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Andre Caplet

(b. Le Havre 1878 d. Paris 1925)

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’)!