Capricho Latino


Spicy Spanish and Latin American music for unaccompanied violin, from Piazzola to Albeniz. Also includes Ysaye’s Sonata No. 6 and Ferdinand the Bull narrated by Hector Elizondo.



Spicy Spanish and Latin American music for unaccompanied violin, from Piazzola to Albeniz. Also includes Ysaye’s Sonata No. 6 and Ferdinand the Bull narrated by Hector Elizondo.

Track Listing
Albéniz, arr. Pine: Asturias (Leyenda)
Cordero: Rapsodia Panameña
Traditional, arr. Florido: Balada Española (Romance)
Espejo: Prélude Ibérique
Quiroga: Emigrantes Celtas
Quiroga: Terra!! Á Nosa!!
Ysaÿe: Sonata No. 6
González: Epitalamio Tanguero
White: Etude No. 6
Tárrega, arr. Ricci: Recuerdos de la Alhambra
Rodrigo: Capriccio
Serebrier: Aires de Tango
Piazzolla, arr. Pine: Tango Etude No. 3 con Libertango
Ridout: Ferdinand the Bull (with Héctor Elizondo)



To the memory of Harry Edlund, unaccompanied violin music’s greatest champion.

Producer: Judith Sherman
Engineer: Bill Maylone
Recorded July 13, 14, 15, and 17, 2009, and January 6, 2011, in the Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio, WFMT, Chicago
Violin: “ex-Soldat” Guarneri del Gesu, Cremona, 1742
Strings: Vision Titanium Solo by Thomastik-Infeld
Bow: Dominique Pecatte
Style Director: Jesús Florido
Narration Recorded December 8, 2010 at DG Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA
Narration Director: Marice Tobias
Narration Engineer: Peter Cutler
Narration Editing: James Ginsburg
Art Direction: Adam Fleishman /
Front Cover Photo: Andrew Eccles

Personal Note

My interest in music for unaccompanied violin originated out of necessity. As a child growing up in a financially struggling household, I faced a number of challenges in pursuing my violin studies. I was fortunate to play on loaned instruments and receive scholarships to cover the cost of my lessons, but my family had to pay out of pocket for many expenses, including sheet music, my thrift store concert clothes, audition recording sessions, and bow re-hairs, that scholarships didn’t cover. Choosing to learn Paganini’s Nel Cor Piu Non Mi Sento for solo violin rather than his accompanied Il Palpiti for violin and piano, or Bartók’s Solo Sonata instead of one of his duo sonatas, meant less money spent on accompanist fees. What began as a practical measure soon became a passion as I became ever more intrigued by the beauty and versatility of music for unaccompanied violin.

While there is nothing more fulfilling than collaborating with talented colleagues, it is also fascinating to explore composers’ solutions to writing for a glorious melodic instrument that doesn’t lend itself naturally to polyphonic self-sufficiency. Even today, I continue to discover new ways in which to experience the creativity and usefulness of this repertoire. It’s wonderful to be able to share a wide variety of music that is complete in itself when visiting schools, radio or television stations, private homes, and alternative venues such as bars and cafés. I enjoy showcasing shorter unaccompanied violin works as encores following concerto performances. And, of course, it is particularly satisfying to play this repertoire alone in the practice room.

In my effort to collect as many diverse solo works for my instrument as I could find, I came across a book that proved to be the Rosetta Stone of the genre: Harry Edlund’s Music for Solo Violin Unaccompanied. The slim out-of-print volume contains more than 2,500 titles listed alphabetically with notes on editions and recordings, followed by indexes that sort the works by time period and composers’ country of origin or affiliation. I was so excited by the book that I called the author at his home in Sweden. He turned out to be a translator by profession and a violinist and chamber musician by avocation. Collecting music for unaccompanied violin had been his life’s work. As our friendship and correspondence progressed, we initiated plans to release a new edition of his book as a searchable online database.

Tragically, though only in his early 60’s, Harry passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. His widow generously invited me to their home in Sweden to peruse his personal collection of more than 1,000 pieces – by far the world’s largest collection of music for unaccompanied violin. I ultimately became the inheritor of this treasure trove. Sadly, Harry’s widow has also since passed away.

It was during my initial sorting of Harry’s music that I first came across the unaccompanied works by Quiroga, Espejo, and Tárrega heard here, along with two different arrangements of Asturias (I ultimately chose to create my own) and a version of Balada Española (not the one included on this album). Remembering the pieces for solo violin by Rodrigo, González, and Cordero I already knew and loved, a possible recording project immediately presented itself. Once the concept crystallized as music with a Spanish or Latin American flavor – as opposed to, for example, contemporary works by Latino composers with no trace of the traditional music of their homelands – it seemed natural to include important Latin-flavored works by two non-Latino composers: Ysaÿe’s famous Sonata No. 6 and Ridout’s imaginative setting of Ferdinand the Bull. I brought all of this music with me when my husband and I went on our honeymoon cruise in December 2005, embarking in Buenos Aires and journeying around the bottom of Cape Horn back up to Santiago. During my practice sessions on the deep sea, I especially enjoyed the diversity of the repertoire, from the sounds of the tango to the evocation of the Spanish guitar, and from the comfortable 19th Century harmonies of José White to the satisfying thorniness of Roque Cordero. Even the Celtic bagpipe was present. Two weeks of serious study convinced me that this was an album I had to make.

I’m very grateful to my friend, violinist Jesús Florido, for serving as my “dialect” or style coach as I prepared the repertoire and played the recording sessions. I would especially like to thank Jesús and guitarist Rene Izquierdo for their helpful comments on my arrangement of Asturias as I experimented with chordal voicing and the placement of harmonics, pizzicato, ponticello, etc. It is such an honor to have been able to collaborate with two wonderful composers, Luis Jorge González and José Serebrier, and to introduce their gorgeous new works to the public. Voice-over narration director Marice Tobias did a terrific job in the studio, and watching the great actor Héctor Elizondo in action was a thrill and a revelation: I know now that not all music involves notes. Of course, it is always a true pleasure to work with the fabulous Cedille artistic team of Jim Ginsburg, Judy Sherman, and Bill Maylone. Thanks also to Cedille’s hardworking staff, Nancy Bieschke and Cindy Ross, and publicist Nat Silverman. I couldn’t do any of this without the support of my management, Mel Kaplan, John Zion, and their colleagues, and my own publicity team, Jane Covner and Allison Ravenscroft – you guys are the best! Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the patience and fortitude of my husband Greg, who has generously set aside his reticence towards public speaking and performed Ferdinand with me for many appreciative audiences of children and adults. I’m looking forward to our performances ofFerdinand for the person who will soon arrive and become our most important listener of all: our first child.

Fan Comments

I haven’t bought the album, yet, but I heard tracks and Rachel’s interview on the Fiesta program on WFMT yesterday. WOW!!! (what else is there to say?) – Richard Shagam

This is the most incredible Classical Album I’ve heard in 20 yrs . I can’t wait for the sheet music – in the mean time I will be practicing by ear …..Bravo Rachel !!! You are truly a rare Master Artist among Masters ! What an inspiration !!!! I’m breathless ! – Samuel Savoirfaire Williams

Thanks for sarhing. Always good to find a real expert. –Takeo

Essay: Capricho Latino by Elbio Barilari


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