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Le Tombeau de Couperin #1471296
07/09/10 03:17 PM
07/09/10 03:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 794
Toronto
jnod Offline OP
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I've been fiddling around with this piece - trying to learn the first two pages of the Prelude. Making some progress, at least as long as I play slow (as in Moderato). Then I downloaded the Louis Lortie recording and was flabbergasted at the correct pace - I guess Maurice was serious when he wrote 'vif'.

Anyway, it's an extraordinary piece. I will probably continue to try and limp through it if only to try and experience its brilliance directly. What I find amazing about it is that each piece is dedicated to a friend (in one case to two brothers) who died in WW I. It's amazing because the music itself is the antithesis of death or even mourning. So full of life and vitality. What a stunning tribute. Truly wonderful.

Anyway, that's all - it's too hard for me but I love it. Oh, and my footer is out of date....


Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780
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Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: jnod] #1471356
07/09/10 05:14 PM
07/09/10 05:14 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 21,659
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Originally Posted by jnod
[...]Oh, and my footer is out of date....


New shoes, perhaps? smile


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: BruceD] #1471377
07/09/10 06:04 PM
07/09/10 06:04 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 6,814
Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Orange Soda King Offline
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I love this piece! I've played 4 of the 6 movements (haven't done Prelude or Fugue yet). If you think the Prelude is too much, try the Menuet or the Forlane. smile

Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: Orange Soda King] #1471513
07/09/10 11:58 PM
07/09/10 11:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
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Arghhh Offline
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Louis Lortie has my absolute favorite recording of the Prelude. You should listen to Francois-Joel Thiollier play it, he plays it 30 seconds faster than Lortie. Or maybe not - I feel his tempo ruined the pleasant effect of the piece. When I first started learning the prelude I found out that the most of the movements in Le Tombeau were at least sketched out before WWI, so the dedication came after the much of the composition work was already done.

Oh, and my footer is out of date too!


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: Arghhh] #1471581
07/10/10 05:37 AM
07/10/10 05:37 AM
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wr Offline
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Trying to figure out good fingerings for the Prelude is difficult for me. It's like there are spots where the only choices are bad ones. Makes me crazy, although I love the music.

Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: wr] #1471594
07/10/10 07:06 AM
07/10/10 07:06 AM
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Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
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David Smith has an unbelievable LIVE recording of the Toccata. It is very fast, very clean, very precise, very even, and still has amazing dynamic contrast! Too bad the sound quality isn't great. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hrOrFUO-QQ

Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: Orange Soda King] #1471611
07/10/10 08:17 AM
07/10/10 08:17 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,052
New York City
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Anyone else think the Fugue from Le Tombeau has far less appeal than any of the other movements?

Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: pianoloverus] #1471662
07/10/10 11:17 AM
07/10/10 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Anyone else think the Fugue from Le Tombeau has far less appeal than any of the other movements?


Hahaha! Sadly, it does. Its appeal is more academic. Compared to other fugues (such as Bach fugues), I like it a lot, but compared to the other movements of Tombeau de Couperin, the others overshadow it.

Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: Orange Soda King] #1471711
07/10/10 12:47 PM
07/10/10 12:47 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 794
Toronto
jnod Offline OP
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Interesting - I'll look at some other movements. I think I've been struggling with too strict and interpretation of the time. As I listen to the Lortie recording it seems that the right and left hand are really acting independently of each other - they stay in time but there's room for them to diverge. Getting those triplet/eigth note passages sorted out is easier if you think of them as separate, complementary lines. No idea whether this is correct or not - just trying to stay afloat!


Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780
Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: jnod] #1471746
07/10/10 02:02 PM
07/10/10 02:02 PM
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Northeast Pennsylvania
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moscheles001 Offline
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Ravel apparently didn't think much of it, either, since he left it out of the orchestral version.

I like it, though.

Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: moscheles001] #1471768
07/10/10 02:52 PM
07/10/10 02:52 PM
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New York City
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Originally Posted by moscheles001
Ravel apparently didn't think much of it, either, since he left it out of the orchestral version.
Or maybe he just thought it wouldn't work well for orchestra. After all, he didn't transcribe the Toccata either, and most would consider that a masterpiece.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 07/10/10 05:01 PM.
Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: pianoloverus] #1471879
07/10/10 04:50 PM
07/10/10 04:50 PM
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Northeast Pennsylvania
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moscheles001 Offline
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You're right; I'd forgotten about the Toccata. That's probably why they're both missing.

Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: moscheles001] #1472142
07/11/10 03:31 AM
07/11/10 03:31 AM
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wr Offline
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Originally Posted by moscheles001


I like it, though.


Yeah, me too. It has sort of an ugly duckling reputation, I guess, but maybe that is partly because we aren't used to fugues in Ravel.

Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: jnod] #1953689
09/04/12 05:20 AM
09/04/12 05:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
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redrobin62 Offline
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I'd love to find out, psychologically, why Le Tombeau just hits the right nerve with me. The recording I have is by Jean-Yves Thibaudet. I can't compare it to many others as it's part of the only complete works for solo piano of Ravel that I have. Still, it transports me. I suppose that's all that matters.


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Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: wr] #1953776
09/04/12 10:51 AM
09/04/12 10:51 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 551
New York
didyougethathing Offline
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Originally Posted by wr
Originally Posted by moscheles001


I like it, though.


Yeah, me too. It has sort of an ugly duckling reputation, I guess, but maybe that is partly because we aren't used to fugues in Ravel.


The fugue does have some really nice moments, but I think it is the weakest of the entries in the suite.

I've played through the Prelude and the Forlane (my two favorites). The Forlane is on the easier side, but still somewhat difficult because it has annoying placements of notes. Some of the figurations are tough to get to, especially at the somewhat swift tempo.

The Prelude is extremely difficult for me, not only because of the tempo but also because of the way the notes are placed in the "perpetual motion" parts. There's a lot of doubling back and it makes it a real finger twister.

I've said before that I adore Ravel's music, and I actually prefer Tombeau over Miroirs. It seems to me that aside from Gaspard, Miroirs is the work that gets the most accolades, but I find the conciseness and quality of writing in Tombeau more appealing.


Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: jnod] #1953777
09/04/12 10:54 AM
09/04/12 10:54 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,194
Canada
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Kuanpiano Offline
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Canada
Huh...that's weird. I always found that the prelude was easy because it's quite slow. I worked on it for a few days, and shelved it for a while because I had to finish up some other pieces. The Toccata and Rigaudon look like they'll be very difficult. (I've worked on most of the Toccata, and it's been a struggle...)


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: Kuanpiano] #1953779
09/04/12 10:59 AM
09/04/12 10:59 AM
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Posts: 551
New York
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Originally Posted by Kuanpiano
Huh...that's weird. I always found that the prelude was easy because it's quite slow. I worked on it for a few days, and shelved it for a while because I had to finish up some other pieces. The Toccata and Rigaudon look like they'll be very difficult. (I've worked on most of the Toccata, and it's been a struggle...)


Yeah, the Prelude was just a muscle memory issue for me, I really had to drill it.

The Toccata is an absolute monster of a piece. The difficulty starts immediately with those ridiculous right hand chords (I think it's an E-9 to an F#-7). I've never gotten far in my attempts, and it also seems like I would need a better piano to practice it properly.

Last edited by didyougethathing; 09/04/12 11:00 AM.
Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: redrobin62] #1953781
09/04/12 11:10 AM
09/04/12 11:10 AM
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Tim Adrianson Offline
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The "Le Tombeau de Couperin" and the "Valses Nobles et Sentimentales" are for me Ravel's two best solo piano works. I think the Fugue works very well within the context of the entire suite; and, since Ravel's concept appears to have been that of a suite, I think it's a tad unfair to "grade" the Fugue independently of that context. I never learned the suite completely because of the brutal demands of the Toccata -- which, as an independent piece, is IMO THE finest solo piano toccata ever written -- but, here again, it works far better in the context of the suite: a magnificent culminating statement.

Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: jnod] #1953782
09/04/12 11:13 AM
09/04/12 11:13 AM
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Posts: 2,194
Canada
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Kuanpiano Offline
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Yep, the toccata is a nightmare. The first two pages are really difficult, and if you get tension building there, you're sorta screwed for the rest of the piece!



Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

Re: Le Tombeau de Couperin [Re: Tim Adrianson] #1953831
09/04/12 01:25 PM
09/04/12 01:25 PM
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New York
didyougethathing Offline
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Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
The "Le Tombeau de Couperin" and the "Valses Nobles et Sentimentales" are for me Ravel's two best solo piano works. I think the Fugue works very well within the context of the entire suite; and, since Ravel's concept appears to have been that of a suite, I think it's a tad unfair to "grade" the Fugue independently of that context. I never learned the suite completely because of the brutal demands of the Toccata -- which, as an independent piece, is IMO THE finest solo piano toccata ever written -- but, here again, it works far better in the context of the suite: a magnificent culminating statement.


You're absolutely right, within the context of the suite, it really falls in nicely. Since I'm no concert pianist though, it would probably be lower on the list of pieces from the suite that I would enjoy learning.

The Toccata is a tour de force that is a breathtaking end to a wonderful suite, like you said, works best when played whole.

As much as I love Ravel, and as much as I've heard it, I can't quite get into the Valses. I know I just need more time with it, because I really do appreciate the craftsmanship of the work as a whole, I just feel like it's an acquired taste for me. Call me crazy, but out of his major piano works I've always felt that the Valses and Miroirs are the least accessible musically.

However, I always find myself returning to the Valses to find something new to like, and usually do.


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