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I wrote the CAPRICCIO for guitar in late 1991 for Seth Himmelhoch and the New York Classical Guitar Society. The work was commissioned by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

In this piece, I decided to use the traditional guitar tuning. This actually works well with the harmonies that I tend to use, which fit nicely on to the fretboard of the guitar. I was also interested in the use of harmonics, especially those which extend the range of the guitar much further than normal. The rhythmic language that is in use throughout the CAPRICCIO has an ever-changing pattern of meters and subdivisions of the pulse.

One interpretation of the title is "something bizarre or fanciful, not characteristic of the instrument for which it is written." My objective was to make use of a musical language not normally associated with the instrument. It is a virtuostic celebration of the guitar, and of those who continue to perform on this noble instrument.

Preface for score: (?)

Time past and time future

What might have been and what has been

Point to one end, which is always present.

"Four Quartets"

1: Burnt Norton, 1st stanza.

N.B.! Title page must say "Commissioned by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts"



1. While the overall tempo of the work is somewhat a matter of choice, the relationships between the tempi must be strictly observed.

2. Unconventional meters (i.e. 7/10) are used in the work. They are derived by the same principle which governs conventional meters: as subdivisions of the semibreve. In this manner, a measure of 7/10 is equal to seven pulses of an eighth-note quintuplet, and 4/12 is equal to four pulses of an eighth-note triplet. The result is a brief tempo modulation.

3. S.P. = sul ponticello.

4. = Bartok pizz.: allow the string to strike the fretboard.

5. Guitaristic notation (?).