Author Topic: Pierné's prosit  (Read 5551 times)

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Offline Lethevich

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Pierné's prosit
« on: September 15, 2011, 02:40:30 AM »
I looked for this thread, but was surprised to find it didn't exist considering the relative exposure the composer has on the forum.

Gabriel Pierné (1863–1937) was a French composer bridging the Franckian-Romantic and impressionist styles. His predisposition towards orchestral/choral works and his impressive piano quintet and violin sonata demonstrate where he viewed his roots layed, but his music often includes some of the intriguing harmonies of the later generations, without being quite so formally daring. I was introduced to his music through this disc:


Which I would still consider an ideal starting point. It's grand, rich and atmospheric orchestral music with chorus, and as dated as the aesthetic is nowadays there is a beauty and worthiness to everything included here.

His ballet Cydalise et le chèvre-pied has been well-advocated by forum member Brian, and he is right - despite the fierce period of competition the piece was written during, even if we look at France alone, I still feel that the work is a minor masterpiece.

In addition to Pierné's core orchestral and choral writings, he also wrote well for chamber ensembles and solo piano. His quintet is very strongly within a Franck-originated French tradition of grand statements in the medium. The violin sonata is less ambitious but still very good.
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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 02:44:11 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread. I know Pierné's name, but I still have to hear the first note of his music. O, ars longa, vita brevis!


Expect Mirror Image here...  ;D
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Online The new erato

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 02:57:55 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread. I know Pierné's name, but I still have to hear the first note of his music. O, ars longa, vita brevis!


Expect Mirror Image here...  ;D
You'd better buy some Pierne discs before he has cornered the market.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 03:45:39 AM by The new erato »

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2011, 03:36:17 AM »
You'd better buy some Pierne discs befor he has cornered the market.


 :D
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Offline Brian

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 05:14:32 AM »
You'd better buy some Pierne discs before he has cornered the market.

If I bought all the Timpani CDs I want, that purchase alone would set me back something like $300. :(

Online The new erato

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 05:18:33 AM »
If I bought all the Timpani CDs I want, that purchase alone would set me back something like $300. :(
So? It's not like dollars are worth anything.

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 05:48:36 AM »
I looked for this thread, but was surprised to find it didn't exist considering the relative exposure the composer has on the forum.

Gabriel Pierné (1863–1937) was a French composer bridging the Franckian-Romantic and impressionist styles. His predisposition towards orchestral/choral works and his impressive piano quintet and violin sonata demonstrate where he viewed his roots layed, but his music often includes some of the intriguing harmonies of the later generations, without being quite so formally daring. I was introduced to his music through this disc:


Which I would still consider an ideal starting point. It's grand, rich and atmospheric orchestral music with chorus, and as dated as the aesthetic is nowadays there is a beauty and worthiness to everything included here.

His ballet Cydalise et le chèvre-pied has been well-advocated by forum member Brian, and he is right - despite the fierce period of competition the piece was written during, even if we look at France alone, I still feel that the work is a minor masterpiece.

In addition to Pierné's core orchestral and choral writings, he also wrote well for chamber ensembles and solo piano. His quintet is very strongly within a Franck-originated French tradition of grand statements in the medium. The violin sonata is less ambitious but still very good.

Argh!, I can't believe you couped this!! Awesome!

I know Pierne mainly through his Piano Quintet, which I find to be extremely finely crafted. It is certainly much more substantial than D'Indy's, which Composer Pierne perhaps most resembles? He doesn't seem to be as 'Oriental' as Schmitt, but, perhaps his Orchestral Works are wilder?

I think I also have one of those old 'French' EMI discs of his music. I'll check.

Offline Brian

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 05:50:57 AM »
So? It's not like dollars are worth anything.

I'm unemployed. :(

I haven't actually heard L'an mil - just its discmate, the atmospheric Paysages franciscains. Will give the whole disc a spin on NML today.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 06:02:04 AM »
It is certainly much more substantial than D'Indy's, which Composer Pierne perhaps most resembles? He doesn't seem to be as 'Oriental' as Schmitt, but, perhaps his Orchestral Works are wilder?

I think I also have one of those old 'French' EMI discs of his music. I'll check.

On the disc I embedded there is definitely a mildly "exotic" twist to some of the harmonies, but it's not on a Schmitt level of sultriness. D'Indy I find to be more German and subjective in his style, Pierné has a cooly Gallic quality which at times sails close to academic waters, but I never find any of it to be boring, nor simply craft exercises.

I hope that you find that disc you mention - is it per chance the Dervaux/Pays de Loire recordings? I have the 3 disc reissue of that coupled with some D'Indy and Rabaud - it's great repertoire.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 06:51:41 AM »
Yes, I was going to start a Pierne thread, but Sara beat me to it. :D Anyway, Pierne is a new discovery for me, although I've heard his name and read about him for many years. I think his music is as Sara has said Franck-inspired but with some Impressionistic aesthetic added for good measure. I listened to the last movement of L'An Mil at least four times in a row. It was really something. I love the way he blended the chorus and orchestra in this work. I've liked all the music I've heard from him so far, which has been very little, but it's been enjoyable. Kudos for starting this thread. I'm pressed for time right now, but I'll be making frequent visits tonight.
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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2011, 06:56:38 AM »


I hope that you find that disc you mention - is it per chance the Dervaux/Pays de Loire recordings? I have the 3 disc reissue of that coupled with some D'Indy and Rabaud - it's great repertoire.

I think I have all three of those... actually... hold...on...

Offline lescamil

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2011, 01:04:46 PM »



This is perhaps the best music that Pierné ever composed. The works for piano and orchestra are a varied bunch, and are quite similar to the set of works by Saint-Saëns for the same medium, but they can certainly hold their own against the more famous composer's works, and are in some cases of even higher quality. The piano concerto has seen other recordings, but this one is the best, in my opinion. Stephen Coombs plays everything here excellently. Go out and get this one.

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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2011, 01:30:01 PM »
Woah, I found his piano concerto to be a bit Massenet-ish, which my brain interpreted as "not so good" - I really should relisten to the piece now I have the Chandos recording as well, given your enthusiasm for it. My first listens can be so lazy at times.

@toucan, that Hubeau disc is great!
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Offline lescamil

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2011, 01:36:38 PM »
I have that Chandos recording, too, but I think the Hyperion gets a better reading. Bavouzet does some weird things that just don't agree with my conception of the piece, but you might think differently.

The piano concerto is not my favorite work of the  lot, but I certainly enjoy the work. My favorite is probably the Poëme Symphonique, which is much more introspective and mature, with some great ear-catching harmonies. It reeks a bit more of Franck than the other works, also, which I think is a good thing.
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Offline Brian

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2011, 01:57:39 PM »
Wow. L'an mil is a stunning concoction, a life-giving brew of zesty harmonies, lively dances, soft poetry, brash cymbal-crashing exuberance, and that one rather oddly medieval baritone solo. It's lush and has an enormous heart and I think I'm in love. The Timpani orchestra (from Lorraine) sounds top-class, too.

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2011, 03:24:48 PM »
All this Pierné talk is making me curious.
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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2011, 05:16:53 PM »



This is perhaps the best music that Pierné ever composed.

I don't know I'm finding D'An Mil a pretty strong brew right now, but I liked all the works from the Timpani disc. I'll have to checkout the Hyperion disc, but truth be told, I'm finding Hyperion, with the exception of a few recordings, to be one of the weakest labels in terms of orchestral music. Some might disagree and that's fine, but there are only a few discs from this label that I've thoroughly enjoyed and wanted to listen to again.
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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2011, 05:20:28 PM »
The piano concerto is not my favorite work

I agree that I don't find much enjoyment in as the other works I've heard. I think the concerto's major flaw is there's no slow movement where some of that Pierne lyricism could have really helped the work out, but as it is I think the last movement is the work's saving grace.
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Offline lescamil

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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2011, 08:12:39 PM »
I agree that I don't find much enjoyment in as the other works I've heard. I think the concerto's major flaw is there's no slow movement where some of that Pierne lyricism could have really helped the work out, but as it is I think the last movement is the work's saving grace.

Well, the structure of the work is largely taken from Saint-Saëns's second piano concerto, which also has a scherzo-like movement in place of the would-be slow movement. I don't think that is a major flaw, for there is plenty of lyricism in the first movement.

By the way, I am one of those people that disagrees with you on your assessment of the Hyperion label. They are no Chandos, but they aren't half bad, either.
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Re: Pierné's prosit
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2011, 08:22:29 PM »
Well, the structure of the work is largely taken from Saint-Saëns's second piano concerto, which also has a scherzo-like movement in place of the would-be slow movement. I don't think that is a major flaw, for there is plenty of lyricism in the first movement.

I guess that's probably why I never bothered to listen to Saint-Saens's Piano Concerto No. 2 again. Heck, I don't even listen to Saint-Saens much anyway. I will say that the Pierne PC wasn't bad, it just wasn't as strong as the other works I've heard, especially on the Timpani disc that contains L'An Mil and Les Cathedrales and Paysages franciscains.
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