Victor Gomes is a Portuguese musician who studied piano at the Conservatório Nacional de Música do Porto with Fernanda Wandschneider, Carlos Cebro and composition with the acclaimed composer Cândido Lima. He now teaches both piano and instrumental groups at the Curso de Música Silva Monteiro and other private Conservatoires around Oporto. Alongside his teaching career, Victor Gomes performs as a soloist and with ensembles, and is also busy as an arranger, composer and producer, mostly for educational purposes. He has written more than 100 compositions for various music ensembles (including Orff instruments), which have been performed in many parts of Portugal. He is currently writing piano arrangements based on compositions by Christopher Norton, for 4, 6 and 8 hands. He also works as an educational adviser for Roland Iberia and was one of the main people responsible for introducing ABRSM and Rockschool grade exams into the Portuguese music educational system.
Andre Caplet is now a virtually forgotten composer, yet his early career was given a real boost when, aged 23 years, he was awarded 1st prize in France’s most distinguished musical composition prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1901, relegating a certain Maurice Ravel into 3rd place.
History’s cruel judgment records a different verdict on the two men’s subsequent place in musical history, yet Caplet’s music possesses a most definite French imprint. Claude Debussy held Caplet in high esteem, and entrusted Caplet with much arranging and conducting of his own music.
The two beginner duets chosen for this volume display striking harmonic invention, and are chosen precisely for their non-Germanic character. The duets come from the set of five pieces entitled ‘Un tas de petites chose’, amusingly subtitled ‘Pour les enfants bien sages’ (‘For well-behaved children’)!