Duration: 8 minutes
First Performance: August 2001 at the Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester, performed by the pianist Phillip Dyson.
Commissioned: The Three Choirs Festival, Gloucester.
Caprice Op.35 was commissioned by The Gloucester, Three Choirs Festival and received its premiere in August 2001.
The work opens with a chordal idea in 3/8 underpinned by an insistent rhythmic figure that passes between the hands. Both act as an introduction to a strong melodic idea that becomes the driving force behind much of the music that follows. After a fortissimo climax and much virtuoso writing a more lyrical passage using the five-note motive from the introduction leads to the slow central section. Here a plaintiff melodic idea supported by oscillating chords recalls the joie de vivre of the work’s opening and leads to a powerful climax based upon ideas heard earlier in the work. The return of the introductory music with slight variation takes us to a coda that ends this short work in an abrupt and almost “throw-away” manner.