Caprices (Besset, Julian Raoul)

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General Information

Work Title Caprices
Alternative. Title
Composer Besset, Julian Raoul
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's 9
  1. Affleurements/Outcroppings
  2. Effleurements chuchotés/Suffering Soughings
  3. Elancements/Confrontations
  4. Bagatelle en Trio
  5. Burlesque
  6. Coiluminations/Enroulaminures
  7. Aria décalé/Out of Step Aria
  8. Aria recalé/Reframed Aria
  9. Closed Aperture on a last draft/Air courant à travers chant
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Modern
Piece Style Modern
Instrumentation Organ

Misc. Comments

As is usual with most of this composer's organ works, great care has been taken in the editing effort, the results of which are however in no way mandatory. The titles of each piece are evocative of the contents with an occasional pun or neologism, more apparent in nos.6 and 9, without a need to explain them, as they are self-explanatory, although not strictly bilingually equivalent. Technical hurdles there are, in no small number, but not impassable for the technically proficient. Whether they are rewarding to play is another matter, a question which can only be answered after putting them to the test, if one cares or dares. Stylistically, this work is no different from its predecessors, and has been elaborated on a 2-manual virtual instrument whose limitations should be taken into account when reviewing the work. The no.6 piece is notable for the variant attached to its pedal part, a particularity which can only be described as characteristic of the composer's bad habits. Indeed, he is wont to put pen to paper, then copy the partial result on his computer, before a print out and organ test. Corrections ensue, and thus the work hobbles along until it is brought to an abrupt end not by preconceived planning but by "internal evidence". But it so happens once in a while when he gets back to work on the organ, he discovers he has forgotten his latest finalized computer version. On the organ stand, he finds the earlier sketches, so rather than wait for the matter to be corrected the next time, he will resume the work where he left off, continuing it differently. This adds an aleatory aspect to his compositions and to return to the no.6 piece, for some inhabitual reason his preparatory sketches were lacking the pedal part, so he added it in, and later, when comparing with the original version of the pedal part, he decided to keep both versions.