Mark O'Connor's Caprices for unaccompanied violin: their inspiration, american roots, and techniques presented
Mark O'Connor's Caprices for Unaccompanied Violin, nos. 1-6 not only mark a milestone in the history of American classical violin repertoire, as they exhibit a culmination of centuries of American music history, but the techniques presented in each Caprice encompass a wide range of technical difficulties whose mastery is essential for a complete command of the violin. In addition, these Caprices require techniques completely unique to this set of works, making them even more significant to the violin repertoire. The following study provides a comprehensive discussion of O'Connor's compositional inspiration behind each Caprice through tracing their American roots and European classical influences. This study also presents an analysis of both the standard and unique technical skills exhibited in each Caprice, followed by a brief discussion of O'Connor's relatively new American String Method, illustrating how the foundational techniques established through the first, second, and third books of the violin portion of the Method will prepare students from the beginning stages of learning to the eventual mastery of these Caprices. The result of this research emphasizes the historical significance of O'Connor's Caprices for Unaccompanied Violin, nos. 1-6 as a valuable addition to American classical violin repertoire, and provides a discussion of the technical skills that can be attained and enhanced through the study of these works.