A watershed in the violin repertoire, recorded for the first time in its complete original version, as published by Schott, which fully restored its exceptional character.
The 24 Caprices by Pietro Antonio Locatelli are unique in terms of both their form and their content. Taken from L'Arte del Violino op.III published in 1733 in Amsterdam, the Caprices are placed at the end of the external movements of the 12 Concertos which make up the collection. They are the written cadenzas of each of these movements. Locatelli specified in the heading of the score, that these Caprices can be played independently of the Opus III concertos. They are autonomous pieces which have all the characteristics of the cadenza, namely a very free form, and a highly inventive virtuosity.
The virtuosity of the Caprices is quite remarkable. The technical difficulties presented by the violin score were totally unparalleled. Locatelli considerably broadened the possibilities of this instrument, laying the basis for modern violin playing techniques, which inspired Niccolo Paganini a century later. He dramatically extended the range of sounds that a violin could produce, from very shrill to trills, double stops and combinations of stops.
This extreme virtuosity went far beyond the technical possibilities of the violin of that time. To be able to play these Caprices, Locatelli had to have a violin built especially for him, which had a longer fingerboard than is found on today's baroque-made instruments. Nevertheless, the Caprices cannot be put in the category of studies. Their innovating technical virtuosity reveals a rich imagination, constantly seeking original acoustic effects. And it is to pay homage to their modernity that the recordings of these Caprices have been made on a modern instrument, which allows all the effects imagined by Locatelli to be expressed.
Pietro Antonio LOCATELLI (Compositeur)
Gabriel TCHALIK (Interprète Principal)