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Caprice no. 19

Number 19 is an imaginative way to review all twenty-four major and minor keys, without playing a single scale. Campagnoli packed theory and bow technique into this caprice: he cycles through the entire circle of fifths, in the major and minor variations of each key, throwing in a different bowing for each. The result is twenty-four mini caprices, each with its own character and style.

Notice for instance, how G (mm.5-6) major sounds jolly, A major (13-14) sounds slightly aggressive, and C-sharp minor (29-30) sounds mysterious. The hardest part of learning this caprice was discerning all the characters and attempting to convey them in performance.

To accomplish this, I had to extract each 2-measure section and repeat it until I got the character I wanted. Much of the time, characters were determined by the bowing and shape of the line. For example, A-flat major (mm. 33-34) is whimsical, because of the displaced arpeggios and lopsided bowing. B minor (43-44) is sneaky, with the staccatos and slithering downward motion. Of course, interpretation will vary depending on the performer!

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