" never unpleasant, usually captivating and always a complete joy to listen to "
‘Victory of The Spirit’ is a remarkable piece of music on a number of levels. It is a remarkable demonstration of enormously high quality musical integrity. And it is remarkable that the composer, arranger and producer has, in the words of Marc Béziat’s bio, only recently discovered and begun to develop his musical skills.
‘Victory of The Spirit’ is also breathtaking from the outset and displays significant musical virtuosity. The Minor scale introduction builds to a crescendo which, with a delicate touch of echo, conveys an almost cathedral-like expectation, a promise of greatness to follow.
The section ‘The Yearning of The Soul’ in particular develops phrases that are delightfully reminiscent of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures of an Exhibition’ (Emerson Lake and Palmer).
The arrangements in this work are simple yet pleasing, although the lack of consistency in the compositional phraseology sometimes makes listening a challenge. Perhaps the composer would be advised to steer a line either closer to the avant garde or stay closer to traditional classical principles, rather than fluctuate quite so much between the two?
Aside from this minor note on stylistic consistency, the values of ‘Victory of The Spirit’ are obvious. This is an opus in which the composer has taken extraordinary care. The precise nature of the score and the detailing of the notational values are examples of extreme attention to detail. The composer’s musical ability and his sheer enthusiasm are both clearly obvious throughout every stage of his work; frankly, it is these qualities that make listening to Victory of The Spirit far more enjoyable than listening to many more widely-recognised works in this genre.
In any musical field bold structural changes are difficult to carry off. In the pure classical genre there are few composers who have routinely achieved this with success (Dvorak, Bartok, Stravinsky). Classical composers who have successfully developed thematic pictures as a process are even more rare (notably Sir Edward Elgar’s ‘Enigma Variations’; Johannes Brahms’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini). Marc Béziat ‘s work is also an attempt to develop the thematic process and it is staggering that a composer of relative musical immaturity has achieved such impressively high standards.
Summary: With ‘Victory of The Spirit’, Marc Béziat has given his audience a modern-day classical work that successfully captures a variety of moods, a range of styles and a rich diversity of techniques. His work is never unpleasant, usually captivating and always a complete joy to listen to. The compositional technique varies between pure classical and modern classical but even this variance is not unlikeable. This listener is torn between seeing the composer’s potential in the purely classical arena or following a path in the classical/film accompaniment world. However, given the relatively short time that Marc Béziat has begun to develop his skills over, whichever path he chooses to tread, he will be an inspirational figure. I look forward to following his work with great interest. If Marc Béziat can entertain us so well now, what will he be doing for us in ten years?