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Ravel's Pavane #580365
01/30/08 08:39 PM
01/30/08 08:39 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
K
kenny Offline OP
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kenny  Offline OP
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I've been working on this piece for months.
Finally today my teacher pointed out the melody, top line, is legato.
The middle voice is stacatto, like plucking a violin
The bass is portato, like a string bass, smooth and even but giving slight separation between each note.
Next, in addition to the indicated pedaling there needs to be a slight half pedal at each eighth note to bring out the stacatto eighths.

Producing these 3 textures all at once is a bear.
Sure if I was Joe-pianist I would have starting trying to do this from day one.
But unfortunately, I'm Kenny-pianist. frown

Anyone play this?
Anyone play this right?
Youtube if full of videos of pianists playing all 3 voices legato.
It still sounds beautiful but doesn't have that strange quirky quality that the Gieseking CD has, which apparently is what Ravel had in mind.

I have the 1954 2-CD set of Walter Gieseking playing everything Ravel composed for Solo Piano.
With headphones you can clearly make out the 3 textures.
It is brillinat but near impossible to pull off.

http://www.amazon.com/Ravel-Complete-Works-Solo-Piano/d...id=1201743238&sr=1-1

This is the Alfred Masterwork Edition Edited by Maurice Hinson.
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Re: Ravel's Pavane #580366
01/31/08 12:51 AM
01/31/08 12:51 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 166
New Jersey
dfpolitowski Offline
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Its not that difficult. Just go very slow.


David
Re: Ravel's Pavane #580367
01/31/08 02:57 AM
01/31/08 02:57 AM
Joined: May 2005
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San Francisco
whippen boy Offline
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This is typical of the texturing you will find in piano reductions of orchestral works.

The advice is spot-on: take it as slowly as needed in order to produce the effect; eventually it will become easy.


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Bösendorfer Imperial
Re: Ravel's Pavane #580368
01/31/08 09:11 AM
01/31/08 09:11 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,061
New York City
pianoloverus Online content
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Quote
Originally posted by whippen boy:
This is typical of the texturing you will find in piano reductions of orchestral works.
I think the piano version was written first.

Re: Ravel's Pavane #580369
01/31/08 09:14 AM
01/31/08 09:14 AM
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Kenny-

Another suggestion would be to practice two out of three voices in different combinations.

Re: Ravel's Pavane #580370
01/31/08 09:15 AM
01/31/08 09:15 AM
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pianojerome Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
Quote
Originally posted by whippen boy:
[b] This is typical of the texturing you will find in piano reductions of orchestral works.
I think the piano version was written first. [/b]
Although Ravel might still have been thinking orchestrally, even in his piano music. This was actually one of my teacher's criticisms of Shostakovich's piano music... that it is too orchestrally conceived, and is sometimes very difficult to fully realize at the piano.


Sam
Re: Ravel's Pavane #580371
01/31/08 10:17 AM
01/31/08 10:17 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
K
kenny Offline OP
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Thanks all.

One thing is that it sounds more beautiful when played as many play it, ignoring the stacatto and portato instructions and just playing it legato.

Playing it correctly makes it sound less beautiful and more strange.

I Youtubed it.
All 3 voices of the opening phrase is almost always played with pure legato.

Re: Ravel's Pavane #580372
01/31/08 11:41 AM
01/31/08 11:41 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 221
cm2872 Offline
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I love Ravel.

I wonder if the pedal markings in your score were originally written by Ravel or added by an editor.

From everything I've read, Ravel was VERY particular about pianists playing his music exactly as written without taking liberties. These pedal markings would alter the texture of the voices as written.

Re: Ravel's Pavane #580373
01/31/08 11:42 AM
01/31/08 11:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 9,868
pianojerome Offline
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Of course, what is this anyway:

"Pavane for a Dead Princess"

A pavane is a kind of baroque dance.

A dead princess is, well, dead.

Should it just sound as beautiful as possible, or should it also be made to sound like (stylized) dance music in memoriam? Should the lower voices be made to sound like marching footsteps in a funeral procession, or merely two lower voices in a beautiful art piece? Should it make the listeners feel slightly unsettled, as they would when recalling the dead, or should it make them feel pleasant in the presence of simply beautiful music?


Sam
Re: Ravel's Pavane #580374
01/31/08 12:03 PM
01/31/08 12:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,418
Dallas, TX
packa Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by pianojerome:
Of course, what is this anyway:

"Pavane for a Dead Princess"

A pavane is a kind of baroque dance.

A dead princess is, well, dead.

Should it just sound as beautiful as possible, or should it also be made to sound like (stylized) dance music in memoriam? Should the lower voices be made to sound like marching footsteps in a funeral procession, or merely two lower voices in a beautiful art piece? Should it make the listeners feel slightly unsettled, as they would when recalling the dead, or should it make them feel pleasant in the presence of simply beautiful music?
This reminds me that, after hearing a rather plodding performance of this piece, Ravel is supposed to have remarked "It's a pavane for a dead princess, not a DEAD pavane for a princess."

I actually don't think this has anything to do with memorials to dead princesses. I think it is an homage to the stately dances from long-ago royal courts and the beautiful young princesses who might have danced there. To be played with a touch of nostalgia for an elegant past, not a funereal tribute to the dead.


Paul Buchanan
Estonia L168 #1718
Re: Ravel's Pavane #580375
01/31/08 12:17 PM
01/31/08 12:17 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 9,868
pianojerome Offline
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Yes, you're right. As Ravel said: "a slow Spanish dance to which a little princess may once have danced."

http://www.barbwired.com/barbweb/programs/ravel_pavane.html


Sam
Re: Ravel's Pavane #580376
01/31/08 12:18 PM
01/31/08 12:18 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 133
Germany
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florhof Offline
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Germany
Quote
Originally posted by kenny:
Next, in addition to the indicated pedaling there needs to be a slight half pedal at each eighth note to bring out the stacatto eighths.
As you already found out, pedaling is the crucial point. Don't think about full pedal or half pedal. Use the whole way your pedal offers and keep in mind what Gieseking said: You must tread the pedal with your ears.

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Re: Ravel's Pavane #580377
01/31/08 12:31 PM
01/31/08 12:31 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,886
San Francisco
whippen boy Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by pianoloverus:
Quote
Originally posted by whippen boy:
[b] This is typical of the texturing you will find in piano reductions of orchestral works.
I think the piano version was written first. [/b]
True. I was speaking of orchestral reductions in general. Even though this particular piece may have started as a piano piece I think Ravel was already thinking orchestrally, as Sam mentioned.


M&H "A" at home
Bösendorfer Imperial
Re: Ravel's Pavane #580378
01/31/08 04:44 PM
01/31/08 04:44 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 7,051
K
kenny Offline OP
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I believe the pedaling above was added by the editor of this edition.

Re: Ravel's Pavane #580379
01/31/08 04:57 PM
01/31/08 04:57 PM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 1,099
Toronto, Canada
Theowne Offline
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Toronto, Canada
I remember that Debussy's staccato does not always indicate a sharp sound without pedal. Sometimes it indicates more how a note should be hit, with a bell-like tone. Maybe that's what Ravel also was going for.


http://www.youtube.com/user/Theowne- Piano Videos (Ravel, Debussy, etc) & Original Compositions
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Re: Ravel's Pavane #580380
01/31/08 09:05 PM
01/31/08 09:05 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 3,857
North Groton, NH
Bernard Offline
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I've thought that perhaps the staccato marks, instead of actually sounding short staccato were meant to convey that the notes should NOT sound legato. Staccato does not have to be short and sharp. Any amount of shortening can be considered staccato.


"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown
Re: Ravel's Pavane #580381
01/31/08 09:13 PM
01/31/08 09:13 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,896
Puyallup, Washington
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Betty Patnude Offline
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Puyallup, Washington
Softly plucked stringed instruments of the orchestra, for instance? Subito?

Time slowly ticking away? Tears appearing and dropping? Sadness, melancholy heartbeat? Grief?

Dance as in a tribute of a walk slowly paced to the tomb or graveyard?

Staccatos used as a device for a serious mood would be delicate and poignant would they not?

Re: Ravel's Pavane #580382
01/31/08 10:24 PM
01/31/08 10:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,394
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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This is one of my all-time favorites of Ravel. Louis Lortie does a wonderful rendition of this (as well as all of his other recordings of Ravel), so I highly recommend you pick it up if you can. It might give you some other ideas on what to do with it.


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Re: Ravel's Pavane #580383
01/31/08 11:08 PM
01/31/08 11:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 658
Central Texas
epf Offline
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I asked a pianist friend of mine who considers this one of her favorite pieces. Her answer was that the "staccato" simply means to separate the notes. She says it's really played tenuto as a result of the slur. when I listen to how I play it, that's really what I'm doing (but I couldn't have explained it).

Ed


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Re: Ravel's Pavane #580384
02/02/08 11:21 PM
02/02/08 11:21 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,386
Maine, U.S.
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RachFan Offline
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Hi kenny,

Here is my own recording of the Pavane.

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php/topic,21925.0.html

Good luck with that!

Re: Ravel's Pavane #580385
02/03/08 04:30 PM
02/03/08 04:30 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 278
Portland, OR
ted.stanion Offline
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You can read about the painting of the princess that inspired Ravel
here
.

Ted


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