Author Topic: Le Café Dukas  (Read 4639 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Le Café Dukas
« on: December 28, 2012, 11:19:01 AM »
All right, maybe it's just the forum search engine failing . . . or is it true there's no Dukas thread?  And how weird is that?
 
Granted, what I've got by Dukas has been incidental acquisition . . . the Sony Boulez Edition of Stravinsky is a 4-CD box, where there's not quite 2½ discs' worth of Stravinsky, and Dukas' entire La Péri is part of the "filler," e.g.
 
So, the occasion for the thread?  Rooting among the odd boxes at home, I turned up a disc I hadn't even listened to yet, a BBC Proms recording of Stravinsky's Perséphone . . . and filling out that disc is a very early (1891) Overture by Dukas, Polyeucte.
 
Everybody knows L'apprenti sorcier (don't even pretend you don't).  Might it indeed be his best shot? (According to Wikipedia, the popularity of the piece irritated the composer.)
 
Recommendations for Ariane et Barbe-bleu?
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Superhorn

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2012, 03:56:10 PM »
    There is absolutely no excuse for the rarity of live performances of  the wonderful symphony in C major by Dukas, his only . (apparently, at least one other was destroyed by the composer ).  It deserves to be performed at least as often as  the Saint-Saens  organ symphony and the Bizet , for example. 
   Why hasn't decca reissued the superb  recording with Walter Weller and the LPO, coupled with  the Sorceror's Apprentice ?  This is the version I got to know the Dukas symphony on back in the 70s on LP.  There are other recordings with Martinon, Tortelier, Slatkin,
and Fournet ,too . 

Offline Bogey

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2013, 06:52:21 PM »
I just found this wagon and jumped on it.  Does not seem that I need to ask anyone to move over....head scratcher for sure.  Let's see if we can't drum up some business in this cafe.  After all, I'm an expert at it.:

There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2013, 07:10:17 PM »
Okay, I need that Symphonie en ut.

There: I said it.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

kishnevi

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2013, 07:18:31 PM »
I've heard the Sorcerer's Apprentice too many times, and too often with a certain rodent attached to it.

But this is a good one.

Offline Bogey

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2013, 07:21:16 PM »
We just more than doubled this thread in ten minutes it what was here in a year.  Time to pile on folks.  I'll start with an easy two:

Your favorite Dukas disc?

and your favorite recording of L'apprenti sorcier....hey, why not?
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

pjme

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2013, 11:59:32 PM »



La péri is my favorite Dukas' score.  Almeida and the Czech Philharmonic are superb. Opulent!

P.

Offline mc ukrneal

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 12:57:08 AM »
Berkshire had one of the Chandos discs, but I think it is better (and probably cheaper) to get the 2 for 1 set with the Symphony, La Peri, Sonata, etc. Anyone familiar with any of these performances?



The only recording of Sorcerer's Apprentice that I have is with Sargent. It's quite good.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2013, 04:42:39 AM »
Jeffrey, the key to L'apprenti is certainly fewer, more selective listenings!

(And isn't Decaux the plural of Dukas?)

Fricsay has a nicely-colored L'apprenti;  and Collard & Béroff do a grand job with the four-hands version in a two-fer recommended for other reason by our Luke.





And yes, La Péri is exquisite (I've probably said that before).  I have the Boulez in the "mongrel 20th-c. French" reissue box.

Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline listener

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2013, 05:32:51 AM »
and complete that part of your DUKAS collection with his opera Ariane et Barbe-Bleue

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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2014, 02:40:53 PM »
Contrary to my lifelong inability to get French music I have a very high regard for Dukas' music.

One question I wanted to ask those more knowledgeable, I have been listening to the Symphony and although it is described as being in C major the two outer movements have a very minor feel to them. Does Dukas spend a lot of time in C minor and other minor keys in these movements, or is his tonal language modal?

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2014, 08:18:55 PM »
Berkshire had one of the Chandos discs, but I think it is better (and probably cheaper) to get the 2 for 1 set with the Symphony, La Peri, Sonata, etc. Anyone familiar with any of these performances?


The only recording of Sorcerer's Apprentice that I have is with Sargent. It's quite good.

I've been listening to this set tonight. The performances are certainly great. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot to compare them to as the only other all Dukas recording I have is with Slatkin, which I recall enjoying, but certainly these Tortelier performances dig a bit deeper.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Cato

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2014, 06:03:52 AM »
La Peri should be better known!



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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2014, 06:40:24 AM »
La Peri should be better known!



Indeed! I think my dad has that Lopez-Cobos recording somewhere.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2021, 09:27:25 PM »
The discs I like.

Offline pjme

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2021, 11:31:26 PM »
Indeed, a wonderful disc and a superb version La Péri



Dukas wrote a poetic introduction to the score. I added an english translation - improvements are welcome.



“Il advint qu’à la fin des jours de sa jeunesse, les Mages ayant observé que son astre pâlissait,
Iskender parcourut l’Iran, cherchant la Fleur d’Immortalité.
Le soleil séjourna trois fois dans ses douze demeures sans qu’l la trouvât, jusqu’à ce qu’il parvint enfin aux extrémités de la Terre, au point où elle ne fait plus qu’un avec la mer et les nuages.
Et là, sur les degrés qui conduisent aux parvis d’Ormuzd, une Péri était étendue, dormant dans sa robe de pierreries. Une étoile scintillait au-dessus de sa tête, son luth reposait sur son sein et dans a main la Fleur brillait.
Et c’était un lotus pareil à l’émeraude, ondoyant comme la mer au soleil du matin.
Iskender se pencha sans bruit vers la Dormeuse et, sans l’éveiller, lui ravit la Fleur, qui devint soudain, entre ses doigts, comme le ciel de midi sur les forêts du Ghilan.
Mais la Péri, ouvrant les yeux, frappa les paumes de ses mains l’une contre l’autre et poussa un grand cri.
Car elle ne pouvait, à présent, remonter vers la lumière d’Ormuzd.
Cependant Iskender, la considérant, admira son visage qui surpassait en délices celui même de Gurdaferrid.
Et il la convoita dans son cœur.
De sorte que la Péri connut la pensée du Roi; car dans la droite d’Iskender, le lotus empourpra et devint comme la face du désir.
Ainsi, la servante des Purs sut que cette fleur de Vie ne lui était pas destinée.
Et pour la ressaisir s’élança, légère comme l’abeille.
Pendant que le Seigneur Invincible éloignait d’elle le lotus, partagé entre sa soif d’immortalité et la délectation de ses yeux.
Mais la Péri danse la danse des Péris.
S’approchant  toujours d’avantage, jusqu’à ce que son visage touchât le visage d’Iskender.
Et qu’à la fin lui rendit la fleur sans regret.
Alors le lotus sembla de neige et d’or comme la cime de l’Elbrouz au soleil du soir.
Puis la forme de la Péri parut se fondre dans la lumière émanée du calice et bientôt plus rien n’en fut visible, si ce n’est une main, élevant la fleur de flamme, qui s’effaçait dans la région supérieure.
Iskender la vit disparaitre.
Et comprenant que, par-là, lui était signifiée sa fin prochaine, il sentit l’ombre l’entourer.”



"It happened that at the end of the days of his youth, the Magi, having observed that his star was turning pale, Iskender traveled through Iran, searching for the Flower of Immortality.
The sun stayed three times in its twelve dwellings, but he did not find it, until he finally reached the end of the Earth, at the point where it becomes one with the sea and the clouds.
And there, on the steps leading to the forecourt of Ormuzd, a Peri was stretched out, sleeping in her jeweled robe. A star twinkled above her head, her lute rested on her breast, and in her hand the Flower shone.
And it was a lotus, emeraldlike, shimmering like the sea in the morning sun.
Iskender leaned noiselessly towards the sleeping Peri and, without waking her, robbed her of the Flower, which suddenly became, in his fingers, like the midday sky over the forests of Ghilan.
But the Peri, opening her eyes, struck the palms of her hands together and uttered a loud cry.
For she could not go back now to the light of Ormuzd.
However, considering it, Iskender admired her face, which surpassed that of Gurdaferrid in delight.
And he coveted her in his heart.
So much so, that the Peri knew the King's thought; for in the right hand of Iskender the lotus turned purple and became like the face of desire.
Thus the servant of the Pure knew that this flower of life was not destined for him.
And to seize it again, she sprang up, light as a bee.
The Invincible Lord held the lotus away from her, torn between his thirst for immortality and the delight of his eyes.
But then the Peri danced the Peris’ dance.
Always coming closer, until her face touched Iskenders face.
And in the end he gave back the flower to her, without regret.
Then the lotus looked like it was made of snow and gold, just like the summit of Elbrus in the evening sun.
The form of the Peri seemed to melt into the light emanating from the chalice, and soon nothing was visible except a hand, raising the flower of flame, which faded into the upper region.
Iskender saw her disappear.
And understanding that that meant his end was near, he felt the shadows surround him. "
« Last Edit: February 28, 2021, 11:55:51 PM by pjme »

Online Roasted Swan

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2021, 01:09:27 AM »
Indeed, a wonderful disc and a superb version La Péri




+1 for the de Almeida recording.  Worth mentioning this is one of the discs that can be downloaded from Qobuz as FLAC/CD quality for just £1.99.  Amazon actually have the same download cheaper (£1.79) but with the usual issues of Amazon's low MP3 rates.  As a slight tangent the Czech Phil did several really fine recordings of French music around this time with Serge Baudo and Antonio Pedrotti.  Well worth seeking out.....

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2021, 04:48:34 PM »
Great Translation! I love the poem. Thanks a lot.
Yes, their La Peri is exceptional.
I like several recordings by Almeida issued from major and budget labels. But it seems to me that not so many people admire his recordings. He studied nuclear chemistry at MIT and chose to be a French citizen. Interesting guy.


Indeed, a wonderful disc and a superb version La Péri



Dukas wrote a poetic introduction to the score. I added an english translation - improvements are welcome.



“Il advint qu’à la fin des jours de sa jeunesse, les Mages ayant observé que son astre pâlissait,
Iskender parcourut l’Iran, cherchant la Fleur d’Immortalité.
Le soleil séjourna trois fois dans ses douze demeures sans qu’l la trouvât, jusqu’à ce qu’il parvint enfin aux extrémités de la Terre, au point où elle ne fait plus qu’un avec la mer et les nuages.
Et là, sur les degrés qui conduisent aux parvis d’Ormuzd, une Péri était étendue, dormant dans sa robe de pierreries. Une étoile scintillait au-dessus de sa tête, son luth reposait sur son sein et dans a main la Fleur brillait.
Et c’était un lotus pareil à l’émeraude, ondoyant comme la mer au soleil du matin.
Iskender se pencha sans bruit vers la Dormeuse et, sans l’éveiller, lui ravit la Fleur, qui devint soudain, entre ses doigts, comme le ciel de midi sur les forêts du Ghilan.
Mais la Péri, ouvrant les yeux, frappa les paumes de ses mains l’une contre l’autre et poussa un grand cri.
Car elle ne pouvait, à présent, remonter vers la lumière d’Ormuzd.
Cependant Iskender, la considérant, admira son visage qui surpassait en délices celui même de Gurdaferrid.
Et il la convoita dans son cœur.
De sorte que la Péri connut la pensée du Roi; car dans la droite d’Iskender, le lotus empourpra et devint comme la face du désir.
Ainsi, la servante des Purs sut que cette fleur de Vie ne lui était pas destinée.
Et pour la ressaisir s’élança, légère comme l’abeille.
Pendant que le Seigneur Invincible éloignait d’elle le lotus, partagé entre sa soif d’immortalité et la délectation de ses yeux.
Mais la Péri danse la danse des Péris.
S’approchant  toujours d’avantage, jusqu’à ce que son visage touchât le visage d’Iskender.
Et qu’à la fin lui rendit la fleur sans regret.
Alors le lotus sembla de neige et d’or comme la cime de l’Elbrouz au soleil du soir.
Puis la forme de la Péri parut se fondre dans la lumière émanée du calice et bientôt plus rien n’en fut visible, si ce n’est une main, élevant la fleur de flamme, qui s’effaçait dans la région supérieure.
Iskender la vit disparaitre.
Et comprenant que, par-là, lui était signifiée sa fin prochaine, il sentit l’ombre l’entourer.”



"It happened that at the end of the days of his youth, the Magi, having observed that his star was turning pale, Iskender traveled through Iran, searching for the Flower of Immortality.
The sun stayed three times in its twelve dwellings, but he did not find it, until he finally reached the end of the Earth, at the point where it becomes one with the sea and the clouds.
And there, on the steps leading to the forecourt of Ormuzd, a Peri was stretched out, sleeping in her jeweled robe. A star twinkled above her head, her lute rested on her breast, and in her hand the Flower shone.
And it was a lotus, emeraldlike, shimmering like the sea in the morning sun.
Iskender leaned noiselessly towards the sleeping Peri and, without waking her, robbed her of the Flower, which suddenly became, in his fingers, like the midday sky over the forests of Ghilan.
But the Peri, opening her eyes, struck the palms of her hands together and uttered a loud cry.
For she could not go back now to the light of Ormuzd.
However, considering it, Iskender admired her face, which surpassed that of Gurdaferrid in delight.
And he coveted her in his heart.
So much so, that the Peri knew the King's thought; for in the right hand of Iskender the lotus turned purple and became like the face of desire.
Thus the servant of the Pure knew that this flower of life was not destined for him.
And to seize it again, she sprang up, light as a bee.
The Invincible Lord held the lotus away from her, torn between his thirst for immortality and the delight of his eyes.
But then the Peri danced the Peris’ dance.
Always coming closer, until her face touched Iskenders face.
And in the end he gave back the flower to her, without regret.
Then the lotus looked like it was made of snow and gold, just like the summit of Elbrus in the evening sun.
The form of the Peri seemed to melt into the light emanating from the chalice, and soon nothing was visible except a hand, raising the flower of flame, which faded into the upper region.
Iskender saw her disappear.
And understanding that that meant his end was near, he felt the shadows surround him. "


Offline Stürmisch Bewegt

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2021, 05:34:36 PM »
I'll say nothing agin' L'apprenti , it's lively, exciting, brilliantly orchestrated and a perfect transformation of Goethe's poem.  One of the first classical works I heard as a teen; I'm not weary of it and won't be convinced it's not genius.  And if you don't like it, just fyi, Dukas could have cared less - he practiced his own brand of je m'en foutisme re: audiences.  The sad truth of it is that for the last 25 years of his life, he did not even really consider himself a composer, but a teacher (also music critic and editor of a Rameau edition). As noted, he was his own worst critic and burned lots of work.  I can heartily recommend Margaret Fingerhut's recording below, the very short and very strange and yet recognizable La plainte, au loin, du faune (Ecrit pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy).  It's worth the price of admittance alone and will make you wonder, omg what did he burn?   

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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Le Café Dukas
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2021, 07:29:02 PM »
I think that her recording is included in the 2 disc set from Chandos. Amazing music.

I'll say nothing agin' L'apprenti , it's lively, exciting, brilliantly orchestrated and a perfect transformation of Goethe's poem.  One of the first classical works I heard as a teen; I'm not weary of it and won't be convinced it's not genius.  And if you don't like it, just fyi, Dukas could have cared less - he practiced his own brand of je m'en foutisme re: audiences.  The sad truth of it is that for the last 25 years of his life, he did not even really consider himself a composer, but a teacher (also music critic and editor of a Rameau edition). As noted, he was his own worst critic and burned lots of work.  I can heartily recommend Margaret Fingerhut's recording below, the very short and very strange and yet recognizable La plainte, au loin, du faune (Ecrit pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy).  It's worth the price of admittance alone and will make you wonder, omg what did he burn?