Rochberg: Violin Sonata & Caprice Variations


Catalogue No: MSV 28521
EAN/UPC: 809730852121
Artists: ,
Release Date: April 2011
Genres: , ,
Discs: 2
Total Playing Time: 116:09
Sample: Caprice Variation 1 allegro energico

An immense and magnificent set of variations by American composer George Rochberg, not just, as the title may suggest, on Paganini’s famous 24th Caprice, but incorporating styles and forms “borrowed” from many other composers, such as Mahler, Brahms, Busoni, Schubert and Beethoven! The work is played on the renowned “Habeneck” Stradivarius violin of 1734. Violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved is a virtuoso of the first order and a regular Metier recording artist. Aaron Shorr joins in for the world premiere recording of Rochberg’s Violin Sonata in a stunning live performance.

Track Listing

    George Rochberg:

  1. I. Violin Sonata – Sarabande – molto adagio con tenerezza (6:10)
  2. II. Violin Sonata – Scherzo capriccioso (5:14)
  3. III. Violin Sonata – Ardentemente (7:36)
  4. IV. Violin Sonata – adagio (6:49)
  5. I. Caprice Variations – I Allegro energico (1:16)
  6. II. Caprice Variations – II Presto (0:56)
  7. III. Caprice Variations – III Allegro molto e con fuoco (1:03)
  8. IV. Caprice Variations – IV Poco allegro ma quasi recitando (2:09)
  9. V. Caprice Variations – V Poco agitato ma con molto rubato (0:42)
  10. VI. Caprice Variations – VI Poco allegretto ma con rubato (1:37)
  11. VII. Caprice Variations – VII Presto (0:57)
  12. VIII. Caprice Variations – VIII Languido (2:14)
  13. IX. Caprice Variations – IX Non troppo presto (0:38)
  14. X. Caprice Variations – X. Vivace (0:56)
  15. XI. Caprice Variations – XI. Andante (1:43)
  16. XII. Caprice Variations – XII. Andante con moto (1:39)
  17. XIII. Caprice Variations – XIII. Feroce,energico (1:09)
  18. XIV. Caprice Variations – XIV. Alla guitarra (2:28)
  19. XV. Caprice Variations – XV. Con grazia (1:41)
  20. XVI. Caprice Variations – XVI. Andante amoroso (1:45)
  21. XVII. Caprice Variations – XVII. Poco adagio (2:06)
  22. XVIII. Caprice Variations – XVIII. Allegro fantastico (2:10)
  23. XIX. Caprice Variations – XIX. Vivace (1:12)
  24. XX. Caprice Variations – XX. Quasi cadenza andante (3:02)
  25. XXI. Caprice Variations – XXI. Allegro con brio (0:51)
  26. XXII. Caprice Variations – XXII. Molto espressivo e cantando (1:51)
  27. XXIII. Caprice Variations – XXIII. Andante grazioso e tranquillo (3:10)
  28. XXIV. Caprice Variations – XXIV. Allegretto (0:41)
  29. XXV. Caprice Variations – XXV. Scherzo (0:37)
  30. XXVI. Caprice Variations – XXVI. Con brio (0:45)
  31. XXVII. Caprice Variations – XXVII. Aria (2:48)
  32. XXVIII. Caprice Variations – XXVIII. Molto agitato (1:19)
  33. XXIX. Caprice Variations – XXIX. Lento ma non troppo (2:14)
  34. XXX. Caprice Variations – XXX. Poco allegretto e leggiero (1:30)
  35. XXXI. Caprice Variations – XXXI. Molto adagio (2:39)
  36. XXXII. Caprice Variations – XXXII. Allegro assai (1:25)
  37. XXXIIII. Caprice Variations – XXXIII. Moderato con amore (1:36)
  38. XXXIV. Caprice Variations – XXXIV. Molto adagio (3:05)
  39. XXXV. Caprice Variations – XXXV. Allegro molto fantastico (2:05)
  40. XXXVI. Caprice Variations – XXXVI. Largo, sereno (4:36)
  41. XXXVII. Caprice Variations – XXXVII. Barcarolle (1:51)
  42. XXXVIII. Caprice Variations – XXXVIII. Can-can tempo,presto (1:16)
  43. XXXIX. Caprice Variations – XXXIX. Elegiac,fantastico (3:21)
  44. XL. Caprice Variations – XL. Robust (1:05)
  45. XLI. Caprice Variations – XLI. Allegro molto (0:39)
  46. XLII. Caprice Variations – XLII. Nocturnal,slow (2:39)
  47. XLIII. Caprice Variations – XLIII. Andantino (2:05)
  48. XLIV. Caprice Variations – XLIV. Scherzo (1:12)
  49. XLV. Caprice Variations – XLV. Presto (0:29)
  50. XLVI. Caprice Variations – XLVI. Bravura, sempre recitando (1:48)
  51. XLVII. Caprice Variations – XLVII. Arabesque, fantastico (2:42)
  52. XLVIII. Caprice Variations – XLVIII. Moderately fast (2:00)
  53. XLIX. Caprice Variations – XLIX. Feroce (2:55)
  54. L. Caprice Variations – L. Fantasy (2:45)
  55. LI. Caprice Variations – LI. Quasi presto (0:40)


Classical Music

[Rochberg’s] sonata of 1988… conveying intense feeling. The Variations… intricate solo violin work.. always with purpose and impact. EDITOR’S CHOICE CD JULY 2011

” —Phillip Sommerich

Metier continues its faithful dedication to contemporary music by adding this remarkable release to its already abundant collection. An outstanding recording that provides wonderful listening experiences.

” —Danny Kim-Nam Hui
Audiophile Audition

Rochberg is never one to be penned down, as these current offerings demonstrate. [The Variations] is a remarkable series of 50 variations and an overture, quite long but endlessly fascinating. I find[the Sonata] engrossing and highly expressive, a would-be repertory piece if only more violinists had the courage. The sound on these two discs is very fine… the playing by Rochberg friend Peter Sheppard Skaerved must be considered definitive… warmly recommended.

” —Steven Ritter

Rochberg’s boundless imagination and application of sometimes outrageous technique might well have surprised even Paganini himself… the violinistic terrors that lurk within both the Sonata and the very capricious Variations are, with few exceptions, water off a duck’s back to Skaerved, who gives a very expressive, technically assured performance of enormous strength. Sound quality is high … the CD booklet is glossy and highly informative … in the final reckoning this is a quality release, and Metier must be forgiven for re-issuing the Caprice Variations. In fact they should keep on doing it every few years until the world starts taking more notice of George Rochberg’s unique contribution to music history.

” —Byzantion
American Record Guide

When I was an undergraduate composition major at Eastman back in the 70s, I remember hearing these performed in Kilbourn Hall by, I believe, Zvi Zeitlin. I was completely blown away by this hour-and-a-half long postmodern virtuoso extravaganza. I ran down East Main St to the Music Lover’s Shoppe and bought the score, anxiously awaiting […]

” —Allen Gimbel

My first reaction to this CD was the shock of recognition. This was the violin which I remember Ralph Holmes playing, the ‘Habeneck’, put together by Stradivari in 1734 when he was 90. Its wonderfully rich response makes a major sixth sound like a four-part chord. Peter Sheppard Skærved was a pupil of Holmes and […]

” —Peter Dickinson
The Strad

American composer George Rochberg was a pupil of Gian Carlo Menotti and though his early style was heavily influenced by Serialism, in the 60s and 70s he declared the methods too limiting and his language became more focused on tonal idioms with overlaid chromaticisms. Here the ever-resourceful Peter Sheppard Skærved plays Rochberg’s epic 51 Caprice […]

” —Catherine Nelson

In the view of many, Rochberg’s Caprice Variations for solo violin is a masterpiece. From its introduction in 1970 by the violinist Zvi Zeitlin it has been hailed far and wide, even if, because of its ferocious difficulty, not played as often as one might have wished. Zeitlin recorded it brilliantly and aside from an […]

” —Scott Morrison
Musical Pointers

Peter Sheppard Skaerved has, somewhat belatedly, made the first complete recording of the Caprice Variations by George Rochberg (b.1918), in their original version for solo violin. Composed in 1970, they can be thought of as a ‘short history of music’, taking the most famous of Paganini’s Caprices through its paces in styles of composers through […]

” —Peter Grahame Woolf
La Folia

“Rochberg and Skærved unleash an avalanche of questions: Did Rochberg write Caprice Variations for the solo violinist to study and play alone, to savor countless allusions from Bach to Ysaÿe, via Brahms, Beethoven, Webern, Kriesler, and Rochberg himself? Some quotations are explicit. Many are beyond the violin’s repertoire such as those concocted from Brahms’ Paganini […]

” —Grant Chu Covell