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 Post subject: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:35 am 
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Thank you to Francois de Larrard for suggesting this piece to me. It's a neat piece and I enjoyed learning it.
Here is my version recorded this afternoon:

Ravel - Le tombeau de Couperin, III: Forlane

I know I slipped on a couple of the sharps and I totally missed one of the dotted rhythms, but this is the best take out of many.

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:18 pm 
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This one is on my list of "to dos". I bought the score some centuries ago, oen it now and then and out it back.

I will concede I am more familiar with the orchestral version and quite frankly I have not noticed your errors, so they cannot be that bad. What I do notice (and I listened to the other recording on this site as comparison) is that you need to relax a bit, let it all be more fluid. I do not know how it is with you, everyone being (still in our enlightened world) different, but this is how I hear myself soon after I have learnt a piece: the notes are all there, but the hair is up, lips are pursed, tension is in the air. What do I do? I put the score away for a week (or sometimes even a month) then I come back to it and where before there was technique, there is also music.

This is something I have never noticed in the pieces you have revisited (Bartok - which I listen to now and then- and Granados), so maybe this is your case too.

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:22 pm 
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Nice clear performance of this piece, which is far more tricky than it sounds. It could be a bit more relaxed and sultry overall. Some some parts are really nice, but some are a bit stiff and literal. A little more (subtle) rubato would be nice. Take care not to hurry in the dotted rhythm, it's all too easy to make the note after a dotted note slightly too short. The couple of tiny misses do not matter at all. I did not like the staccato in the high middle section, and the hiccuping bars just before the end (but these are awkward jumps in the LH so I see why it had to be so). The end is nicely done though, to be nitpicky, you ignored Ravel's 'sans ralentir'.

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:05 am 
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Thanks for listening, you guys. I probably could play it more relaxed if I had more time on the piece. But I did practice hard and it never really got much better. And yes, it is trickier than it sounds. There are a few places where the hands overlap and the fingers can get entangled, and sometimes my fingers got hooked on each other and I'd be stuck like that for a split second. Then my whole hand would sort of mash down on the keys, which really didn't sound that good...haha.

As far as the staccato/hiccupping bars; that's just my dumb attempt at adding some variety. I heard/saw of youtube video of a French pianist from bygone days do it, and I liked it so...well...I tried.

techneut wrote:
The end is nicely done though, to be nitpicky, you ignored Ravel's 'sans ralentir'.

Ohhhhh....that's because I didn't pay attention to it... :oops: :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:35 am 
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I don't know this piece, but I liked it as I listened to your recording, Monica. The harmony and mood of this piece are not unfamiliar to me at all, even though I didn't play many Ravel myself except that I had worked hard on his Sonatine a long long time ago.
If I may dare to say something about your playing (to be constructive), I thought your playing is very clear and (probably) note-perfect, but slightly monotonous. I don't have the score, but I guess there are many instructions from the composer (including detailed dynamic signs), and it could be more multi-faceted.
Anyway thanks for sharing this recording. The listening was really a nice freshment to me :D

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:03 pm 
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Thank you, Hye-Jin. This was new to me, as well. Some of the harmonies are quite jazzy, aren't they?
There are markings in the score like when to use the soft pedal, but there is a lot of repetition which is why I played some spots more detached. Actually, I just followed the phrase markings in those places. I tried also to vary the dynamics on repeats - maybe they didn't all come out that well...

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:02 pm 
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Hi Monica,

I really enjoyed listening to your "Forlane". I've known this piece for a very long time, have meant to learn it, but never seem to get around to it. Despite my well-known aversion to dance forms, this is one of the exceptions for me. I love the modal character of the melody and the unexpected and often nostalgic harmonies. I think you played this piece quite well. It's a fine achievement and a wonderful piece to add to your repertoire.

I'm not sure if Artur Rubinstein played the entire Le Tombeau de Couperin, but he loved the "Forlane", often programming it as a standalone piece. He recorded it as well. Ravel wrote superb music as a rule--both impressionistic and also works of a more classical bent like this one, and overall it's probably one of his best--at least for me.

David

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:23 am 
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Hi David,
Thank you for listening. I also listened to Rubinstein play this on Youtube. He didn't take all the repeats, but neither did a couple of the other players I heard. I wasn't sure what to do, so I played everything! :lol:

Just wondering- have you gotten the harsh winter up where you are as some other East coast areas like New York and Boston? Even Washington DC has gotten tons of snow this year. Chicago has had a fairly normal winter this year. But we still have to get though February....

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Hi Monica,
I'm so pleased you followed my suggestion of playing the Forlane ! And quite admirative about how short the time you spent to learn and to record it. I understand it is a definite difference between amateurs and professionals. Good amateurs can play almost all the repertoire, but professionals can learn a concerto within two weeks or so. You seem to approach the second category :o !
Regarding your rendition, I find it very clear and of very good taste, as usual. Your tempo is pretty sustained, which is a very important point. IMO, it could be a little faster ('plus allant' Ravel would say, especially in the last sections (after 5:18). If you keep this piece in your fingers, you will gain naturally ease and speed. What a pleasure to hear those incredible harmonies (some of which quite jazzy, as you wrote). Thank you for this very nice recording !

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 5:34 pm 
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Thank you, Francois. It was a very nice suggestion; I may not have encountered it, otherwise. :D

I was little worried about what you would think about my version. I've been under pressure lately to hurry up and complete some of my little projects, but I would like to play this piece a bit faster, so I will keep practicing it.

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:46 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Thank you, Francois. It was a very nice suggestion; I may not have encountered it, otherwise. :D

I was little worried about what you would think about my version. I've been under pressure lately to hurry up and complete some of my little projects, but I would like to play this piece a bit faster, so I will keep practicing it.

You did not have to worry at all ! Another advice, if you allow me, Monica: to use slightly more pedal. Your recording sounds a little dry at some places. However, it may be only a lack of reverberation that you can add after recording...

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:30 pm 
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Francois de Larrard wrote:
pianolady wrote:
Thank you, Francois. It was a very nice suggestion; I may not have encountered it, otherwise. :D

I was little worried about what you would think about my version. I've been under pressure lately to hurry up and complete some of my little projects, but I would like to play this piece a bit faster, so I will keep practicing it.

You did not have to worry at all ! Another advice, if you allow me, Monica: to use slightly more pedal. Your recording sounds a little dry at some places. However, it may be only a lack of reverberation that you can add after recording...


Okay, I'll keep that in mind next time. Thank you, Francois! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:00 pm 
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That was beautifully played, Monica. You certainly have a deep feeling for Ravel!


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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:40 am 
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Thank you, Raymond. And it's funny, because I was just re-reading some of your jokes earlier today. I love jokes....And your riddles too, even though I can't figure out a lot of them...

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:55 pm 
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hi, Monica!

I love Ravel and all his piano works. but I'm not fond of this Forlane. your recording sounded very good to me. Most of the monotony is due to the piece itself.

My favorite recording of it is that one by Perlemuter.

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:11 am 
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Thank you, Felipe.
felipesarro wrote:
My favorite recording of it is that one by Perlemuter.

Yes, that's the one I watched and enjoyed most on Youtube. He plays it so fast and does that little staccato thing that I tried to emulate.

p.s. I received those files, but I may not have time to listen to them right away. But I will soon! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:06 pm 
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really?

generally, Perlemuter plays very slow everything. hehe
but it's still very alive.

my teacher had a few lessons with him.

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:50 pm 
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felipesarro wrote:
my teacher had a few lessons with him.

Hello Felipe,
Incredible ! One of my teachers, with whom I have studied during four years or so, used to be a pupil of Perlemuter when she was at the Paris Conservatory. The piano world is a small village !
Two stories about Perlemuter: I have seen him in a recital in the early eighties in Paris. He was more than 80, and was constantly at the limit of failure, which made this concert quite a stressing experience - although he had a group of fans absolutely enthusiastic. Also I have met more recently another piano prof here in Nantes who had some contacts with him in the past; he did not keep a very good memory of the man. Hence Perlemuter, who met personnaly Ravel and got advices from the composer about how to interpret his music, thought that he was the only expert in this matter... A last thing I remember about him (from my piano teacher): his obsession to make the highest right-hand fingers sounding, including e.g. in Bach's fugues... Nevertheless, he was certainly a great ravelian pianist, and a great teacher too, having educated generations of professional pianists.

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:24 pm 
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thanks for the interesting information, François!

when my teacher went to German to have piano lessons, first he met Perlemuter and had some lessons with him. he tells me Perlemuter was very old (I think Perlemuter was not that old... Perlemuter seems to have aged too early, that's the point!). though my teacher likes his interpretations (even Perlemuter's really slow Scarbo), he didn't want to have lessons with him, so he went to Conrad Hansen.

my teacher says Perlemuter used to take everywhere his scores of Ravel's piano music, with Ravel's indications.

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Last edited by felipesarro on Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:26 pm 
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Sorry guys, I totally screwed up - I don't know why I said that yesterday. :oops: I meant that it was Samson Francois whom I was watching on Youtube.

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:28 pm 
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I don't like Samson François (because he admitted to overlook the music structure on purpose, and I think no musician can say that, not even think of that!) but once I listened to his Scarbo and that's amazing!!

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:41 pm 
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pianolady wrote:
Sorry guys, I totally screwed up - I don't know why I said that yesterday. :oops: I meant that it was Samson Francois whom I was watching on Youtube.

OK Monica, does not matter. Thanks to this mismatch, we've found a link with Felipe between us: he met a guy who met a guy who met a guy who met a girl that I met. Kind of brotherhood :) !
As for Samson François, many people have a real worship for him in France. I'm not familiar enough of his legacy to give a sound judgement. I remember beautiful Debussy's renditions by him, while I don't like too much his version of Cesar Franck Prelude, Choral et Fugue that I studied recently. But I understand he is mostly celebrated for his Chopin recordings...

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:32 pm 
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Francois de Larrard wrote:
Thanks to this mismatch, we've found a link with Felipe between us: he met a guy who met a guy who met a guy who met a girl that I met. Kind of brotherhood :) !

we are almost relatives!

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 Post subject: Re: Ravel - Forlane
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:33 pm 
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:lol: You guys are cracking me up....

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