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Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Romantic Era > Capriccio Espagnol. Op. 34 - Rimsky-Korsakov


Capriccio Espagnol. Op. 34

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
(1844-1908)



The "Capriccio Espagnol" was first performed in St. Petersburg in 1887, and is dedicated to the orchestra of the Imperial opera which played it. The caprice is constructed in five movements. The first, "Alborada," or morning serenade, is elaborated throughout from an animated motive announced in the opening in the violins. The second movement, "Variations," consists of five variations upon a theme given out by the horns with string accompaniment. The third movement, "Alborada," repeats the opening "Alborada" with change of modulation and color. The fourth movement, "Scene and Gypsy Song," is an Allegretto. The gypsy song, which is highly characteristic of the wild gypsy life, is sung by the violins accompanied by a subject given out by the horns against the rattle of the drums. Reaching a vigorous climax, it leads without pause to the last movement, "Fandango of the Asturias," which is the old Asturian dance. The theme of the dance is divided between the trombones and woodwinds. The solo violin takes a variation of the theme, and the repetition of the "Alborada" forms the Coda.





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