Author Topic: Debussy's Corner  (Read 67054 times)

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #520 on: February 07, 2019, 04:00:50 AM »
If I'm not mistaken, he uses a period piano on that? I have it in my collection I think. Please let me know if you think it's special after you listen. Now that I'm streaming, I'm having trouble focusing on what to listen to.
Jan Michiels uses an Érard piano from 1892, which would be an instrument in use in Paris at the time Debussy was active. The sound is different (much dryer) from what we’d expect from a modern concert grand, but IMO suits the music splendidly. The beauty of this album (apart from the playing, of course) is the imaginative programming: Debussy’s late piano music is interspersed with pieces in homage to the composer by leading colleagues (andpublished by La Revue Musicale in 1920).  There’s music by Falla, Dukas, Bartók, Roussel, and the rare original piano version of the chorale from Stravinsky’s Symphonies d’instruments à vent.
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #521 on: February 07, 2019, 07:18:09 AM »
That Muraro features some rarae aves by Messiaen (especially rare because in an arrangement for piano by Muraro) but it's a live recording and the audience somewhat noisy.  Still, a welcome addition to my aviary.

This Harmonia Mundi series - jewel case, digipak, some kind of special format presentation? Curious because of the stylized graphic designs across all the covers.

Quote from: eClassical
A century after his death on 25 March 1918, many Harmonia Mundi artists are eager to pay tribute to Claude Debussy, the magician of melody and timbre, the great 'colourist' and father of modern music.

Quote from: Harmonia Mundi
For the first time since 2009 (the Haydn bicentenary), Harmonia Mundi has decided to celebrate in its own way one of the most outstanding composers of the modern era. In its own way, that is to say by giving the most relevant artists in its family an opportunity to present their vision of Debussy, one hundred years after his death – guided by the hindsight we possess today after a century of research and studies on Debussyan style, performing techniques, musical sources, iconography and correspondence. The message is very simple: to reread these scores, providing a new view of the works concerned without succumbing to the temptation of a complete recording, or opting for a single aesthetic approach over another (for example, for period instruments against modern ones).

What a pleasure it has been for us, as producers, to see how enthusiastically the label’s artists (and their guests too) have responded, all motivated by a shared desire: to exalt the father of modern music! Whether it is the works for solo piano on a period instrument (Alexander Melnikov) or a Steinway (Javier Perianes, Nikolai Lugansky), the highly individual world of the mélodies (jointly presented by Sophie Karthäuser and Eugene Asti, Stéphane Degout and Alain Planès), or the chamber music in a variety of configurations, all these eminent artists – from Isabelle Faust to Jean-Guihen Queyras, from Antoine Tamestit to Tanguy de Williencourt – have truly given their all, and always to the same high artistic standards. ... ...
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 07:20:04 AM by aukhawk »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #522 on: February 07, 2019, 07:22:30 AM »
If I'm not mistaken, he uses a period piano on that? I have it in my collection I think. Please let me know if you think it's special after you listen. Now that I'm streaming, I'm having trouble focusing on what to listen to.

See Rafael’s response. He beat me to it. :D
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline milk

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #523 on: February 09, 2019, 05:23:29 AM »
See Rafael’s response. He beat me to it. :D
Thanks to both of you. I still haven't gotten to it yet (not recently, I listened to it a while back but my memory is foggy - I'm not sure I loved the sound of it) but it looks like it could be the only recording of its kind. Planes did a series using period pianos but I think he defaulted to a modern on his Etudes. Lubimov or Melnikov should do it. Both have great recordings of preludes on periods. I think those two are the most successful of Debussy in that way. Immerseel recorded preludes on an old piano as well but I didn't have a great impression of it. 

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #524 on: February 09, 2019, 08:06:40 AM »
Thanks to both of you. I still haven't gotten to it yet (not recently, I listened to it a while back but my memory is foggy - I'm not sure I loved the sound of it) but it looks like it could be the only recording of its kind. Planes did a series using period pianos but I think he defaulted to a modern on his Etudes. Lubimov or Melnikov should do it. Both have great recordings of preludes on periods. I think those two are the most successful of Debussy in that way. Immerseel recorded preludes on an old piano as well but I didn't have a great impression of it.

Personally, I’m not one of those listeners who prefers a PI over a modern one. I never bothered to get into any kind of debate with these kinds of listeners, because it’s just not worth it as I think the pianist and the feeling they put into the music is much more important than the instrument itself and more important than any of this is the composer’s music of course. My favorite Debussy pianists Paul Jacobs and Zoltan Kocsis, for example, didn’t use PI pianos, but the result is still staggeringly original and unique because of their conception of the music. So whether it’s played on an Érard or a Yamaha Concert Grand, it really makes no difference to me as long as the pianist in question has something to offer musically.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Christo

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #525 on: February 09, 2019, 12:29:20 PM »
Went for a walk on the Sussex Downs on Sunday which ended up on the coast in Eastbourne. Of course I had 'La Mer' going through my head before remembering that Debussy had completed the work at the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne!  :)
'La Mer' is in the air then, at Eastbourne. Debussy was merely the vessel through which La Mer passed (and you were over a century late).  8)
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #526 on: February 10, 2019, 07:04:49 AM »
'La Mer' is in the air then, at Eastbourne. Debussy was merely the vessel through which La Mer passed (and you were over a century late).  8)
Very true!
 8)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #527 on: February 10, 2019, 07:51:38 AM »
Heads up my fellow Debussians:



If you love Debussy’s late piano music, in particular, the Études, then I think you’ll be quite thrilled by this disc. Jan Michiels plays on an Érard piano on this recording and it sounds fantastic.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline milk

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #528 on: February 11, 2019, 07:28:41 PM »
Heads up my fellow Debussians:



If you love Debussy’s late piano music, in particular, the Études, then I think you’ll be quite thrilled by this disc. Jan Michiels plays on an Érard piano on this recording and it sounds fantastic.
I’m definitely going to listen to this today.

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #529 on: February 11, 2019, 07:39:24 PM »
I’m definitely going to listen to this today.

Excellent. Let us know what you think. So far, Rafael and I love this disc and we’ve been trying to turn as many people as we can to it.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline milk

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #530 on: February 12, 2019, 03:34:35 PM »
Excellent. Let us know what you think. So far, Rafael and I love this disc and we’ve been trying to turn as many people as we can to it.
The limits of the instrument seem to make an interesting recording. It seems like some dynamic limitations are turned to an advantage in favor of something atmospheric as a result. I still need to compare this more to some others. I don't know...some intimacy is lost maybe. Presently I'm in love with Muraro.

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #531 on: February 12, 2019, 07:28:26 PM »
The limits of the instrument seem to make an interesting recording. It seems like some dynamic limitations are turned to an advantage in favor of something atmospheric as a result. I still need to compare this more to some others. I don't know...some intimacy is lost maybe. Presently I'm in love with Muraro.

Yeah, for the Études, Paul Jacobs’ performance (on Nonesuch) is my reference recording. For me, it doesn’t get any better and I’ve heard many performances of this masterwork.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline milk

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #532 on: February 13, 2019, 04:58:43 PM »
Yeah, for the Études, Paul Jacobs’ performance (on Nonesuch) is my reference recording. For me, it doesn’t get any better and I’ve heard many performances of this masterwork.
I've been listening to Jacobs lately, probably following your, or someone's, recommendation. Top of the heap!

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #533 on: February 13, 2019, 07:44:53 PM »
I've been listening to Jacobs lately, probably following your, or someone's, recommendation. Top of the heap!

Indeed! I think Rafael and I both have spoke highly of Jacobs and I think Dancing Divertimentian has as well.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #534 on: May 07, 2019, 04:34:05 AM »
The mammoth edition of Debussy's correspondence, released in 2005 by Gallimard, arrived this morning, less than 18 hours after I caved in to an offer I couldn't resist made to me by Amazon.es.



It's a beautiful book (well, the distinctive look of Gallimard's collection blanche is beautiful in itself). It includes a 10- page preface, a 9-page "History of the Correspondence" , and more than 2180 pages of letters, ranging from new year's wishes to his grandmother by the 10-year old composer-to-be, to condolences sent to his widow Emma by the likes of Falla and Stravinsky on the occasion of Claude's death. Then there's several annexes, including the reproduction of Debussy's signature as it evolved over the years, as well as short paragraphs on each correspondent, and a detailed index.

Yes, there's some uninteresting stuff (e.g, the wonderful prose of André Caplet in a postcard, just the word "Amitiés", is reproduced in all its splendour  ;D), contracts with Durand and such, but also there are letters that can be more interesting (e.g. with d'Annunzio--surrounding Le martyre...--, with Falla, with Ravel, and many more).

Haven't read anything in detail yet of course, but did read Debussy's one letter to Reynaldo Hahn (the footnote to it stresses the artistic and personal animosity between both men). In turns out that one of Hahn's ballets, La fête chez Thérèse (important enough to  be mentioned in the commemorative medallion issued in France when Reynaldo died, but AFAIK unrecorded to date) , uses some quotes from Debussy's Fêtes galantes, and the composer curtly but politely grants his permission. Just 9 months later, though, Debussy dismiissively refers to Reynaldo as a “p…….” (for pédéraste) in a letter to Louis Laloy  ::).
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Debussy's Corner
« Reply #535 on: May 07, 2019, 05:32:23 AM »
Seems to be a lovely book, Rafael. Enjoy!
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy