PIERRE RODE 24 CAPRICEN IN THE FORM OF ETUDES FOR SOLO VIOLIN IN ALL 24 KEYS
Transcribed for the Viola by Gerald Manning
The French violinist and composer Jacques Pierre Joseph Rode was born in Bordeaux on Feb. 16, 1774, and died there on Nov. 25 1830. In Bordeaux he was a pupil of Fauvel, and in 1788 studied with Viotti in Paris. In 1790 he made his solo debut and then joined the orchestra of the Theatre Feydeau until 1794, when he toured Holland and Germany. His many appointments included a professorship at the new Conservatory, leader of the Opera orchestra, and violinist to Napoleon, and in 1803 he went with Boieldieu to St. Petersburg, where he became one of the Emperor�s private musicians. In 1813 when he was at Vienna he became associated with Beethoven, who composed the wonderful Sonata in G major, op.96 especially for him, and it received its first performance at a private concert with Rode and Archduke Rudolph. At the height of his career Rode was considered to be a very great artist. He composed thirteen concertos, 24 Caprices, twelve Etudes, and other pieces for the violin, also a method.
As the title of this opus suggests Rode composed his Caprices in the form of Etudes for solo Violin in all 24 keys, and starts with the key of C major in the first Caprice and follows this with the relative A minor of the second Caprice. Of course these translate on the Viola into F major and D minor respectively, and so on until all 24 keys are utilised. Students of the Viola will find that these Caprices together with those of Kreutzer and othere are an indespensible aid and of great value in developing a well-rounded technique.