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Showing posts from February, 2018

Caprice no. 8

Caprice no. 8 is a delight! I've learned to savor these slower, singing numbers, as they give you the time and space to enjoy the sound of your viola. I did take the largo marking with a grain of salt however: I believe in movement, even with slower tempos.
This caprice is fairly straightforward. There are a few places that highlight Campagnoli's attention to detail, and underscore my belief that he meant exactly what he wrote. At mm. 5, 6, 17, 18, and others further on, he gives the bass notes only an eighth note, and an eighth rest as the melody continues to sing. This is to say, he is not leaving the choice to you as to whether you should hold the bottom line or not! Remember in Caprice no. 7, the bass notes have full value. The difference in the sound and character is distinct.
One of my favorite parts of this piece is the change from minor to major at m. 17. It is such a sweet moment, and he marks con espressivo to highlight the mood change.
In fact there are a surprisin…

Caprice no. 7

Caprice no. 7 is packed with all kinds of technical delights - if you prefer to call them that! Portato,beriolage, double stops, double-stop TRILLS, they're all here.

Campagnoli is kind at the introduction (mm. 1-8), giving a tempo giusto marking for the section which is solely a study in the portato bow stroke. I thought it was also nice of him to use a scalar pattern, rather than something more elaborate. However, you may find that there is only a finite tempo range in which you prefer to play this stroke. That was certainly the case for me. It's similar to spiccato, in that if you play too slowly it simply won't work.

The "aria" of this caprice starts at m. 9. The first time I read this, it felt manageable until I hit a wall with the double-stop trill at m. 21. The challenge lies more in the fact that in first position, with a B-flat in the first finger and A natural in the fourth finger, one has to extend as far as humanly possible just to get this in tune. …