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GEORGE ROCHBERG Caprice Variations

Eliot Fisk (guitar)

Nimbus - NI2566 - 75 mins [Previously MusicMasters 67133-2]

Eliot Fisk made a most successful guitar transcription of this magnum opus in association with the composer, whose note is reproduced below. Fisk (with Rochberg at his side) has made incredibly imaginative arrangements, and appears to have reserves of skill for introducing colour and rhythmic subtleties which make each variation a self contained, expressive piece, beyond the formulaic patterning which is intrinsic to variation method.

Eliot Fisk has, incidentally, also transcribed and recorded all Paganini's original 24 Caprices for his instrument!

This Rochberg/Fisk collaboration is recommended as a first choice to general listeners and, obviously, to guitar enthusiasts.

They can be played in groups, ordered as the performer pleases, and Fisk has given them in a scheme of eight suites of six variations, the pieces within his groups played continuously.

Peter Grahame Woolf

COMPOSER'S NOTE This collaboration with Eliot Fisk has been a great joy for me. What he has done in adapting Caprice Variations to the guitar from the original solo violin version is no less than a "recomposition." Besides producing an unbelievable exten sion of guitar technique, he has at the same time explored and utilized every conceivable expressive possibility of the instrument. No composer I can think of could have imagined these possibilities. One would have to be a guitarist / artist of Fisk's calib to be able to imagine what he, in fact, did. There are many "borrowings," in the Caprice Variations. For example, I took some variations from Brahms' two sets of Paganini 24th Caprice Variations for the piano and transcribed them for solo violin. "Borrowing" is a time-honored tradition; no period in the history of music has been without it. There are some, of course, who are offended by the idea or concept of "borrowing" but it is quite acceptable to today's musicians. Many different styles, asthetics, attitudes live side by side in this work. As a whole it represents Paganini, a host of earlier and later composers, myself - and now in this version, Eliot Fisk. George Rochberg