Conducted by Pablo Heras-Casado, the hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra) performs Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34. Recorded during “Europe Open Air” by hr-Sinfonieorchester and European Central Bank at Weseler shipyard, Frankfurt on 24 August 2017. Published by the hr-Sinfonieorchester channel.
Russian romantic-era composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov composed this five movement orchestral suite, based on Spanish folk melodies, in 1887. The Russian title of the piece can be translated literally as “CapriccioNotes 1 on Spanish Themes”. “Capriccio Espagnol” common Western title of the piece. Rimsky-Korsakov originally intended to write the work for a solo violin with orchestra, but later decided that a purely orchestral work would do better justice to the lively melodies.
The work can be divided into two parts comprising the first three and the latter two movements respectively – a total of five movements, to be played without pause.
- Alborada, is a festive and exciting dance, typically from traditional asturian music to celebrate the rising of the sun. It features the clarinet with two solos, and later features a solo violin with a solo similar to the clarinet’s.
- Variazioni, begins with a melody in the horn section. Variations of this melody are then repeated by other instruments and sections of the orchestra.
- Alborada, presents the same asturian dance as the first movement. The two movements are nearly identical, in fact, except that this movement has a different instrumentation and key.
- Scena e canto gitano (“Scene and gypsy song”) opens with five cadenzas — first by the horns and trumpets, then solo violin, flute, clarinet, and harp — played over rolls on various percussion instruments. It is then followed by a dance in triple time leading attacca into the final movement.
- Fandango asturiano, is also an energetic dance from the Asturias region of northern Spain. The piece ends with an even more rousing statement of the Alborada theme.
- A capriccio is a piece of music, usually fairly free in form and of a lively character.