In his Suite modale
of 1938 Peeters’ intention was to write an uncomplicated, tuneful work along the lines of Boëllmann’s popular Suite gothique
, but in ‘a more contemporary, modal language’. The influence of the earlier work is only really evident in the majestic opening movement, which follows a similar design to Boëllmann’s Chorale, with a piano repeat of each phrase. The effervescent Scherzo is one of Peeters’ happiest inspirations. One of the hallmarks of his melodic style is the interval of a descending seventh, and this first appears during the bouncy second tune of the Scherzo. It re-appears, with very different effect, in the intense central section of the Adagio, and returns again in the pedal theme of the final Toccata. This is an exciting display piece in the French style with swirling toccata figuration above a big tune in the bass. The central section of the piece develops a new, more lyrical melody, derived from the initial motif of the main theme, with some canonic writing reminiscent of composers like Franck and Vierne.
from notes by David Gammie © 2011