Rozsa, Toccata Capricciosa op.36 for violoncello (Breitkopf & Härtel)

    Rozsa, Toccata Capricciosa op.36 for violoncello (Breitkopf & Härtel)


    The Toccata capricciosa op. 36 is a solo instrument work by Miklós Rózsa. It is a radical departure from his monumental film scores, with a maximum scoring reduction to bring back pure music. The piece was dedicated to Gregor Piatigorsky, follows an ABA' form, and contrasts virtuosic and furioso outbursts with a lyrical and almost meditative section. The tonal centre of the piece remains recognizable as D minor.

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    Rozsa, Toccata Capricciosa op.36 for violoncello (Breitkopf & Härtel)

    Miklós Rózsa's Toccata capricciosa op. 36 is a remarkable composition that showcases the composer's mastery of music for solo instruments. This work, written in the latter part of his life, represents a radical departure from his earlier monumental film scores, such as the famous Ben-Hur. In this piece, Rózsa embraced a minimalist approach, reducing the scoring to its maximum and stripping away any superfluous elements to focus on the pure essence of music. 

    The Toccata capricciosa is a tribute to the late Russian cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, with whom Rózsa shared a deep connection as an immigrant to the United States. The piece follows an ABA' structure, with a dazzling and virtuosic first section that showcases the performer's technical prowess, followed by a contrasting and introspective middle section that is almost meditative in its character. 

    Despite its more dissonant and aggressive tone compared to Rózsa's earlier works, the Toccata capricciosa remains firmly rooted in D minor, which serves as the piece's tonal centre. This work is a testament to Rózsa's creative genius and ability to push the boundaries of music composition, even late in his career.

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