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#452389 - 06/01/02 10:14 AM Is sentimental second rate?  
Joined: May 2001
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pianoloverus Offline
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This post may seem rambling but I'll try to make it as clear as possible. Over the years I've often been attracted to what some would describe as sentimental bon-bons, fluff, salon music etc.
The most recent examples of this are Hough's arrangements of Hello Young Lovers and Londonderry Air, and Paderewski's Melodie in G flat. Before that it was Paderewski's Nocturne, Mompou's Secreto, Mendelssohn's Duetto, and Tchaikovsky's Autumn. There are lots more examples but these are the ones that come to mind first. Eventually I would tire of each one, but not before playing/listening to it many, many times.(On the other hand, I probably will never tire of pieces like Chopin's Barcarolle. the Schumann Fantasie, and late Beethoven, to name a few.) Very few people would describe the previously listed salon pieces as masterpieces and I suppose I wouldn't either.

Here are some of my questions:

1. Is sentimental second rate? I suppose some would describe the last movement of Schumann's Fantasie as sentimental but I doubt anyone would call it second rate(maybe the same goes for his Traumerai).

2. Do you have any favorite sentimental salon pieces?

3. What distinguishes a sentimental masterpiece from a sentimental bon-bon( Debussy called Grieg's Lyric Pieces "pink bon-bons filled with snow")?

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#452390 - 06/02/02 09:11 AM Re: Is sentimental second rate?  
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aznxk3vi17 Offline
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Johns Hopkins University
I LOVE sentimental/salon pieces! Everybody who hears me play them always begs me to play something more difficult, but I just love to play them!

Although my opinion on what a salon piece is might be different than yours, I still understand what you're saying.

To answer your questions:

1. It all depends on the piece. If a piece was written by a composer with really no thought put into it or emotion, then it is just second rate. However, some are true masterpieces in their own respects. Some of Chopin's preludes come to mind, although I hate to brand the name of "salon piece" to a work of art such as the preludes.

2. I love Ravel's Valses nobles et sentimentales, the second waltz being of a salon type character. Chopin's short preludes are some of my favorite, such as no 1.

3. I think I answered that one before.

#452391 - 06/02/02 05:27 PM Re: Is sentimental second rate?  
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pianoloverus Offline
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pianoloverus  Offline
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by aznxk3vi17:
[QB]
Although my opinion on what a salon piece is might be different than yours, I still understand what you're saying.

To answer your questions:

1. It all depends on the piece. If a piece was written by a composer with really no thought put into it or emotion, then it is just second rate. However, some are true masterpieces in their own respects. Some of Chopin's preludes come to mind, although I hate to brand the name of "salon piece" to a work of art such as the preludes.

2. I love Ravel's Valses nobles et sentimentales, the second waltz being of a salon type character. Chopin's short preludes are some of my favorite, such as no 1.



Dear azn:

I wouldn't consider any of the pieces you mentioned to be salon pieces or sentimental bon-bons.I would just call them masterpieces. Are you familiar with any of the pieces I mentioned and if so what is your opinion of them?

#452392 - 06/03/02 06:28 AM Re: Is sentimental second rate?  
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aznxk3vi17 Offline
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aznxk3vi17  Offline
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Johns Hopkins University
I'm sorry, but I'm not familiar with those works.

However, Satie makes some true salon pieces, and I love them to death, such as Gymnopédie no. 1.

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#452393 - 06/03/02 04:23 PM Re: Is sentimental second rate?  
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Ted Offline
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Ted  Offline
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Auckland, New Zealand
Pianoloverus:

Wouldn't have a clue - I've given up asking myself questions like this. My own musical taste is hopelessly perverted when it comes to deciding what's "deep" or what's "superficial" - I've been told so by experts. Everybody criticises my taste in music.

Does it really matter ? Just enjoy whatever you fancy, whenever you fancy. If push comes to shove the transient has as much right to beauty as the enduring.


"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows
#452394 - 06/06/02 03:43 PM Re: Is sentimental second rate?  
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Victoria, BC
I'm with Ted on this one.

Think of it (the particular salon piece you're contemplating at the moment) as trite, and it will probably sound trite. Think of it as an expression of a genuine emotion, and it probably will gain in stature.

If you like the piece and enjoy playing it, what more incentive do you need? I still enjoy - once in a while - playing through such a piece of "fluff" as Edgar Barratt's "Coronach (A Highland Lament)" - yeah, who knows this one? - or the "Poeme" by Fibich, and never apologize to anyone when I do.

Regards,


BruceD
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#452395 - 06/07/02 03:09 AM Re: Is sentimental second rate?  
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Moki Offline
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Moki  Offline
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Washington State
I'm with Ted and BruceD on this one!


-mo

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