Un jeu de Tarot


Handwritten manuscript of 'Un jeu de Tarot'
Handwritten manuscript of 'Un jeu de Tarot'

This piece takes as its subject the traditional Tarot deck, and in particular the ancient gambling game using the cards. Through five movements, the Fool travels through the Swords, Cups, Staves and Pentacles (the suits of the Tarot deck) and finally completes his playful journey alone. I was inspired to use the Tarot deck, with a French flavour, as the basis for this piece after having been taught the traditional card game by my French aunt. Some time later, but by the time I wrote this piece, I also learned to "read" the deck (i.e. in the occult sense).

The piece was commissioned by the BBC as part of Music Live 97, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in the summer of 1997, in a performance given by players from the BBC Philharmonic.


12 minutes


oboe, viola, trombone, harp, percussion


BBC Music Live 97

First performance

BBC Music Live 97, BBC Philharmonic


Request a score / parts

If you would like to see a score and/or require a set of parts for this music, please contact me.