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#1339895 - 01/03/10 02:00 PM Clair de Lune - Debussy  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
phphantomz101 Offline
Junior Member
phphantomz101  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
Hi all,

Awhile back, I decided to record one of my takes of Clair de Lune since I had access to one of the better pianos that day. The sound quality might be a little iffy because I recorded it on a digital camera, but I'd like still like share it with you all regardless. All comments are appreciated!

Clair de Lune (it's best to listen in HQ)

- phphantomz101

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#1339997 - 01/03/10 04:26 PM Re: Clair de Lune - Debussy [Re: phphantomz101]  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 20,964
BruceD Offline
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BruceD  Offline

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Joined: May 2001
Posts: 20,964
Victoria, BC
I didn't realize I was going to go on at such length pointing out details; I hope you will profit from them - at least the objective ones. You can certainly differ, of course, about the more subjective comments.

I noticed that several times you don't observe the correct timing for the 'duplets' in this piece; you too often rush through them.

Measure 8 : the last duplet is played too quickly, thus shortening the length of that measure.

Measure 13 : the same thing on the duplets in this measure; they are played too quickly.

Measure 17, 22 : Bring out the top line a little more.

Measure 25, 26 : Is there a reason that you play the broken chord differently from what is marked in the score? You play them as if each one was a single broken chord from bottom to top, yet in the score they are marked as broken in each hand which suggests that each hand should start its chord together with the other hand. It seems to me that, in contrast to the others, the last broken chord of measure 26 is too slow. Yes, it can be slower than the others, but that slow?

Measure 30 : Again, the duplet (beats 7, 8, and 9) are much too fast. Try practicing this slowly, keeping the left hand steady, and you'll see how much faster you are playing these last three beats.

All the way through this section, measures 27 through 36, I believe you need not only to bring out the top line much more but also to subdue the left hand considerably. The melody line needs to "sing" and I'm hearing too much of the left hand at the expense of the right. This section starts pp, and at measure 32 is still only p; the real cresc. isn't marked until measure 35. While it is un poco piu mosso, it's only un poco - a little bit - faster.

Measure 39 : I think it would be much more effective if you took a bit of a rit. at the end of this measure, give those F-sharp octaves something to say, rather than just quickly glossing over them.

Measure 41 : Similarly, an agogic accent on the first RH chord of measure 41 would help, and let the tempo relax a little; I feel you are rushing through this measure, arguably the climax of the piece; it should feel like the climax. Once again, keep the LH steady so that the RH duplet falls into place against the left and is not rushed.

Measure 43 : Calmato and pp. You need to make a very distinct dim. in measure 42 so that measure 43 really does come across as marked pianissimo and calm.

Measure 42 and following : I know I'm repeating myself, but I feel, once again, that I need to hear more top of the right hand and less left hand. Let the left hand just "murmur" gently in the background so that you can maintain the calm pianissimo Debussy asks for.

Measure 47, 48 : Bring out the "dialogue" between the bass melody line in the left hand and the soprano melody line in the right, and let the inner sixteenths barely "murmur".

Measures 51-57, but particularly 53, 54, 55, 56 : bring out the descending bass line (as it is marked) F, E-flat, D-flat, C as a counter-melody to the right hand.

Measure 58 : timing of the duplet in the left hand.

Measures 66 to end : pp morendo jusqu'à la fin. Very softly and dying away to the end. Don't rush this; really take your time - but in a measured way - as both the volume and tempo die away.

You certainly have no trouble with the notes of this lovely piece, but I think your performance would be improved if you relaxed a little more, particularly the middle section. Even though the middle section is faster and builds to a climax, within the context of the entire piece it should not sound rushed, harried, or intense, in my view.

You are well on your way, I think, to playing this quite well. While you needn't agree with my comments, I hope that some of them will seem pertinent and will help you give a more polished performance.

Thank you for sharing.


- - - - -
Estonia 190
#1339999 - 01/03/10 04:29 PM Re: Clair de Lune - Debussy [Re: BruceD]  
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 21,703
Mark_C Online content
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Mark_C  Online Content
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Great post, Bruce -- IMO that kind of feedback is this site at its best.

#1344357 - 01/08/10 10:41 PM Re: Clair de Lune - Debussy [Re: Mark_C]  
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 254
HappyApple Offline
Full Member
HappyApple  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 254
Tennessee, USA
Very pretty! And I'm sure whatever was suggested in earlier post will be no problem for you. I wish I could play half as well as you.

PS I love 'the lune tune'! blush

Last edited by HappyApple; 01/08/10 10:41 PM.

“Some people stay far away from the door if there’s a chance of it opening up. They hear a voice in the hall outside and hope that it just passes by.” Billy Joel

1970 Baldwin Hamilton
#1344633 - 01/09/10 10:24 AM Re: Clair de Lune - Debussy [Re: BruceD]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
phphantomz101 Offline
Junior Member
phphantomz101  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
Wow, I certainly wasn't expecting to garner a response that in depth but I'll definitely be able to use much of what you've observed.;I agree with many of your observations, especially the about the duples throughout the piece and the sequence in measure 41 (those are two of main things i've been working to iron out/improve as well as the voicing overall). Originally, before I started working on this with my teacher, I had been playing the chords in measures 25 and 26 as one, instead of as a single broken chord from bottom to top. However, after I had brought this to him, I noticed that whenever he played that particular section that he played them as such so I decided to do so as well (maybe it's a stylistic thing?). And of course, one thing that any musician, amateur or professional, needs to learn is how to relax. As I said before, I'll be able to use much of your observations, and it will most certainly help me maximize this piece.

Thanks for your time (and ears).

- phphantomz101

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