Piano Society
Free Classical Keyboard Recordings
It is currently Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:56 am

All times are UTC - 1 hour




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
I was looking at Ravel's Miscellaneous category in the archive and noticed that "A la maniere de... Chabrier" was missing. Composed in 1913, this lovely piece was a pastiche dedicated to Ravel's friend Cipa Godebski. (The Godebski family regularly hosted gatherings of musicians and artists at their home in Paris. Cipa was the husband of Ida Godebski.) This piece was first played by Alfredo Casella at the Salle Pleyel in Paris on December 10, 1913. This is an older analog recording of mine, but I believe its sound quality is very good. Hopefully it can be added to fill the void.

David

Ravel - A la maniere de... Chabrier

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 9:31 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9581
Location: Netherlands
I can only repeat my feedback on the other Ravel piece:

Quote:
It's stylishly played, but IMO much too slow, and the swimmy sound and out-of-tune treble don't make for easy listening. There is no problem with this going up on the site, but I think you should maybe try and re-record this.

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Chris,

I don't think the piano is dreadfully out of tune in these recordings. One of the other members here and I recently did a test, as for one of my new recordings the piano's high treble was supposedly "out of tune". I then recorded a slow ascending scale from middle C up to the top C. We reviewed every tone carefully, and aside from a very few slightly off unisons, the entire treble sounded very well in tune. Clearly the perception is some sort of inharmonicities phenomenon resulting from the mixing of overtones during the playing. Baldwin stops the dampering of strings lower on the treble scale than does Steinway, so there are fewer dampered strings in the treble. That might be the difference. To my ears, I don't even notice it to be honest. A technician at Piano Tuners and Technicians on another forum thinks it might also be that listeners believe that higher treble notes sound "flat" to them, so they must be "out of tune". The fact is they are tuned at A440 like the rest of the strings. To satisfy those listeners, you'd have to tune those notes sharper than the lower octaves to make them sound "normal". And in this hostile northern climate, I do keep the Baldwin at sharper concert pitch during cold weather and then lower it to A440 in warm weather, tuning at an interval of every three months. And I try to make most recordings immediately after tuning. I can't do much more.

As for these older analog recordings, you have to consider a tiny degree of tape speed variation too from electric/mechanical fluctuations in a tape deck.

During the evolution of sound recording, 78s were compared to cylinders, LPs were compared to 78s, and CDs were compared to LPs and tapes. Undoubtedly some new technology will arrive which will look back at CDs quite unfavorably. And we'll all be saying, "Well, those CDs sure sounded great at the time!" :lol:

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 12:11 am
Posts: 742
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Rachfan wrote:
Hi Chris,

I don't think the piano is dreadfully out of tune in these recordings. One of the other members here and I recently did a test, as for one of my new recordings the piano's high treble was supposedly "out of tune". I then recorded a slow ascending scale from middle C up to the top C. We reviewed every tone carefully, and aside from a very few slightly off unisons, the entire treble sounded very well in tune. Clearly the perception is some sort of inharmonicities phenomenon resulting from the mixing of overtones during the playing.


Ha, yes! I was very surprised by how in tune the individual notes were. It wasn't absolutely perfect, but I was expecting lots of blatantly out notes. It's a most peculiar phenomenon.

After getting past that distraction, nice playing! (I particularly like this one of the two.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Andrew,

Yes, it was good to have you as my "partner in crime" in testing that treble scale. And it's noteworthy that these two Ravel recordings were made at a time when a different tuner in a different city was taking care of the piano. It's all very odd indeed.

Thanks for listening to these two Ravel pieces. I've never been able to decide which I like better, as they're both wonderfully crafted compositions. I think too that when Ravel wrote these pastiches, his intent was not at all to parody Borodin and Chabrier, but rather to offer an homage to each composer, neither of whom was still living by 1913. I'm glad you enjoyed them. And thanks for the compliment!

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
I get the same impression when I hear harpsichordists: the notes obviously are perfectly tuned, but they at times sound flat to my ears. Indeed, it is so if you consider that our modern tuning has been sharpened by a semitone (or is it the other way round? :? ) I remember once I was given as an exercise to write down Mozart's Exulltate, Jubilate listening to a recording with Christopher Hogwood. How the teacher was annoyed to see that it came out in C sharp and how surprised she was when she realised that, though written in C, due to different tunings, it was indeed being played in "modern" C sharp.

Did your tuner do the work using his ears or some magic machine?

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Richard,

Yes, modern tuning is a half-tone sharper than in the Viennese Classical period and even early 19th century as I recall. There have been instances where, for example, a Beethoven symphony has been played at its customary 18th century pitch, and listeners thought it sounded very odd indeed.

My current tuner plays A below middle C with a tuning fork and sets A440 from that. He does have a hand-held gadget that also tells how many "cents" the pitch is off. So before proceeding, he also tests a couple of treble and bass notes with the gadget just to get an idea as to how good or bad the piano is at that moment. Then he puts it away. Once he sets A from the tuning fork, he does the entire tuning by ear. I've read that if anyone tries to tune a piano using the gadget, the result is god-awful, as the temperament will be out of whack. Some pianists have believed that they could buy the gadget and a tuning lever and eliminate the tuner. They got a nasty surprise!

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
I used to know a tuner who worked that way. Fortunately He never touched my piano.

The one who tuned my Geyer last time did it all by ear. He did not use any gadgets whatsoever, not even a tuning fork. The results are here to hear.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:52 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Rachfan wrote:
I've read that if anyone tries to tune a piano using the gadget, the result is god-awful, as the temperament will be out of whack.

This is because many electronic tuners are not equal-temperament capable. Generally, the ones that are, are significantly more expensive. See one at:
http://www.pianosupplies.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=PT490-ST&Category_Code=electronictuners&Affiliate=sdetwiler

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Eddy,

Stroboscope tuning machines are as old as the hills. Back in the 1950s and 60s my tuner used one of those, all except for the higher treble which he preferred to do by ear. When the strobe pattern was shifting across the display to either left or right, he would tighten or loosen the string with the tuning hammer until the strobe stopped at dead center and remained motionless, then he'd set the tuning pin there. I have to say that those tunings were very good actually and could easily compete with tuning completely by ear. On that link you sent, for $950 a busy tuner would get a very quick payback on it.

Before stereo sound became popular we had a very good cabinet model mono FM radio/phonograph . To play records there was a strobe out at the front edge of the turntable. So after switching the selector for type of record--33, 78 or 45 rpm--we'd then set the strobe to steady it to stationary position for more precision of pitch. It was a neat feature.

When stereo came over the horizon, we first experienced that through simulcasts. Two radio stations would team up (usually an AM station with its FM affiliate), one broadcasting the left channel and the other the right. So at home we'd place two properly tuned radios facing one facing one another, place a chair between the two, sit down, and hear stereo. We had it tough in those days. :lol:

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
Hi David,
Yes strobes have been around a long time. Do you remember using one to adjust the timing on your car engine while you rotate the distributor? Ah, the good ole days. :D The strobe above is just a display/metric device; coulf be LEDs or anything else. The point above was more to "preset and custom temperaments," that can guide the stretching properly.

Rachfan wrote:
When stereo came over the horizon, we first experienced that through simulcasts. Two radio stations would team up (usually an AM station with its FM affiliate), one broadcasting the left channel and the other the right. So at home we'd place two properly tuned radios facing one facing one another, place a chair between the two, sit down, and hear stereo. We had it tough in those days.

Now that is quite cool! 8)

Regards,
Eddy

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:14 pm
Posts: 533
Location: Illinois
Rachfan wrote:
When stereo came over the horizon, we first experienced that through simulcasts. Two radio stations would team up (usually an AM station with its FM affiliate), one broadcasting the left channel and the other the right. So at home we'd place two properly tuned radios facing one facing one another, place a chair between the two, sit down, and hear stereo. We had it tough in those days. :lol:

David


I remember hearing about simulcast. But to get it, you had to have two radio stations available to you. We didn't have that many. Ours could only play the right channel one hour and the left channel the next. You had to have a long aural memory to get stereo :lol:

Hey, we had to walk three blocks to change channels when I was a kid. We could only get the CBS station from Champaign and Grandma could only get the NBC station from Danville. It actually worked for me because as the youngest I wasn't constantly told to change the channel. (In those days your kids or younger siblings were your remote control.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Eddy,

Gad, I had forgotten all about the strobe for the timing. It used to read a marker on the belt as I recall while the belt was in motion. And as I think about it, it doesn't seem like all that long ago!

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 3:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Scott,

That's so funny about your having to be the "remote control" back then. :lol: Sounds like it was plenty of exercise anyway! How well I recall CBS and NBC in the early 50s. Later on, ABC was spun off from NBC which gave us three, and shortly afterward came PBS which was four. And at that time a lot of the programming was live with all the goofs and bloopers. I do recall that getting up to adjust the rabbit ears, especially for changing the channel, was another ritual. Kids today would never believe it. Plus the technology was all vacuum tubes. With digital technology today, tubes would be a foreign concept to them too, I'm sure.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:31 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:57 am
Posts: 317
Location: New York City
Hello David,

At times this piece reminds me of Satie waltzes. Your performance is very beautiful, with a sensitive and nuanced and beautifully balanced presentation. The melody at times peeks out from the harmony and at other times resolutely and yet delicately sings forth. The timing is excellent, the character is wonderful. I do agree that the piano is a bit out of tune.

Thank you for introducing to me this piece.

Kaila

_________________
musicrecovery


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:12 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Kaila,

I'm glad you liked this piece and my performance. And the fact that it was a new discovery for you makes it all the better. Yes, the piece exudes much charm, and sort of has that fin de cycle sound. Between the two though, I've always leaned more toward the Borodin impression, which is a more sensual waltz in my opinion. But still, they're both very tuneful and interesting character pieces. Thanks for listening!

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 301
I enjoyed the range and sensitivity of your playing in this piece! You also seem to capture the atmosphere of Ravel very well through your overall interpretation - something I greatly enjoy listening to, since I personally have a difficult time interpreting atmospheric French music. ;)

The piano did sound a bit out of tune to me, but I think it well could be exaggerated by Ravel's expressive use of dissonance. When I worked on Ravel's Sonatine last year, I didn't notice my piano being out of tune unless I was playing that particular composition. :? Probably a rather unorthodox theory... :D

_________________
Though everything else may appear shallow and repulsive, even the smallest task in music is so absorbing, and carries us so far away from town, country, earth, and all worldly things, that it is truly a blessed gift of God.

Felix Mendelssohn


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Sarah

I'm glad you enjoyed this Ravel piece, and thanks so much for that compliment! On interpreting, I've always had a knack in finding just the right style for French and Russian repertoire pieces. But I hardly ever play the Germanic piano literature, as I'm not very good at it. While there are pianists here who play everything and anything, and I admire them for that, some of us prefer to specialize more in order to do what we do best. It all depends on the person I think.

It could be that the piano was a bit out of tune that day, but it was a long time ago, so I can't be sure. But I've even gotten the "out of tune" comments the day after the piano has been tuned. My theory is that because Baldwin dampers less of the treble scale than Steinway, more strings are available to emit sympathetic vibrations which can increase the mass of overtones present possibly causing inharmonicities. My other theory is the analog recording process itself. On a tape deck the tape had to travel through the recording heads. And when rewinding tape, maybe it didn't always travel to the other spool and wind itself there as tightly, meaning that when it flowed forward again by the heads, perhaps it was at a minutely faster velocity which could change pitch ever so slightly and momentarily. A tiny dip in the electrical current slowing the tape speed could also change pitch very slightly. But to a keen ear, maybe such differences can be detected by the listener. Andrew and I tested the entire treble scale, and apart from a few unisons being slightly off, the scale was in tune. It's quite mysterious.

Thanks again, Sarah, for listening.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:22 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:45 pm
Posts: 2815
Location: Germany
Hi David,
that´s a marvellous rendition, very sensitively and expressively played. I think, this piece is full of fineness and sublety, as far I could discover in the score, you do all these nice little details very well and convincing. And the tuning of the piano doesn´t matter anything IMO (it´s not as bad as some said here before). What counts is the great musicality of this rendition, so for me it´s a pure pleasure to listen to it.
I didn´t know that piece before, so thank you for posting it and making meet it to me.
(Sorry, that I´m replying quite late, but I had a lot of work the last days.)

_________________
Link to my videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/musicusblau


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:55 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Andreas,

I think that both Ravel and Chabrier wrote in a very refined manner, which is why Ravel captures the Chabrier idiom so very effectively. This is an important characteristic of much French piano music I think, so is likewise found in the music of Debussy and Faure too. When I first undertook "A la maniere de... Chabrier", I was recording the complete Ravel character pieces and didn't quite know what to expect from this little known piece. But as I got more deeply into practicing it, I was struck by its high potential and charming beauty, so played it with considerable care in order to really capture its spirit as best I could. Thanks for listening.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:45 pm
Posts: 2815
Location: Germany
Rachfan wrote:
Quote:
I think that both Ravel and Chabrier wrote in a very refined manner, which is why Ravel captures the Chabrier idiom so very effectively.


I believe that, though I´m not a true specialist concerning french music. I just have played some preludes and four hands pieces by Debussy and "Jeux d´eaux" by Ravel f.ex. and some other pieces by Debussy/Ravel, but I never have played Chabrier until know. So I don´t know too much about his style.
So, what would you say are the features of his typical style?

Quote:
This is an important characteristic of much French piano music I think, so is likewise found in the music of Debussy and Faure too.

Yes, I also think, that most french composers, f.ex. all of impressionism and the "groupe des six", are very refined and subtle. French music has something subtle and intellectual, it´s not so emotional in a romantic sense like many german music is.

F.ex. Debussys preludes are very subtle and inventive and the fact, that he wrote the title below the pieces shows a certain modesty, a manner, not to impose the own ideas on his listeners.

_________________
Link to my videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/musicusblau


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Andreas,

I'm not familiar with all of Chabrier's piano works, but have heard his "Bouree fantasque", "Valses", and the "Idylle" from the Picturesque Pieces. He was a romantic composer and his music is always melodic, spontaneous, very expressive, and containing interesting percussive rhythmic moments too. He also offers exquisite turns of phrase, sometimes into new tonal centers or beautiful garden patches. Sometimes his sound is high energy, but at other times he gives us the contrast of lithe lyricism. Although his piano oeuvre is not nearly as extensive as Ravel's and Debussy's, he definitely was an influence on them as well as "Les Six" whom you mentioned. The style of Poulenc, a member of that group, shows a strong influence from Chabier's "Idylle" for example. I've not yet played a Chabrier work except through Ravel, but in addition to being a composer, he was also a fine pianist, thus knew how to write very well for the instrument, making his piano pieces accessible. Another French composer that I want to look into at some point is Chaminade, a contemporary of Chabrier.

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 1250
Location: Springfield, Missouri, USA
I'm afraid that all I know of Chabrier is his superlative Espan(~)a as arranged for two pianos. As they say, the best "Spanish" music is written by the French. :mrgreen:

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Eddy,

That "Espana" has gotten around. It was originally a piano solo, but then morphed into the duo-piano piece and then into an orchestral ballet arrangement. Reminds me of Ravel's "Ma Mere L'oye" but in a different order. Ravel produced the piano duet first, next came his friend Charlot's transcription for solo piano, followed by Ravel's orchestration of the suite. I believe that Ravel's "La Valse" exists as a piano solo, duo-piano piece, and an orchestrated version too.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:15 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:45 am
Posts: 9581
Location: Netherlands
I love Chabrier. He has such an irresistible joie de vivre and Gallic charm and wit. I've many times considered preparing his Pieces Pittoresques, which I am very fond of, for recording but there were always other priorities. Maybe one day yet.

_________________
Nothing is always absolutely so -- Sturgeon's law
Chris Breemer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:59 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:09 pm
Posts: 367
Location: Athens, Greece
Very French and very stylish. The sound together with the playing easily compose the image of the pianist next door practising in some old Parisian building.
Once again you have managed to create a full artistic concept, David.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Chris,

I agree with your assessment of Chabrier's music. He always displayed a wonderful originality too, and could write in many forms--for piano, orchestra and even opera. I wish that he could have produced a more robust solo piano literature, but his life was cut short by disease in 1894 at age 53. Nevertheless, the piano pieces he did leave to us are enticing indeed.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Pantelis,

I've always viewed myself as a miniaturist when it comes to the piano literature, but I don't consider miniaturist to be a pejorative term. It's not to say that I don't do a big piece now and then. But I've never really taken an interest in long sets of variations or long cycles as found in Schumann and Brahms, for example. Ever since I can remember, I've had a life long love for the genre of the character piece. I always try to understand the "program" of a piece, and once I have a concept, then I try to give it my all. I put myself right into the piece in terms of effort, but at the same time respecting the composer's intent and directions. (Well... maybe I take a little liberty now and then. :) ) This is the difference, I believe, between truly bringing a score to life versus simply "rattling it off". I'm delighted that my rendition of this Ravel piece conjured that imagery for you. For another listener, it might have been a different image, but what it means more generally is that my playing was somehow evocative. I take that as a high compliment, Pantelis. Thank you!

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:45 pm
Posts: 2815
Location: Germany
Hi David,
thank you for your interesting explanations concerning Chabrier and exchange of thoughts, David. I didn´t know, that he had an influence on members of the groupe des six, but it´s well possible, of course.
I think, Eric Satie was like a musical mentor for this groupe, without being a real member of it (members were Poulenc - as you have mentioned - Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud and Germaine Tailleferre). From the stylistic point of view they all are quite different and there is no real aesthetical common concept of that groupe. They just abandoned from the impressionism of a Debussy and Ravel and they partly turned towards some kind of entertaining music of their time like Jazz-,Varieté- and Circus-music.
I´m preparing the sonata for clarinet and piano by Poulenc at that moment and I think, there are also some neoclassical elements in it.

_________________
Link to my videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/musicusblau


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Andreas,

Yes, you're right about Les Six. This was a group of individualists to be sure! Of all of them, I think that Poulenc was perhaps the one most influenced by Chabrier. When I hear Chabrier's "Bourree fantasque", I can easily hear Poulenc at the same time. Poulenc has many different moods and moments in his composing as you well know. He can be charming, witty, sarcastic, pensive, matter-of-fact, romantic, urbane, ironic, nostalgic and more--very expressive to say the least. And in the larger scope of styles, you're right. He can display neoclassicism and in short order neo-romanticism too. He was eclectic and versatile, which is why he is probably one of the standouts of the Six. Hopefully you can post his sonata for clarinet and piano here. I'm sure many would love to hear it, I know I would. Today we don't hear much of Chabrier, but I believe that in his time he was a very prominent presence in 19th century French music circles.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:21 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:17 pm
Posts: 418
Location: Boston
Hello David. Great job on a very convincing miniature - I mean that in a grand way! :D I am a big fan of Analog sound. I love that golden sound of LPs. Hey, I use a home-made tube amplifier for my bedroom. If the piano was mostly in tune, then some of the "out of tune" sound might be due to the wow and flutter from tape recorders, especially if they were spec'd above 0.15%, or if you used cardiod mics too close with a less than ideal off-axis response - as some notes are in perfect tune, and some are not.

_________________
"Nobility of spirit has more to do with simplicity than ostentation, wisdom rather than wealth, commitment rather than ambition." ~Riccardo Muti


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:35 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi George,

Chris and Monica were kind enough to put up these two Ravel recordings for me. Your observations are correct. Back in the days I used a Nakamichi CR-2/CR-1 two-head cassette tape deck, two close-in Nakamichi MD-300 electret small diaphragm electret condenser mics (with the batteries in the mics) with cardioid capsules and a third mic behind them but with an omni-directional capsule for ambient sound. So there was probably more wow and flutter on that tape deck than would have been the case with reel-to reel. Also, I was mis-advised and should never have been doing close-in recordings at the rim of the piano, as they're more appropriate for jazz and pops. Apart from those issues though, analog sound was definitely warmer and richer than digital sound. As far as digital recording goes, I think my current setup is far superior to the old equipment, more compact, has more headroom, and delivers a natural, uncolored sound.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 5:45 pm
Posts: 2815
Location: Germany
Rachfan wrote:
Quote:
When I hear Chabrier's "Bourree fantasque", I can easily hear Poulenc at the same time.


Thank you for that interesting inspiration, David, I will try to get a recording of that piece. :D

Quote:
Poulenc has many different moods and moments in his composing as you well know. He can be charming, witty, sarcastic, pensive, matter-of-fact, romantic, urbane, ironic, nostalgic and more--very expressive to say the least. And in the larger scope of styles, you're right. He can display neoclassicism and in short order neo-romanticism too. He was eclectic and versatile, which is why he is probably one of the standouts of the Six.


Yes, I agree absolutely. His style seems so versatile (and eclectic, too). The second theme of the first movement of the Sonata for clarinet and piano, which is much slower than the first theme and the reprise, by the way, seems neo-romantic to me, indeed! May be "neo-romantic" characterizes his style in the first and second movement still adequater than "neo-classical". I like his individual and very expressive style very much!

Quote:
Hopefully you can post his sonata for clarinet and piano here. I'm sure many would love to hear it, I know I would.


Thank you, David. I will do my very best (like the buttler in "Dinner for one" :lol: , sorry, I always have to think of that end, when I hear this english sentence :wink: ) and I will probably play that sonata with two clarinetists, first with a pupil and second with my colleague, I also have recorded the jazz-pieces recently. So, we have a double chance to get a recording here. :wink:

Quote:
Today we don't hear much of Chabrier, but I believe that in his time he was a very prominent presence in 19th century French music circles.


So, it´s your special and valuable merit, that you have made him here alive to us! Thank you once more. :!:

_________________
Link to my videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/musicusblau


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Andreas,

Quote:
I will try to get a recording of that piece


There are several on YouTube.

Quote:
you have made him here alive to us! Thank you once more.


It's always a great pleasure!

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:51 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 1040
Poulenc has the knack of imitating witout ever sounding derivative. Does not the slow movment of the piano concerto sound like it might have been written by Mozart before progressing to a more modern idiom without ever sounding like patchwork, but like the logical conclusion of the first statement.

He is a world apart from Stravinsky, who has yet to convince me of the validity of his Pulcinella, for example.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Ravel, A la maniere de... Chabrier
PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:48 pm
Posts: 2001
Location: U.S.A.
Hi Richard,

Yes, I think that Poulenc, being very improvisatory in his approach to composing could drop into Baroque for a few moments, neo-classicism along the way, and then have moments of unbridled romanticism. Yet, he would always do these changes in style with a great deal of originality and cleverness. Another composer who comes to mind was Doynanyi who could regale listeners with such imitations using parody-like paraphrases. The American composer Amy Beach too was able to incorporate some lengthy Baroque moments into her otherwise late romantic style in chamber works, and did so very convincingly. Not all of the composers are capable in doing this in my opinion or have the inclination to do so. I think it's probably a special talent.

David

_________________
"Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities." David April


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 36 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group