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Caprice no. 35


Lighthearted and fun, Caprice no. 35 is an example of a piece that doesn't exactly scream viola. (To my non-violist readers: our instrument is usually trotted out for a slow, melancholy number.) I'm glad that Campagnoli expanded the realm of possibility for our instrument, even if his ideas didn't stick for the next 100+ years.

I like how every section in this piece has its own special touch of buffoonery. Variation 3 (measure 17) mimics the beginning Theme, but the low register makes it rather burdensome, and a little silly. Variation 10 (measure 73) is supposed to sound sad, but the repeated returns to the "A" harmonic, and the little soprano run at the end (mm. 79-80) give it an air of mockery. And the da capo turn at the end goes from an over-deflated/defeated minor section, to a just-kidding, flippant ending. For just a few examples.

So have fun with it, and enjoy the relative ease of this piece. No major technical curveballs here!



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