Caprice No. 5, by Nicolai Paganini (1782-1840)
arranged by Neal Corwell

Instrumentation: unaccompanied solo euphonium, trumpet, or clarinet
Copyright: 2013
Duration: ca. 4:00 total
Range: E-flat to f-2 for euphonium (or F to a-flat-1 with optional cuts and ossais) Trumpets and clarinets are placed one octave higher.
Difficulty: V
Publisher: Nicolai Music
Price: $10
Other Info: Both bass clef and B-flat treble parts are provided.

This arrangement of one of Paganini’s challenging and exciting violin showpieces is an adaptation for wind soloist. It stays quite close to the original, but some notes are deleted to give the soloist time to breath. In addition, Dr. Corwell has edited the dynamics and articulations to aid with the shaping of phrases and add direction to the music. These subtle changes from the original are designed to encourage the performer to take some liberties with the music, thereby avoiding the machine-like performance approach taken toward this piece by some violin soloists.

During this caprice, Paganini explores both sudden tonality changes and rapid shifts between minor and major modalities. To describe the work as harmonically restless is an understatement, and as a consequence, this piece could perhaps best be described as a “finger-buster”. The rapid and seemingly endless harmonic shifts, coupled with the extreme range called for in the opening and closing sections (if one does not take the optional cuts), are the reason for this arrangement’s high difficulty rating.