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My 31-piece "Suite de clavecin", op.23 - for harpsichord solo.

Each summer I retire to my old countryhouse in les Vosges, in eastern France. This year I spent 6 weeks virtually alone on the mountain where my house overlooks de valley. It is, each time over and over again, a time of creative and hard work - in a sense.

This time was no different and the day I arrived - July 7th - I began immediately writing solos for harpsichord. It was as planned, because during May and June, I had intensively studied harpsichord suites by Jaqcues Duphly (1715-1789), Claude Balbastre (1724-1799) and Pancrace Royer (1705-1755) - all classical French baroque composers of the mid 18th century.

Last year, in November, I had likewise written the 20-part "Suite Fougerollaise", op.17. That was already more or less written in the typical French style of the suite, with all its repeats and movements. This time, I wanted to go further. So, in contrast with the previous suite, I used a lot more and different tones, scales, ornamentations etc. I always say the previous suite was one of plain trills; this one is a lot more refined: I not just used plain trills, but replaced them with more complex ones like upper and lower mordents, with upper and lower prefixes and all its countless variations thereon.

Something new (for me) was also the different characters I gave to the plays and its describing names (here follows a translated list - for those who can't understand French, although many words are the same)

I. Le gentilhomme (the nobleman)

II. La tempête (the storm)

III. Le désespoir (the desperation)

IV. La dispute (the dispute)

V. L'embrasse (the hug, embrace)

VI. La raisonneuse (the argumentative)

VII. La les tourments (the torment)

VIII. Le noble (the noble one)

IX. La courante (the running one)

X. Le libertin (the libertine)

XI. La frondeuse (the rebellious (woman))

XII. La discorde (the discord)

XIII. L'amoureuse (the loving one)

XIV. Le jeune homme (the young man)

XV. Le tortillon (the twist)

XVI. La cordelle (the little rope)

XVII. La marche des fortes têtes (the march of the hotheads)

XVIII. L'adoration (the adoration)

XIX. La farce (the farce)

XX. Le mesuré (the measuring/precise one)

XXI. La commère (the chatterbox)

XXII. Le désir (the desire)

XXIII. La chasse (the hunt)

XXIV. La vieille cloche (the crone)

XXV. La récalcitrante (the recalcitrant/rebellious)

XXVI. L'indécis (the indecisive one)

XXVII. Le rouet (the spinning wheel)

XXVIII. Le pas d'élégance (the elegant step)

XXIX. Le vaurien (the rascal)

XXX. La mystérieuse (the mysterious one)

XXXI. L'avance du temps (the proceeding of time)

Each of the descriptions also happened to be an element I met during my stay in the region: I visited several yard and antique sales and stumbled upon a great many different things and people, of which I made a selection to make a composition about. Some pieces are very apparant; others much less. That's also because I still consider myself to be an amateur, a student, still learning with each note I write down.

I uploaded all 31 pieces to be listened at on my profile: http://composersforum.ning.com/profile/Canaeus

And please, share all your thoughts on them :-)

Any constructive comment will be greatly appreciated!

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Comment by Quinn Mason on August 24, 2012 at 1:48am

Thanks for uploading!

Nice job of making the suite in your style, and most of all, nice names :D

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