Debussy Bergamasque Passepied

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Debussy Bergamasque Passepied

Postby Kazekayou » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:44 pm

Since long time I have been trying to realize my image of this piece.
Now 80 % is ready. I am afraid of if Pianolady accuses me of being " too explosive"
But I cannot but playing only such a way. :(

Debussy - Suite Bergamasque, no. 4 "Passepied"

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Re: Debussy Bergamasque Passepied

Postby pianolady » Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:31 pm

Ok, this is up. And I don't think you played 'explosively' at all on this one. However, I cannot comment too much. I only do that on pieces I am intimately familiar with, and I have not yet studied this piece thoroughly.
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Re: Debussy Bergamasque Passepied

Postby FrederickJ » Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:03 pm

I know this piece fairly well and hope that you will appreciate some constructive criticism.

Overall the piece is technically well played with very few missed notes.

That said, the piece feels harried to me, meaning it is rushed. Although the Passepied is certainly an up tempo piece, one has to be careful not to rush through it. There is beauty in the piece that can be felt with a little more restraint. Additionally (although counter intuitive), the use of variation in tempo could be been greater, meaning there are sections where a well placed retard would help set up the next section better.

I would urge caution in making sure that your right hand is not treating every note played by the right hand as melody or as more important than the rhythmic figures played by the left hand. It is probably a matter of personal taste, but I like the piece to be played much more lightly, more Mozart-like than Beethoven-like (I think you used the word "explosively"), but again that's probably artistic preference.

Last technique comment - in places the pedaling was a bit muddy for my tastes. I would urge more care in pedaling especially for parts of the piece where the left and right hands are in the lower registers.

A general recording comment - the microphone placement is not optimal in this recording. I noticed that in softer passages the left hand register almost disappears while the right hand passages stay bright and centered. A standard X-Y microphone configuration using dynamic microphones and careful balancing would help add clarity to the recording immensely. You can see more about this technique at

I hope this is helpful information. You play musically and have generally good technique and I would encourage you to continue recording.

Frederick Johnson

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Re: Debussy Bergamasque Passepied

Postby Rachfan » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:15 am

Hi kazekayou,

Overall, I think your playing of the Passapied leaves a good impression on the listener. You have a nice clean articulation and where the music becomes a little more lush, you bring that out well too.

The passapied was a gay, spirited dance in a quick 3/8 or 6/8 meter back in the time of Louis XIV in France, or the Baroque era of the 17th and early 18th centuries. I'm OK with your tempo, seems about right to me. In this piece Debussy is not only recalling the dance itself for the pianist and listeners, but is also paying equal homage to the old French clavinecists of that day. Early Baroque music was marked by some chromaticism, exuberance, irregularity of style, and capriciousness. As time went on, the music became more formalized marked by greater restraint, regularity of style, more structure, or as some musicologists like to say, the architectural element. So any "explosiveness" needs to be tempered accordingly.

Sometimes your "clean" playing is offset by too rich a pedal. Debussy (and Ravel also) wrote some atmospheric pieces that are totally enveloped in the pedals. But this work of Debussy has those old echoes of the Baroque. So pedaling needs to be more judicious.

Again, you played quite well here in my opinion.

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Re: Debussy Bergamasque Passepied

Postby musicusblau » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:10 pm

I think, this is a good recording. Some features even are very good, like your leggiero-touch, which really is splendid. Also dynamic and articulation at most places are really very good. (I´m aware you take some liberties, f.ex. you play sometimes staccato, when legato is in the score, but that could be intentional, is it so?) I only have very small suggestions for improvement: you could play the triplets in combination with the eigths with a bit more rhythmic clearness (play them a just a bit more conscious, so that the rhythmical difference always comes out very clearly). I don´t think, that the "tenutos" in the ppp-part are meant as sforzati, you play them too loud here. In the last accolade of page 2 very few notes are more or less inaudible respective too weak. At some few places there is too much noise of pedal in your recording. I also share Davids opinion, that pedal, if it´s used, should be more reserved in this piece.

In summary a fluent and good recording with a wonderful leggiero, which is very adequate for this more or less fast piece of impressionism. Your tempo is quite high for this "Allegretto ma non troppo", btw. Most interpretations I know are slower.

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Re: Debussy Bergamasque Passepied

Postby Kazekayou » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:52 pm

Thank you for everybody who gave me precious adivices.I will try my best to improve my piano following them.

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Re: Debussy Bergamasque Passepied

Postby felipesarro » Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:34 pm

I'm really impressed with this recording! I like the way you make contrasts with pedal, and the sudden verve of the middle part. the only reservation is the fortissimo passage. I think it could be less forte than you played because... well, it's Debussy! hehe

did you apply any equalization/effect to this recording? it seems to have been altered, or maybe this is just the recorder you used. if you applied any effect, I'd suggest you not to do so. there is something strange with the transients in your recording.

congratulations for the very nice performance!
Felipe Sarro

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Re: Debussy Bergamasque Passepied

Postby johnlewisgrant » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:10 am

It's hard to put up really well-known pieces or classics, so to speak. This is a dry recording, which also takes it out of the realm of standard Debussy recordings. Very often they are reverberant. Technically the performance is very good, certainly good enough to post! I'll bet with more perfecting (read "practice") it would get better and better. Playing the devil's advocate, I wonder how it would sound recorded in a more reverberant space?

The piano sound is very good. A Steinway?


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Re: Debussy Bergamasque Passepied

Postby Kazekayou » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:11 pm

My living room is not enough big, 50m² its cealing is 2.7m high( partially 4m) and there are furniture and big audio equipement so, the acoustic of this room is really poor. My piano is Yamaha CF3, full concert, which sounds prettly nice. My sound tends as dry and hot as Heraclitus. I'm indifferent if my style is Debussy like or not but interested in if it is enough austere and constructive. I will try my best to improve it according to your advice. I think my taste is far from normal one, perhaps because of my age.Thanks

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Re: Debussy Bergamasque Passepied

Postby musicusblau » Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:25 pm

Kazekayou wrote:
I'm indifferent if my style is Debussy like or not but interested in if it is enough austere and constructive.

From my view it really is, so have much success with your new attempts in creativity of interpretation!

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