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About the Caprices

Introduction:

Celebrated as "a masterpiece" and "the Paganini of our century" by Jennifer Koh, Rachel Barton Pine, Mark O'Connor, Dr. Rubén Salazar, Ikuko Kanda Whitehouse, Tracy Silverman and more!

Dr. Immanuel Abraham (award-winning soloist & professor of violin) dedicated 10 years to writing, publishing, and performing these 24 Caprices. In only 3 years, over 800 prints have sold all over the world.

Are They Études?

While artists report success using them to learn (and teach) styles and techniques, these are not études.  Despite common misunderstanding of the word "caprice", I promise these are perfectly appropriate for performance.

In polls hosted by the University of Arizona, my 24 Caprices rated 26 to 1 in musical-satisfaction over Gaviniès' caprices, and 19 to 0 over Dont's caprices. I believe this is largely because Gaviniès' and Dont's are études (a.k.a. musical exercises), and mine are not.

More Details:

These 24 Caprices are advanced, multigenre repertoire for unaccompanied violin written between 2010 and 2020. The choice to write "24" continues the tradition of: 

Pierre Gaviniès (1728-1800),

Pierre Rode (1774-1830),

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), and

Jakob Dont (1815-1888).

All four wrote 24 caprices for solo violin.

Of these, only Paganini's and my one were written as concert repertoire.

As with any technically developed repertoire , they are perfectly appropriate for study as well.

 

I wanted to keep this tradition alive with something relevant for today’s violinists. So, I spent 10 unbroken years writing and performing exactly that. 171 years after Dont's 24-caprice set, I finally published mine in 2020!

What Makes Them "Relevant"?:

18th and 19th century artists rarely crossed oceans. Without airplanes, or internet, diverse musical arts were extremely difficult to access. The peak of classicism, elitism, and racism made this problem worse.

 

The farthest travels documented among those violinist-composers named above had been Paganini's visit to Nice (France). So, while past 24-caprice writers pushed the violin’s technical horizons, it was all one style, and one genre.

 

Purposefully, my 24 Caprices include a substantial diversity of musical arts. The collection includes:

  • ✔3 Fugues

  • ✔3 Showpieces

  • ✔3 Études

  • ✔2 Fiddle works

  • ✔2 Impressionist works

  • ✔2 Waltzes

  • ✔1 Tango

  • ✔1 Blues

  • ✔1 Jazz Passacaglia

  • ✔1 Rhapsody

  • ✔and 4 MORE!

How Difficult Are They?

In my experience, precisely between the Bach Sonatas & Partitas and Paganini Caprices.

 

Here is an overview of the techniques used:

✔ The highest pitch used is B6.

✔ Two of the works have double-stop (natural) harmonics.

✔ Four of the works include one or more double-trills.

✔ Six include mixed meters.

• ✔ Seven include left hand pizzicato.

• ✔ Five include one or more slurred (upbow) staccato.

What Do Artists Think Of Them?

Reviews are included in the book. One is from the Sarufutsu Education Board of Japan's Composition Professor, Dr. Ruben Salazar, who calls them "...the new 24 caprices" in reference to Paganini. His full review is in the preface of the 2nd edition.

 

Another from the University of Arizona says it is "...a book of advanced violin repertoire reflecting the musical globalism and diversity of the 21st century."

Is This Music Important Philosophically?

Diverse repertorial collections are a crucial step for today's concert violinists. Many of us conservatory-trained artists  never once reach beyond western classical in our solo repertoire. For anyone who finds other humans worth learning about, this is unfortunate. I hope my work encourages more on our music stands.

There is something here for everyone. I have already enjoyed brilliant performances by artists, professors, and students all over the world. It also sold over 400 copies in its first 2 years, mostly to university students. Culminating my life's work thus far, I enthusiastically anticipate every performance following this wonderful 2nd Edition from Edition Testore.

Verified Buyers: 781
        ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐        

Page Count: 76

Positive Ratings EBay: 100%

Positive Ratings Amazon: 96.53%
(Amazon Sold Out)

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Caprice No. 24

"Fugue No. 3" (ending)

"Such a fascinating set of works!  I can't wait to hear more of them!"
—Violinist, Jennifer Koh

"The composer knows the instrument very well and writes very well for it. I love it!"

—Violinist, Lauren Farrell

Caprice No. 10

"The Last Leaf of Autumn" (ending)

Caprice No. 19

"The Neapolitan Caprice"

Caprice No. 1

"Alone"

Caprice No. 3

"The Prayer"

Caprice No. 10

"This Girl Laughs"

Caprice No. 23

"Fugue No. 2"

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