the first few works as a set, and played them back to back.

In any case, Caprice no. 3 was a fun change from numbers 1, 2, and 4 (I recorded this set together in October 2015). It's more joyous and carefree, and is a pure exercise in finger/ bow dexterity and position work. As I was practicing, I noticed that my shifts had to be extra clean with no hint of sliding, such as the shift to third position in the middle of m. 4. This lead to a very mechanical approach: lots of slow practice to focus on finger placement, even rhythms, and ever-shifting bow patterns (note the passage from mm. 9-16).

Aside from that, the only other thing to note is the bowing reversal that happens in the middle of m. 25 and takes effect all the way to the e…