Capriccio - Leoš Janáček

Capriccio is a solo piano composition by classical music composer Leoš Janáček, completed in 1911 and subsequently revised in 1923. This captivating work of art is distinct in both its shape and its sound. A typically Janáček-esque kind of unique expression and passionate lyricism is reflected in this romantic and unusual piece.

History and Release of Capriccio

The Capriccio was written as a test piece for Josef Suk, one of Janáček's former students. Upon completion of the piece in 1911, and subsequent revisions over the following years, it was eventually premiered in 1922. Many experts have branded Capriccio as one of Janáček's most beautiful works and the piece has stood the test of time since it was first composed nearly a century ago.

Analysis of the composition

Capriccio is a three-movement work of increasing intensity. The first movement is slow and reflective, the second is vivacious, and the finale is fast and intense. Each movement has its own distinct characteristics which together give the piece a unique flavor and feel. Structurally and harmonically, the piece follows a typical Janáček-esque style, typically using chords and sometimes modality as well as minor and major key centers.

Why is Capriccio so popular?

Capriccio has attracted wide acceptance and appreciation due to its immense beauty and remarkable expression. Its combination of passionate and dramatic melodies with tender and subtle harmonic progressions creates an emotive atmosphere that is profoundly affecting. This is one of the reasons Capriccio has become a staple of the classical piano repertoire.


Leoš Janáček's solo piano piece Capriccio is a deeply emotional and captivating work. In it, he has combined classic romanticism with modern tonalities, successfully creating a timeless and truly heart touching piece. It is clear why this work of art has become one of the most beloved pieces in the classical piano repertoire.

Publication date: 28. 02. 2023