Wind Music

Capriol Suite

Peter Warlock

arranged by Tony Turrill from the suite for strings

2 Ob., 2 Cl., 2 Bsn, 2 Hn



click on the quaver sign to hear a full performance of all 6 dances

(Most of the dances are too short to make extracts sensible)

This setting was described by the Clarinet and Sax. Society  magazine as a “welcome addition to the repertoire which will give performers considerable pleasure”

It is Warlock’s best known work, written  firstly for piano, then for strings and  finally in 1928 for full orchestra.  It was inspired by melodies from a discourse on dancing, Orchésographie, written in the 16th century  by a French priest named Arbeau.  Capriol is a fictitious lawyer who wishes to learn to dance.   The book records the subsequent dialogue  between Capriol and Arbeau. 

 The suite’s mediaeval character is well suited to wind instruments and sits well on a standard wind octet .  The suite is in six short movements:

1. Basse Danse a dance for older folk, in which the dancers’ feet for the most part slide along the floor.

2. Pavane  the familiar stately dance.

3. Tordion: a brief movement, in  6/4 time, originally the concluding figure of the basse danse, dying away to nothing at the end.

4.Bransles (a ‘brawl’)  The most substantial movement. Originally,  a  fast country dance in duple time pressing on at ever increasing  speed - still danced at the court of Charles II. 

5.Pieds en l’air  justifiably the Suite’s most popular and frequently arranged movement.  In 9/4 time, the dancers’ feet  move so gently  that they  barely touch the floor,  hence the title.

6.Mattachins: a sword dance, four men in pretend combat, climaxing in violent  dissonance.

Click here to buy the pdf files for £16.50

make a note of the  ref. no. NM2012; used with the composer and title it will help identify the work


Click here to buy the sheet music for £25

This takes you straight to the right page in June Emerson Wind Music. Just check out there. Emerson’s will then print and dispatch the music

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An orchestration for chamber orchestra, strings, double woodwind and two horns is also available for purchase or hire £P.O.A.