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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky   Opus 45

Capriccio Italien

Capriccio in A major. 1880. Time: 15'00.

Capriccio Italien = Italian Capriccio.

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The Capriccio Italien, op. 45 is a fantasy for orchestra composed between January and May of 1880 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

The Capriccio was inspired by a trip Tchaikovsky took to Rome, during which he saw the Carnival in full swing, and is reminiscent of Italian folk music and street songs.[1] As these elements are treated rather freely initially he intended this piece to be called Italian Fantasia.[2] Tchaikovsky even uses as the introduction a bugle call that he overheard from his hotel played by Italian cavalry regiment. Another source of inspiration for this piece are Mikhail Glinka's Spanish Pieces.

The premiere was held in Moscow on December 18 of the same year; the orchestra was led by Nikolai Rubinstein. Although Tchaikovsky wrote to his patroness Nadezhda von Meck that the work would be successful (the piece was praised by most critics)[citation needed] by the time he came to orchestrate the work he expressed doubts about its musical substance.[3]

Dedicated to Karl Davidov, the Capriccio was later arranged by the composer for 4-hand piano. A typical performance lasts for around 15 minutes.


The Capriccio is scored for 3 flutes (3rd doubling on piccolo), 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 cornets in A, 2 trumpets in E, 3 trombones (2 tenor, 1 bass), tuba, 3 timpani, triangle, tambourine, cymbals, bass drum, glockenspiel, harp and strings.

Notes and references

  1. ^ For this and what follows, see "The Origins of Capriccio Italien in A Major, op. 45 (1880)". Retrieved 2007-05-21. 
  2. ^ Brown (1986), p. 95
  3. ^ Brown (1986), p. 96
  • Brown, David. Tchaikovsky: The Years of Wandering, 1878-85. London: Gollancz, 1986

External links

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Capriccio_Italien". Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.

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