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 Post subject: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:17 am 
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
As my Bach concert for this year grows closer (eight days to go now!) I find more and more that I'm listening to other composers to clear my head. Here is another Debussy prelude from last year's concert. As always, comments and suggestions will be gratefully accepted. Enjoy!


Debussy - Prelude book 2 no. 10 "Canopic Urn"

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Last edited by hanysz on Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:28 am 
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Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Alexander,
Good luck with your Bach performance! I tremble just thinking about it. Your Debussy is beautifully colored and shaded. You have excellent control of the sonority. As you may well know already, in at least two spots you lost some patience and didn't hold sufficiently long: 1-bar before Animez un peu, and the antepenultimate bar. To be honest, the work itself just doesn't do anything for me, but your performance is very good.
Eddy

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:34 am 
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I had not heard this prelude for many years and it was nice to make a renewed acquaintance. Some of Debussy's mature works seem a little loose and improvisatory to me (rambling is not quite the word as he does not overdo it) but boy could he create some wonderful sounds ! This is an excellent performance to my ears, with an ideal combination of concentration and relaxed calm. Great touch, everything just right.
It strikes me that there's more than a hint of Satie in the opening and recapitulation. But whereas Satie would merely drone on in the same vein, Debussy soon makes things interesting by introducing darker and more adventurous harmonies.

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:57 pm 
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musical-md wrote:
To be honest, the work itself just doesn't do anything for me...

It's a work I wouldn't have thought of performing on its own, but I needed something to suit a particular context, and this seemed to fit the bill perfectly. As part of last year's concert I had the Bach A minor from WTC book 1, followed by this prelude, followed by the C major from book 1, all without a break--I used the Debussy as a "bridge" from A minor to C major. (Also I knew I'd be playing on an exceptionally good piano, and thought I'd enjoy just listening to all those rich sustained chords ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:28 pm 
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Pretty piece, love the harmonies. Nicely played, Alexander!

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:35 am 
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This is up on the site.

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:22 am 
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Nice work---I really like this piece...I wasn't familiar with it, but now I'm looking into it because of the awesome use of harmonies...that 2nd section after the LH octaves is pretty awesome---I liked how you highlighted that moment.

My one comment would be that your melodic lines in the 1st section could have a more forward sense-of-direction from time to time. Other than that, I really liked this performance..your "B" section was played very beautifully.

I just realized that I don't have my score to the preludes with me at this apartment so I can't give measure numbers...curses.
Nice job!

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:54 am 
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RichNocturne wrote:
I just realized that I don't have my score to the preludes with me at this apartment...

You can grab a score from IMSLP.

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:28 am 
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Hi Alexander,

Marvelous playing! You bring out the mysterious qualities of the funerial urn, or "Canope". I really enjoyed your performance.

As you know, between Books 1 and 2 of the Preludes there are counterparts. For example, there are the pairings of "La fille aux cheveux de lin" with "Bruyeres", "Minstrels" with "General Lavine--Eccentric", and "Les sons et les parfums" with "Feuilles mortes". Although I've never seen it mentioned, I've always considered "Canope" to be the counterpart of "Danseuses de Delphes (which I've played along with others in Book 1). Both have to do with urns, one a funerial urn and the other a well-known ancient painted Greek urn depicting dancers which might have inspired Debussy to compose the piece. They also both conjure a musical and tonal picture of customs from ancient times. And both are slow and very deliberate as the music unfolds. An interesting parallel I think.

Thanks for posting your rendition of "Canope".

David

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Last edited by Rachfan on Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:41 am 
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Interesting. Actually I hadn't thought of comparing the two books in this way. Now I'll have to start thinking about pairings for the other preludes!

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:10 pm 
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I agree. Very interesting David. Of course the famous comparison is 2-staffs (staves) for Bk 1 and 3 staffs (staves) for Book 2.

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"A smattering will not do. They must know all the keys, major and minor, and they must literally 'know them backwards.'" - Josef Lhevinne


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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:33 pm 
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Rachfan wrote:
Although I've never seen it mentioned, I've always considered "Canope" to be the counterpart of "Danseuses de Delphes (which I've played along with others in Book 1). Both have to do with urns, one a funerial urn and the other a well-known ancient painted Greek urn depicting dancers which might have inspired Debussy to compose the piece.

While on the subject of urns, I can't resist recommending Ornstein's "To a Grecian Urn" which I recorded a year or two ago for PS :D

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:49 pm 
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And maybe you can play along with the famous violinist Heinrich Urnst too - or read some Urnest Hemingway.... :P

And Alexander, I see what you did on your other post....grrrr :x!!

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:44 pm 
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Or play some Urno Dohnanyi <g>

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 Post subject: Re: Debussy prelude "Canopic Urn"
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:36 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Quote:
I can't resist recommending Ornstein's "To a Grecian Urn"


Ah yes, Ornstein's piece would have been inspired by John Keats' "Ode to a Grecian Urn".

Quote:
Or play some Urno Dohnanyi <g>


Arrrgggg! Too much, too much! :lol:

David

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