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 Post subject: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:17 am 
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J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E, from the second book of harpsichord pieces (1724)

Dear All,
Please find a series of harpsichord pieces that I have recorded recently, though I have played them for a long time. They form the first half of the second book of Rameau's solo harpsichord music. After an introductory "Menuet en rondeau" (in C), the nine present pieces are all in E, either major or minor, and are sometimes considered as a suite, although they do not appear like this in the edition. But they are nice to play or (hopefully !) to listen as such.

The menuet is sometimes used in piano beginners method; yes it is easy to play, but yet it is beautiful music, I think. In the following pieces, I'd like to emphasize the "Rappel des oiseaux", which is so descriptive of a dialog between birds, an idea used by more recent composers like Liszt or, of course, Messiaen. I have also a particular love for the second "Musette en rondeau": here we realize that those Baroque musicians, who lived close to kings and courts, were also fed with folk music. Actually this music evokes not only Versailles, but the whole French society of this early XVIIIth century, a time of special happiness in our history, when the people could breath and have good time after the last decades of Louis XIV' heavy reign...

A last remark: this music sounds very well on the modern piano, too, unlike most Couperin which is essentially harpsichordistic (if this word exists in English...).

Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E, 1. "Menuet"
Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E, 2. "Allemande"
Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E, 3. "Courante"
Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E, 4. "Gigue 1"
Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E, 5. "Gigue 2"
Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E, 6. "Rappel des oiseaux
Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E, 7. "Rigaudon"
Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E, 8. "Musette"
Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E, 9. "Tambourin"
Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E, 10. "La Villageoise"

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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:58 pm 
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:shock:
You are a sadistic harpsichordist. :P :lol:

Hi Francois,
I'm just teasing... :)
Can you please tell me what title I should use for this set? What is the book actually called, that sort of thing so I can make a new category for it. Unless you just want it to go under Rameau "miscellaneous"? Also, I am not complaining, but 10 recordings at once will take me a long time to process and I have very limited free-time these days. So just to let you know, it may take me the whole weekend to get all these done.

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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:00 pm 
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Monica, In my book it is Suite (1724). Suite in E (1724) maybe?

Francois, vous êtes un grand artiste! I Love your playing and the quality of these recordings themselves in nothing less than fabulous. Your instrument has a beautiful sound to it (I only heard one change of stops) and you evidently keep it perfectly tuned (for recording purposes anyway). Thank you for bringing this music into my life. You may remember that I am preparing Rameau's Gavotte et Doubles, and you're making me very nervous! This is lovely playing. Yes you had a very rare slip or two but who cares. You ornamentation is contextual and very well executed! I have one question, how/why the triplets in the Rigaudon?

Your grateful auditor,
Eddy

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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:41 pm 
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Okay, I'll go with "Suite in E". Sorry, Francois, I did not read the title that you had already supplied... :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:19 pm 
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Quote:
A last remark: this music sounds very well on the modern piano, too, unlike most Couperin which is essentially harpsichordistic (if this word exists in English...).

Hi Francoise, a great job again with harpsichord music! It's always a special pleasure to me to listen to your playing on your harpsichord :D Your last remark raised a question: What kind of properties in a piece which is originally for harpsichord composed (cause it's from the old time) does make it sounding good on a modern piano as well, do you think? I cannot easily imagine that this suit will work also on it well (oh my lack of imaginary!!!).

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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:33 pm 
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Hello François,

This is fun! I like especially the birds. This "suite" will be a good addition to the site.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:32 pm 
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Okay, Francois, these are up. I checked all the links, but please do so yourself in case I missed something.

As far as your playing goes, I've nothing but praise, as I expected. :) I like the guitar sound in the no. 3. And I don't know how you did it, but I like how you got an octave higher to sound in the RH of the no. 5 - near the beginning when the main theme repeats. That's neat. And no. 9 - I know this one and don't know why but I've always loved it. So catchy, and now it's stuck in my head.


Regarding birds in music - don't forget about Granados and his beloved nightingales! :)

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:55 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
:shock:
You are a sadistic harpsichordist. :P :lol:


Hi Monica,
Does 'sadistic' refers to 'sad' in English or to 'Marquis de Sade' in French? :wink:

pianolady wrote:
Hi Francois,
I'm just teasing... :)
Can you please tell me what title I should use for this set? What is the book actually called, that sort of thing so I can make a new category for it. Unless you just want it to go under Rameau "miscellaneous"? Also, I am not complaining, but 10 recordings at once will take me a long time to process and I have very limited free-time these days. So just to let you know, it may take me the whole weekend to get all these done.


Regarding the work load for you: yes, I'm a very bad boy to submit such a bunch of short pieces in one shot, so I am worth punishing making me wait for some days or weeks :oops: ...
As for classification, if I refer to my Durand edition of Rameau's integral solo harpsichord music, the pieces appear as follows:

- 'Premier livre de pièces de clavecin (1706)'.

- 'Pièces de clavecin (1724)'
The present series forms the beginning of this book. Also, 'Les Niais de Sologne', recorded by Sandro Bisotti, pertains to this group;

- 'Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin ou second livre' (no publication date). In this one you find 'L'Egyptienne' (another tune of which a recording is available at PS)

- one isolated piece called "La Dauphine"

- 'Cinq pièces extraites des pièces en concert'
(which are yet on the site).

Therefore I guess it coud be nice to set on the Rameau page 'Pièces de clavecin (1724)', 'Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin ou second livre' and 'Cinq pièces extraites des pièces en concert', and to put links from these groups to the lists of individual pieces.

When you have time, Monica... Regards,

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François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:49 pm 
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Location: Lyon, France
musical-md wrote:
Francois, vous êtes un grand artiste! I Love your playing and the quality of these recordings themselves in nothing less than fabulous. Your instrument has a beautiful sound to it (I only heard one change of stops) and you evidently keep it perfectly tuned (for recording purposes anyway). Thank you for bringing this music into my life. You may remember that I am preparing Rameau's Gavotte et Doubles, and you're making me very nervous! This is lovely playing. Yes you had a very rare slip or two but who cares. You ornamentation is contextual and very well executed! I have one question, how/why the triplets in the Rigaudon?

Your grateful auditor,
Eddy


Thank you Eddy for your so enthusiastic post. This gives me motivation for the rest of the integral...
As for my harpsichord, it is... a digital keyboard (Yamaha P 120), that I purchased about 10 years ago for playing jazz piano out of my home. However it turns out that the sound I prefer is the harpsichord one. And the funny thing is that when I record it (directly to a computer), and when I put the recording on a CD, it sounds better on the Hi-Fi sound system than when I play on the keyboard. Of course a real harpsichord is better when you listen it directly - provided it is well tuned - but when recorded, this postiche one can compete...

Finally I'm afraid I did not get your point about triplets in the Rigaudon. Perhaps you're talking about the fact that I don't play the eighth notes equally but rather alternating long one/short one/long one/short one etc ? This is common in French baroque music (and also, more recently, in boogie-woogie piano music !). It is a way to give more drive and rythmic efficiency to a piece that could otherwise sound a little mechanistic and boring. There are many discussions between baroque specialists to decide whether or not such an irreguar rythm should be adopted. As for myself, I do that rarely, but in the case of the rigaudon I find this rythm suitable. Pure subjectivity...

hyenal wrote:
Quote:
A last remark: this music sounds very well on the modern piano, too, unlike most Couperin which is essentially harpsichordistic (if this word exists in English...).

Hi Francoise, a great job again with harpsichord music! It's always a special pleasure to me to listen to your playing on your harpsichord :D Your last remark raised a question: What kind of properties in a piece which is originally for harpsichord composed (cause it's from the old time) does make it sounding good on a modern piano as well, do you think? I cannot easily imagine that this suit will work also on it well (oh my lack of imaginary!!!).


Hi, Hye Jin, and thank you for your kind compliment. To answer your question, I'll prefer to take the oposite case, when a piece sounds on the harpsichord but not (or less) on the piano. This may happen:
- when the piece is a little lean (only two voices but not in contrepoint). With the harpsichord you can superpose different sounds, like with an orchestra. Not with a piano;
- when there are clusters in the loud range. As a matter of fact, if you play e.g. a chord of C-E-G in the low range of a modern piano, it makes a dark noise and you have hard time making the distinction between the different notes, while the harpsichord still sounds clear and transparent;
- when you have two many ornaments. In some Couperin's pieces, you may have one every two notes in a melodic line. On harpsichord it sounds like the natural vibrato of a singer, but on the piano, especially a grand one with an heavy mechanism, you have difficulties to play equally and clearly such a high number of very quick trills, so it is not nice to hear...

Finally, if you cannot imagine nice renderings of Rameau at the piano, just listen the great Marcelle Meyer (1897-1958):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTKc66bK-gc&feature=fvsr


richard66 wrote:
Hello François,

This is fun! I like especially the birds. This "suite" will be a good addition to the site.

Thank you, Richard. Yes some birds are great musicians. For instance the blackbirds who come to my garden at spring...

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François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:59 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Okay, Francois, these are up. I checked all the links, but please do so yourself in case I missed something.


Thank you Monica. Hence our posts did cross each other, so I hope my previous post will answer your questions about classification of Rameau's pieces.

pianolady wrote:
As far as your playing goes, I've nothing but praise, as I expected. :) I like the guitar sound in the no. 3. And I don't know how you did it, but I like how you got an octave higher to sound in the RH of the no. 5 - near the beginning when the main theme repeats. That's neat. And no. 9 - I know this one and don't know why but I've always loved it. So catchy, and now it's stuck in my head.


Yes this guitar is more pleasant, soft and mellow than many real 'lute' sounds of harpsichords, which sound often very dry. As for the octave higher, it is a 4' sound that is added to the 8' one, like on a organ.

pianolady wrote:
Regarding birds in music - don't forget about Granados and his beloved nightingales! :)

I'm still very ignorant in Granados. Well, I have to buy some CDs. Could you give me advice in this matter ? I guess Alicia de La Rocha is inescapable, isn't she ? But you may know more recent recomendable recordings ? Incuding yours, of course...

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"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:39 pm 
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Francois de Larrard wrote:
pianolady wrote:
You are a sadistic harpsichordist. :P :lol:


Hi Monica,
Does 'sadistic' refers to 'sad' in English or to 'Marquis de Sade' in French? :wink:


The second one. :lol:

Okay, Francois, I've just completed remaking the entire Rameau page and have listed three categories:

1. Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin ou second livre
2. Pièces de clavecin (1724)
3. Pièces de clavecin en concert

I did not make another category for 'Cinq pièces extraites des pièces en concert', since you said we do not have any recordings from this set yet. Is everything on the Rameau page okay, now?

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano


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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:45 pm 
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Hi Monica,
We're near perfection ! There is just a little re-ordering to do:

- on http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2555
the chronological order is

Pièces de clavecin (1724)
Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin
Pièces de clavecin en concert

- on http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2951
Hence the first Menuet, which is in fact a 'Menuet en rondeau' is an introductory piece, in C. Also the suite in E comes before the other one. Therefore I'm suggesting the following order:

Menuet en rondeau 0:49 Larrard, F. de

Suite in E

Complete recording by Francois de Larrard
1. Allemande 2:59
2. Courante 2:21
3. Gigue 1 1:33
4. Gigue 2 2:00
5. Rappel des oiseaux 3:00
6. Rigaudon 1:17
7. Musette 1:39
8. Tambourin 1:13
9. La Villageoise 2:09

8.Tambourin 1:17 Faulk, E.

Suite in D

Les Niais de Sologne 6:42 Bisotti, S.

Otherwise, the links seem correct. Have a good sunday,
François

P.S.: BTW I have just listened 'Les Niais de Sologne' by S. Bisotti. This piece is a tryptic, comprising the original theme + premier double + second double (here a 'double' is a kind of variation). Strangely enough, the pianist only plays the doubles. So I think it should be correct to write: 'Les Niais de Sologne (premier et second double)'.

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François
"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
François Couperin (1668-1733)


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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Thank you, Richard. Yes some birds are great musicians. For instance the blackbirds who come to my garden at spring...

Ah, when they used to come on my terrace too! They uprooted all the freshly planted geraniums, but they sang while doing it! Now I am terraceless. Until we find a new place us, which I hope to be soon.

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"Please do not shoot the pianist
He is doing his best."
Oscar Wilde: Impressions of America: Leadville


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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:53 pm 
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Okay, Francois, I have made some of the changes you requested, but I did not change the order because we typically list titles (and people) alphabetically. So D before E, etc....


@Richard - you are talking to yourself? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: J.Ph. Rameau - Menuet and Suite in E
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:19 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Okay, Francois, I have made some of the changes you requested, but I did not change the order because we typically list titles (and people) alphabetically. So D before E, etc....

Thank you, Monica ! If I may bother you a last time (for this post :) ): on page http://pianosociety.com/cms/index.php?section=2951
The 'Menuet en rondeau' is in Cmajor, and is not included in the 'Suite in E'. Also, the 'Menuete' should be now deleted, and the rest of the pieces of the Suite in E need to be re-numbered.
That's all ! Regards,

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"Je préfère ce qui me touche que ce qui me surprend"
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