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 Post subject: Brahms and Debussy
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 4:35 pm 
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Location: Miami, Florida, USA
Brahms: Ballade in G Minor, Op. 118, No.3

The tempo is marked “Allegro energico.” It should probably be faster than this, but it gets sloppy if I play it any faster. I find this piece exhilarating to play. It puts a smile on my face. I love Brahms and would like to learn more of his music, but his piano music is not very "user friendly" to pianists who are not blessed with large hands.

[url=http://server3.pianosociety.com/protected/debussy-la-plus-robson.mp3Debussy: La plus que lente[/url]

I hope my interpretation of this is not too unorthodox. Even though it’s one of Debussy’s most famous piano pieces, I haven’t heard it for many years. So I just tried to follow directions which I’m not often very good at.

I get the impression that Debussy displays his rather wry sense of humor in this work. Perhaps he was being satirical or purposely melodramatic. Does anyone know more about this? (Robert?)


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 5:03 pm 
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I must admit that Ballade is one of my least favourite Brahms pieces. For all it bringing a smile on your face, it sounds a pretty unsmiling performance - except the middle section. It's certainly not too slow I think, and except for some read errors you handle it very proficiently.

The Debussy Valse is nicely done. Not so unusual I think, except you make rather heavy weather of the Appassionato section where most pianists are more elegant and yearning here. Parts of the development section sound just like a Nazareth tango (none the worse for it though). Nothing to niggle about, well done.

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 1:36 am 
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Hi John,
I got to this sooner than what I told you before.

So...I know I'm going to sound so stupid, but i don't know these pieces. Eeeeek, you say. How can someone who loves to play piano not know these? Well, I have no excuse, except that I've been on a Chopin craze for around 10 years and before that I was busy doing...well...everything not related to piano. I have a lot of catching up to do. Anyway, I think you played both of these with very good expression, dynamics, and style. The Brahms is so dramatic and powerful, but the Debussy, which I usually blank out on, kept me interested the whole time. I'm sipping merlot while I listen and it's a breezy, hot night out here in northern Illinois and everything is good, again. I do like melodrama so this worked for me. What a great end. Good job. I'm very mellow now.

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 3:19 am 
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I have to agree with PianoLady about liking the melodramatic effect of that one section in the Debussy, even if it may be true that most pianists don't throw themselves into that part as much.

Regarding PianoLady's Chopin addiction, boy I sure can relate. Although when I sit at the piano, I am torn between the love for TWO men -- Debussy is akin to an old boyfriend who keeps creeping into the mind, but I know I must move past him, and stop preoccupying myself with his music. And Chopin is like another all-too-tempting love affair to throw oneself into. And I'll bet once Frederick has you in his grip, it becomes tough to want to spend time with other composers. Oh, but what wonderful addictions to have!


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 9:13 am 
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No really having love affairs with these men ;) and I for sure would not trust Debussy if I was a woman. Read his biographies when his wife founds out about Claude's morning walks leading to another younger woman? When he arrives home again and she confronts him with it, she shoots herself in the chest but miraculous survives. Claude still abandoned her for his younger mistress and so the stories with Claude and women goes on. Quite the opposite of the aristocratic and gentleman Chopin who's connection with women still quite a bit different (and disputable). But the poor Chopin never got his Maria Wodzinska to whom he proposed to (to her and her mother's happiness while her father said no) but never got and mourned her all of his life. When he died, they found her letters wrapped together and marked "My great sorrow". Maria married someone rich who died young, never got any children, got blind early and lived unhappy too.

Getting quite out of topic here :).

I do like your Brahms with its "cheering up mood" and it is really fun to play don't you think? Never got through it well myself and more or less just browsed through it. I have not studied the Debussy but it is a nice piece with a melancolique touch (as in many of Debussy's works) and you play it good. Perhaps I should try your trick Monica with a merlot in the evening but I would freeze to death if I sit outside. It has been a really cold spring this year.

They are both up on the site.

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 11:02 am 
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Robert, I knew about Chopin and Maria (poor man, wish I could have consoled him :wink: ) but I didn't know that about Debussy. What a cad!

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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