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Caprice no. 15



I had fun working on number 15 - it's a caprice that tends to play itself. The key of G major makes the most of the viola's natural resonance, especially in a nice hall like the one in Riverside Church that I used for the recording session.

I want to take a moment here to thank Riverside Church for providing the inspiring space. And a big thanks to my new recording engineer, Stuart Breczinski, for signing on to this project. He has done an amazing job with the audio and video: his work speaks for itself!

So back to this caprice: the temptation was to start at a quick pace. But I had to look forward to passages like mm.13-17, and 35-36, where the passagework demands a more conservative tempo. The latter passage was especially challenging for the stratified voicing. Jumping back and forth between the G and A string, or the C and D string, requires a quick and adept adjustment in arm weight to make the string speak properly.

I observed many posts ago that many of these caprices end in a half-cadences, which often resolve at the opening of the following caprice. Number 15 is another one of these caprices. It makes me ponder the original intention for the performance of these pieces: were they meant to be played back-to-back, in numerical order, perhaps in a series of sets? Or perhaps even the whole book in a long concert? (Hopefully not by the same poor performer!) More musings to come...

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