Jean Cras, Polymath of Music and Letters: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Jean Cras, Polymath of Music and Letters

1st Edition

By Paul-André Bempéchat


608 pages

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Jean Cras (1879-1932) was a remarkable man by anyone's measure. Twice a decorated hero of the Great War, this Rear-Admiral of the French navy, scientist, inventor and moral philosopher, was also a highly esteemed composer during his lifetime, enjoying the same stature and celebrity as Faur�Debussy and Ravel. Since his death, however, both Cras and his music have been almost completely overlooked. In this, the first critical biography of Cras, Paul-Andre Bempechat situates Henri Duparc's proteg�s a missing link between the French post-Romantic generation of composers and the Impressionists. The book explores, both historically and analytically, the methodology by which Cras evolved his eclectic brand of Impressionism, striking the delicate balance between Celtic folk idioms and exoticisms inspired by his travels. Cras' creative legacy extends beyond the world of music to the world of science. His five patented inventions include the navigational gyrocompass, which bears his name, still in use to this day by the French navy, coast guard and boating afficionados. Bempechat draws special attention to the humanist Jean Cras and his distinguished military career - he is credited with saving the Serbian army from extinction - drawing on primary source material such as family correspondence and wartime diaries to reaffirm this composer as a true Renaissance man of the twentieth century.


?La remarquable analyse de Bemp?at nous d?ile une oeuvre qui jongle avec les exotismes glan?par le compositeur lors de ses exp?tions, le bretonisme qui lui ?it inn?et l'ex?se de son catholicisme fervent.? France Catholique ?… an impressive undertaking… I consider that this book, more than simply a biography of a single composer and a military man, will shine even brighter once we have readjusted his position in the larger history of modern French music.? International Journal of Tourism Science 'Le Canadien Paul-Andr?emp?at, est parfaitement francophone mais c'est en anglais qu'il r?ge cette somme d??à Jean Cras … Tout y est, …sa carri? marine, … l'inventeur brilliant, l'esth? p?i d'humanisme, le musician dans son œuvre. … Le portrait est vivant, Jean Cras se tient devant vous et tous les secrets de son art subtil sont d?ntr?' Diapason ?Bemp?at weaves lively excerpts from the composer?s journals and correspondence into a descriptive narrative that ranges from heady to introspective, allowing glimpses of Cras?s familial devotion, aesthetic musings, wry humor, and faith derived from philosophy and experience rather than blind piety. … Bemp?at?s book is a welcome examination of a gifted but obscure composer that will prove useful for military historians and musicologists alike.? Journal of Military History '… a fluid accessible narrative for both historians and musicologists… This is the first major study of Cras and will stand as a good reference to all who are interested in approaching him, Bretagne composers, regionalism and nationalism, the legacy of Franck and Duparc, polymaths, and those interested in cultural activities in France.' Notes '… his absorption of nonmusical matters allows him to present an enormous amount of unexpected information without losing the reader?s interest, and when he does get to the music, he examines it so attentively that this intro

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General