Salvatore Sciarrino 6 Capricci per violino

Marco Fusi

Project Image  Casa Ricordi

2022 - ...

The score of Sciarrino's 6 capricci per violino (1975/76), composed for the Italian virtuoso violinist Salvatore Accardo, shows an immediate connection with Paganini's celebrated 24 capricci op. 1. Through absorbing, morphing, and elaborating upon instrumental techniques explored in Paganini capricci, Sciarrino develops his own dictionary of instrumental gestures and musical figures, delving into an extensive exploration of both traditional and innovative violin techniques.

Thanks to their strong connection with the tradition of violin virtuosity, Sciarrino's 6 capricci managed to attract the attention of a varied group of performers, ranging from new music specialists to mainstream soloists of traditional repertoire. Nowadays, Sciarrino 6 capricci are widely played by virtuoso soloists as well as die-hard contemporary music violinists, generating an incredibly wide palette of diverging interpretations and performative approaches.

The goal of my research project is to draw an interpretational history of Salvatore Sciarrino's 6 Capricci, from the first performance to the most recent recordings and documented live performances, investigating how Sciarrino score is understood and delivered by violinists coming from different areas of expertise. Through the process of analysing the existing performances, the composer himself will be questioned upon performers' choices, to investigate Sciarrino understanding of the explicit and implicit contents of his score, and how his position evolved over time, in relation to this specific work and towards his entire opus.

Findings from this project can be extended to cover most of Sciarrino works for violin and viola, as well as most of his instrumental music, laying the foundation for an informed research practice of his body of work. Alongside my previous work on Giacinto Scelsi and Luigi Nono, this project will offer further research towards a comprehensive understanding of the complexities related to the performance practice of Italian music of the post WWII era. On a broader scale, the project will present a thoroughly researched case study within the frame of ongoing philosophical and artistic debate over the complex relation between composers, their scores, and the act of interpreting those.