Committee ChairDay, Larry
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAndré Caplet (1878-1925) was a major figure on the musical scene for the first quarter of the twentieth century. He contributed substantially to the repertoire of the solo voice, and to that of choral and chamber music. He was moreover an acclaimed conductor; besides extensive engagements in Paris, Caplet was the conductor of French repertoire at the Boston Opera Company from 1910-14. His career was tragically cut short when he was forty-six years of age because of war-related injuries. An in-depth look at the compositions he left behind reveals a brilliant intellect, meticulous attention to detail, a tremendous ear for color, and keen sensitivity to poetic nuance. The richness of his poetic imagination and his technical resources resulted in a variety of oeuvres of originality and depth. He is unsurpassed as a text-painter in the history of mélodie. The name of André Caplet should be added to those of Debussy and Ravel as an important representative of musical impressionism. This paper examines the exquisite text setting of Caplet. I have chosen the wartime mélodies because of the depth and range of their emotional and musical content. Moreover, they are loosely linked by the undercurrents of war which, with their ever-changing, reflecting and refracting surfaces, run through these mélodies like an impressionistic stream. Caplet wrote predominantly for the mezzo-soprano voice during this period, perhaps using a richer voice to more richly express the depth of his experiences. These mélodies thus represent a wonderful addition to French repertoire for this Fach.