• John McCabe
  • Capriccio (Study No 1) (1969)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)
  • Piano
  • 7 min

Programme Note

Capriccio, which is dedicated to Anthony Goldstone, was originally written for a recital given by the composer during the 1969 Dublin Festival - after the performance, in January 1969, it was revised. It is basically in ternary form, with an opening quick section, a central slow part principally based on some chordal material, and a return of the quicker music. A reference to the chords of the central part, plus the idea of a quickly repeated note with which the piece begins, takes it to a quiet conclusion.

The work is subtitled "Study No. 1" to indicate that it is the first in a series of such piano works - they are in a sense half technical studies for piano and half compositional studies. Certain aspects of pianistic technique (in this instance harmonics, quick repeated notes, and some sudden flourishes) have been used as the basic textural material for a piece which binds them into a relatively short structure of about 7 minutes. The predominant feeling of the piece is fairly light and open, with some emphasis on the tone-colours of the instrument used as part and parcel of the invention.

© 1991 by John McCabe