Author Topic: The French Music Exploration thread  (Read 13446 times)

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Brass Hole

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #380 on: January 05, 2021, 07:19:53 AM »
In the meantime, I am starting a run through César Franck.

Violin sonata in A (Oistrakh) - not convinced
Cello sonata in A Major (Du Pré) - not convinced
Piano Quintet (Richter) - not convinced


Your choices do not imply that you'd go for gut strings and an Erard so I wouldn't recommend Faust & Melnikov. So for you to sample:
Recent releases:
VS: Ibragimova & Tiberghien (metal & steinway)
CS: Capucon & Wang
PQ: MA Hamelin & Takacs

or

VS: Chung & Lupu, Danczowska & Zimerman, Perlman & Ashkenazy, Shaham & Oppitz or Repin & Lugansky
CS: Isserlis & Hough or Maisky & Argerich
PQ: Curzon VPQ, Levinas & LudwigQ or Roge YsayeQ

Maybe you should try Perahia in M21, my favorite together with Moravec


 

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #381 on: January 05, 2021, 07:43:46 AM »
Thank you BH, I'll have a look around (I do not mind the Melnikov/Faust sound by the way, I'll look them up too).

I have an Argerich/Maisky in her Complete DG box but, after checking the booklet, it turns out to be the Violin sonata played on Cello. I actually quite like that version right now (Is there a Cello sonata that is a standalone work or are we only talking of a transcription of the VS ? It looks like the Wang/Capuçon is also the latter ?)

edit: found my answer on wiki
« Last Edit: January 05, 2021, 08:10:45 AM by Papy Oli »
Olivier

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #382 on: January 05, 2021, 08:04:22 AM »
Next stop :  Edgar Varèse.



Played "Tuning Up", "Amériques", "Poème Electronique"

Olivier,

I bought this CD about five or six years ago. I have not yet listened to it!

My intention when I bought the CD was to explore Varèse, after hearing Arcana on a radio station (because it had made an interesting impression).

Anyhow, some day I will listen to it, but it probably isn't today.  :D
Location:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #383 on: January 05, 2021, 08:10:11 AM »
Olivier,
I bought this CD about five or six years ago. I have not yet listened to it!
My intention when I bought the CD was to explore Varèse, after hearing Arcana on a radio station (because it had made an interesting impression).
Anyhow, some day I will listen to it, but it probably isn't today.  :D

When you're ready, Ray  :P I won't necessarily be in any rush to revisit Varèse soon myself  0:)
Olivier

Brass Hole

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #384 on: January 05, 2021, 09:25:53 AM »
Thank you BH, I'll have a look around (I do not mind the Melnikov/Faust sound by the way, I'll look them up too).

I have an Argerich/Maisky in her Complete DG box but, after checking the booklet, it turns out to be the Violin sonata played on Cello. I actually quite like that version right now (Is there a Cello sonata that is a standalone work or are we only talking of a transcription of the VS ? It looks like the Wang/Capuçon is also the latter ?)

edit: found my answer on wiki

I wouldn't trust wiki so I'd like to add that there is no Franck cello sonata. The violin sonata is arranged into a cello-piano by a cellist during his time. If you are OK with the period instruments, a Faust, Argerich and Roge triple should convince you :). There is a Janowski symphony around to sample when you have the time, too...just in case.

Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #385 on: January 05, 2021, 12:27:40 PM »
Not convinced by the violin sonata? *faints*

I have Danczowska. Got it basically because everyone kept describing it as the classic version. I haven’t actually listened for a while...

PS People should generally trust wiki, plus develop the skills to know when it’s doubtful. Plus develop the skills to change it on the occasions that it’s wrong.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #386 on: January 05, 2021, 01:04:04 PM »
Not convinced by the violin sonata? *faints*

I have Danczowska. Got it basically because everyone kept describing it as the classic version. I haven’t actually listened for a while...

PS People should generally trust wiki, plus develop the skills to know when it’s doubtful. Plus develop the skills to change it on the occasions that it’s wrong.

 ;D

I think I was put off initially by Oistrakh and the sound (not had a great success with his boxset either as a whole). The Argerich/Maisky version for Cello hit the spot though (and what I heard of a Wang/Capuçon live version on YT too). I'll look at other versions for violin tomorrow.

Olivier

Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #387 on: January 05, 2021, 02:24:57 PM »
Well I'm going to go listen to the 2 Franck works I actually own - the violin sonata, and the symphonic variations for piano and orchestra - and then figure out which other ones to try. I do know I've heard others, even tried to play at least one of the piano works.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #388 on: January 05, 2021, 02:45:07 PM »
I forgot to debate, as a person with Belgian connections, whether Franck should even be on this thread. Oh well never mind. He did most of his career there.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #389 on: January 05, 2021, 02:49:59 PM »
Google showed him as having the 2 nationalities...we can trust Google, right ?  0:)

Olivier

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #390 on: January 05, 2021, 03:03:57 PM »
I don't even know what counted as notions of nationality and citizenship in those days. I'll accept that he spent most of his adult life in Paris anyway... though people don't claim Chopin on the same basis.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline Jo498

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #391 on: January 06, 2021, 12:48:45 AM »
I am not in the mood for Franck everyday and I still struggle a bit with the string quartet. But his three best known instrumental works, violin sonata, piano quintet and symphony are great masterpieces and I especially admire the two chamber works. (I even got a box of all the early chamber music but this is more for special fans, except maybe for one of the trios that has also been recorded by Richter and friends.)



Oistrakh/Richter is on the heavy romantic side; I love it but maybe a more "classical" approach (such as Danczowska/Zimerman or Grumiaux or many others) might work better for some listeners. I have not heard the Borodin/Richter but the quintet can be quite heavy as well. Again, I don't find this entirely inappropriate but there are also "lean" recordings, e.g. Heifetz and friends (RCA) or Samson Francois with the French quatuor Bernede (EMI, unfortunately introuvable except in large boxes).
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #392 on: January 06, 2021, 02:52:46 AM »
Thank you for the heads-up on that chamber music box, Jo. I have bookmarked it for future reference. 
Olivier

Offline Jo498

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #393 on: January 06, 2021, 05:59:36 AM »
Just to clarify: I think that this box is for fairly hardcore Franck fans which you are probably not (yet). ;) It also seems utterly out of print. I think I had it on my list for a year or so before I found a copy at and acceptable price late in 2019.
I think Brilliant also has a recording of the Trios and minor works. Should you one day like the violin sonata and the piano quintet the next stop should be the string quartet that is surprisingly rarely recorded. There is one on Australian eloquence (I think Fitzwilliam) and one more recent with the Petersen (Capriccio or sublabel). Of course you get the quartet in that Belgian box, too. The trios are very early but in an age when almost everything is recorded multiple times it seems a bit surprising that pretty decent early works by a very famous composer with only very few well known works remain as rarely known and recorded. At least the f# minor trio is a fascinating piece.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #394 on: January 06, 2021, 06:42:57 AM »
I have found it on Qobuz (and cheap as a FLAC), I'll sample it if I (ever) get to that point  :)

I am still sitting on the fence for the quintet. Listened to it in better sound this morning (Dalberto/Novus), some nice moments but not yet convinced as a whole. However, I might still get that Dalberto at some point anyway as I really like the 2 piano works on it (Prelude Chorale & Fugue FWV 21 and Prelude Aria & Finale FWV 23). Maybe over time the quintet might work for me.

The Cello version of the VS is definitely a winner now (Wang/Capucon this morning, Argerich/Maisky yesterday). I'll keep sampling some original violin versions. I have found Madiel's version with Danczowska on Idagio. I'll stream that in a bit. Also lined up the Trios (on Audite) and some Symphonic Variations (Lortie/Tortelier) before concluding with the symphony tonight or tomorrow.

Edit : Turns out I had a brain malfunction  ::) The Trios on Audite are by a Franck but not the right one (Eduard). They still sound good though but even less French than the Belgian one I am after  ;D
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 07:02:00 AM by Papy Oli »
Olivier

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #395 on: January 06, 2021, 10:21:19 AM »
the next stop should be the string quartet that is surprisingly rarely recorded. There is one on Australian eloquence (I think Fitzwilliam) and one more recent with the Petersen (Capriccio or sublabel). Of course you get the quartet in that Belgian box, too.

I have the Fitzwilliam on Eloquence label, but I don't enjoy the performance. It may not necessarily be the fault of the Fitzwilliam quartet. I find the recording very high pitched, nasaly quality. Microtonal sounding.

I need to access a different recording and hopefully my view of the string quartet by Franck will change. FWIW, the paired recording of the violin sonata on that Eloquence disc sounds fine with none of the weird sounds as mentioned above.
Location:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Brass Hole

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #396 on: January 06, 2021, 10:42:28 AM »
I need to access a different recording and hopefully my view of the string quartet by Franck will change.

You are looking for this recording...but it's an unwieldy piece, waste of time:


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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #397 on: January 06, 2021, 10:45:05 AM »
You are looking for this recording...but it's an unwieldy piece, waste of time:



Oh, I hope it isn't a waste of time. I do enjoy his violin sonata and piano quintet very much. Which is why I'm hoping a different recording will warm me up to the string quartet. Thanks for the recommendation.
Location:  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Brass Hole

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #398 on: January 06, 2021, 10:48:06 AM »
I do enjoy his violin sonata and piano quintet very much.
Thanks for the recommendation.
Irrelevant...piano quintet and string quartet are on different levels. There are hundreds if not thousands of better compositions instead. Give up.   :)

👍
« Last Edit: January 06, 2021, 12:51:00 PM by Brass Hole »

Offline Jo498

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #399 on: January 06, 2021, 10:55:09 AM »
The quintet is an over the top romantic behemoth, even in a comparably lean and straight recording such as Heifetz and friends. I am not a frequent concertgoer (combination of financial and geographical reasons) but I have heard the Franck quintet in concert and it is a huge wallowing sound experience (I was surprised how the ensemble that sounded lean and smallish in the Ravel quartet could become so big in the Franck, Q Modiglinani, forgot the pianist). They played the andante from the Brahms quintet as encore and after the Franck it sounded like Haydn... ;) So whereas I basically loved the violin sonate since my first recording (might have had a tape before) which was Oistrakh/Richter on Vox (orig. Melodiya) I was also not immediately equally fond of the quintet.

As for the quartet, I am still not entirely convinced. It is also huge (on a scale with late Beethoven and Schubert) but not as attractive for me as the quintet, which bothers me a bit as I think it is a piece I should like more than I actually do ;)

I don't remember the sound issues with the eloquence but I have to check. I have three recordings, the Fitzwilliam, the Petersen and the one from the La Monnaie box. tbh I don't remember much about the last one as I had bought this mainly for the pieces I had not already in other recordings. The Petersen might be a bit too much on the lean side for such a a late romantic piece. I think there is a historical recording by the Loewenguth Quartet (but maybe I am wrong and they only did the quintet). The quintet is so much better covered on disc, the quartet does not seem a favorite with ensembles (even less than Bruckner's quintet, a not dissimilar piece).
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)