Author Topic: The French Music Exploration thread  (Read 32204 times)

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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #460 on: February 16, 2021, 08:34:28 AM »
The SQs (esp. the Quatuor Parisii set) are definitely worth your time as are the chamber and solo piano works. The symphonies are a mixed bag, but I’m coming around to them. La Création du monde is definitely worth your time (if you can listen to the Munch performance on RCA). The Piano Concertos and Violin Concertos are also noteworthy. I have found much to enjoy in his mélodies as well. Milhaud composed so much music, but what remains particularly impressive to me is how consistent he was even with composing at such a high volume.

Thank you I'll look those up when I get back to him.
Olivier

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #461 on: February 16, 2021, 10:48:55 AM »
Thank you I'll look those up when I get back to him.

 8)
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Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #462 on: February 20, 2021, 09:19:13 PM »
Very erratic listening on the French side these last few days.

Tried some Chabrier & Chausson. Quite pleasant overall, worthy of a further more attentive listen at some point.

   

Also some Roger-Ducasse. Bit flat and underwhelming.

   

Tried some Milhaud last night. Bit of struggle, not sounding like my cup of tea so far.



Making a first foray into Ropartz via his symphonies right now. Very melodic, quite fun. Will pursue.



Finally, Bavouzet's Debussy continues to be an absolute cracker. Taking my time with this one. Enjoyed some real gems yesterday with Suite Bergamesque, Rêverie, Children's corner, Deux Arabesques



Well if you think that's erratic, I basically haven't listened to any classical for over 3 weeks...

I'll try to explore these composers as a way of getting back into it.
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #463 on: March 06, 2021, 04:25:00 AM »
As I mentioned in the listening thread, I am now starting the chapters of Debussy, Ravel & Fauré. I'll conduct those in parallel and, more or less, by opus numbers as well to mix the works.

I did lots of sampling over the Christmas holiday and accumulated quite a few CD's that sounded really appealing for those composers.

 

 

   

And from my shelves:

   

     


And some bits here and there in boxsets by Argerich, Richter, Giulini, Bernstein, Beaux Arts Trios, Wand, du Pré, Herreweghe...

The rest will be filled by streaming on Idagio, including the Debussy Warner box and Ravel Decca box.



Not sure when or how I'll come out of the rabbit hole of Debussy/Fauré/Ravel...Not felt the need to really listen to anything else since my last post here...  0:)

Debussy Piano - full check on Bavouzet 5 CDs - big yes - need to listen to the other works in the Warner box.
Ravel Piano - full check - big yes - Queffelec convinced me, i now need to go back to Collard.
Fauré Piano - not approached yet (bar one nocturne  :-[ )

Debussy Chamber - absolutely loving it
Ravel Chamber - hits and misses on the violin sonatas. Trio & SQ are gorgeous (listening to the latter right now), rest to follow.
Fauré Chamber - love the piano quintets and quartets (Rogé/Ysaye or Domus), rest to follow.

Debussy orchestral - not approached yet
Ravel orchestral - as above, although I had several listens to La Valse and really loving this one
Fauré orchestral - ok but non-plussed (Plasson)

Debussy songs - sampled a few very nice ones, but needs to be in small doses
Fauré - same as above
Ravel - Tried the most famous ones but they didn't work for me

Not particularly seeking the operas or choral works for them. Did sample a bit of L'Enfant et les Sortilèges by Ravel but that wasn't for me.

I think there will be plenty to go by with the chamber, orchestral, piano music and the odd songs. That's already enjoyable way beyond what I would have thought (hoped?) when I started this thread.   
Olivier

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #464 on: March 08, 2021, 06:07:05 PM »


Not sure when or how I'll come out of the rabbit hole of Debussy/Fauré/Ravel...Not felt the need to really listen to anything else since my last post here...  0:)

Debussy Piano - full check on Bavouzet 5 CDs - big yes - need to listen to the other works in the Warner box.
Ravel Piano - full check - big yes - Queffelec convinced me, i now need to go back to Collard.
Fauré Piano - not approached yet (bar one nocturne  :-[ )

Debussy Chamber - absolutely loving it
Ravel Chamber - hits and misses on the violin sonatas. Trio & SQ are gorgeous (listening to the latter right now), rest to follow.
Fauré Chamber - love the piano quintets and quartets (Rogé/Ysaye or Domus), rest to follow.

Debussy orchestral - not approached yet
Ravel orchestral - as above, although I had several listens to La Valse and really loving this one
Fauré orchestral - ok but non-plussed (Plasson)

Debussy songs - sampled a few very nice ones, but needs to be in small doses
Fauré - same as above
Ravel - Tried the most famous ones but they didn't work for me

Not particularly seeking the operas or choral works for them. Did sample a bit of L'Enfant et les Sortilèges by Ravel but that wasn't for me.

I think there will be plenty to go by with the chamber, orchestral, piano music and the odd songs. That's already enjoyable way beyond what I would have thought (hoped?) when I started this thread.   

Please do not ignore Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande or Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges. I know you mentioned above that you sampled a little of Ravel’s L’enfant, but do not fully close that door. Also, Debussy’s Pelléas is considered by many to be the finest French opera ever composed and a real game changer not only for Debussy’s compositional career, but for French opera in general. Sometimes we believe that something isn’t for us only to find that a week later (or even longer) that our general attitude has changed completely. I’m not an avid opera fan or, at least, to the extent some members here are, but these two operas have been incredibly important to me and I’d hate to see you miss out on what I did for so many years. Minds can change and as a lover of both of these composers, I can say with confidence that these two operas help in understanding each of these composers even further. Don’t give up!
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #465 on: March 12, 2021, 09:04:46 PM »
I'm not an opera fan by any means, but Debussy's and Ravel's efforts are among the more interesting operas I think. Certainly, Debussy's vocal style is something very different. Arias? What arias?

You can ignore most of Faure's orchestral work. I know I have... and when it comes to the operas, well, your first battle is even finding a recording.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #466 on: March 17, 2021, 02:33:05 AM »
As I head back into classical music a bit, I've been tinkering with Chausson the last couple of days.

My reactions are mildly positive. I'm enjoying the music and responding to it (unlike some other composers on this exploration where it's been uninteresting background), but somehow I don't quite feel like I want to add him to the list of composers to really explore further.

I can't put absolutely my finger on why, and it's possible it's just because I've not been in classical 'mode' in recent times. But I think it's more likely that Chausson has a style of later Romanticism that isn't my favourite style. I hear some similarity to Franck I think (not that I know Franck especially well either).

I certainly wouldn't turn away from a collection that had some Chausson in it.

EDIT: Maybe I'd be more interested in the songs?? Trying some now and they seem to be appealing to me more.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 03:07:51 AM by Madiel »
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #467 on: March 17, 2021, 03:11:19 AM »
Please do not ignore Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande or Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges. I know you mentioned above that you sampled a little of Ravel’s L’enfant, but do not fully close that door. Also, Debussy’s Pelléas is considered by many to be the finest French opera ever composed and a real game changer not only for Debussy’s compositional career, but for French opera in general. Sometimes we believe that something isn’t for us only to find that a week later (or even longer) that our general attitude has changed completely. I’m not an avid opera fan or, at least, to the extent some members here are, but these two operas have been incredibly important to me and I’d hate to see you miss out on what I did for so many years. Minds can change and as a lover of both of these composers, I can say with confidence that these two operas help in understanding each of these composers even further. Don’t give up!

I'm not an opera fan by any means, but Debussy's and Ravel's efforts are among the more interesting operas I think. Certainly, Debussy's vocal style is something very different. Arias? What arias?

You can ignore most of Faure's orchestral work. I know I have... and when it comes to the operas, well, your first battle is even finding a recording.

I at least went further in P&L than any other operas in my listening life before (about one act and a half)  :o And that was the Dutoit that you, John, weren't keen on. I have saved the Abbado & the Boulez you recommended to have an other go some time soon. I'll try Enfants & Sortileges another time down the line.

Madiel, Re Fauré's orchestral works, I wasn't sure if it was down to the works themselves or Plasson ? Maybe both ? There's still enough for me to enjoy and yet to discover in his piano music and chamber music. The nocturnes and the Piano quintets/quartets have really blown me away so far. I want to give another attentive listen to the Dietschy too at some point (and her Debussy).
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #468 on: March 17, 2021, 03:12:40 AM »
... and when it comes to the operas, well, your first battle is even finding a recording.

I have John's but what are your go-to recordings for P&L and Enfant/Sortileges ?
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #469 on: March 17, 2021, 03:17:14 AM »
As I head back into classical music a bit, I've been tinkering with Chausson the last couple of days.

My reactions are mildly positive. I'm enjoying the music and responding to it (unlike some other composers on this exploration where it's been uninteresting background), but somehow I don't quite feel like I want to add him to the list of composers to really explore further.

I can't put absolutely my finger on why, and it's possible it's just because I've not been in classical 'mode' in recent times. But I think it's more likely that Chausson has a style of later Romanticism that isn't my favourite style. I hear some similarity to Franck I think (not that I know Franck especially well either).

I certainly wouldn't turn away from a collection that had some Chausson in it.

EDIT: Maybe I'd be more interested in the songs?? Trying some now and they seem to be appealing to me more.

and welcome back  ;D

Chausson is another one to review again. I was sort of on the fence recently with the Rogé/Dutoit/Ysaye. Some good bits but it didn't really grab me.

I remember a more positive feeling about this one some long time back :


Olivier

Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #470 on: March 17, 2021, 04:49:43 AM »
I have John's but what are your go-to recordings for P&L and Enfant/Sortileges ?

I don't own a recording of Pelleas. I believe the one I listened to for streaming was Simon Rattle and the LSO.



For the Ravel, well I got the Maazel recordings. Doesn't everyone? It's one of those bits of repertoire where you see a particular recording get such consistent praise that I didn't even bother looking at alternatives.

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Offline ritter

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #471 on: March 17, 2021, 06:21:50 AM »
Of course the sound is dated, but Roger Désorimère’s wartime recording of Pelléas et Mélisande is one of the great Debussy (and opera) recordings of all time:



There’s several releases of it around. I have the sumptuous edition on the now defunct Andante label, which sounds very well. But avoid the budget release on Documents (which sounds as if they had put a microphone next to an old gramophone player and recorded what came out  ::)).

« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 01:09:29 PM by ritter »
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #472 on: March 17, 2021, 06:42:23 AM »
Thank you both, I have saved all those recommendations on Idagio.
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #473 on: March 25, 2021, 07:48:38 AM »
I guess I can now cross off Debussy, Ravel & Fauré off the explore list on page 1. Yet a lot to listen to still on either of them but it is evident from now on this will be a piecemeal labour of love for the months ahead. Why the heck I didn't really connect with any of them before is beggars' belief but there you go. Like Old Ralph, better late than never !!
Olivier

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #474 on: March 25, 2021, 08:05:04 AM »
I guess I can now cross off Debussy, Ravel & Fauré off the explore list on page 1. Yet a lot to listen to still on either of them but it is evident from now on this will be a piecemeal labour of love for the months ahead. Why the heck I didn't really connect with any of them before is beggars' belief but there you go. Like Old Ralph, better late than never !!
Told you so, Olivier. ;) Sometimes it just takes time before some music connects with us, always great when that eventually happens.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #475 on: March 26, 2021, 06:56:14 PM »
I guess I can now cross off Debussy, Ravel & Fauré off the explore list on page 1. Yet a lot to listen to still on either of them but it is evident from now on this will be a piecemeal labour of love for the months ahead. Why the heck I didn't really connect with any of them before is beggars' belief but there you go. Like Old Ralph, better late than never !!

Yes, better late than never, but will your interest in these composers continue to develop? That is the million dollar question. Do you like their music well enough to go back and listen to it again and again? There are many composers that I like and enjoy, but only a few of them that I genuinely love and couldn’t imagine my little meager existence without them.
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #476 on: March 29, 2021, 08:33:12 AM »
Yes, better late than never, but will your interest in these composers continue to develop? That is the million dollar question. Do you like their music well enough to go back and listen to it again and again? There are many composers that I like and enjoy, but only a few of them that I genuinely love and couldn’t imagine my little meager existence without them.

I think those big three are here to stay John in some shape or form. If only the piano music for Debussy & Ravel and some of the chamber music for Fauré to start with. I am sure other works of theirs will enter personal favourites when I get to them.

TD: Had a first listen to D'Indy earlier today. Vol.1 is nice but nothing more. Will continue exploring that particular series still.

Olivier

Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #477 on: March 30, 2021, 03:13:23 AM »
I've been dabbling in Chabrier. General impression is tending towards surface charm, pleasant without being compelling.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #478 on: March 30, 2021, 04:07:03 AM »
Okay, I am loving this:



I'm finding it very hard to get much of a picture of Roger-Ducasse's body of work. Articles mention much more of a range of music that he composed than what I can actually see recordings of. There appear to be several renditions of some piano works, regular appearances of an organ piece (maybe only one piece from something I read?), the 2 albums of orchestral works conducted by Segerstam... and not much else.

I will go and listen to the Segerstam discs in the next day or two and see what I think of them. I'm wary because with Segerstam there's a chance that any response is more about the conductor than the music. But this piano disc is tickling my ears in highly enjoyable ways. Some definite hints of Faure in the earliest pieces to be composed, maybe even a hint of kinship with Ravel, a neoclassical clarity coupled with plenty of chromatic activity.
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #479 on: March 30, 2021, 05:03:17 AM »
I've been dabbling in Chabrier. General impression is tending towards surface charm, pleasant without being compelling.

That's how I am feeling about d'Indy 2 Volumes in. Chabrier was more entertaining and to my tastes and one I should revisit.
Olivier