To Sophie Appleton
f.p. Sophie Appleton, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, May 2003
Capricho takes its title both from Paganini’s celebrated explorations of virtuosity and from Goya’s series of moralistic etchings, which reveal darker and more sinister sides to human capriciousness. Paganini’s hyper-virtuosic violin style is stripped of its straightforward aspect of display, beginning hollowed-out and expressively detached and later becoming frenzied and out-of-control. This music is continually interrupted by a second type of material in which fleeting fragments of melody, often reduced to single notes or toneless attacks, appear briefly out of a background of stifling silence.