Nadège Rochat — “Antonín Dvořák & André Caplet” (Ars Produktion, 2021)

Cite this article as:

Kristina Patzelt. (October 23, 2021). Nadège Rochat — “Antonín Dvořák & André Caplet” (Ars Produktion, 2021). International Journal of Music. Accessed July 25, 2024.

As a cellist deeply entwined with the fabric of diverse musical epochs, I find immense joy in bringing to the forefront compositions that, despite their undeniable brilliance, often linger in the shadows of obscurity. The latest testament to this exploration is my recent album, “Antonín Dvořák & André Caplet,” released on November 5, 2021, under the Ars Produktion label. In this musical endeavor, I have carefully curated a mesmerizing blend of Antonín Dvořák’s timeless Cello Concerto in b-minor and André Caplet’s evocative Épiphanie (d’après une légende éthopienne). Join me on this odyssey through the realms of sound, culture, and nature as we delve into the heart of these enchanting compositions.

The juxtaposition of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto and Caplet’s Épiphanie might seem unconventional at first glance, but for me, it represents an exploration of musical landscapes that transcend the boundaries of time and cultural origins. Having previously delved into the rich tapestry of Ralph Vaughan Williams with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, I found myself captivated by the orchestra’s virtuosity and the expansive soundscape, igniting a passion for exploring compositions beyond the well-trodden paths.

In selecting these pieces, I am driven by a desire to unveil hidden gems and offer audiences an opportunity to immerse themselves in the lesser-known realms of cello literature. Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, with its wild and melancholic power, stands as a testament to the composer’s emotional depth and serves as a poignant homage to his lost love, Josefína Kaunicová, and the lasting impact of his time in New York from 1894 to 1895.

Caplet’s Épiphanie, crafted in the twilight of his life in 1925, draws inspiration from Catholic mysticism and takes us on a journey to Ethiopia, weaving a narrative around the Christian celebration of Jesus’ birth. The title itself, “Épiphanie (d’après une légende éthiopienne),” hints at the mystical connection between Ethiopia and Christianity. In my interpretation, I envision Épiphanie as an ode to the followers of the Queen of Saba, embracing femininity and sensuality, mirroring the character of this legendary queen.

The decision to incorporate elements of my collodion photography into the album cover reflects a delicate balance between subtlety and symbolism. While I would have loved to feature the Queen of Saba, cultural sensitivity guided my choice. Instead, a collage emerged, blending collodion photography from the 1830s with an image of a lioness. This transparent composition not only reveals my wild side but also establishes a visual link to Ethiopia, a land rich in cultural heritage.

Caplet’s immersion in Catholic mysticism, evident in Épiphanie, marks a significant departure from his earlier role as a conductor, showcasing the profound impact of his voluntary involvement at the front lines of World War I. His deliberate shift towards composition in his final years speaks to the transformative power of artistic expression in the face of adversity. Épiphanie stands as a testament to Caplet’s creative resilience, a haunting echo of his introspective exploration into the mystic realms.

Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, dedicated to cellist Hanuš Wihan, transcends the boundaries of time, capturing the composer’s yearning for his lost love and immortalizing the echoes of his homeland. It is a piece that, in my interpretation, resounds with an enduring reluctance to bid farewell, as if the final movement itself refuses to embrace the inevitability of closure.

As a cellist deeply connected to nature, my interpretations seek to bridge the gap between culture and the natural world. I draw inspiration from the intrinsic power of both compositions, infusing my performances with a profound sense of curiosity for the diverse cultures that have shaped our collective history. For me, the central question remains: What role can I, as a human, occupy in this vast and interconnected world?


In concluding this exploration, I am reminded that music serves as a timeless bridge, connecting us to the past, present, and future. Through the universal language of sound, we traverse uncharted territories, discovering the nuances of human emotion and cultural diversity. Dvořák and Caplet, though separated by time and space, converge in this album to create a harmonious dialogue that transcends the confines of mere musical notes.

In presenting “Antonín Dvořák & André Caplet,” I invite listeners to embark on a journey of sonic discovery, to immerse themselves in the evocative narratives woven by these masterful composers. May this album be a testament to the enduring power of music to illuminate the unexplored corners of our shared human experience.

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