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Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room #2744540
06/14/18 09:49 PM
06/14/18 09:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,641
Georgia, USA
Sam S Offline OP

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Sam S  Offline OP

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Please make all your comments for the Debussy Recital in this thread.

View and listen to the performances here.

If you listen, please leave a comment, even if it is just a simple thank you!

Enjoy!

Sam

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2744736
06/15/18 06:15 PM
06/15/18 06:15 PM
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Georgia, USA
Sam S Offline OP

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Such a wonderful recital. Thanks everyone for participating. Debussy wrote some of the most original, challenging, and moving pieces for the piano, and many of my favorites are here.

01. SMA55 (Shepherd) - Arabesque 1 So smooth and flowing! Just the right amount of give and take on the tempo. Excellent!

02. FrankieC - Reverie Well worth hearing agin - loved it!

03. Tim Adrianson - Masques I always think of something like a Morris Dance when I hear this, with fantastic costumes and a bonfire - I have no idea if that's what Debussy had in mind. Excellent as always!

04. Tim Adrianson - Berceuse Heroique I have never even heard of this piece - thanks for contributing it. Loved the silence before the "anthem". Wonderful!

05. Tim Adrianson - La Cathedrale Engloutie I think this is one of Debussy's masterpieces - its so well constructed, I tried playing it myself once, but I wasn't ready (will I ever be?). I think my version was probably slower than your magnificent performance!

06. Jouishy - The little shepherd Loved hearing it again! I didn't realize before that you have only been playing for a little over two years - outstanding!

07. cmb13 - Craig - La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin I love this piece - thanks so much for playing it! Wonderful job. As far as recording - uprights are tough - the sound comes off the back, and that is facing the wall. I would try moving the mic closer and on the treble side. But the room affects the sound as well.

09. Piano*Dad - La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin Loved it, especially the movement - you were always moving forward. Thanks for contributing!

10. dynamibt/Marilyn - Reverie Thanks Marilyn - always good to hear your piano, which is even older than mine! Loved the way you always brought out the melody line, even when there were thick chords and other things going on.

11. Tim Adrianson - Cloches a Travers les Feuilles Another outstanding performance! I can definitely hear the rustling leaves and the tolling bells.

12. Tim Adrianson - Et la Lune Descend sur le Temple qui Fut Your playing perfectly matches your description of the piece. How do you keep so many pieces performance ready?

13. Tim Adrianson - "Les Fees Sont d'Exquises Danseuses" I have learned to recognize one of you recordings by the sound of you feet walking across the floor before you start! And by your wonderfully evocative playing, of course! Loved the dancing fairies!

14. dynamobt/Marilyn - Arabesque I Thanks Marilyn! A Reverie and an Arabesque. So very clear and bright - I can see a dancer turning and turning. Just lovely!

15. GoldmanT - Danseuses de Delph Very well done - wonderful control of the dynamics!

16. gingko2 - The Little Shepherd So glad you decided to participate. Seems like its coming back to you very well. Loved it!

17. GoldmanT - Canope Very interesting - and mysterious. Yes, I can see unexpected visions looming out of the firelight of a torch in a cave.

18. GoldmanT - Minstrels I always hear a broken down marionette in this piece. Loved it!

19. GoldmanT - Voiles Yes, I like the "sails" translation too, at least that's what I think of. And I can "see" them in your playing too. Outstanding!

20. timmyab - Clair de Lune I was hoping we would get a Clair de Lune. Yes, the counting is one f the problems to be overcome - but you did a wonderful job! Thanks!

21. Palmpirate - Debussy Bergamasque Suite Prelude No worries, you are among friends! Loved the opening with the big chords. Your pedal sounded great, not muddled, with clear rests that are so important. Wonderful transitions too, as the mood changes slightly. Loved it!

22. Ael M. (aelmabalod) - Arabesque no. 1 With all those obstacles to overcome, I'm glad you were able to get such a wonderful recording. Loved it!

Thanks again!
Sam

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2744793
06/16/18 03:41 AM
06/16/18 03:41 AM
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I've only had time to skim through some of the submissions but I will get to a detailed commentary on it. Lots of pieces I'd never heard before. smile

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2744866
06/16/18 11:28 AM
06/16/18 11:28 AM
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Hi, folks! Thanks to all for what IMO was really quite a high quality recital. It was very instructive for me to hear different takes on the same pieces -- hope you felt similarly. Here are my comments:

SMA55 -- Great way to start off, boy! A very expressive performance with good attention to all "the details". My one observation (and this is strictly artistic preference) is that I would like a little more contrast in "feel" between the "A" and "B" sections. For my taste, I think you nailed it in "B", but I'd be looking for a little lighter, more free-flowing character in "A". But very solid; very beautiful.

FrankieC -- This is one I think you really nailed! In spite of the title, I don't hear dreaminess and introspection so much as a full-blooded, unabashed Romantic element, very reminiscent of early Faure. REALLY good rendition throughout, IMO.

Jouishy -- Throughout, you projected your ideas about the piece very well; I could feel the really rather sad, poignant story unfolding in three short segments and the finishing statement. For me, this is a little masterpiece in understatement.

cmb13/Craig -- For me, the best thing about this performance were the "soft hands" -- I do believe Debussy prized this quality in general, and particularly in this piece. And, like Jouishy, you projected your ideas about the piece very effectively. For my taste, it does need more movement and adherence to the rhythmic directives, although I realize this piece is still a "work in progress" for you.

SamS -- I agree, this piece is for me one of Debussy's most successful efforts at marrying the descriptive element with its emotional implications -- in this case, unremittingly bleak, sad, and quite harsh. I think your reading is at times somewhat too literal, but it is I think overall effective in projecting the sense of foreboding and harsh reality.

Piano*Dad -- The aspect I liked most about your performance was the overall pace -- I, too, think we're dealing with a rather lithe, athletic Scottish lassie, in some gorgeous landscape. Debussy liked it so much, he reprised it in "Bruyeres".

dynamobt/Marilyn -- Two very solid renditions of the Reverie and Arabesque #1. In the Reverie, I especially liked your L.H. in section "B", exhibiting the melody in high relief. You don't often hear that, and it was very successful. In the Arabesque, I especially liked the clear polyrhythmic lines in the "A" section, and the attention to making us hear the harmonic changes unfolding.

T Goldman -- Overall, let me commend you on some very sensitive, astute renditions of the various Preludes -- wonderful to listen to! In Voiles, I learned a few new things I had misread, much to my blushing surprise. For me, the biggest "surprise" was the pace of Minstrels -- generally, I've heard that taken quite a bit faster, but somehow your rendition was convincing on its own terms. I believe I'll still stick to my own tempo, but that was genuinely instructive. And incidentally, I've always related to Voiles as "Sails", not "Veils" -- I always pictured in my mind's eye some JMW Turner seascape of sailboats reacting to the light breeze, and in the middle, a sudden gust. And, yes, Canope is for me like a Haiku poem -- cryptic, short -- events and moods, sometimes dark, left predominantly to implication.

Gingko -- Here's another one that I think you just nailed, in all ways! Just wouldn't change a thing about this rendition (well, OK, fix a note or two). Really convincing!

timmyab -- On this most famous of pieces, I don't have much to suggest for improvement -- it really is a solid, sensitive rendition -- NOT overly Romantic in its gestures.

Palmpirate -- Overall, I find your perspective of the Suite Bergamasque Prelude appropriate, but I would dial back the intensity of the opening declamation and its subsequent re-statements towards the end. I find these sections more celebratory and joyous rather than imperious, and I think it's fits Debussy's overall perspective more closely.

Ael M (aelmalalod) -- Thanks for providing this performance under some duress! This is really quite an effective, solid performance of the Arabesque -- fortunately, you have a number of other effective performances with which to compare your own.

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2744871
06/16/18 12:13 PM
06/16/18 12:13 PM
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Great recital everyone! My applause to you!

I haven't participated myself, but I listened to all submissions. Thank you all for playing for me! smile

I've found, once again, that my relationship with Debussy is so-so. Some pieces speak to me more, others not so much. Some I find beautiful, others I don't really enjoy. But that's between the composer and me (and my personal taste) and has nothing to do with the performances in this recital. I found the quality of playing excellent!

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Tim Adrianson] #2744902
06/16/18 02:28 PM
06/16/18 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson

T Goldman -- Overall, let me commend you on some very sensitive, astute renditions of the various Preludes -- wonderful to listen to! In Voiles, I learned a few new things I had misread, much to my blushing surprise. For me, the biggest "surprise" was the pace of Minstrels -- generally, I've heard that taken quite a bit faster, but somehow your rendition was convincing on its own terms. I believe I'll still stick to my own tempo, but that was genuinely instructive. And incidentally, I've always related to Voiles as "Sails", not "Veils" -- I always pictured in my mind's eye some JMW Turner seascape of sailboats reacting to the light breeze, and in the middle, a sudden gust. And, yes, Canope is for me like a Haiku poem -- cryptic, short -- events and moods, sometimes dark, left predominantly to implication.


Thank you for the nice comments. I've approached the preludes having never listened to them, so this is all direct interpretation of the sheet music, an interesting exercise in itself! So I would be curious which parts of Voiles you had a second look at as that's the one I studied the most, particularly with regard to pedalling.

I did listen to Minstrels after I'd recorded it and was surprised how fast it was played, some of them sounded way too frantic compared to what I saw in the sheets, it felt like it needed to groove in parts.

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2744987
06/16/18 08:57 PM
06/16/18 08:57 PM
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It was interesting to hear such interpretations and it makes me braver in my thinking about recording. It is for our pleasure - not to be submitted to Sony afterall.! Now that I realize the work involved I am humbled by the work you all do.


01. SMA55 (Shepherd) - Arabesque 1
14. dynamobt/Marilyn - Arabesque I
22. Ael M. (aelmabalod) - Arabesque no. 1

So lovely to hear this piece again. I haven’t thought of it since I was Ael M’s age!

02. FrankieC - Reverie
10. dynamibt/Marilyn - Reverie

A long time favorite and one I must try myself. Loved the bell like sounds in FrankC’s recording!


06. Jouishy - The little shepherd
16. gingko2 - The Little Shepherd

This is a dear little piece and one I enjoy playing to myself in the middle of the night. It was one of the first Debussy’s I did when I returned to playing after about a 25 yr gap and was such a challenge! Debussy is still a challenge and always will be. I find I am quite picky about which pieces I like of his - so very varied in mood and complexity. It was a joy to listen to you.

07. cmb13 - Craig - La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin
09. Piano*Dad - La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin

Always a delight. Just who is she? Never the same vision anytime I listen! Another I must brush up and record myself. Thank you both.

08.SamS Footsteps in the Snow

Your description of your personal experiences of walking through the snow certainly fits the piece and how you played it - full of bleakness. I hate the freezing cold and the idea of hiking over icy terrain certainly fills me with forboding. Neat rendition!


20. timmyab - Clair de Lune

I quite get that you have achieved something amazing after only 6 months with this. It is another that I must resurrect. It is so very beautiful!


Tim Adrianson - Thank you for all your pieces. I hear that you must enjoy playing Debussy! I am humbled at your mastery and loved listening

03. Tim Adrianson - Masques
I imagine clowns dancing around and playing hide and seek.
04. Tim Adrianson - Berceuse Heroique
Hardly a piece to cheer up the troops. I imagine a long tedious march with the soldiers hunched over carrying big back packs staring down at their boot tramping along in the mud at night - how much darker can it get!
05. Tim Adrianson - La Cathedrale Engloutie
This makes me think of bells tolling in the deep and sun ray’s sparkling through the waters.
11. Tim Adrianson - Cloches a Travers les Feuilles
Such a complicated piece to play - but so ‘impressionistic’ - for sure there are bells, and leaves blowing around everywhere!
12. Tim Adrianson - Et la Lune Descend sur le Temple qui Fut
I hear a very etherial element and there are bells there. I can imagine this preluding meditation.
13. Tim Adrianson - "Les Fees Sont d'Exquises Danseuses"
I imagine the fairy flying around on gossamer wings and there is almost a jazzy element!



GoldmanT - Thank you also for your amazing contribution. I am humbled again by your mastery and feel the joy that you share in your playing

15. GoldmanT - Danseuses de Delph
17. GoldmanT - Canope
I am mystified as to what is being portrayed here. - A Canope is an Egyptian embalming vase is it not? but I get your imagery of archeologist in a dark cave somewhere!
18. GoldmanT - Minstrels
this is a fun bouncy piece and makes me think of Mardi Gras down in New Orleans!
19. GoldmanT - Voiles
Again I like your imagery and could quite be sitting in a little boat bobbing around tied to a buoy with the sails loose just flapping around in the breeze - while I am rocked by the gentle waves and perhaps take a nap!

Thank you everyone for a delightful playlist. Debussy has a lot to offer a pianist on many levels.
My experience in making any useful practical critiquing is non-existent so I hope you don’t mind my casting a few personal takes on what you have played. I enjoyed it all immensely and I am inspired to resurrect some old favourites and perhaps take on a new challenge!


[Linked Image]
2018 ambitiously working on - Debussy, Les Collines d'Annacapri and other stuff just for fun!

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2745038
06/17/18 06:02 AM
06/17/18 06:02 AM
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I’ll post up what I’ve worked through so far, will go through the rest in the next day or so. And I’ll critique my own performances as well, just to keep it balanced. wink

01. SMA55 (Shepherd) - Arabesque 1

This was the piece of music my wife walked up the aisle to, although it was a very short aisle so we only got about the first 20 seconds or so. smile

You took it at a very nice pace, I thought, not rushed but not slow, and you had control over the rubato, it flowed very well and I never lost the pulse. The recording quality obviously isn’t pristine but the dynamics come across very well. And the ending repeat ‘felt’ different to the first time around, the old ‘return to where you started from but to know it for the first time’. You can come and play this next time I get married. smile

02. FrankieC - Reverie

I’ve heard the title Reverie bandied around a lot, seems to be the ‘go to’ piece for a lot of people wanting to play some Debussy, but I’d never heard it before. It’s quite an evocative piece so I can see why people go for it, maybe hinting more back to the Romantic period than what was to come later in the 20th century. I enjoyed this performance, and again the dynamic range of the acoustic piano comes across in the recording. Not that I’m looking to, but I can’t pick any holes in the performance, well done and thank you.

03. Tim Adrianson - Masques

I’m not that enamoured with this piece so don’t have a lot of comment, but do further on for your other pieces so don’t feel left out. smile I did think that some of the rhythms could be ‘rocked up’ a bit more, made more even in both rhythm and tone, as that seems to be what much of the piece is built on. I found the quieter parts near the end much more effective, in both performance and composition. I’ve never heard other performances or seen the sheets though so don’t know how it was intended.

04. Tim Adrianson - Berceuse Heroique

A berceuse is a lullaby, I believe, and yes this is very dark sounding, quite a few dissonant/minor 2nd intervals in there I think, occasionally approaching a Berg/Schoenberg sound at times. You paced it very well I think, in tempo and dynamics, evoking the contrasts is often the key to getting the most out of music.

05. Tim Adrianson - La Cathedrale Engloutie

I would love to listen to this performance but as I said before I’m working through the preludes having never listened to them and this piece is next on my list so I don’t want to spoil it. smile Looking forward to playing the big chords, if not necessarily looking forward to reading them!

06. Jouishy - The little shepherd

This piece reminds me of Mikrokosmos, probably the tonality at the beginning and the sparseness of the notes – I wonder if that’s why you’re not so keen on it? It moves into more Debussy-esque territory when the chords kick in; it also sounds very high pitched and thin (even though it seems like you were playing on an awesome piano!) so I wonder how it would sound taken down an octave. I think you did a good job with limited material, the composition never quite seemed to get going.

07. cmb13 - Craig - La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin

This is a delicious composition, I can see why people love it and so many people want to play it, so many resonances and sonorities, and you control the pedalling very well. I prefer a little less rubato (I’m not a big fan of Romantic music where rubato is rife) but I think that’s just because that’s how I hear the piece – but it’s almost built to be able to slow and pause anywhere and you never let the ball drop. Thank you!

08. Sam S - Des pas sur la neige (Footprints in the Snow)

This was one of the first preludes I learned, and slow and soft is the way to go, which you capture well. I still got the beauty of the piano tone but I guess I don’t know what your piano sounds like in person! Again, I like a more even beat with this piece, evoking the trudging footsteps, but that’s just an interpretation thing. There were a couple of parts around the 3 minute mark where I felt you paused too much between notes and lost the pulse slightly though, I couldn’t anticipate when the next note was coming. You take the dynamics very well though, there’s enough of a dynamic range to keep it breathing while staying in Debussy’s (very restricted!) range of p to ppp (and even then the ppp is just for one chord at the end!).

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2745039
06/17/18 06:20 AM
06/17/18 06:20 AM
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I thought it would be fun to list these compositions in date order, to see how Debussy's writing developed through his life, so:

1890 Reverie
1891 Arabesque #1
1904 Masques
1905 Clair de Lune (with material dating from 1890)
1905 Suite Bergamsasque Prelude (with material dating from 1890)
1907 Cloches a Travers les Feuilles
1907 Et la Lune Descend sur le Temple qui Fut
1908 The Little Shepherd
1910 La Cathedrale Engloutie
1910 Des Pas Sur La Neige
1910 La Fille Aux Cheveux Lin
1910 Danseuses de Delphes
1910 Voiles
1910 Minstrels
1913 "Les Fees Sont d'Exquises Danseuses"
1913 Canope
1914 Berceuse Heroique

Incidentally, Clair de Lune was apparently inspired by a poem, the original and translation can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clair_de_Lune_(poem)

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2745131
06/17/18 04:37 PM
06/17/18 04:37 PM
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09. Piano*Dad - La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin

A great sounding piano, and always interesting to compare two versions of the same piece – immediately I hear less pedal and more pace. I’ve read that to begin with one should learn Debussy with strict note timings, and only once that’s understood start playing with pauses and rubato, and that’s what I hear on this performance. It carries me along toward the end, has a constant but gentle drive to it. It’s too easy to elongate pauses and rush half/whole notes, but what you’ve done here is to respect the score whilst obviously putting your own stamp on it. I’m glad I got to hear this. smile [edit – and to see the video, it was great to see you still paying so much attention to the score, it really comes across in the music. One of my favourite performances of any piece for a while!]

10. dynamibt/Marilyn - Reverie

This sounds like a well-considered interpretation of this piece, very steady at the beginning, not too fast or slow. Lots of clarity too. There’s a saying about acting, ‘step up to your mark, look the other guy in the eye and tell the truth’, and that’s kind of what you did here – no histrionics or melodrama, just a solid interpretation of what was written on the page. smile

11. Tim Adrianson - Cloches a Travers les Feuilles (to do)

Okay so I had to listen to this three times to make sure, but this is the standout composition and performance out of all of them, for me. Sounds like some whole tone stuff at the beginning moving into more tonal keys. The balance between the slow melody and quick accompaniment is well done, and the pacing sounds perfect to me. It’s obviously very pianistic, lots of quick notes, but the textures are almost orchestral, like Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe (I don’t have a broad set of references for classical music!). I think my favourite part of Debussy is the little pianissimo textures with bell-like sounds, often octaves or little ‘bird calls’ high up the keyboard. And it ends perfectly. Think I’ll be approaching this piece at some point next year!

12. Tim Adrianson - Et la Lune Descend sur le Temple qui Fut

This sounds like a calmer partner to the previous piece. Some dissonant intervals in there again, apparently Debussy used major 2nds quite often to evoke bells, there is a bit of that In Danseuses de Delphes, and I hear some minor 2nds in there too, I wonder if you had to be careful how you voiced these? The pacing again is spot on, I didn’t even think of rubato or anything the first time I listened, it all just seems to be how it is ‘supposed’ to sound.

13. Tim Adrianson - "Les Fees Sont d'Exquises Danseuses"

Again I’ll soon be coming to this piece blind (or should that be deaf?) so I’m holding back from listening to it just now. I’m sure it’s great though. smile

14. dynamobt/Marilyn - Arabesque I

This sounds like it would sound if I played it, if that makes sense, the tempo and rubato seems to match what I have in my head. I love the woody sound of the piano too – I know that room and microphone placement can make a huge difference but if I could get my digital to sound like this I would be very happy!

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2745171
06/17/18 08:59 PM
06/17/18 08:59 PM
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Thank you, Sam, Tim, and Palmpirate for your comments. Tim, I really appreciate it... I hardly ever get any play-through without a wrong note somewhere. For me it all about not losing it because I made a mistake.

I'm really looking forward to listening to the whole recital--company all weekend.


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Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: GoldmanT] #2745380
06/18/18 04:28 PM
06/18/18 04:28 PM
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T Goldman, thanks for providing the chronological list of piano works played here! IMO, there are two distinct phases in his solo piano portfolio -- that before 1900, and that after 1900 (As you indicate, Suite Bergamasque was published in 1905, but in fact was largely composed in 1890). The pieces before 1900 tend to be late-Romantic Salon music -- very attractive, but in no way ground-breaking. If Debussy had only written these, I doubt that he'd be much remembered today. But in his 30s, he began to develop an entire new French aesthetic, embodied in Afternoon of a Faun and the opera Pelleas and Melisande -- and in those major pursuits began to develop a unique harmonic vocabulary coupled with a highly aristocratic sense of music's descriptive power in specific imagery. The first post-1900 solo piano works exhibiting these features were Pour le Piano, Estampes, and the first book of Images -- not covered here -- and continued through the 2nd book of Images, two books of Preludes, and Children's Corner, which is generously represented. I would argue that there was a third phase, represented by the 1915 Etudes, in which Debussy returned to abstract music, but one which contained extensive experiments in both form and harmonic movement. Unfortunately, the combination of WWI and stomach cancer cut that phase very short indeed.

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2745603
06/19/18 11:32 AM
06/19/18 11:32 AM
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Thanks for the comments, Sam, Tim and TGoldman. Unfortunately I have been traveling and have not had a chance to listen to the recital yet. I can't wait to sit and listen when I can.

It does seem like the traffic is light here, though, and I wonder if the recital is lost in the subforum. I also that the contributions were few and the number of contributors fewer. I think that must be because Debussy is fairly inaccessible to beginners; the one piece I attempted was one of his 'easier' pieces, and it took me quite a while to bring it to an acceptable level. I'm glad I did though.


Boston 118 PE

Working On
Debussy - La fille aux cheveux de lin
Bach - Adagio 974
Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2745820
06/20/18 10:31 AM
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A lovely morning's listening, well done everyone!
I agree cmb13, not a very accessible recital for the ABF. I didn't participate, because if I had it would have been just one more version of Arabesque no1 (but slower, more uneven and more error-prone that those actually submitted smile ha)

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: cmb13] #2745852
06/20/18 12:50 PM
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Hi, cmb13! I, too, find it at least curious about the recent appearance of the Themed Recital SubForum -- was there a problem with the volume of response in the main section that required this special segregation as a "solution"? If we're having a special Sub-Forum section, why not put the Quarterly Recitals in there as well -- just makes more sense to me. However, I doubt that this has much to do with the light participation -- I recall in 2011, the 150th anniversary of Debussy's birth, there really wasn't much in the way of special events celebrating his musical legacy, in the same way that Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Bach, Handel, etc, tend to be celebrated. And Debussy's solo piano music tends to be not as much on the radar screen as well. For me, it's a pity, because I personally regard his influence on 20th Century music as quietly immense -- I'd put him in the same league as the composers I mentioned above. That, and I would agree that he wrote no beginner stuff -- even pieces that are technically accessible require a fair level of musical sophistication to provide a convincing rendition.

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2745856
06/20/18 01:03 PM
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He didn't write books of beginner music, but early students often play Le Petit Negre before they get to stuff like Mozart's K545. And Golliwog is another piece that is accessible, and very appealing to students because of its playfulness and fun rhythm.

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2745858
06/20/18 01:14 PM
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I don't know why the sub-forum was created. There was no public discussion about it, as far as I know. I can only guess that there were complaints that the themed recitals were taking up too much space in the ABF. I agree that the quarterly recitals should have been moved as well.

Back on topic, I think Debussy was the most original composer of his generation. Its hard for us to realize how different his music was, since we are so familiar with it, and with his imitators.

As far as participation in this recital, I did not have high expectations. Thanks to Tim's multiple performances, I think we had a very respectable recital.

Sam

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2745951
06/20/18 10:29 PM
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From what I've read, this sub-forum was created for the exact contrary! The themed-recital thread got so far in the list that new people coming by would not see it, because there is not much interventions in it in the months before, but you have to know, in those months, that the recital is coming to prepare for it. In a sub-forum, it is easier to keep track of what recitals are coming. It is true though that we should bring the quarterly recitals here as well, I think, so people would see all recitals coming when seeking for the quarterly.

As for the Debussy's recital, I think it is very normal that there is not much participation since, as people said, Debussy hasn't write easy piano music.
Some talked about the Golliwog cakewalk and the little niggar. These are not too difficult, but there are not easy either. In the exams I'm taking, the little niggar is level 6, the little shepherd is level 7 and the golliwog cakewalk is level 8. And it doesn't give much choices to beginners.

-

I would like to thanks all the kind comments on my interpretation. I'm happy you enjoyed it!

I hope I'll get some time soon to listen to that recital! There seems to be a lot of quality interpretations! And I love Debussy in general.


My piano journey from day 1
Started piano on February 2016.
Pieces I'm working on :
- Mozart's K545, 1st and 3rd mov
- Tina's theme from FF VI piano collections
- Debussy's Golliwogg's cake walk
Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2746048
06/21/18 10:29 AM
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I agree with the idea that the quarterly recitals should be placed in the same location as the themed recitals. In which case it could be called simply, “Recital Sub-Forum”. But a possible drawback for doing this could be that visitors and newcomers to the ABF may then wind up overlooking ALL of the recitals.

As for the current Debussy themed recital, I have to admit that I’m not really much of a Debussy fan, despite my participation in this recital. I just don’t find much of his music to speak to me, with two or three pieces being exceptions. The result is that I have (with a bit of shame) yet to listen to any of the submissions in this recital. I hope to get motivated to do so sometime soon, but I find myself in the thick of a couple of difficult pieces on which I’m currently working. But for now I would like to thank all of you who’ve listened to my own submission, and especially to those who took the time out to make comments. Thank you also to Sam for volunteering to administer it!

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2746263
06/22/18 05:56 AM
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A high level of playing right across the board in this recital. A pleasure to listen to.
A special mention to Tim for his brilliant playing and great interpretations of some advanced pieces. Also to Goldman for Voiles which is a piece I have a special affection for and is played beautifully here.

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2746400
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15. GoldmanT - Danseuses de Delphes

One thing that learning these preludes taught me is that you can always play softer, and you can always accentuate the contrast between different dynamics more, and I hear that during some of the transitions between sections. After saying previously that I don’t like too much rubato, I hear that I could let this piece breathe a bit more in some parts - I read once that it should be a dance, not a dirge, but I think I stuck to the even pulse a little too much.

16. gingko2 - The Little Shepherd

I’m still not enamoured with this composition so I listened to a professional recording on youtube and am still not that keen! I can see why people try it as an easier window into Debussy’s works but it feels like an uphill struggle, it’s quite a ‘naked’ piece and there’s not really much to work with. You contrast the single note lines well with the more sustained chords, and you’ve captured the little ‘leaping’ feeling in the main melodies very well. And the pacing and tempo seems to work well.

17. GoldmanT - Canope

Similar to Danseuses, I think this could breathe a little more, and also be taken slightly slower, especially the very first and last parts with the block chords moving around. I love some of the chords and tonalities in this piece, but they have to be carefully balanced with the pedal – there are always pedal instructions implied by the note lengths and rests written into the score, and I try to use this to help me avoid just jamming the pedal down for whole sections, the important bit is usually when you lift up the pedal, not when you push it down. I fluffed up one of the parts about 2/3 of the way through but as usual if someone didn’t know the piece they wouldn’t pick up on it.

18. GoldmanT - Minstrels

As above, this is slower than usually played, but this is just the way I felt it. It’s the performance I’m least happy with, the rhythmic parts need to be more even, although it IS supposed to be ‘nerveux’, but it shouldn’t be the pianist that sounds ‘nerveux’. 😊. AGAIN again, the obligatory wrong notes undetectable to those who don’t know the piece, and a few of the tambour rolls not quite articulated as well as they should be, and probably some other stuff that could be tightened up. I do love some parts of this composition, it combines Romantic parody (I hear it about three quarters of the way through) with things that wouldn’t be out of place in a 70s funk tune.

19. GoldmanT - Voiles

This is the performance I’m most proud of, mainly because it’s an incredible and subtle composition, but also because I left it the longest before recording it, probably two months from beginning to end. I really worked on the soft contrasts and careful pedalling. There’s a pedal choice right before the Eb minor pentatonic bit in the middle that I would change, and the glissandos could have more clarity, but overall there’s not much I would change about this. Ask me again in a year though! And the recording level is a bit quiet, I could maybe have compressed the loud part in the middle to increase the overall level.

20. timmyab - Clair de Lune

I can see why people love this composition, and if you go through the various changes of harmony, particularly between the opening and ending sections it really takes you on a journey. It’s open to a lot of interpretation, quicker or slower, louder or softer in parts, and it never sounds ‘wrong’. This is a solid, consistent performance, if anything it suffers from being played on a cheaper digital piano but it has a lot of soul, you should be very pleased with this. 😊

21. Palmpirate - Debussy Bergamasque Suite Prelude

Never heard any of the Bergamasque except for Clair de Lune so this was interesting to hear, especially now I know it was ‘old’ Debussy revised by ‘new’ Debussy. There was a lot of pedal in this but you balanced it all very well and the recording sounds pretty clear even on my wee laptop speakers. Again, another solid performance but I’m not familiar enough with the piece to critique it too much.

22. Ael M. (aelmabalod) - Arabesque no. 1

And this is where we came in! The crickets and slightly out of tune piano actually suit this as a final piece in the recital, it’s like someone stayed up until 3am to have a play on the barroom piano while the barkeeper impatiently sweeps up around them. smile It’s getting on for midnight here so I’m running out of ear capacity but it was nice to hear another take on this beautiful piece.

And we’re done. I really enjoyed listening to all of these – I think I liked Debussy more and more the older he got, which is why it’s a shame that he didn’t get to continue composing as Tim pointed out. So because of that I might go and listen to the etudes (again, never heard them yet) but from what I’ve read of them won’t be attempting to play them any time soon!

Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2746906
06/25/18 09:27 AM
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I listened to the entries this past weekend. I enjoyed it, thanks for sharing. I think it will be sometime before I try Debussy. Perhaps Clair de Lune, I think that was my favorite smile


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Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2751054
07/12/18 05:33 PM
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01. SMA55 (Shepherd) - Arabesque 1
My dream piece! You play so beautifully. Recording seems to be an art in itself, but I think it sounds wonderful.

02. FrankieC - Reverie
It may be a duplicate submission, but new to me! You play very delicately, I'm practicing this piece as well but could not get such fluidity in the left hand. Wonderful! And wow the piano sounds so amazing. I played an RX7 earlier this year and fell in love with it. Your RX6 sounds comparable!

03. Tim Adrianson - Masques
Amazing, wow!!!! Such beautiful sounds. This piece is new to me. Thanks for the introduction! You say it is not technically difficult, but it sounds like a killer to me!

04. Tim Adrianson - Berceuse Heroique
Yes, this does sound properly somber. I wonder what the Belgian soldiers think about this piece.

05. Tim Adrianson - La Cathedrale Engloutie
Upon reading your description of a floating and disappearing of a cathedral, I feel the tempo is appropriate. It definitely evokes the Debussy style haze of beautiful sound. I can just imagine it sounds so heavenly in person.

06. Jouishy - The little shepherd
I'm glad the examiner liked this one.. I like it too. It sounds so beautiful and evocative.

07. cmb13 - Craig - La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin
I'm not sure if moving the mic would make a significant difference, but it seems recording it very difficult in capturing every nuance in this piece. I think it sounds beautiful though, nevertheless.

08. Sam S - Des pas sur la neige (Footprints in the Snow)
How wonderful that you have first hand experience to interpret this piece just how Debussy would have wanted it. I can certainly sense the loneliness and calm you must have felt.

09. Piano*Dad - La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin
Your playing and piano sounds so beautiful. I wish I could listen to it in person!

10. dynamibt/Marilyn - Reverie (to do)
Very evocative and emotional!


Falling in love with the piano again after 15 years of silence!
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Re: Debussy Recital - June 2018 - General Discussion Room [Re: Sam S] #2751079
07/12/18 07:03 PM
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11. Tim Adrianson - Cloches a Travers les Feuilles
I can certainly picture leaves blowing and church bells ringing in this piece. I really enjoy the Oriental-ish sounds in Debussy's pieces ("Pagodes" is a personal favorite), and one day wish I could play like you!

12. Tim Adrianson - Et la Lune Descend sur le Temple qui Fut
This one is quite interesting... I think too advanced for me to appreciate. If I was to attempt it, I wouldn't be able to tell if I'm playing a wrong note! Haha.

13. Tim Adrianson - "Les Fees Sont d'Exquises Danseuses"
I really enjoy the stories you provide for the pieces. It definitely puts the piece in context and helps us appreciate the piece more.

14. dynamobt/Marilyn - Arabesque I
So beautiful! Thanks for resubmitting.

15. GoldmanT - Danseuses de Delph
Gorgeous! I didn't know Debussy could get so jazzy smile I would like to try this too, one day. I'm sure the pedalling gets crazy, so many deep bass notes.

16. gingko2 - The Little Shepherd
One of my favorites from Children's Corner. I think you have a beautiful, delicate touch your teacher would be pleased with.

17. GoldmanT - Canope
Yes, I can imagine the archeologist, too.

18. GoldmanT - Minstrels
What a funny little piece. So different from Debussy's usual huge evocative pieces. I love it! So fun.

19. GoldmanT - Voiles
Quite interesting.. I think this piece is too advanced for me to appreciate. It's definitely very impressionistic... sorry Debussy, but it is!

20. timmyab - Clair de Lune
I have the same Yamaha book! And this piece is bookmarked, too. Sounds beautiful, even if you think you've taken liberties. I wonder which part you think wasn't correct?

21. Palmpirate - Debussy Bergamasque Suite Prelude
'Quaking in your boots!' I think it is wonderful indeed and you should be so proud. Hardly noticed any mistakes.

22. Ael M. (aelmabalod) - Arabesque no. 1
I like the crickets actually! And you play very beautifully!


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