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Posted By: KevinM All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/29/20 09:39 PM
I will start this thread off.

Alexis Ffrench YouTube page

Me playing Bluebird on Vimeo

In my opinion a minimalist classical style but not so minimalist as Einaudi.
Posted By: JB_PW Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/29/20 09:57 PM
I'm a big fan too. And I especially love Bluebird...that's the only one I've purchased so far, but I've got several on my list. Really nice job on that Kevin!
Posted By: psyche23 Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/29/20 10:04 PM
Probably worth mentioning here that he has just released a collection of solo piano sheet music called 'Alexis Ffrench: The Sheet Music Collection' which contains the following pieces:

At Last from Evolution
Bluebird from Evolution
Carousel from Escape
Coming Home from Dreamland
Crest of a Wave from Dreamland
Dreamland from Dreamland
Exhale from Evolution
Flow and Begin Again from Evolution
Footprints in the Sand from Dreamland
Forever Song from Dreamland
Forgiven from Evolution
Heartbeats from Dreamland
Last Song from The Secret Piano
Moments from Evolution
Rapture from Dreamland
Reborn from Evolution
Rivers from Dreamland
Story of You from Dreamland
A Time of Wonder from The Piano Whisperer
Together at Last from Together at Last
Tomorrow Song from Evolution
Waterfalls from Evolution
Where Worlds Collide from Evolution
Wishing from Dreamland
Written in the Stars from Dreamland
Posted By: Amy H Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/29/20 10:10 PM
How weird, I was thinking about starting an Alexis Ffrench thread!

CLICK HERE for a direct link to the 'Alexis Ffrench: The Complete Music Playlist on Spotify!! It's wonderful. You'll get lost in his music for hours.

I have learned Bluebird and A Time of Wonder, and I am working on Dreamland at the moment. Hoping to work my way through the new sheet music book (which is also wonderful!).
smile
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/29/20 10:18 PM
I tried Flow and Begin again but it was beyond me, a pity since i like it so.

I am learning Moments now. I am getting the notes in hand but I am finding it hard to get the feel for it properly, the rhythm of it escapes me and with the minimal dynamics markings in the score, working out for myself how to create a nice ebb and flow is difficult.
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/29/20 10:30 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
Well done! Do you prefer Vimeo over YouTube?

Thanks to Amy, I'm also an Alexis Ffrench fan. I purchased Bluebird and it will be the next piece that I learn after my current one.
Posted By: Amy H Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/29/20 10:39 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
I am learning Moments now. I am getting the notes in hand but I am finding it hard to get the feel for it properly, the rhythm of it escapes me and with the minimal dynamics markings in the score, working out for myself how to create a nice ebb and flow is difficult.
Moments is a really nice piece! I know what you mean about getting the feel for it, but why don't you give the piece a listen to help you? Do you have the new sheet music book?
Posted By: kimby Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/29/20 10:56 PM
I'll just add that Amy H also made a Ffrench fan out of me!! smile
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 12:03 AM
Yay!! I was thinking we needed a thread devoted to Mr. Ffrench!!! Thanks for starting it Kevin! I learned about his music from Amy (thanks Amy!) and very quickly decided I wanted to add some of his music to my repertoire.

Also, Kevin, great job with Bluebird!!!

I'm working on Moments and September Song. September Song is much more difficult, but I found Moments very easy to get into my fingers. So maybe I'll do that for the recital.

Kevin, I don't know if I can help you with Moments, but if there are specific passages or something.... You might try playing the LH and singing the RH part? (la laaa, no words needed)... Also, just play the RH alone and feel how it sings... I noticed above you wrote that Ffrench is less minimalist than Einaudi, and I definitely agree with that. There's a very clear story or melody line in Ffrench (whereas sometimes Einaudi is much more atmospheric).... So in Moments, feel that story...... Sorry, that's probably not helpful! :P

Re September Song, the score is not his official arrangement, I bought it from the Tunescribers website. And as I've been learning it, I am starting to think it has some "spelling" mistakes, so that's kind of adding to the difficulty of it for me. Also the LH is much more intricate, esp. compared to the LH in Moments, which is quite repetitive.

Ok, this is longer than I intended! Glad to see that there's a nice community of Ffrench fans here! smile
Posted By: CognitaP Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 08:33 AM
Thank you Kevin

You played Blackbird beautifully

Thank you for also introducing me to Alexis as I had not come across him before now. . I can understand why you like him . Having listened to a number of his videos he certainly has a very plesent sound and style of playing that I could happily listen to all day.

So thank you
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 10:00 AM
Originally Posted by navindra
Originally Posted by KevinM
Well done! Do you prefer Vimeo over YouTube?
Thank you, I use Vimeo just try to keep my dependence on google to a minimum.
Posted By: keff Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 11:01 AM
Well played. Bravo.
Posted By: Music Me Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 05:30 PM
I just started listening to Alexis Ffrench because someone here on Pianoworld posted a video of his. I do like what he does. During this time his music is soothing. I am hoping that the Sheet Music Collection will be made available in the U.S. Hal Leonard is the publisher and it is an American publisher as well as European. I play - At Last- it is the first piece of his that I heard and really liked.
Posted By: dogperson Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 05:38 PM
Originally Posted by Music Me
I just started listening to Alexis Ffrench because someone here on Pianoworld posted a video of his. I do like what he does. During this time his music is soothing. I am hoping that the Sheet Music Collection will be made available in the U.S. Hal Leonard is the publisher and it is an American publisher as well as European. I play - At Last- it is the first piece of his that I heard and really liked.


The ‘Secret Piano’ is for sale on Amazon
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 05:46 PM
I think The Sheet Music Collection will ship to the US. Also, Amazon US says a Kindle version of it will be available mid-August. I can't decide if I want the physical book or not.

In the meantime, a lot of his pieces are available as PDFs, through MusicNotes and other sites. But the new score book is appealing because each piece has his notes with it....
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 07:20 PM
In practice, I have found that the Kindle versions of most sheet music books to be extremely poor renders. I only buy them because I have free digital credit, but otherwise, they are a waste of money, in my opinion.

If you're going digital, it's better to buy original PDF with MusicXML like you get on Sheet Music Direct.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 07:33 PM
Navindra, thanks for that! I actually have never purchased a Kindle score book before, although I have purchase a lot of PDFs from MusicNotes and SheetMusicDirect etc. (waaay too many! whome

The thing I want with Ffrench's new book is his commentary on the pieces, and AFAICT, that's not included in PDF versions that were for sale prior to the release of this collection.

So, maybe I'll wait a little longer to see if US Amazon or Hal Leonard ends up carrying the book, or else try the overseas shipping at musicroom.com...
Posted By: Music Me Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 09:52 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Navindra, thanks for that! I actually have never purchased a Kindle score book before, although I have purchase a lot of PDFs from MusicNotes and SheetMusicDirect etc. (waaay too many! whome

The thing I want with Ffrench's new book is his commentary on the pieces, and AFAICT, that's not included in PDF versions that were for sale prior to the release of this collection.

So, maybe I'll wait a little longer to see if US Amazon or Hal Leonard ends up carrying the book, or else try the overseas shipping at musicroom.com...
I will also wait a bit longer. I am old school-I like having a book. I looked the musicroom.com , but, when you add the shipping to the states it sure is costly! This one book just about has all of the selections I am interested in playing.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 09:59 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
I think The Sheet Music Collection will ship to the US. Also, Amazon US says a Kindle version of it will be available mid-August. I can't decide if I want the physical book or not.

In the meantime, a lot of his pieces are available as PDFs, through MusicNotes and other sites. But the new score book is appealing because each piece has his notes with it....
I have purchased three pieces via Musicnotes. I will be buying the physical collection when it is released. One day I will get an iPad Pro when I have the money to display my music, but that is a while away.
Posted By: psyche23 Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/30/20 11:46 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
I have purchased three pieces via Musicnotes. I will be buying the physical collection when it is released. One day I will get an iPad Pro when I have the money to display my music, but that is a while away.

Kevin, according to musicroom.com, the physical book is currently in stock.
Posted By: Amy H Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 07/31/20 05:08 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
I can't decide if I want the physical book or not.
I think having books is such a nice thing! Plus you haven't got to worry about battery life and you can write on them super easily - only thing is, they should all be spiral bound!!!

To all that want to buy the new music book: Have you checked the store section on his website? Shipping may be cheaper?
Posted By: MarieJ Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/01/20 05:07 AM
Here we go again! Just when I told myself that I already own all of the sheet music that I can ever hope to play in my lifetime, today I found myself heading back to sheetmusicdirect.com and suddenly I’m the optimistic owner of ‘A Time of Wonder’. smile

Looks like I've just joined the fan club …
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/01/20 06:34 AM
Originally Posted by MarieJ
Here we go again! Just when I told myself that I already own all of the sheet music that I can ever hope to play in my lifetime, today I found myself heading back to sheetmusicdirect.com and suddenly I’m the optimistic owner of ‘A Time of Wonder’. smile

Looks like I've just joined the fan club …

Oh wow, I just listened to this and just learned that Bluebird is actually a variation on 'A Time of Wonder'. Lovely, both of them!

'A Time of Wonder' definitely sounds harder to play.

Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/01/20 07:43 AM
I really like that MarieJ.

I am a bit of a minimalist person so I usually like the simple. But the additions here with the ornaments are just lovely. Very similar but different enough to Bluebird and am looking forward to hear a recording from you, even if you don't make it into the ABF recital.

Listening to more of AF music it is clear he has worked hard to make his work accessible to the lay audience as time has progressed but I think he has done it well keeping true to himself.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/01/20 02:19 PM
I've been practicing Moments with the intent to record it for the upcoming ABF recital. So today I listened to the original for the first time in a while. And wouldn't ya know, I'm playing it faster. Hmmm, if I can get myself to slow down, I bet I can get a smoother and more consistent performance. But it's always so hard to play slower after playing at a certain tempo for a long time...

Oh, also, I ordered the Sheet Music Collection book from the MusicNotes website. Let's see how long it takes to get from the UK to the US.

Also, if anyone finds a cheaper way to buy it in the US, please don't tell me! whome
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/01/20 03:36 PM
I don't think playing too fast for me will ever be a problem. I always have to push myself to get to decent tempo. Some people I think believe I obsess over speed, but i think I only obsess because I am so slow and it takes concentration and work to push that tempo up to where it is needed.

Having said that I do feel like I am making progress with Moments as well. I've started playing with some variation in tempo while playing which is quite nice with this piece. But I do need to not hide my inability to play bits at the appropriate speed by pretending I've just a bit of rubato at that point.

Looking forward to listening to your submission SkiroKuro.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/01/20 05:59 PM
Quote
I do need to not hide my inability to play bits at the appropriate speed by pretending I've just a bit of rubato at that point.

This is me with September Song!!

I have been working on 1-2 measures and practicing with a metronome for just those parts. If you haven't already, you might try that. Also, make sure you can play each hand HS at the desired tempo, if you can't, then you want to work on that before putting the hands together. Or maybe rethink your fingering etc.
Posted By: Amy H Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/03/20 07:30 PM
@MarieJ & navindra,

I've just finished learning 'A Time of Wonder'. It's not as hard as you think. The only thing I struggled with is stretching my hand to reach certain notes...one of which I still can't reach, so I've compromised and played a closer one instead! It's still such a beautiful piece to play.

If any of you are active on Instagram, Alexis Ffrench is very active on social media, especially Instagram. Definitely check it out if it's your kind of thing. :-)
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/03/20 07:59 PM
Congrats, Amy!

Quote
stretching my hand to reach certain notes

There are a few spots in September Song that I can't reach. I wonder if he has fairly large hands.

FWIW Moments doesn't have any notes/chords that I find hard to reach, so that adds to its playability.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/03/20 10:33 PM
I hope you feel you can provide links to your recordings Amy. I would love to hear recordings of AF music in this thread. The 3 months between ABF recitals means there will be a lot of recordings that don’t fit within that schedule.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/07/20 10:59 PM
Gyaa! My recordings of Moments are not going well.... I am some how too sloppy.... I'll try a few more, but I basically need to get it done this weekend (bc work stuff during the week and submission ends next Friday).

If I can't get a recording I like, I'll probably switch to Einaudi for the recital. But I can still upload something here as soon as it's ready.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/08/20 07:48 AM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Gyaa! My recordings of Moments are not going well.... I am some how too sloppy.... I'll try a few more, but I basically need to get it done this weekend (bc work stuff during the week and submission ends next Friday).

If I can't get a recording I like, I'll probably switch to Einaudi for the recital. But I can still upload something here as soon as it's ready.

Good luck ShiroKuro.

I know what you mean, my playing of it is coming together but I am a long way from being happy with it. Sloppy I think describes it well.

I always struggle getting a piece to a performance level I can accept. Everything else for a week or two gets sacrificed from my practise into making a piece ready.

Once again, good luck, or perhaps I should say break a leg.
Posted By: Amy H Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/12/20 06:46 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
I hope you feel you can provide links to your recordings Amy. I would love to hear recordings of AF music in this thread. The 3 months between ABF recitals means there will be a lot of recordings that don’t fit within that schedule.

I don't record myself unless I need to really; I do have an Instagram for my piano things called @pianistamy.
If you look at the last quarterly ABF recital, I posted a recording of Bluebird!

What do you all think of Alexis' piece "These Days"? I quite like it and I might learn it - just a shame it's not in the new piano book!!
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/12/20 07:19 PM
I read the some of the comments before the video started (I was trying to see if it said which album this was included on).

Anyway, I wasn't expecting the comments to be so... accurate?

Having listened, I'm sure if I like it or not... It definitely has his feel to it. I don't think I could play it, looking at his RH in the video.... Wonder what tempo he's playing... Just looked at the score on MusicNotes.com, it says "moderately fast." I guess that's accurate, but.... moderately...

For those of you wondering what the heck I'm talking about.... whome

Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/12/20 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by Amy H
Originally Posted by KevinM
I hope you feel you can provide links to your recordings Amy. I would love to hear recordings of AF music in this thread. The 3 months between ABF recitals means there will be a lot of recordings that don’t fit within that schedule.

I don't record myself unless I need to really; I do have an Instagram for my piano things called @pianistamy.
If you look at the last quarterly ABF recital, I posted a recording of Bluebird!

What do you all think of Alexis' piece "These Days"? I quite like it and I might learn it - just a shame it's not in the new piano book!!

It seems unless I create an Instagram account I can’t listen to any of your recordings. I can see you have plenty there. It was your bluebird piece in the last recital that got me learning AF.

These days is in another league for me to play, I think in another few years I could give it a go, but not yet. Good luck with it, it would be a fantastic piece to be able to play.
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/13/20 04:26 AM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro

I think this one is really awesome, thanks for sharing!
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/14/20 06:55 PM
Two updates:

1. I ended up submitting Moments to the ABF recital, so please give a listen if you have time! (also please forgive the sound of cicadas in the background....)

2. Alexis posted on his FB this image from an interview with him in Pianist Magazine, he's judging a composing competition in 2021, how cool!

ETA: posting the image didn't work, so here's a link instead:
https://www.facebook.com/AlexisFfre...853/4528628210486438/?type=3&theater
Posted By: Amy H Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/14/20 07:02 PM
@ShiroKuro - Awesome to have another Ffrench piece in the recital; looking forward to hearing it tomorrow!! When it's live, you could always send Alexis Ffrench a link to it, maybe he will give it a listen! Also...what are cicadas?

I've seen that composing competition. I'd be inclined to enter but theres a £25 fee to enter!! Madness.

I'm STILL learning Dreamland. For some reason, bits of it aren't sinking in...maybe it's the massive heatwave we have just had in England (temperatures of over 90F!!).
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/14/20 07:15 PM
Amy, thanks!

A cicada is a very noisy bug that has a sort of high pitched chirp. They are between 2.5 and 5cm, and even one can be very noisy, I think there are loads of them here. Our house is surrounded by wooded areas on three sides, which is lovely in that it's very private even though we live in the middle of town. But it means that in the summer we are also surrounded by cicadas. If I want to get a recording without them, I'd need to have a recording session that finishes before 4pm, which I just can't do right now. Hopefully it's not super noticeable... frown

[Linked Image]
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/14/20 09:59 PM
I Tried my first recording of Moments this evening. So glad I didn’t plan it for this recital, I still have quite a way to go to bring it alive. It sounds so much faster when I am playing.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/14/20 10:45 PM
well I'll look forward to hearing it whenever you have it ready!

I really need to play just a tad slower I think.... As is so common, with Moments, I am at the stage where I can either play the right notes, or I can play expressively, but I can't quite handle both at the same time :P
Posted By: PatG Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/15/20 05:53 AM
I found Alexis Ffrench The Sheet Music Collection on Amazon US for $24.74 https://www.amazon.com/Alexis-Ffren...597469802&sr=8-2&tag=googhydr-20

I should mention that I'm a Amazon Prime member, so I'm not sure if the link will work if you are not prime. But it would still be available to everyone.

Thanks for this thread. I did not know about his music. I signed up for Soptify and am currently listening to it and I purchased the Sheet Music Collection from Amazon. As soon as I am done with one of my current pieces I will start with one of the easier ones. Do you think BlueBird or Moments would be the easiest?
Posted By: Amy H Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/15/20 09:38 AM
Originally Posted by PatG
Thanks for this thread. I did not know about his music. I signed up for Soptify and am currently listening to it and I purchased the Sheet Music Collection from Amazon. As soon as I am done with one of my current pieces I will start with one of the easier ones. Do you think BlueBird or Moments would be the easiest?

His playlist called Alexis Ffrench: The Complete Music Playlist is playing on my Spotify all the time!
I am biased, so I'll say learn Bluebird first. I think it sounds more rewarding once you've learned it vs Moments, BUT they are all pretty so take your pick!! :-)
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/15/20 11:42 AM
I haven’t played Bluebird yet, but I think Moments might be easier. It may depend on how comfortable you are with the left hand for each piece. Bluebird has a more traditional waltz pulse in the left hand, whereas Moments doesn’t... But they should both be fairly accessible...
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/15/20 05:02 PM
I think playing the notes in Moments is easier than Bluebird but bringing Moments to life and really giving it something is harder. I don't think there is a big difference between the difficulty to them both.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/15/20 05:11 PM
Really enjoyed your submission of Moments to the recital ShiroKuro. Our interpretations are so very different, yours is closer to Alexis Ffrench's playing and has an uplifting feel to it, the cicadas are there though not properly recognisable. Mine is currently very slow with a strong melancholy feel to it.

I am not yet comfortable enough with it to do a video recording, and I need a solution for the page turns.

Alexis Ffrench Moments.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/15/20 05:13 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
I think playing the notes in Moments is easier than Bluebird but bringing Moments to life and really giving it something is harder.

That's a helpful way to think of it! Although I haven't played Bluebird, I suspect you're right.

Quote
I don't think there is a big difference between the difficulty to them both.

Again, I think you're right. I plan to try Bluebird after I get September Song worked up, and I'll try to compare when I do.
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/15/20 10:19 PM

Bravo ShiroKuro, I really enjoyed that!

I know Amy's piece is Peter Bence, but it kind of sounds like Alexis Ffrench as well. laugh

Well done!
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/16/20 01:15 PM
I have just bought myself a second music rest. I don't seem to be remembering Alexis Ffrench music for playing from memory, and I find there are few opportunities for page turning while playing his music. I could get away with it for Bluebird, where I've remembered the first page and so only need one page turn which I achieve by repeating the left hand harmony for a bar while I turn the page with the right hand.

I realised I'm not going to get a good recording of Moments unless I do this. At some point in the future I'll buy myself an iPad Pro 12.9" but I need my cash now so I can restart lessons and if I buy an iPad that will be a few more months without lessons.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/30/20 06:48 PM
A followup for recording Moments. Still some work needed to remove those pauses but it is coming along now.

Moments on Vimeo 3:26
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/30/20 08:42 PM
Oh wow!!!! Really, really lovely playing!!!!!!!!!! You've done a great job with this!!

I don't think those pauses are an issue... actually, rather than thinking about getting rid of those pauses, leave them. Instead, you might think about adding pauses elsewhere....

In other words, maybe make the piece breathe a little more (esp. in the LH maybe)

I note that at the top of the score, it says the piece should be played "with tenderness and freedom." You've got the tenderness part down, and then some! So add a little freedom...

Also, I may be projecting because adding the "breath" and the "freedom" is the hard part for me with this piece.
whome
Posted By: PatG Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/30/20 08:44 PM
KevinM I enjoyed listening to your recording of Moments! Nice job!

I'm still waiting for Alexis Ffrench The Sheet Music Collection book to arrive. I ordered it from Amazon on 8/14 and it was suppose to arrive no later than 8/28.
Posted By: JB_PW Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/30/20 09:08 PM
Originally Posted by PatG
I'm still waiting for Alexis Ffrench The Sheet Music Collection book to arrive. I ordered it from Amazon on 8/14 and it was suppose to arrive no later than 8/28.

Interesting...I pre-ordered on Amazon on 8/19. At that time it said the book wasn't going to be released until November I think. Now it's showing in stock but not shipping until Sept 15.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/30/20 09:15 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Oh wow!!!! Really, really lovely playing!!!!!!!!!! You've done a great job with this!!

I don't think those pauses are an issue... actually, rather than thinking about getting rid of those pauses, leave them. Instead, you might think about adding pauses elsewhere....

In other words, maybe make the piece breathe a little more (esp. in the LH maybe)

I note that at the top of the score, it says the piece should be played "with tenderness and freedom." You've got the tenderness part down, and then some! So add a little freedom...

Also, I may be projecting because adding the "breath" and the "freedom" is the hard part for me with this piece.
whome

Thanks so much. I think I'd like more choice of when the pauses happen rather than when I've got my fingers tied up in knots, and often a different random spot each time.

I also have the same problem with "breath" and "freedom". Usually by the point I've got a piece well enough in my fingers to be able to add breath by choice I am done with it and that is coming from someone who likes to get every piece he learns to a point where I can pull off an acceptable recording.
Posted By: PatG Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/30/20 09:16 PM
That is interesting JB_PW. When I ordered it with Prime it said it was available. The book went from CA to CO to Billings, MT and now is in Missoula, MT. I'm only 20 miles from Missoula so I should get it tomorrow or Tuesday for sure.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/30/20 11:49 PM
Kevin,
Quote
I also have the same problem with "breath" and "freedom". Usually by the point I've got a piece well enough in my fingers to be able to add breath by choice I am done with it and that is coming from someone who likes to get every piece he learns to a point where I can pull off an acceptable recording.

Well, you are already at that point with this piece. It sounds just lovely! You might keep it in your fingers and play it with the aim of feeling like you have more control over it, but you've done a great job with the piece, so definitely give yourself credit for that!
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/31/20 05:50 PM
I tweeted my playing of Moments and in the tweet I mentioned composed by Alexis Ffrench using his twitter handle. I just got a nice reply from him saying good job. I am a full on fanboy now.
Posted By: PatG Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/31/20 07:03 PM
KevinM wow that's cool! Can I have your autograph? You did do a nice job and should be proud. I just got the book today. Excited to start learning a piece. Gonna try a find the easiest one.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/31/20 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
I tweeted my playing of Moments and in the tweet I mentioned composed by Alexis Ffrench using his twitter handle. I just got a nice reply from him saying good job. I am a full on fanboy now.

That's awesome!! I posted mine on FB but it didn't give me the option to tab him.. Maybe I'll try again... whome
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/31/20 09:56 PM
I was watching your recording closely ShiroKuro and I noticed we have made some interestingly different fingering choices. Looking at AF videos of him playing, his hands look quite large and so we have to find our own answers to fingering that works and mixing that with a judicious use of the sustain pedal.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/31/20 09:57 PM
Originally Posted by PatG
KevinM wow that's cool! Can I have your autograph? You did do a nice job and should be proud. I just got the book today. Excited to start learning a piece. Gonna try a find the easiest one.

I am looking forward In following your progress and listening to recordings.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 08/31/20 10:07 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
I was watching your recording closely ShiroKuro and I noticed we have made some interestingly different fingering choices. Looking at AF videos of him playing, his hands look quite large and so we have to find our own answers to fingering that works and mixing that with a judicious use of the sustain pedal.

Exactly!! When I saw your recording, I was thinking "oh good camera angle so I can see his hands!" smile

My hands are not particularly small for a woman, but I have no doubt that Mr. Ffrench has much bigger hands than I do!

I'm working on Sept. Song, and several spots I think "his hands must be enormous" because of the stretch. Although I think he didn't prep the score (I think it was prepped by either a fan or one of those sites where you can buy a transcription of audio) so it might just be the way the piece was transcribed...
Posted By: PatG Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/01/20 01:36 AM
Can you explain the composer's tips in Bluebird? "Practise the piece in chordal clusters to reinforce economy of movement. Practise the left hand separately and make the dotted minims as sonorous as possible". Choral clusters? and minims as sonorous as possible?

sonorous - adjective. giving out or capable of giving out a sound, especially a deep, resonant sound, as a thing or place: a sonorous cavern. loud, deep, or resonant, as a sound. rich and full in sound, as language or verse.

KevinM - Sorry but you probably won't hear a recording from me. I'm not good enough for that.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/01/20 08:18 AM
I watched a few of the tutorials and I decided they didn't make much sense to me. At the moment I listen to AF recordings as a guide more than anything. So my playing is not so far from his playing, Amy did a better job of making her own interpretation of Bluebird.

If you are learning Bluebird I would recommend working hard on the runs in thirds from the start. Mine are still very fragile and the most likely reason for me to trip up while playing.
Posted By: JB_PW Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/01/20 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
If you are learning Bluebird I would recommend working hard on the runs in thirds from the start. Mine are still very fragile and the most likely reason for me to trip up while playing.

I love this piece so much, but I still cannot do that section. I can't seem to settle on any fingering that works well consistently without flubbing one transition or another. I pull it out every month or two and try again, hoping one day it will magically work!

Really looking forward to getting the new book. I've had Moments on my wishlist for awhile, but I'm glad I didn't pay $5 for just that song since it's included.
Posted By: Music Me Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/01/20 05:33 PM
Funny, my copy of "The Sheet Music Collection" should be getting to my door by this afternoon. I only wish it had "Radiate" included.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/01/20 09:38 PM
Originally Posted by JB_PW
Originally Posted by KevinM
If you are learning Bluebird I would recommend working hard on the runs in thirds from the start. Mine are still very fragile and the most likely reason for me to trip up while playing.

I love this piece so much, but I still cannot do that section. I can't seem to settle on any fingering that works well consistently without flubbing one transition or another. I pull it out every month or two and try again, hoping one day it will magically work!

I am not sure I am the person to be giving advise on this but I have benefitted from hands separate practise on this section. I am rarely a practise hands separate person but when I can be disciplined enough and do hands separate practise For this it does help.
Posted By: JB_PW Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/02/20 01:00 AM
Originally Posted by KevinM
I am not sure I am the person to be giving advise on this but I have benefitted from hands separate practise on this section. I am rarely a practise hands separate person but when I can be disciplined enough and do hands separate practise For this it does help.

I am a proactive HS-er. smile It's just not working. I keep meaning to take this piece to a lesson and at least have my teacher help me decide on the best fingering so I can stick with that. Might need to adjust the angle of my hand too, I don't know. Next lesson maybe!
Posted By: Music Me Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/02/20 09:15 PM
Do any of you here who like/listen to Alexis Ffrench have a transcription for his composition "Radiate"? Anyone know where I can fins it? Ive searched on his site and it doesn't seem to exist. It appears that he has just about all of his music transcribed and available but not this piece.


Thanks !
Posted By: PatG Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/03/20 07:14 PM
Music me I searched on google and went to several places but could not find Radiate. frown
Posted By: Music Me Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/04/20 12:02 AM
Originally Posted by PatG
Music me I searched on google and went to several places but could not find Radiate. frown
Thanks so much for looking.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/04/20 12:04 AM
Music Me, I also checked Tunescribers (which is where I got the score for September Song) but they didn't have Radiate.

Did you check MuseScore? When did Radiate come out?

BTW re Tunescribers... I don't think they did a very good job with Sept Song. If he ever puts out an official score, I will definitely re-buy. (It's not in his new collection either)
Posted By: Music Me Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/04/20 08:19 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Music Me, I also checked Tunescribers (which is where I got the score for September Song) but they didn't have Radiate.

Did you check MuseScore? When did Radiate come out?

BTW re Tunescribers... I don't think they did a very good job with Sept Song. If he ever puts out an official score, I will definitely re-buy. (It's not in his new collection either)
Thanks so much ShiroKuro. "Radiate" doesn't appear to be on any of his recordings. There is a video on YouTube where he recorded the song in Royal Albert Hall. I even wrote to him asking about purchasing the transcription but received no response. Oh well! Thanks for looking. I appreciate it.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/04/20 08:48 PM
That is disappointing Barbara.

Hopefully it will become available at some point in time.
Posted By: Music Me Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/05/20 12:16 AM
Originally Posted by KevinM
That is disappointing Barbara.

Hopefully it will become available at some point in time.
Thanks. No worries. Believe it or not, I've got most of it by ear. But, I always like seeing exactly what the composer wrote. I'm surprised, considering he just about has published everything he has composed in sheet music.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/05/20 02:25 AM
He doesn’t have an official score for September Song either. I wish he did because I think the score I have (from Tunescribers) is not notated very well. Like, somethings that should be on the LH are written in the RH staff... in other sections, the same passage or series of notes is written differently in one section than another, so that just makes reading it that much harder. -_-
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/05/20 02:32 AM
Wow Radiate is a really beautiful piece of music. I wonder if a lot of it is improvised and that’s why it’s not in the Sheet Music Collection...

Anyway, Just in case:
Posted By: Colin Miles Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/05/20 07:51 AM
I would say definitely improvised.
Posted By: Music Me Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/05/20 03:09 PM
Maybe he will see the interest here and decide to transcribe it.
Posted By: Music Me Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/05/20 03:15 PM
Originally Posted by Music Me
Maybe he will see the interest here and decide to transcribe it.
I actually came across a recording of "Radiate" with Chorus! It is available on Amazon as a single - it is not part of an album. I wish I knew who to add it here - sorry, but I don't.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/05/20 04:54 PM
Do you mean this one:



PW makes it really easy to add videos, just copy the URL and then back at PW, go to "use full editor" to post a reply. Then along the top (underneath where it says "post") click on the icon that looks like a movie clapboard, and select YouTube video, then paste in the link.

Re the video with the choir, I haven't listened to the whole thing yet, but I suspect I will prefer the piano solo version...

However, it also points to one of the reasons Ffrench is so talented, because he does not only solo piano music, but also orchestral scores, and evidently, choir music. Very cool!!
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/10/20 09:28 PM
My progress with Moments, I switched virtual pianos and I think VSL Vienna Imperial works better. My rhythm here I think has also improved a little. Just an audio recording this time. Video is just that extra step, but I'll probably go for a video recording with this virtual piano at some point because I think it is the right one for the piece.

Moments by Alexis Ffrench on Soundcloud
Posted By: John305 Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/14/20 03:25 PM
=The Sheet Music Collection is on sale at Sheet Music Plus for 25% off at the moment.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/14/20 03:53 PM
I should have waiting.... :P
Posted By: John305 Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/14/20 04:08 PM
Me too.
Posted By: JB_PW Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/14/20 04:22 PM
Me three! And I'm still going to have to pay to get it spiral bound. Could barely read through it this weekend. mad
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/14/20 05:16 PM
Shipping isn't free though.

Btw, I just downloaded the Kindle sample from Amazon and it is a magnificent render. It might even be PDF-level quality. Can't be printed from Kindle though.

https://www.amazon.com/Alexis-Ffrench-Sheet-Music-Collection-ebook/dp/B08D2Z6RK4/
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 09/14/20 06:06 PM
Originally Posted by navindra
Shipping isn't free though.

Btw, I just downloaded the Kindle sample from Amazon and it is a magnificent render. It might even be PDF-level quality. Can't be printed from Kindle though.

https://www.amazon.com/Alexis-Ffrench-Sheet-Music-Collection-ebook/dp/B08D2Z6RK4/

It's on Apple Books as well but a terrible render... this is what Amazon sheet music typically looks like but Amazon got it right this time.

https://books.apple.com/us/book/alexis-ffrench-the-sheet-music-collection/id1526681036
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/02/21 07:57 PM
KevinM asked me about this in a different thread so I thought I'd add it to this thread.

I attended an online "master class" by Alexis Ffrench in July 2020. I started following Ffrench on Facebook and it was announced there that he was going to do a master class to commemorate the release of his new musical score collection (the blue one that's talked about earlier in this thread). Also, he had been doing a lot of online stuff because of the pandemic.

Anyway, it was only about an hour long, and although I was absolutely over the moon at being able to attend, it wasn't super "technical" or pedagogical. He played a little bit and took questions from the participants. (He didn't play any of his pieces in their entirety but it was neat to have him play a little and talk about the music)

The first person who was permitted to turn their audio on and ask a question didn't actually have a question, she just practically screamed like a fangirl (nothing wrong with that) and was yelling "we love you Alexis" (it was kind of cute).

But anyway, when I heard that, I thought, ok, I am going to ask a question then! (I was sort of intimidated at first thinking maybe the other attendees were all a bunch of classically trained advanced students or something).

So, I was actually selected as the next person to ask a question, so I asked about 3/4 time, because I don't usually like 3/4 time but I love Bluebird and Moments. So I asked about the "pulse" of 3/4 because Bluebird sort of has a more traditional waltz pulse, but Moments does not (to my ear anyway). So he talked about both of those pieces, and I got to ask a follow up and it was just really neat to do that!

After that, the questions were about Dreamland and Waterfalls, and he talked a lot about playing expressively, finding the line of the music and so on.

Then there were questions like "how do you get ready for a performance" and questions about his practice routine. It was there that he talked about playing Bach and he said that he always plays Bach, and that he doesn't play his own music before a concert.

I actually took a ton of notes and now I can't find them! smirk If I find them I'll share what I wrote.

I don't know if the whole thing would be available online at all, but it was in July 2020 if that helps?
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/02/21 09:21 PM
Thanks Shiro that is useful info, that explains why I heard nothing about it, I don't do facebook.

I like your thoughtful question about 3/4 time in relation to bluebird and moments.

Interesting note about playing Bach as part of his practise routine. I honestly would not have expected that. My teacher wants me to start on the inventions and I'm not a fan, but perhaps it is what I need. I find she makes suggestions and a few months later I start, like I need the time to adjust to the suggestion and find my own way for it to work for me.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/02/21 10:02 PM
I wasn't keen to do any Inventions either, but when I started playing them, I found them really appealing and I think in some ways it changed how I *listen* to music...

It's been years since I've played any Inventions but I always enjoy Bach whenever anything by him pops up in my sightreading practice...

BTW, I am still working on Sept. Song by Ffrench. I did a practice recording yesterday actually and I think I am very close to having something shareable! I hope to contribute this piece to the Feb, ABF recital... smile
Posted By: Pathbreaker Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/03/21 06:20 PM
I love his music which was introduced to me by this thread. Thanks!
I hope to play some of it eventually but first need to find a nice book (or digital could do).
Posted By: Pathbreaker Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/03/21 06:29 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
I wasn't keen to do any Inventions either, but when I started playing them, I found them really appealing and I think in some ways it changed how I *listen* to music...

It's been years since I've played any Inventions but I always enjoy Bach whenever anything by him pops up in my sightreading practice...

BTW, I am still working on Sept. Song by Ffrench. I did a practice recording yesterday actually and I think I am very close to having something shareable! I hope to contribute this piece to the Feb, ABF recital... smile


This is a very interesting comment. I'm like KevinM when it comes to the Inventions by Bach. There's plenty of Bach that I enjoy listening to but never could sit through the Inventions. But I definitely identify with what you're saying about learning the music and seeing it differently. I will take a look again and see if I can try learning some.

Thanks for your amazing post about the masterclass. I wish I had attended that.
Posted By: JB_PW Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/03/21 06:55 PM
For some of us, I think the Inventions really are an acquired taste. When I first started they did not interest me much...in fact, I would have stated that I was not a fan of baroque music at all. I kept at it though, because my teacher kept telling me how good they are for hand independence. It was at least 6 months before I noticed that I was really enjoying them. Over a period of about 2 years I worked on 7 or 8 I think, then switched to some little preludes for the last few months.

Just this past week I've dusted off my book and played through all of my previous efforts...for fun! Now I'm going to pick one or two to take another run at; I'm still not at a level where I can play any of them "well," but I hope to do better this time around. Bach is kind of addictive for me...I feel like I must work on at least one Bach piece along with everything else I'm doing.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/03/21 07:48 PM
Pathbreaker, glad this thread has made another Ffrench fan! For sheet music, I recommend this:

https://www.amazon.com/Alexis-Ffren...is+ffrench&qid=1609703054&sr=8-2

He has another, earlier book (Secret Piano is the title??) but I haven't seen it.

I can't remember if anyone in this thread had purchased the Kindle version, but if you can wait for the paper version, I would recommend it just because I often read bad reviews about kindle sheet music.

Oh, if you want to just purchase a single piece, there are a few places online that sell his PDFs, including MusicNotes and somewhere else that I'm forgetting.

BTW I buy scores from MusicNotes all the time and usually have no problem with the "look" of the score, so I don't know what the problem with Kindle is...

Re Bach, yeah there's something about Bach that I think we don't "hear" until we've tried to play it! Fascinating! smile
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/03/21 07:50 PM
ShiroKuro, thanks for sharing your experience with his master class!

I'm finally ready to work on an Alexis Ffrench piece -- I got the Blue Book and everything (Kindle version) and it is indeed very lovely. The thing that was blocking me was the need to "finish" the Erik Satie piece (also in Waltz time) I was working on:



I definitely feel nods to Satie in some of Alexis' pieces, so hopefully this investment will help. The Satie piece was much harder for me than I had expected even though it's referred to as an easy beginner piece. It was especially hard for me to record it, which was somewhat demoralizing.

What should I expect for Bluebird in terms of difficulty? What does Alexis mean by "chordal clusters"? What do the short horizontal lines on top of some of the notes mean? How do folks pedal this one? Any other practice advice?

Thanks for any tips!
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/03/21 08:46 PM
Originally Posted by navindra
What should I expect for Bluebird in terms of difficulty? What does Alexis mean by "chordal clusters"? What do the short horizontal lines on top of some of the notes mean? How do folks pedal this one? Any other practice advice?

Thanks for any tips!

My only advise relates to the short runs in thirds for the right hand that happen on the third page. Start practising them hard from the very start. I find them incredibly tough and they are by far the most fragile part for me when playing the piece.

I don't really know what he means by chordal clusters.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/03/21 08:49 PM
I have the Secret Piano book and I keep poking at it in the hope I'll discover a way in, but so far all of it appears to be above my level. To get help from my teacher I'd have to take screen shots of every page so she could check it all out, so that hasn't happened yet.

Like Shiro I have been buying individual sheet music from music notes. I haven't purchased the blue book, but I've purchased Bluebird, Moments, and Flow and Begin Again though the last is like Secret Piano and above my level.
Posted By: Pathbreaker Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/03/21 10:57 PM
Thanks ShiroKuro, I will probably go for that collection since I like so much of it. Looks like it's $14.99 at sheetmusicplus at the moment.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/04/21 12:34 AM
navindra, great recording!!

I haven't played Bluebird yet, but during his master class, I was surprised that he said Moments is harder than Bluebird. That doesn't really answer your question though...

Also, I can't find my notes (IKR?!) but IIRC chordal clusters could be sections where there's actual a chord spread out (maybe like the LH pattern in Moments?) and also like what happens in September Song, where there are chords spread across both hands and there are inner voices... That's (IMO) what that piece is sooo hard!!!

I think the idea is to be able to recognize them, so that you're not playing a bunch of notes, but you see the relationship between the notes....

I think that's what he was saying anyway.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/04/21 11:11 AM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
navindra, great recording!!
+1

Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
I haven't played Bluebird yet, but during his master class, I was surprised that he said Moments is harder than Bluebird. That doesn't really answer your question though...

I would agree with the assessment that Moments is harder. Other than the short runs in thirds Bluebird is not too bad. I found a lot more areas in Moments that were difficult to get right and keep from going backwards while practising other bits.

I've not tried to maintain Moments since learning as there are just too many areas where work is required to maintain the ability to play, whereas I still play Bluebird regularly, with just a bit of practise on the one hard bit to maintain.
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/13/21 08:11 PM
The tempo markings for Bluebird specify 50 bpm per dotted half-note. I read that as 150 bpm per quarter note.

That seems too fast for this piece, doesn't it?
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/14/21 12:57 AM
Hmm, you might be surprised though... Put a metronome going at 3/4 and just count out the LH part and see if it sounds right to you? I'll do that myself, later on this evening....
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/14/21 01:43 AM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Hmm, you might be surprised though... Put a metronome going at 3/4 and just count out the LH part and see if it sounds right to you? I'll do that myself, later on this evening....

Will do, at first blush it seemed faster than I expected, but of course it must be right!

Originally Posted by KevinM

Just listened to this again... really really well done! Bravo!

Feels like the extra bar is around 1:40.

Definitely got the 'tenderly' part down! Which piano voice did you use for this?
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/14/21 02:36 AM
Yes, I just checked. I didn't check the whole thing, just the beginning, and I think Ffrench plays it right at about 150 to the quarter note (or, 50 with one count per measure).

It doesn't seem that fast, partly because there aren't any 16th notes (nothing smaller than an eighth note).

As an aside, I'm still working on September Song and I think I can have a recording of it in time for the Feb ABF recital (fingers crossed!)
Posted By: kj85 Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/27/21 12:20 PM
Discovered him last week through an Amy Dickson performance.



Haven't listened to him a lot, but I greatly enjoy his Bluebird piano solo.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/27/21 02:35 PM
Originally Posted by navindra
Originally Posted by KevinM

Just listened to this again... really really well done! Bravo!

Feels like the extra bar is around 1:40.

Definitely got the 'tenderly' part down! Which piano voice did you use for this?

I'm using VSLs Vienna Imperial virtual piano. My default choice.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/27/21 03:03 PM
kj85m, thanks for posting that, I'll listen later today.

I was actually just thinking about this thread because I got an almost-shareable recording of September Song yesterday (memory flub right at the the end! :P

I'm still hoping to have it ready for the Feb 15th recital!
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/30/21 05:57 AM


New Wishing video just dropped.

MIDI lights without being MIDI lights... also, this time Alexis is playing a Bösendorfer instead of a Yamaha.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/30/21 09:31 AM
Alexis had a Bösendorfer in his house for sometime. I don't know if he owned it or Bösendorfer the company were lending it to him.

There are a few examples of him practising on his Bösendorfer on his twitter feed though none in the immediate past.

Alexis Ffrench playing Chopin
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/30/21 12:26 PM
Navindra, thanks for posting that!!! How lovely! “Wishing” is in The Sheet Music Collection. I need to go look at it because I want to see what the LH /RH parts look like where there’s that ... echoing? For lack of a better descriptor!
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 01/30/21 08:48 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
Alexis had a Bösendorfer in his house for sometime. I don't know if he owned it or Bösendorfer the company were lending it to him.

There are a few examples of him practising on his Bösendorfer on his twitter feed though none in the immediate past.

Alexis Ffrench playing Chopin

That's a great clip, thanks for sharing!
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/06/21 09:06 AM
Any advice for how to handle the hand/finger overlap in the tenuto section for Bluebird on the second page?

The LH and RH are notated to play same key. I guess it's better to let the RH do it for the melody, but it feels awkward to play.

Thanks!
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/06/21 09:44 AM
I think playing it with the right hand is right, but it might be the octave stretch to play the next note while holding down the previous note becomes awkward to play with control. Playing with the right is what I do. You need to remember that the note needs to be held down for the additional time as indicated in the bass clef.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/10/21 09:58 AM
@navindra, I was wrong in my comment above, I play it with my left hand.

I am loving my new virtual piano so much I'm doing some new recordings including of Bluebird.

The runs in thirds are tripping me up, but other than the roughness there I think this is sounding pretty nice.

Bluebird played using the new Bösendorfer VC280 from VSL virtual piano.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/11/21 12:13 AM
Lovely!!!! You are right, it's very nice!!!
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/11/21 02:52 AM
Originally Posted by KevinM
@navindra, I was wrong in my comment above, I play it with my left hand.

I am loving my new virtual piano so much I'm doing some new recordings including of Bluebird.

The runs in thirds are tripping me up, but other than the roughness there I think this is sounding pretty nice.

Bluebird played using the new Bösendorfer VC280 from VSL virtual piano.

Sounds great, like a concert piano with a massive reverb. Makes it sing.

I'm also starting to think about what piano I will use for this piece.

Thanks a lot for the fingering tips!
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/11/21 08:17 AM
Originally Posted by navindra

Sounds great, like a concert piano with a massive reverb. Makes it sing.
Did you remove your first version? I thought that was really great as well. I imagine you might have run into Vimeo limits though.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/11/21 08:32 AM
I just made it private, I didn't want the channel to get too many duplicates of the same piece played with different VSTs. You can listen to it here I believe. If you have a problem let me know.

Private version of Bluebird

That was also played with a VSL virtual piano called Vienna Imperial. It is about 10 years old but still a favourite though the VC280 is coming close to knocking it off its place. Nothing else has come close.
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/12/21 12:53 AM
Originally Posted by KevinM
I just made it private, I didn't want the channel to get too many duplicates of the same piece played with different VSTs. You can listen to it here I believe. If you have a problem let me know.

Private version of Bluebird

That was also played with a VSL virtual piano called Vienna Imperial. It is about 10 years old but still a favourite though the VC280 is coming close to knocking it off its place. Nothing else has come close.

Thanks! It's difficult to compare the two directly because of the massive difference in reverb, but I think your Vienna Imperial rendering has a special quality to it. A lightness and softness to it plus a lyrical quality (and longer sustain?) that really seems to work well here.

Don't delete it please, I still use it as a reference! laugh

For a true comparison, I think you'd have to disable the ambient effect... but my feeling is that your old favorite pulls ahead... but maybe just because you know it so well? The VC280A version definitely sounds like a concert performance though!
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 11:17 AM
New video!

Alexis Ffrench - Story of You

Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 12:33 PM
Thanks for posting that! Now I want to go look at the score and see how hard it is!

He does a lot of videos with lighting that makes me think of an art installation in a museum, I wonder who designs his sets...

It also makes me think of the artist Yayoi Kusama, I would love to see a collaboration between him and her, or a piano video where he played “in” her installation!
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 03:04 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Thanks for posting that! Now I want to go look at the score and see how hard it is!

He does a lot of videos with lighting that makes me think of an art installation in a museum, I wonder who designs his sets...

It also makes me think of the artist Yayoi Kusama, I would love to see a collaboration between him and her, or a piano video where he played “in” her installation!

I have just received today Alexis Ffrench: The Sheet Music Collection book and it is included thumb (BTW, 17€ shipped, is a bargain IMHO)

It is clearly over my level, but you can have dreams, don't you? smile
Posted By: Music Me Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 04:33 PM
This is one of my favorite pieces of his. I only wish he would re do a video of a solo performance of "Radiate". And, publish the transcription.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 05:24 PM
Just for fun, here are two Kusama light installations:

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Maybe the bottom one is a little too "busy" for Mr. Ffrench's compositions.... grin
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 07:28 PM
Well I submitted my recording of Alexis Ffrench’s September Song to the ABF Recital. Whew. This piece is not in his sheet music collection, so the score was a transcription and I think that made the learning process harder than it needed to be.

More to the point, this piece is much harder than Bluebird or Moments (IMO at least), and I think it was really just beyond my level. Nevertheless, I recorded it at the place I have it right now. Maybe I can record it again in the future when I’ve ironed out some of the rough spots.

All that said, please give a listen when the recital goes live! smile
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 07:37 PM
The one which I commented is included is Story of You... You mean Radiate, right?
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 07:42 PM
BTW I have just started with Bluebird and I am pretty happy and surprised it begins to sound fine and I am able to play first page at slower speed in just an hour... So I think I will be able to play it in some weeks. Probably for most of you this is pretty simple playing but I am delighted and almost crying out of emotion blush
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 07:45 PM
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
The one which I commented is included is Story of You... You mean Radiate, right?

Apologies, but whose post is this in response to? If you were directing it at me, I wasn’t responding to a specific piece, I was just thinking that Ffrench’s videos fit aesthetically with Kusama’s way of using lights... smile
Posted By: EVC2017 Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 08:03 PM
I learned about Alexis Ffrench through a lady called Amy in the Digital Piano forum. IIRC she recorded Bluebird.

I have listened to several video of his on Youtube. Some tunes sound somewhat similar but still, I liked most of what I heard. And I bought the book too. smile

From those I listened to, I liked Rapture the most. Dreamland comes second. Bluebird is nice.

Rapture is above my current skill level. I found Dreamland more within reach but also very challenging. So I decided to start with Bluebird, which I think is within reach, even if still challenging (TBH I underestimated it wink ). But not trying a song I laked better was bothering me so I tried Dreamland again. It took me a few hours to internalize the first four measures - I could not make them sound OK inside my head even when playing the right notes - at a lower beat, of course - but now I have grabbed it (I hope all this makes sense).

Now the challenge to me is playing measures 13 to 16 (hands compete for the same keyboard space - it seems to be common in his pieces. smile ).

EDIT: FWIW, I transcribed Dreamland on Musescore from Alexis' tutorial video while I waited for the book to arive (it took more than one month - and I was not even sure Amazon was really going to honor my order as they charged my CC only right before the book arrived home). Quite an exercise by itself.
Posted By: KevinM Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 09:18 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
All that said, please give a listen when the recital goes live! smile

I thought you did well with Moments, which is harder than Bluebird, I'm looking forward to the listen.
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 09:20 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Originally Posted by EB5AGV
The one which I commented is included is Story of You... You mean Radiate, right?

Apologies, but whose post is this in response to? If you were directing it at me, I wasn’t responding to a specific piece, I was just thinking that Ffrench’s videos fit aesthetically with Kusama’s way of using lights... smile

Ops, sorry, I misread your message, my error!. Forget about it eek
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 09:33 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Well I submitted my recording of Alexis Ffrench’s September Song to the ABF Recital. Whew. This piece is not in his sheet music collection, so the score was a transcription and I think that made the learning process harder than it needed to be.

More to the point, this piece is much harder than Bluebird or Moments (IMO at least), and I think it was really just beyond my level. Nevertheless, I recorded it at the place I have it right now. Maybe I can record it again in the future when I’ve ironed out some of the rough spots.

All that said, please give a listen when the recital goes live! smile

Bravo! Your rendering is truly wonderful. I love how deeply resonant your piano is and you did a wonderful job capturing that on the recording.

I didn't know this piece previously, but you made it immediately familiar and relatable. Your playing is fluid and very lyrical... you made it sound like a song with words, even though there were no words.

I think someone should pen lyrics for it, as I think it could really work as a song!

👏
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 09:41 PM
Originally Posted by KevinM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
All that said, please give a listen when the recital goes live! smile

I thought you did well with Moments, which is harder than Bluebird, I'm looking forward to the listen.

Thank you Kevin! I would say Sept. Song is **much** hard than Moments... I would love to see what the score would look like if Mr. Ffrench prepared it himself!

navindra, are you talking about Sept. Song? I didn't think the recital pieces could be accessed early? Or Moments? Or you're not talking to me? A little confused here... whome
Posted By: navindra Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 09:52 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
navindra, are you talking about Sept. Song? I didn't think the recital pieces could be accessed early? Or Moments? Or you're not talking to me? A little confused here... whome

Yes, bravo to you! laugh

The performances are apparently all indexed and available early, though the publishing process is not properly complete till Monday. I listened to your YouTube link rather than guessing the MP3 upload location.
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/13/21 10:36 PM
In that case:

Originally Posted by navindra
Bravo! Your rendering is truly wonderful. I love how deeply resonant your piano is and you did a wonderful job capturing that on the recording.

I didn't know this piece previously, but you made it immediately familiar and relatable. Your playing is fluid and very lyrical... you made it sound like a song with words, even though there were no words.

I think someone should pen lyrics for it, as I think it could really work as a song!

👏

Thank you so, so, so much for these comments!!! I love this piece and feel quite keenly how much of it I am not capturing. But I absolutely love playing in, so thank you thank you thank you for saying this!!!!
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/20/21 02:37 PM
I have a very basic question... On which pianist level would you classify Bluebird?. Thanks!
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/20/21 02:52 PM
Good question! I haven't played it myself, but just from looking at the score and listening to it, I would put it intermediate level, not upper intermediate I don't think.

One thing that makes is easier is that the LH is a very consistent pattern (similar to the LH in Moments) and you can kind of put it on autopilot. Then for the RH there are some sections with thirds, but often the melody line is just one note, again, that should make it a little easier.

Maybe other people here can add to this?
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/20/21 03:50 PM
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Good question! I haven't played it myself, but just from looking at the score and listening to it, I would put it intermediate level, not upper intermediate I don't think.

One thing that makes is easier is that the LH is a very consistent pattern (similar to the LH in Moments) and you can kind of put it on autopilot. Then for the RH there are some sections with thirds, but often the melody line is just one note, again, that should make it a little easier.

Maybe other people here can add to this?

Thanks!. I am just ending my third year of playing and find it challenging in some parts. First two pages are almost done, but at an slower tempo... So my playing level is still beginner, as I suspected grin ha
Posted By: Amy H Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/27/21 09:19 PM
ShiroKuro your September Song recital is lovely!

I've been super quiet on here - currently training to be a school music teacher.
I have been learning Story of You - it's very simple, but it's important to put feeling into that piece to bring it to life.

Glad some new people have discovered Alexis Ffrench!!! :-)
Posted By: ShiroKuro Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/27/21 10:37 PM
Thank you for listening and for the lovely compliment!! That piece was sooo challenging for me, and I had such a hard time getting a share-able recording! Now that I did, I find it is even more fun to just play it!

Story of You is a great piece!! I'm trying to decide which of his to do next, I'm thinking Dreamland or Waterfalls, both of which sound difficult, each in their own ways...
Posted By: EVC2017 Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 02/28/21 09:53 AM
Originally Posted by Amy H
I have been learning Story of You - it's very simple, but it's important to put feeling into that piece to bring it to life.

Glad some new people have discovered Alexis Ffrench!!! :-)

Amy, I am glad I discovered him too (through your posts on digital piano forum). This one I hadn't heard until now. Lovely.

Thank you.
Posted By: EB5AGV Re: All things Alexis Ffrench - 03/23/21 08:39 AM
I am not sure if this video has already been posted:



Enjoy! thumb
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