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Thread: Jean Cras - Composer and Naval Officer

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    Senior Member Grizzled Ghost's Avatar
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    Default Jean Cras - Composer and Naval Officer

    One of my favorite composers of all time, Jean Cras lived from 1879 to 1932 (just 53 years). During that time he composed an impressive collection of works, but also managed a very successful career as a naval officer, reaching the rank of Rear Admiral before he died. Who knows what he would have become had he lived longer.

    Jean_Cras.jpg

    Apparently he sometimes had a piano with him on board his ship and composed some of his best works while on active duty in remote locations around the world.

    His lifelong friend and mentor was Henri Duparc. Otherwise he did not seem to have too much formal training from or close association with other French composers. His music sounds a little like the impressionists, but not too much.

    Maybe I'm just imagining it, but many of his works seem to have an almost dream-like nautical feel to them.

    Any other fans out there?
    Last edited by Grizzled Ghost; Jul-05-2015 at 17:27.

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    Senior Member Grizzled Ghost's Avatar
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    So far I have 4 albums from Cras, all of them terrific.

    I've had these 3 for a while:








    Lovely artwork, by the way.
    Last edited by Grizzled Ghost; Jul-06-2015 at 02:26.

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    Senior Member Grizzled Ghost's Avatar
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    And I just bought this one yesterday:




    Oh dear: and now two more:


    MI0001102094.jpg


    s27243318.jpg

    Somebody hide the wallet. I'm now dangerously close to being a completist! I guess the peer pressure got to me.
    Last edited by Grizzled Ghost; Jul-06-2015 at 04:41.

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    I´ve got the orchestral works double cd, plus a bit more, on the superb Timpani label. But it probably takes some major label promotion (Naxos?) to really stimulate general knowledge about this composer. Naxos has done some Roger-Ducasse, for example, but the music of Cras is more attractive, IMO.

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    This guy was simply amazing! I love his chamber music. It's a remarkable output of craftsmanship blended with exoticism, which I find so gripping. I highlight the String trio, the Piano quintet and the Quintet for flute, string trio and harp: they are pure magic. Don't hesitate to listen to them!

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    I listened to the string trio yesterday. It's a good work if a little flat in places.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicSybarite View Post
    This guy was simply amazing! I love his chamber music. It's a remarkable output of craftsmanship blended with exoticism, which I find so gripping. I highlight the String trio, the Piano quintet and the Quintet for flute, string trio and harp: they are pure magic. Don't hesitate to listen to them!
    His lifelong friend and mentor was Henri Duparc. Otherwise he did not seem to have too much formal training from or close association with other French composers. His music sounds a little like the impressionists, but not too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiyatsiya View Post
    His lifelong friend and mentor was Henri Duparc. Otherwise he did not seem to have too much formal training from or close association with other French composers. His music sounds a little like the impressionists, but not too much.
    What works do you know by Cras?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicSybarite View Post
    What works do you know by Cras?
    Music Sybarite, Up next in the "Unheralded French orchestral composers ..." thread are Philippe Gaubert and Jean Cras. Do you have any orchestral favourites by either of these composers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Knox View Post
    Music Sybarite, Up next in the "Unheralded French orchestral composers ..." thread are Philippe Gaubert and Jean Cras. Do you have any orchestral favourites by either of these composers?
    Hi!

    By Jean Cras I know this release on Timpani. It contains Journal de bord, Ames d'enfants, Légende for cello and orchestra and the Piano Concerto. I've heard the first two works and they are evocative and atmospheric (Journal de bord), lovely and beautiful (Ames d'enfants). The orchestration is sensuous and effective, with tinges of impressionism. By Gaubert I only know his Symphony in F major, but I don't have vivid memories of it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicSybarite View Post
    Hi!

    By Jean Cras I know this release on Timpani. It contains Journal de bord, Ames d'enfants, Légende for cello and orchestra and the Piano Concerto. I've heard the first two works and they are evocative and atmospheric (Journal de bord), lovely and beautiful (Ames d'enfants). The orchestration is sensuous and effective, with tinges of impressionism. By Gaubert I only know his Symphony in F major, but I don't have vivid memories of it.
    Thanks for your reply, it is good to hear from you. I'm fond of Journal de bord and Ames d'enfants too. My comments on the four Jean Cras works will be up on the "Unheralded French orchestral composers ..." thread in a few days. Please share any thoughts about them on that thread, before or after my post.

    That whole project is nearly done now, after Cras the remaining composers are Inghelbrecht, Le Flem, and the Boulanger sisters (Lili and Nadia left). Since beginning the "Neglected German and Austrian composers" it's been a long journey, and I won't be involved in any more such projects. Over the years I've really appreciated your involvement and encouragement.

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