André Caplet

Panis Angelicus, for mezzo-soprano voice, women's chorus, violin, cello, harp & organ

    Description by "Blue" Gene Tyranny

    After being demobilized from the army where he had served as an infantry sergeant during the Great War, in which he was both wounded and gassed, Caplet wrote several religious works including this "Panis angelicus" for mezzo-soprano, woman's voices, violin, cello, harp, and organ (or harmonium) created in June of 1919.

    The piece, of approximately 4 minutes duration, is written in the rich key of A-flat major at a "moderate" tempo.

    A lovely scale-wise unfolding from a single instrumental tone leads us into the solo voice whose melody is likewise in a scale pattern. The first progression conventionally modulates until a brief chromatic bridge is reached, a brief Wagnerian third creates a sunrise-type effect. Then the melody closes with a flourish followed by an intimate, peaceful ending.

    The choir enters and sings the previous melody in unison with the soprano solo. A brief "amen", sung first by the solo and then the chorus, closes the work.

    Appears On

    Year Title / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    Universal Distribution
    Deutsche Grammophon
    EMI Classics