In the spring of 2017, the Spanish violist Ana María Alonso asked me for a piece for solo viola for a CD made up of works by Spanish composers (Mario Carro, Carlos Perón, José María Sánchez Verdú, Miguel Bustamante, Gabriel Erkoreka, David del Puerto, Jesús Torres, Sebastián Mariné, Santiago Lanchares and myself), published by the IBS Classical label in November 2018 with the generic title of "Alto Mystic".
The proposal was accepted with pleasure, and I wanted to give it a casual air, and for this I resorted a second time (the first was in the form of an arrangement for nonet that, with the title of Paganini 24, I composed to serve as an "encore" in the concerts of the group de la National Youth Orchestra of Spain who participated in the Chamber Music Workshop held at the Prieuré Le Mesnil St. Martin -Montaut de Villeréal, France- in September 2013) to the theme with variations that constitutes the famous Caprice for solo violin no. 24 by Niccolò Paganini , favorite of important composers (Liszt, Brahms, Rachmaninov and Lutoslawsky) for the composition of new variations directly or indirectly based on those of the original Caprice.
Manuscript of the Caprice no. 24 by Niccolò Paganini
The humorous intention of my "caprice" is clear from the title itself (Viola Joke), but as is logical it goes further from the very beginning of the piece, in which Paganini's theme is reproduced in a fragmented way and changing the key of the original A minor for a brilliant C major. From there, there are as many variations -eleven- as in the original Caprice, developing in each of them the most characteristic element of the former.
Cover and back cover of the CD Alto Mystic (IBS, 2018)
After the release of the CD, the first public performance of Viola joke took place at the Espacio Ronda in Madrid by its dedicatee, Ana María Alonso.
Program of the concert premiere of Viola joke (Espacio Ronda, Madrid, February 15, 2019)
In April and June 2019 I made two transcriptions for cello and violin of the piece, with the titles Cello joke and Violin joke respectively. The violin version was premiered by Alba Signes at the "Óscar Esplá" Conservatory of Music in Alicante on February 25, 2020.
Program of the premiere of Violin joke (Alicante, February 25, 2020)