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Caprice (Seven Sketches, Op. 24, No. 1)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (02/22/21)
Composer: Barnes, Edwin Shippen
Sample Producer: Audio Angelorum
Sample Set: Peterborough Cathedral Hill
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Edward Shippen Barnes (September 14, 1887 in Seabright, New Jersey – February 14, 1958, in Idyllwild, California) was an American organist. He was a graduate of Yale University where he studied with Horatio Parker and Harry Jepson. After graduating from Yale, Barnes continued his studies in Paris with Louis Vierne,Vincent D'Indy, and Abel Decaux. He worked as organist at the Church of the Incarnation, New York (1911–1912), Rutgers Presbyterian Church, New York (1913–1924), St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Philadelphia (1924–1938), and the First Presbyterian Church, Santa Monica (1938–1958).

Although he is largely forgotten as a composer, Barnes was quite successful, composing several signifcant organ symphonies, suites, and shorter works. He is most remembered for his harmonization of the Christmas carol, "Angels, we have heard on high," appearing in most American hymnals.

"Seven Sketches" were published by The Boston Music Co. in 1923. The group of pieces shows considerable variety. Some of the works show the strong influence of Louis Vierne, while others are much more "American" in their outlook.

The sixth work in the collection is "Caprice". It bears an earlier opus number, so this may have been written separately and incorporated into the group of seven. The last work of the group, "Fugue" has no opus number.

I suppose you would properly call this piece a "scherzo," but the term "zephyr-like" seems appropriate to me.

It is marked "Vivace" and is a delightfully tricky scampering breeze which is interrupted by a slower, more lyrical section.

The scamper returns, varied and extended, before the slower material briefly makes a final appearance. Suddenly, the wind gusts once more, and everything disappears in a brief "presto" cadenza.

All-in-all, it's a very nice piece! :-)

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Edwin Shippen Barnes and Lynwood Farnam, as well as some of the churches where Barnes served as organist.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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