Caprice No. 4

Caprice No. 4

Caprice No. 4

Niccolò Paganini

Boris Garlitsky's masterclass

Produced by the Saline royale Academy French Music sheet annotated by  Boris Garlitsky  is available 22 min Violin

Boris Garlitsky and Tianre Xie explore rubato, glissando, and many more aspects of Niccolò Paganini's Caprice No. 4.

Produced by the Saline royale Academy

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The masterclass

About this masterclass

Boris Garlitsky helps his student Tianren Xie refine his performance of Paganini's challenging work, Caprice No. 4. The pair work on posture, bowing techniques, and fingering. In addition to improving technique, Garlitsky and Xie discuss the importance of melodies and playing expressively. 

What we learn in this masterclass 

  1. Virtuosity is in the rhythm, not just the tempo. 

  2. Listen closely to the melodies. 

  3. Maintaining posture. 

  4. Choosing good fingering. 

  5. Evoking a story, an Italian opera. 

Caprice No. 4 by  Niccolò Paganini

The piece for solo violin is part of 24 caprices that were written between 1810 and 1817 by Italian composer Niccolò Paganini. It is often considered to be one of his greatest and most virtuoso of his works, and is also notoriously difficult for violinists. At the time of its creation, it was even considered impossible to play. Norwegian musician Ole Bull was the first to play the caprices in their entirety.

Paganini's oeuvre was very innovative at the time, because of the left-handed pizzicati, long intervals and the overlapping of the melodies. These days, the caprices are often part of the professional violin repertoire not only because of the technical complexity of the piece but also because of the musical and artistic value of Paganini’s oeuvre.

  • Composer: Paganini
  • Piece:Caprice No. 4
  • Professor: Boris Garlitsky
  • Student:Tianren Xie
  • Instruments: Violin
  • Date:28 October 2020
  • Producer: Produced by the Saline royale Academy
  • Duration:22 min
  • Spoken language:French

Sheet music

Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this violin masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Boris Garlitsky’s feedback and comments.

Sheet music caprice no. 4

Boris Garlitsky

Boris Garlitsky

In 1982 he was the winner of the Premio Paganini in Italy.

Born in Russia, Boris Garlitsky received his first music lessons from his father, the author of the standard textbook for young violinists, “Step by Step”. He studied at the Moscow Conservatory, and debuted as a soloist after winning the Italian Paganini Competition in 1982. Since then, he has played, among others, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Radio Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, as well as the Milan based Giuseppe Verdi Orchestra and the British Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Garlitsky is an active participant in several international music festivals. He regularly participates in the Pablo Casals Festival in France, mostly Mozart in New York, the London Proms, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and Gidon Kremer’s Chamber Music Festival at Lockenhaus in Austria. What’s more, Garlitsky performs for the BBC, Radio France, as well as a number of radio stations in Italy, Russia, and the United States. He has recorded for RCA, Naxos, Chandos and Polymnie. Furthermore, Garlitsky is devoted to chamber music and is a member of the Hermitage String Trio, praised highly in critical reviews.

Presently, Garlitsky is a dedicated educator. He holds a chair at the Folkwang Universität der Künste, Essen (Germany), and offers masterclasses on a yearly basis at the most renowned music institutions, including the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule in Berlin, and Kronberg Academy.

Paganini

Niccolò  Paganini

Niccolò Paganini was a virtuoso violinist and composer born in Genoa in 1782 to a merchant family. He began playing violin at age 7, and quickly outpaced all his professors. The gifted young musician began touring the country at 18 years old, working as a freelance violinist, and was later appointed as First Violin in the Republic of Lucca in the state of Tuscany. When the area was annexed by Napoleon in 1805, the French princess Elisa Baciocchi took over the region, and Paganini began to play for her court. He resumed his tours after the princess’s court moved to Florence. After a concert at the Scala in Milan, Paganini began to get noticed and started touring every major city in Europe after receiving a prestigious award from the Pope himself. He performed his own compositions, as well as adaptations of works from fellow composers.  

Though he never married and had no legitimate children, he had many romantic conquests, among them Italian singer Antonia Bianchi. His health remained problematic throughout his whole life, as he was believed to suffer from a rare genetic condition affecting joints and tissues, as well as syphilis and tuberculosis. He died relatively young in 1840, at age 57, from internal hemorrhaging. 

Niccolò Paganini is considered to be one of the most virtuoso violinists of all time, and leaves behind a musical legacy consisting of many works, such as the Violin Concerto No. 1 (1818), 24 Caprices for Solo Violin (1802-1817), Moses Fantasy (1818), Centone di Sonate, Vol. 1 (1828-29), Moto perpetuo (1835) and his Variations on God Save the King (1829). 

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