What’s tonality? Who’s André Caplet?

Two very good questions: the first is central to our understanding of western music and particularly of the way it ‘evolved’ during the 19th and 20th centuries. Not that easy to explain without loads of jargon: I’ll do my best!

(…for those of you who want to follow Schönberg as he takes his first nervous(?) steps into atonality, here’s the text of the last movement of his Second Quartet:
Schoenberg, Second Quartet: Text of last movement)

As for the second: André Caplet is now best known as the orchestrator – at the composer’s instigation – of Debussy’s Children’s Corner and the famous Claire de lune from the Suite Bergamasque. He was, however, a fine composer in his own right. This week we’ll listen to La Masque de la Mort Rouge (The Masque of the Red Death, a fantastic tale after Edgar Allan Poe) and his Mass for 3 voices.

Caplet: Masque of the Red Death
[Spotify search terms: caplet masque jamet]

Caplet: Mass for 3 voices
[Spotify search terms: caplet messe]

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