Caprice was written for Matthew van Emmerik, to showcase his virtuosity in an engaging
piece of concert music. The work is in theme and variation form, with the primary material being
the theme from the last of Paganini’s Ventiquattro Capricci per violino solo, a collection
of 24 caprices for solo violin. This theme has been the inspiration for similar works by
many composers since it was first published, including Liszt, Brahms, Rachmaninov, Benny
Goodman and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
In this work, the famous theme is treated to a more contemporary approach. The first
variation, Capricious, relies on motor rhythms and jagged dialogues between the soloist
and the band. It is couched in an organic scale reminiscent of the Phrygian mode. The
second variation, Sad, is in direct contrast, acting as a traditional ballad and allowing
the soloist to explore the expressive side of the instrument.
The third variation, Energetic, is a micro set of variations in itself, designed to display
the soloist’s innovative technique and stamina. Each section is more challenging than the
last, until the work concludes with a whirlwind dance at breakneck speed.
Like all of Batterham’s recent work, the musical language of Caprice draws upon classical,
jazz, funk and ska elements to create a unique sound where anything can happen, and
probably will. This arrangement was made possible through Matt’s
instigation and generosity.
To view a video of Matthew van Emmerik performing the version with brass band please visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0hsvux_a5o
To view a video of Fletcher Mitchell performing the version with piano please visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOZ6KRldDVo
Sheet music available from :
Clarinet in Eb
Clarinet in Bb 1-3
Bass Clarinet in Bb
Alto Saxophone 1-2
Trumpet in Bb 1-3
Horn in F 1-4