Rochberg Caprice Variations for Solo Flute


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Rochberg Caprice Variations for Solo Flute

Rochberg Caprice Variations for Solo Flute

Composer-George Rochberg
Edited by Christina Jennings
Publisher-Galaxy Music
c. 27:00.


Christina Jennings has transcribed 20 of the original 51 caprices. She chose to include those best suited to the flute while representing the enormous stylistic range of Rochberg’s entire set.

The selected pieces in this collection were carefully chosen to highlight the flute’s capabilities while showcasing the wide range of styles found in Rochberg’s entire set. The transcriptions aim to fully explore the flute’s potential, presenting the player with challenges in dynamics, technique, and stylistic nuances. Her goal in the transcriptions was to use the flute to its fullest capacity, challenging the player with dynamic, technical, and stylistic extremes: the range of these variations goes from a B1 to an E4 and from pppp to ffz!

In terms of performance suggestions, minimal guidance is provided for breathing and metronome use, with emphasis placed on their importance when necessary. George Rochberg, in his Afterword to the Performer, allows for the omission of certain repeats and variations to suit the performer’s artistic discretion and the desired length of the performance. However, he emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balanced representation of the stylistic diversity that underpins the essence of this work.

George Rochberg

George Rochberg (1918-2005) was an American composer known for his contemporary classical music. He originally used a technique called serialism in his compositions, but after the death of his son in 1964, he found this method insufficient for expressing his grief and abandoned it. Rochberg worked as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania until 1983 and later became the first Annenberg Professor of the Humanities in 1978.

Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Rochberg studied at the Mannes College of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music. He served in the United States Army during World War II. Rochberg’s son’s passing in 1964 deeply affected him.

Most of his works are archived at the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel, Switzerland, while some can also be found in various other institutions.

His Symphony No. 2 and String Quartets Nos. 3–6 are considered some of his notable works. The String Quartet No. 6, known as the “Concord Quartet,” features variations on Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Additionally, Rochberg created musical collages that included quotations from other composers.

Several recordings of Rochberg’s compositions have been released, including his symphonies and Violin Concerto performed by the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken and conductor Christopher Lyndon-Gee.

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