Tag Archives: Op. 7

12 Caprices, Op. 7 for Cello and 2nd cello ad libitum

I get many inquiries about Franchomme’s most well-known pieces, his Caprices, Op. 7.  For example, this afternoon, Selma Gokcen of the London Cello Society wrote to me looking for an accurate edition.  Many cellists here in the US know the Klengel edition, published by International Music Company- accurate notewise, but lacking Franchomme’s fascinating fingerings and bowings, lacking the 2nd cello part entirely, and completely missing the slow sections of Caprice No. 7.  Franchomme’s original title was “Douze Caprices pour le Violoncelle ave Acct d’un second Violoncelle ad libitum,” but this was surely for practical purposes…it’s not always easy to find a cellist to play with you, but it’s ideal to at least have the part, just in case!

The original edition is the Janet et Cotelle edition from around 1835.  The BnF Department of Music in Paris of course houses a copy, but someone nicked the solo cello part, unfortunately! The Hofmeister reprint (which you can order from UNC Greensboro music librarian) has Franchomme’s fingerings and bowings, as appeared in the original French edition. As I discuss in the Dover Franchomme edition, his fingerings are pretty fascinating, including lots of vocal slides up and down single strings that are pretty out of fashion today.  I try to use them as often as possible, trying to play with the elegance that his bowings (and contemporary accounts of his performances) suggest was his hallmark. Luckily for us, in addition to this early German edition, a very rare copy of both parts is held by the library in Karlsruhe, and someone there took the trouble to post it online in its entirety (BOTH parts, yay!)


I use this part for my performances and recordings.  A live recording of Franchomme’s Caprice No. 9 with Julia Bruskin:


and another of Caprice No. 7 with Philippe Muller, including the parts left out by Klengel!