Marked ‘Allegro con moto’, the Caprice
is one of the most brilliant and fascinating of Catoire’s shorter early pieces. Dedicated to Vilborg, one of Catoire’s first teachers, it is in G flat major, and encompasses a basic tripartite structure that also binds an interesting tonal plan. The more lyrical secondary theme outlined in octaves is in A major, which falls by a major third to the dramatic central section, ‘meno mosso’, in F major. This is only eight bars long, and as the material retraces its steps (via A major), the secondary theme is treated to greater development. The central drama is recalled in D flat, the dominant of G flat, and the recapitulation alludes to all the material before a whimsical close.
from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 1999