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Andre Caplet

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Name  Andre Caplet
Role  Composer
Andre Caplet Discovering Andr Caplet Uncle Dave Lewis
Died  April 22, 1925, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Albums  Musique de chambre pour harpe
Similar People  Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Isabelle Moretti, Camille Saint‑Saens, Jean Cras

Andre Caplet (23 November 1878 – 22 April 1925) was a French composer and conductor now known primarily through his orchestrations of works by Claude Debussy.


Early life

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Caplet was born on a boat sailing between Le Havre (Seine-Maritime) and Honfleur (Calvados), the youngest child of a modest family.


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He exhibited an unusual talent and originality during his musical education, and won the Prix de Rome in 1901 ahead of Maurice Ravel. He became a close friend of Claude Debussy, sometimes serving as translator, and he orchestrated part of Debussy's Le Martyre de saint Sebastien. He also collaborated with Debussy in the orchestration of La boite a joujoux. In 1911, Caplet prepared an orchestration of Debussy's Children's Corner, which, along with his orchestration of Clair de lune from the Suite bergamasque is probably the most widely performed and recorded example of his work.

Caplet was a composer in his own right, whose very innovative works have been sadly overlooked for the most part. Especially interesting is his instrumental use of voices, as in his Septuor a cordes vocales et instrumentales from 1909 and in the oratorio-like Le Miroir de Jesus from 1923, which features "choeur de femmes" in an accompanying role Caplet termed "voix d'accompagnement". He also wrote two works based on the short story The Mask of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe: Conte fantastique for harp and string quartet, and an orchestral symphonic study Le Masque de la mort rouge.

Caplet served as conductor of the Boston Opera from 1910 to 1914.


While serving in the military during the First World War, he was gassed, which resulted in the pleurisy that killed him. He died in Neuilly-sur-Seine (Hauts-de-Seine), a suburb of Paris, at the age of 46. The next year the sculptor Jacques Zwobada, a native of Neuilly, was commissioned to create a monument to Caplet. This was one of Zwobada's earliest works after he graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

Works for voice and piano

  • Viens! ... Une flute invisible, (Hugo), August 1900
  • Myrrha, (text by Fernand Beissier) cantata for second round competition of the Prix de Rome, July 1901 - Caplet won first prize, also set by Ravel and other second round contestants. Performed in Le Havre November 1901.
  • Green, (Verlaine), 1902
  • Il etait une fois, (Richepin), January 1903
  • Poeme de mai (Tu nous souriais), (A. Silvestre), 1902
  • Dans la fontaine, (P. Gravollet), 1903
  • Papillons, (P. Gravollet), February 1903
  • Le Livre rose, (P.J. Pain), 1898–1901
  • Chanson d'automne, (A. Silvestre), 1900
  • Paroles a l'absente, (G. Jean-Aubry), 1908
  • Les Prieres, 1914–1917, (also for harp and string quartet)
  • Le Vieux coffret, (R. de Gourmont), 1914–1917
  • En regardant ces belles fleurs, (C. d'Orleans), October 1914
  • Nuit d'Automne, (H. de Regnier), 9 March 1915
  • Priere normande, (J. Hebertot), 1916
  • Solitude, (J. Ochse), 1915
  • Quand reverrai-je, helas!..., (J. de Bellay), 27 August 1916, (published with harp accompaniment by Lyra)
  • La Croix douloureuse, (R.P. Lacordaire), for the armed forces
  • Detresse!..., (H. Charasson), 9 November 1918
  • Trois Fables, (La Fontaine), 1919
  • Le Pain quotidien, (15 exercises), 1920
  • Cinq Ballades francaises, (P. Fort)
  • L'hymne a la naissance du matin, (reduction, P. Fort), November 1920
  • La Cloche felee, (C. Baudelaire), January 1922
  • La Mort des pauvres, (C. Baudelaire), June 1922
  • Le Miroir de Jesus, (reduction) ( H. Gheon), Summer 1923
  • La Part a Dieu, (chanson populaire), 1925
  • Voice and organ

  • Pie Jesu, March 1919
  • Panis angelicus, 21 June 1919
  • Pater noster, November 1919
  • Tu es sacerdos, 27 July 1920
  • Les Prieres, 1914-1917
  • Voice and flute

  • Corbeille de fruits, (R. Tagore), September 1924
  • Ecoute mon coeur, 19 September 1924
  • Voice & harp

  • Sonnet : "Doux fut le trait", (Ronsard), 8 April 1924, published with Quand reverraije... by Lyra
  • Harp solo

  • Deux Divertissements (1. a la francaise, 2. a l'espagnole'), 1924, published 1925, Durand
  • Voice & orchestra

  • Myrrha, scene lyrique, (1er Grand Prix de Rome), (F. Beissier), 1901
  • Il etait une fois, (J. Richepin)
  • Paroles a l'absente, (G. Jean-Aubry), 1908
  • Le Vieux Coffret, (R. de Gourmont)
  • La Croix douloureuse, (R.P. LaCordaire)
  • Detresse!..., (H. Carasson)
  • Hymne a la naissance du matin, (P. Fort), November 1920
  • Les Prieres (voice, harp, string quartet) (see under voice and piano)
  • A cappella chorus

  • Messe a trois voix, 1919-1920
  • "Inscriptions champetres, (R. de Gourmont), August 1914
  • Mixed chorus & orchestra

  • Ete, (V. Hugo), 1899
  • Paques citadines, (C. Spinelli), 1920
  • Orchestral works

  • Suite d'orchestre (sur des melodies populaires persanes), 1900
  • Legende (suite symphonique pour harpe chromatique, saxophone et instruments a cordes), 1905 (precursor to Conte Fantastique)
  • Etude symphonique
  • Le Masque de la mort rouge pour harpe chromatique principale, 1908
  • Marche solennelle pour le centenaire de la Villa Medicis, 1903
  • Salammbo, (poeme symphonique) 1902
  • Marche heroique de la Ve Division, pour musique militaire, 1917
  • Epiphanie, fresque musicale pour violoncelle principal et orchestre, 1923
  • Orchestral transcriptions

  • Children's Corner (Debussy)
  • Pagodes (Debussy)
  • Clair de Lune from Suite bergamasque (Debussy)
  • Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien, Fragments Symphoniques (Debussy)
  • Chamber music

  • "Quintette" pour piano, flute, hautbois, clarinette et basson, 1898
  • "Suite persane" pour 2 flutes, 2 hautbois, 2 clarinettes, 2 bassons, et 2 cors, 1900, version originale
  • "Septuor", pour quatour a cordes et 3 voix feminines, 1909
  • "Sonate" pour piano, voix, violoncelle, 1919
  • "Conte Fantastique (The Masque of Red Death)" d'apres Poe pour harpe a pedales et quatour a cordes, (published 1924)
  • "Le Miroir de Jesus" pour voix principale, 3 voix accompagnantes, quatour a cordes et harpe, (original version: Ete), 1923
  • "Sonata da chiesa" pour violon et orgue, 1924
  • ”Impressions d’automne – Elegie” pour alto saxophone, hautbois, 2 clarinettes, basson, harpe, orgue et 2 violoncelles, 1905
  • Cello & piano

  • Elegie, 1903
  • Allegresse, 1903
  • Epiphanie
  • Improvisations
  • Flute & piano

  • Feuillets d'album, 1901
  • Reverie et Petite Valse, 1897
  • Viens! Une flute invisible, 1900, voice, flute, piano
  • Piano, two hands

  • Menuet dans le style ancien, 1897
  • Deux pieces, 1900
  • Piano, four hands

  • Prelude, 1899
  • Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol (petites pieces faciles), 1901
  • Un tas de petites choses, 1919
  • Reductions for piano, 4 hands & for 2 pianos, 4 hands or 6 hands

  • Images (Debussy)
  • La Mer (Debussy)
  • Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien, voix et piano (Debussy)
  • La Mer, 2 pianos, 6 mains (Debussy)
  • Songs

    Petite Valse
    Conte Fantastique
    La Ronde
    La cloche felee
    Panis Angelicus
    La Mort des pauvres
    Messe a trois voix: I Kyrie eleison
    Messe a trois voix: II Gloria
    Messe a trois voix: III Sanctus
    Messe a trois voix: VI O salutaris
    Conte fantastique pour harpe et quatuor a cordes
    Messe a trois voix: IV Benedictus
    Messe a trois voix: V Agnus Dei


    Andre Caplet Wikipedia

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