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Offline Papy Oli

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The French Music Exploration thread
« on: September 14, 2020, 02:17:20 AM »
Good afternoon all,

As I mentioned in the WAYLT thread yesterday and given the potential interest, I am starting this thread to : keep a track of my new listening project, for general reference, welcoming members' recommendations and comments along the way, and hopefully maybe you guys listening along with your thoughts on particular works. This project will be focused solely on French composers, the music thereof I have mostly struggled with despite numerous entries in my own collection.

As my last two projects (British composers, non-classical blind spots) have been immensely rewarding and unlocked many of my musical struggles, it was high time I started such an approach on the composers of my own country.

I have some particular formats I am obviously keener on (orchestral, chamber music, wind concerti, solo piano, ballet), some I can struggle with (Piano Cto, Violin Cto, Songs) and some I do not go into (Operas, Organ music). However, if a particular format is a major key work for a particular composer, I will still approach and sample it (e.g. Carmen for Bizet).

Whilst I listen to Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque in smaller chunks, I still enjoy a good selection of it. So, any musical period will be good to go. I'll even consider some modern atonal music after a recent visit through the DG Boulez box which wasn’t as bad as expected  :P  Within reason  ;D

In the next post, I will post the list of composers I intend to listen to. 

I will also post as I go along the works I already have in my collection for a particular composer and will revisit. Otherwise, anything else new or being recommended as we go along will be streamed on Qobuz.

I’ll then update the initial list with what I have listened to, liked, discard in that initial composers’ list as time goes on. I'll reserve some posts for that purpose of amendments/additions.

Not sure yet in which order I will approach the composers but I think about keeping Ravel & Debussy towards the end, it might help by breaking in gently with other composers’ smaller outputs first.

First thing first, if you think I have missed some particular composers worthy of discovery, please shout and I'll add them.

Thank you, welcome aboard and hope you enjoy it too 8)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 03:37:07 AM by Papy Oli »
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2020, 02:17:37 AM »
LIST OF COMPOSERS TO EXPLORE

(NB: see post underneath for composers and works already explored)

Adam, Adolphe  (1803-1856)
Alkan, Charles-Valentin (1813-88)
Aubert, Louis (1877–1968)
Barraqué, Jean (1928-73)
Berlioz, Hector (1803-69)
Bizet, Georges (1838-75)
Bonis, Mel  (1858-1937)
Boulanger, Lili (1893-1918)
Boulez, Pierre (1925-2016)
Canteloube, Joseph (1879-1957)
Chabrier, Emmanuel
Chaminade, Cécile  (1857–1944)
Charpentier, Marc-Antoine (1643-1704)
Chausson, Ernest (1855-99)
Couperin, François (1668-1733)
Couperin, Louis
Cras, Jean (1879-1932)
Damase, Jean-Michel (1928-2013)
Daniel-Lesur, Jean-Yves (1908-2002)
Debussy, Claude (1862-1918)
Delalande, Michel Richard (1657-1726)
Delibes, Léo (1836-91)
Dhomont, Francis (1926-    )
Dubois, Theodore (1837-1924)
Dufay, Guillaume (1397-1474)
Dukas, Paul (1865-1935)
Duparc, Henri (1848-1933)
Dupré, Marcel (1886-1971)
Dusapin, Pascal (1955-)
Dutilleux, Henri (1916-2013)
Farrenc, Louise (1804-75)
Fauré, Gabriel (1845-1924)
Ferrari, Luc (1929-2005)
Ferroud, Pierre-Octave  (1900-36)
Franck, César (1822-90)
Françaix, Jean (1912-97)
Gilles, Jean (1668-1705)
Gounod, Charles (1818-93)
Gouvy, Louis Theodore (1819-98)
Grigny, Nicolas de  (1672-1703)
Grisey, Gérard (1946-1998)
Hahn, Reynaldo (1874-1947)
Henry, Pierre (1927-2017)
Honegger, Arthur (1892-1955)
Indy, Vincent d' (1851-1931)
Landowski, Marcel (1915-1999)
Lully, Jean-Baptiste
Machaut, Guillaume de (1300-77)
Magnard, Albéric (1865-1914)
Marais, Marin  (1656-1728)
Méhul, Étienne Nicolas (1763-1817)
Messiaen, Olivier (1908-92)
Milhaud, Darius (1892-1974)
Murail, Tristan (1947-)
Offenbach, Jacques (1819-80)
Onslow, George (1784-1853)
Pleyel, Ignaz (1757-1831)
Poulenc, Francis (1899-1963)
Prez, Josquin des (c.1450-1521)
Ravel, Maurice (1875-1937)
Roger-Ducasse, Jean (1873-1954)
Ropartz, Guy (1864-1955)
Roussel, Albert (1869-1937)
Sainte Colombe Père
Saint-Saëns, Camille (1835-1921)
Satie, Erik (1866-1925)
Schmitt, Florent (1870-1958)
Tombelle, Fernand de la (1854-1928)
Vierne, Louis (1870-1937)
Vitry, Philippe de (1291-1361)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2020, 12:13:12 AM by Papy Oli »
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2020, 02:17:57 AM »
EXPLORED COMPOSERS (with works listened to and found of interest)

Campra, André (1660-1744) - Messe de Requiem

Dubois, Pierre-Max (1930-1995): Quatuor pour clarinettes, Saxophone Concerto No. 2, Quatuor pour trombones, Rapsodie, Romance, Clarinet Sonatina, Epitaph, Sonata di Mady

Duruflé, Maurice (1902-86) - Op. 3 Prélude, Récitatif et Variations pour Flûte, alto et piano, Notre Père pour chœur a cappella , Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens pour chœur a cappella, Op. 10, Messe “Cum Jubilo” pour chœur de barytons et orgue, Op. 11, Requiem pour soli, chœurs et orgue, Op. 9 , Trois Danses

Escaich, Thierry (1965-): Baroque Song pour orchestre, Concerto pour clarinette et orchestre, Errinerung, Suite symphonique de « Claude », Magic Circus, Mecanic Song, Le Bal, Concerto Pour Orgue et Orchestre.

Ibert, Jacques (1890-1962) : Escales, Divertissement, La Ballade de la Geole de Reading, Piano music, Suite Symphonique "Paris" Ouverture de fëte, Bacchanale, Symphonie Marine, Cappricio, 3 pièces brèves, Cello Cto, 2 movements, 2 Stèles orientées, 5 pièces en trio, Le jardinier de Samos, Le Chevalier Errant, Les Amours de Jupiter, String quartet, Flute Concerto, Concerti di Camera for Alto Saxophone and 11 instruments.

*Koechlin, Charles (1867-1950) - La Course de Printemps Op.95, La Méditation de Purun Baghat, Op. 159, Les Bandar-log, Op. 176, "Scherzo des singes ", String quartets No.1 & 2, Piano music for 4 hands, piano quintet, string quartet No.3, choeurs and melodies, Oboe Sonata Op.58, Bassoon sonata Op. 71, Suite for English Horn, Op. 185, Clarinet Sonata No.1, op.85, Les Confidences d'un joueur de Clarinette Op.141, Clarinet Sonata No. 2, Op. 86, Flute chamber works, Vers la voûte étoilée, Op. 129Khamma (Debussy arr. C. Koechlin), Ballade Op.50, Preludes Op.209, Le Portrait de Daisy Hamilton, Op. 140, Viola Sonata, Op. 53, Cello Sonata, Op. 66, Paysages et marines, Op. 63, Nouvelles sonatines No. 3, Op. 87, Second album de Lilian, Op. 149, Au loin, Op. 2, No. 2,  Nouvelles sonatines No. 1, Op. 87, Premier album de Lilian, Op. 139, The Seven Stars' Symphony, Op. 132, Le Buisson Ardent, Les Heures Persanes

Lalo, Edouard (1823-1892) - Symphony in G minor, Rapsodie Norvégienne, Scherzo in D minor, Divertissement, Namouna, Cello Concerto, Symphonie Espagnole, Piano trios

Léonin & Pérotin - Sacred Music from Notre Dame Cathedral.

Massenet, Jules (1842-1912) - Ballet music, orchestral suites, Piano concerto

Pierné, Gabriel (1863-1937) - Fantaisie-Impromptu, Violin Sonata, Serenade in A major, Berceuse, Caprice, Piano Quintet, Prelude de concert sur un theme de Purcell, Preludio e fughetta, pastorale variée, Solo de concert, Danseuse Espagnole, L'An Mil, Paysages Franciscains, Cathedrales, Piano Concerto, Suites Ramuntcho, Scherzo Caprice, Cysalide et le Chevre Pied, Melodies

Rameau, Jean-Philippe (1683-1764) : Les Indes Galantes (orch. & harpsichord versions), Pieces de Clavecin, Overtures, Grands Motets.

Sauguet, Henri (1901-89) : symphony No.1, No.2, No.3, No.4, Guitar music, Mélodies (Songs), String quartets, Les Forains (ballet)

Tournemire, Charles (1870-1939) : symphonies 2, 6, 7, Songs.

Varèse, Edgard (1883-1965) : Tuning up, Amériques, Arcana, Un Grand Sommeil noir, Nocturnal

Widor, Charles-Marie (1844-1937) : Organ symphonies
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 01:55:31 AM by Papy Oli »
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 02:18:05 AM »
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Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 02:18:18 AM »
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Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 02:18:40 AM »
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Olivier

Offline Biffo

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2020, 02:40:58 AM »
Faure's chamber music is worth exploring. It is a fairly compact oeuvre - there is a 5-disc (EMI/Erato/Warner?) set that contains most (all?) of it. Some of the recordings are a bit dated but it is a good place to start.

Offline Jo498

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2020, 03:03:40 AM »
Louise Farrenc (1804-75)
Louis Theodore Gouvy (1819-98)
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 #8 on: September 14, 2020, 03:32:03 AM »
Faure's chamber music is worth exploring. It is a fairly compact oeuvre - there is a 5-disc (EMI/Erato/Warner?) set that contains most (all?) of it. Some of the recordings are a bit dated but it is a good place to start.

Thank you. I have a (Brilliant?) boxset on the shelf for his chamber works. I'll dig that up when i get to Fauré.

Louise Farrenc (1804-75)
Louis Theodore Gouvy (1819-98)

ok noted, will add, thank you.
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2020, 03:36:34 AM »
Random maiden composer to kick off : Ibert, Jacques (1890-1962).

Had a brief sampling of those two yesterday, which sounded promising. Proper listening now.



Cappricio  -  only a 30sec sample sadly
3 pièces brèves  -  lovely pieces (flute, oboe, clarinet, cor, bassoon)
Cello Cto with wind orchestra  -  a bit too "out there" for my own taste
2 movements  -  quirky and fun. Quite like the interaction between the instruments (2 flutes, clarinet, bassoon)
2 Stèles orientées  -  voice and flute. Not my cup of tea.
5 pièces en trio  -  again, lovely little melodies (Oboe, clarinet bassoon)
Le jardinier de Samos - 3 nice preludes but struggled with the overture and the Air de danse



Bacchanale
Divertissement
Ouverture de fete
Symphonie marine
Escales

Only Divertissement and Escales are available in full on this one but on the basis of those works alone, that is indeed a very promising CD. Entertaining and varied.
Bacchanale and Ouverture de Fete are available on another Jarvi CD, I'll queue that next.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 04:46:47 AM by Papy Oli »
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2020, 05:34:48 AM »


Escales
Don Quichotte: Sarabande pour Dulcinée
Ouverture de fête
Féérique
Divertissement for Chamber Orchestra
Hommage à Mozart
Suite symphonique "Paris"
Bacchanale

Olivier

Offline Irons

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2020, 05:37:10 AM »
Quite happy to kick off with Ibert, Olivier.

This evening's listening sorted.


You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2020, 05:47:47 AM »
Quite happy to kick off with Ibert, Olivier.

This evening's listening sorted.



Excellent Lol, Happy listening. Looking forward to your impressions.
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2020, 07:15:37 AM »
That Jarvi CD above is a winner. In the Favourites it goes instead of the Naxos. Really enjoyable.

More Ibert tomorrow with his ballet music and piano music  :)
Olivier

Offline Irons

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2020, 10:48:15 PM »


A mixed bag from the above two LPs. One work for me is head and shoulders above the rest which I will come to.
Ibert is rhythmic and colourful but he seems to get carried away at times with music that lacks depth. Overture de Féte, Bacchanale, Louisville, and up to a point Bostoniana came into that category. I enjoyed Escales much more, a musical picture-postcard of Rome, Tunis and Valencia, Tunis is particularly evocative. Tropismes pour des Amours imaginaires a late work and the longest of this batch is interesting and not lacking depth by any means. Worth future listening I feel.
Symphonie Marine - I am completely under it's spell, love the piece! For the life of me cannot understand why Ibert refused to let this marvellous inventive piece be performed in his lifetime! Why would a composer write his best work IMO and not allow it to be performed?

Symphonie Marine:    https://youtu.be/GWS4C7qzLS0
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2020, 04:33:24 AM »
Goodness, that's a heck of a list of composers. With plenty of names that are largely just names to me (though I've no reason to doubt the quality).

Ibert falls into that category. I'm sure I've heard at least something, but not much. Guess I know what to try on my streaming service!

Feel free to get me started on Fauré's chamber music though, as it's one of my greatest loves in all music...
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2020, 05:40:41 AM »
Enjoying 'Symphonie Marine' now. I remember the LP appearing:

It reminds me of Honegger's haunting score for the animated film 'L'Idee'.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2020, 07:50:09 AM »
I've been enjoying the Symphony in A major by the sadly short-lived but appropriately named Pierre-Octave Ferroud (1900-36). He was tragically decapitated in a car accident in Hungary. The style is kind-of Honegger meets Stravinsky but it held my attention throughout:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline some guy

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2020, 08:03:15 AM »
I don't listen by nationality, but I couldn't help noticing that while Tristan Murail was on your list, Gérard Grisey was not.

Not too long ago, you would have never seen Murail's name except in conjunction with Grisey (1946-1998).

And, speaking of Murail, one thing I really missed on your list was composers with no date to the left of the hyphen.

I counted only two aside from Murail.

Oh well. Just a whole new world waiting for you whenever you're ready. :)

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2020, 10:33:22 AM »


A mixed bag from the above two LPs. One work for me is head and shoulders above the rest which I will come to.
Ibert is rhythmic and colourful but he seems to get carried away at times with music that lacks depth. Overture de Féte, Bacchanale, Louisville, and up to a point Bostoniana came into that category. I enjoyed Escales much more, a musical picture-postcard of Rome, Tunis and Valencia, Tunis is particularly evocative. Tropismes pour des Amours imaginaires a late work and the longest of this batch is interesting and not lacking depth by any means. Worth future listening I feel.
Symphonie Marine - I am completely under it's spell, love the piece! For the life of me cannot understand why Ibert refused to let this marvellous inventive piece be performed in his lifetime! Why would a composer write his best work IMO and not allow it to be performed?

Symphonie Marine:    https://youtu.be/GWS4C7qzLS0

i concur on Escales, Lol, really makes your mind wander away to those places. You should check out Divertissement. Maybe a slightly lighter fare too but i found it worthy. I'll recheck Symphonie Marine again tomorrow. My listening was cut short earlier today.
Olivier