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The Music Room => General Classical Music Discussion => Topic started by: Papy Oli on September 14, 2020, 02:17:20 AM

Title: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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)
Airs de cour (Étienne Moulinie, Antoine Boësset, Pierre Guédron)
Aubert, Louis (1877–1968)
Berlioz, Hector (1803-69)
Bonis, Mel  (1858-1937)
Boulanger, Lili (1893-1918)
Chaminade, Cécile  (1857–1944)
Couperin, François (1668-1733)
Couperin, Louis
Damase, Jean-Michel (1928-2013)
Delalande, Michel Richard (1657-1726)
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-)
Ferrari, Luc (1929-2005)
Ferroud, Pierre-Octave  (1900-36)
Françaix, Jean (1912-97)
Gilles, Jean (1668-1705)
Gouvy, Louis Theodore (1819-98)
Grigny, Nicolas de  (1672-1703)
Grisey, Gérard (1946-1998)
Honegger, Arthur (1892-1955)
Landowski, Marcel (1915-1999)
Lully, Jean-Baptiste
Machaut, Guillaume de (1300-77)
Marais, Marin  (1656-1728)
Mariotte, Antoine
Méhul, Étienne Nicolas (1763-1817)
Murail, Tristan (1947-)
Offenbach, Jacques (1819-80)
Onslow, George (1784-1853)
Poulenc, Francis (1899-1963)
Prez, Josquin des (c.1450-1521)
Sainte Colombe Père
Schmitt, Florent (1870-1958)
Vitry, Philippe de (1291-1361)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 14, 2020, 02:17:57 AM
EXPLORED COMPOSERS (with works listened to and found of interest)

Barraqué, Jean (1928-73) - Complete works (CPO twofer)

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

Chabrier, Emmanuel (1841-1894) - Joyeuse marche, Gwendoline, habanera, Espana, Lamento, Bourrée Fantasque, Suite Pastorale, L'Etoile, Le Roi malgré lui.

Charpentier, Marc-Antoine (1643-1704) - Leçons des Ténèbres, Motets pour le Grand dauphin, Litanies de la Vierge, Arts Florissants, Messe pour Mr Mauroy

Chausson, Ernest (1855-99) - Symphony in B flat, Poème, Poème de l'amour et de la mer , Piano Quartet in A major, Concert for Piano, Violin and String Quartet

Cras, Jean (1879-1932) - Piano works, orchestral works, Melodies

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.

Farrenc, Louise (1804-75) - Symphony No.1,2,3, Piano quintet no.1 & 2, Nonet

Franck, César (1822-90): Symphony in D minor, Violin sonata, Violin Sonata (Cello Version), Trios concertants, Prelude Chorale et Fugue, Prelude Aria & Finale, Piano Quintet, Variations Symphoniques, Le Chasseur Maudit, Les Eolides.

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.

Magnard, Albéric (1865-1914) - Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 4, Symphony No. 2 in E major, Op. 6, Symphony No. 3 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 11, Symphony No. 4 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 21, Overture in A Major, Op. 10, Chant funebre, Op. 9, Hymne à la justice, Op. 14, Hymne a Venus, Op. 17, Suite d'orchestre dans le style ancien, Op. 2


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.

Roger-Ducasse, Jean (1873-1954) - Prelude d'un ballet, Prelude d'un ballet, Suite Francaise, Epithalame, Marche Française, Nocturne de Printemps, petite suite, le joli jeu du furet, Orphée, piano music


Ropartz, Guy (1864-1955) - Symphonies 1 - 4 - 2 - 5, violin sonatas 1 & 3, cello sonata, petite symphonie, pastorales pour orchestre.

Saint-Saëns, Camille (1835-1921) - Cello Concerto No 1 In A Minor Op. 33, Piano Trio No.1 in F Major, Violin Concerto No.03 in B minor, Danse Macabre, Havanaise, Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso, Le Carnaval des Animaux, Samson et Dalila (Extracts), Symphony No.03 in C minor “Organ”, Piano Concerto No.1 in D Major Op.17, Piano Concerto No.4 in C minor, Op. 44, Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.22, Piano Concerto No.3 in E Flat Major Op.29, Piano Concerto No.5 in F Major Op.103, Septet in E Flat Major Op.65, Tarentelle in E minor Op.6, Bassoon Sonata in G major Op.168, Piano Quartet in B Flat Major Op.41, Piano Quintet in A minor Op.14, Oboe Sonata in D Major Op.166, Clarinet Sonata in E Flat Major Op.167, Caprice sur des Airs Danois et Russes Op.79

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

Satie, Erik (1866-1925) - Gnossiennes, Ogives, Gymnopedies, Socrate, Trois Melodies, Trois Autres Melodies, Sarabandes, Pieces Froides, Trois Sonneries de la Rose+Croix, Je Te Veux.

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
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 14, 2020, 02:18:05 AM
Debussy, Claude (1862-1918)
Fauré, Gabriel (1845-1924)
Ravel, Maurice (1875-1937)


Lots of it - loving it  0:)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 14, 2020, 02:18:18 AM
Henry, Pierre (1927-2017) - Messe pour le temps présent

Indy, Vincent d' (1851-1931) : Jour d’été à la montagne, La Forêt enchantée, Souvenirs, Karadec Suite,  Symphony No. 2, Tableaux de voyage, Various orchestral works.

Dutilleux, Henri (1916-2013) - Symphonies, Ainsi la Nuit, Métaboles, Tout un Monde lointain, Shadows of Time, Piano music

Delibes, Léo (1836-91) - Sylvia, Coppélia

Bizet, Georges (1838-75) - Arlésienne 1 & 2, Symphony in C, Une chasse à la forêt d'Ostie, Carmen (highlights), Jolie fille de Perth (extracts), Jeux d'enfants

Daniel-Lesur, Jean-Yves (1908-2002) - Le Cantique des Cantiques

Messiaen, Olivier (1908-92) - Cinq rechants for vocal ensemble; Various extracts from his boxsets.

Jolivet, André (1905-74) - Ephitalame

Milhaud, Darius (1892-1974) - some String Quartets, Boeuf sur le Toit, extracts of symphonies, chamber music, suite provençale, suite française.

Tombelle, Fernand de la (1854-1928) - Melodies, String quartet

Hahn, Reynaldo (1874-1947) - Complete songs

Canteloube, Joseph (1879-1957) - Chansons d'Auvergne

Roussel, Albert (1869-1937) - Various bits from the Erato edition.

Gounod, Charles (1818-93) - Ballet music from Faust

Vierne, Louis (1870-1937) - Melodies, Organ music, Preludes

Alkan, Charles-Valentin (1813-88) - Various etudes, the 3 Concerto de Camera

Boulez, Pierre (1925-2016) - Pli selon Pli, Marteau sans Maître, Dérives, Piano Sonatas

Pleyel, Ignaz (1757-1831) - CPO extracts of Prussian quartets, Piano trios, Clarinet concertos
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 14, 2020, 02:18:40 AM
* Reserved
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Biffo 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Jo498 on September 14, 2020, 03:03:40 AM
Louise Farrenc (1804-75)
Louis Theodore Gouvy (1819-98)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/07/21/3377891312107_600.jpg)

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

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/29/22/0636943422229_600.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 14, 2020, 05:34:48 AM
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/29/68/0095115516829_600.jpg)

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

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on September 14, 2020, 05:37:10 AM
Quite happy to kick off with Ibert, Olivier.

This evening's listening sorted.

(https://i.imgur.com/IcxS7UW.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 14, 2020, 05:47:47 AM
Quite happy to kick off with Ibert, Olivier.

This evening's listening sorted.

(https://i.imgur.com/IcxS7UW.jpg)

Excellent Lol, Happy listening. Looking forward to your impressions.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on September 14, 2020, 10:48:15 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/IcxS7UW.jpg)

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
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel 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...
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: vandermolen 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'.
(http://)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: vandermolen 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:
(http://)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy 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. :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 15, 2020, 10:33:22 AM
(https://i.imgur.com/IcxS7UW.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 15, 2020, 10:36:45 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...

Looks like I might stay on Qobuz an extra month or three to get through that list after all ! Many of them are just names to me too. I'll make sure to give you a nudge whenever I get to Fauré, no worries  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 15, 2020, 10:38:15 AM
Please add to your list:

Guy Ropartz (1864-1955). His compositions included five symphonies, three violin sonatas, cello sonatas, six string quartets, a piano trio and string trio (both in A minor), stage works, a number of choral works and other music, often alluding to his Breton heritage.

Wonderful composer.

Thank you OSA, I'll add it. The Breton element will be of particular interest.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 15, 2020, 10:40:57 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:

the Honegger element sounds enticing too. Added too. Thank you Jeffrey.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 15, 2020, 10:54:20 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. :)

I picked up the Ferrari name from your list in the French composers top 10 thread. I had it in a corner of my brain somewhere you had made a case for his music in one thread or another in the past. I'll add Grisey as well, thank you.

Just to double their number, please can you give us another couple of names of living French composers that you think worthwhile (not "too" atonal if possible) ?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on September 15, 2020, 02:25:51 PM
I can easily do the living composers part. Less easy is the "not 'too' atonal" part.

So I'll take your "if possible" as an out. :)

First, I'd like to mention Pierre Henry, who died a couple of years ago. I saw him in concert shortly before that. He looked really sick. I've been listening to a lot of his music recently as part of my comprehensive ripping exercise. It's a lot better than I remembered it.

Anyway, on to the list:

Francis Dhomont (1926-    ) An important early pioneer of French electroacoustic music. Taught for many years in Montréal.
Éliane Radigue (1932-    ) Prominent French electroacoustic minimalist. (No, not the pattern or repetition type.)
Michèle Bokanowski (1943-    ) Known mostly for her music for husband Patrick's avant-garde films. But only mostly.
Jérome Noetinger (1966-    ) Electroacoustic improviser and composer. Often works with Lionel Marchetti (1967-    ).

There are many more, of course, especially if you include French-Canadian composers, who are easy to include if only because Dhomont taught in Montréal for so many years. (Gilles Gobeil (1954-    ) for instance.) But you've probably got enough on your plate to last you for a couple months or so....
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on September 15, 2020, 06:37:39 PM
This morning I’ve been listening to Hughes Dufourt, l’éclaire d’après Rimbaud. A few days ago I listened to a solo cello piece by Marc Monnet. Sainte Colombe père is one of my favourite composers, indeed many other French viol and lute composers - look through the viol and lute threads here. Bach appreciated Grigny; I appreciate Titelouze, the father of polyphonic organ music.

Qui dit Machaut dit Philippe de Vitry et qui dit Vitry dit un tas de troubadours. There’s a troubadour thread with some names.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André Le Nôtre on September 15, 2020, 07:56:37 PM
Louis Aubert anyone? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Aubert

Last year, we stayed in a very nice AirBNB flat in Paris (2nd Arrondissement). It was stuffed with beautiful antiques and curios from all over the world. On the fireplace mantel was a plaster bust of L. Aubert--possibly the only one in existence. I meant to ask our host, but she disappeared to Burgundy before I could think to ask her how she came upon such a piece.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 15, 2020, 11:37:09 PM
Well done, Olivier. You have made a great start with this thread. I am sure that it will be a popular one as, based on your list above, there is something there for everyone.

I am no expert in this field but the one piece of advice that I would strongly offer is that whatever French composer’s orchestral music you are going to listen to try to get a listen to the Monteux version of it if he did one. I find him excellent in the field of French music in particular.
I see that you have already listened to Escales twice so far. I would be interested to know what you would think of the Monteux version [assuming that you like the work, of course]. It is an old recording which does show its age [get past that] but it is tremendously atmospheric, powerful and exotic and has a great presence. I am not sure if is available or not on those streaming services.


(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71ARFXpX7gL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 15, 2020, 11:38:12 PM
I can easily do the living composers part. Less easy is the "not 'too' atonal" part.

So I'll take your "if possible" as an out. :)

First, I'd like to mention Pierre Henry, who died a couple of years ago. I saw him in concert shortly before that. He looked really sick. I've been listening to a lot of his music recently as part of my comprehensive ripping exercise. It's a lot better than I remembered it.

Anyway, on to the list:

Francis Dhomont (1926-    ) An important early pioneer of French electroacoustic music. Taught for many years in Montréal.
Éliane Radigue (1932-    ) Prominent French electroacoustic minimalist. (No, not the pattern or repetition type.)
Michèle Bokanowski (1943-    ) Known mostly for her music for husband Patrick's avant-garde films. But only mostly.
Jérome Noetinger (1966-    ) Electroacoustic improviser and composer. Often works with Lionel Marchetti (1967-    ).

There are many more, of course, especially if you include French-Canadian composers, who are easy to include if only because Dhomont taught in Montréal for so many years. (Gilles Gobeil (1954-    ) for instance.) But you've probably got enough on your plate to last you for a couple months or so....

Thank you for those. I have added Henry & Dhomont for now.   
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 15, 2020, 11:40:17 PM
This morning I’ve been listening to Hughes Dufourt, l’éclaire d’après Rimbaud. A few days ago I listened to a solo cello piece by Marc Monnet. Sainte Colombe père is one of my favourite composers, indeed many other French viol and lute composers - look through the viol and lute threads here. Bach appreciated Grigny; I appreciate Titelouze, the father of polyphonic organ music.

Qui dit Machaut dit Philippe de Vitry et qui dit Vitry dit un tas de troubadours. There’s a troubadour thread with some names.

Thank you Mandryka. Machaut being in the list, I'll add De Vitry and Sainte Colombe Père for now.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 15, 2020, 11:42:25 PM
Louis Aubert anyone? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Aubert

Why not indeed, added too ! Thank you.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 15, 2020, 11:49:24 PM
Well done, Olivier. You have made a great start with this thread. I am sure that it will be a popular one as, based on your list above, there is something there for everyone.

I am no expert in this field but the one piece of advice that I would strongly offer is that whatever French composer’s orchestral music you are going to listen to try to get a listen to the Monteux version of it if he did one. I find him excellent in the field of French music in particular.
I see that you have already listened to Escales twice so far. I would be interested to know what you would think of the Monteux version [assuming that you like the work, of course]. It is an old recording which does show its age [get past that] but it is tremendously atmospheric, powerful and exotic and has a great presence. I am not sure if is available or not on those streaming services.


Cheers Fergus.
I'll bear Monteux in mind and will see if I can find his Escales. More broadly, I'll indeed use that exercise to try alternative versions of works I already have too. For instance, the bulk of my Ravel and Debussy is a Martinon box and I don't know if my lack of success with those is down to me, the works or the Martinon version.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 16, 2020, 12:09:50 AM
Cheers Fergus.
I'll bear Monteux in mind and will see if I can find his Escales. More broadly, I'll indeed use that exercise to try alternative versions of works I already have too. For instance, the bulk of my Ravel and Debussy is a Martinon box and I don't know if my lack of success with those is down to me, the works or the Martinon version.


That should be an interesting exercise Olivier. To be honest, I also find Martinon to be very good in French music. Perhaps you had better try non French conductors  ;D

I may be pushing the boat out here a little bit in terms of your musical preferences with regard to my recommendations for Ibert. I really like French music that is smaller in scale, for some reason. This, my first offering for Ibert, is a full concerto but it feels like a smaller scale work and only lasts for about nineteen minutes.


Ibert: Flute Concerto [Galway/Dutoit]


(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/R1MAAOSwzRFacr9i/s-l1600.jpg)


If you get itchy with the FF button in the first movement of this one Olivier listen to the slow movement in particular.
I find this concerto to be very buoyant, energetic and full of flair and excitement. Galway gives assertive and energetic performances in the outer movements and a soulful and atmospheric performance in the contemplative, pensive, and somewhat plaintive slow movement. The soloist in this concerto certainly earns their crust; the final movement is particularly challenging. Galway’s playing was always of the highest order.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 16, 2020, 12:27:16 AM

That should be an interesting exercise Olivier. To be honest, I also find Martinon to be very good in French music. Perhaps you had better try non French conductors  ;D
I may be pushing the boat out here a little bit in terms of your musical preferences with regard to my recommendations for Ibert. I really like French music that is smaller in scale, for some reason. This, my first offering for Ibert, is a full concerto but it feels like a smaller scale work and only lasts for about nineteen minutes.

Ibert: Flute Concerto [Galway/Dutoit]

If you get itchy with the FF button in the first movement of this one Olivier listen to the slow movement in particular.
I find this concerto to be very buoyant, energetic and full of flair and excitement. Galway gives assertive and energetic performances in the outer movements and a soulful and atmospheric performance in the contemplative, pensive, and somewhat plaintive slow movement. The soloist in this concerto certainly earns their crust; the final movement is particularly challenging. Galway’s playing was always of the highest order.

I just checked the shelves and I actually have this particular work in the collection already!  :-[  Well, not technically mine, actually a Christmas present (a Galway boxset) to my partner (she used to play flute when she was younger) and Ibert's is in it. I'll queue that too. I did enjoy some of that boxset by the way, more than I expected to (again, the usual small chunks apply for this one, more to do with the instrument).

Also lined up for this morning, one last Ibert CD :

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/05/23/3377891312305_600.jpg)

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 16, 2020, 12:30:35 AM
Note : For the sake of clarity and tracking, I have now moved Ibert from the composers list (in post #2) to another "Explored" list underneath (post #3 onwards), which will include the works listened to (and underlined the ones I particularly have found of interest).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 16, 2020, 12:40:14 AM
I just checked the shelves and I actually have this particular work in the collection already!  :-[  Well, not technically mine, actually a Christmas present (a Galway boxset) to my partner (she used to play flute when she was younger) and Ibert's is in it. I'll queue that too. I did enjoy some of that boxset by the way, more than I expected to (again, the usual small chunks apply for this one, more to do with the instrument).


Be careful there, Olivier. Listen to the flute concertos with headphones on. You may just kindle a rejuvenation in your partner’s flute playing career.  ;)  ;D

You could also try Ibert’s Concertino da camera for Alto Saxophone and 11 instruments for an intriguing and exciting sound world. I find it very colourful and energetic with its rich and varied musical language, tones and moods. I find it very engaging music.


(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81klG1aF9OL._AC_SL1200_.jpg)


I find this work to be a very colourful and energetic one with its rich and varied musical language, tones and moods. I find it very exciting music.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 16, 2020, 12:56:29 AM
One final recommendation for Ibert, Olivier. Once again I may be pushing your boundaries a bit but, hey, that is what this is all about.  ;D


Ibert: Trois pieces breves This is another short work that I really like. It is very inventive and beguiling music and refreshingly whimsical.


(https://img.tradera.net/images/983/358186983_67c96434-4b98-49bf-8dfb-3d3cc9957ebc.jpg)



That CD is, in my opinion, indispensable for exploring French Chamber Music. I certainly recommend it to those who have not heard it yet.

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Ten thumbs on September 16, 2020, 01:06:23 AM
Another composer you should not overlook is Mel Bonis (1858-1937).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 16, 2020, 02:14:27 AM
Be careful there, Olivier. Listen to the flute concertos with headphones on. You may just kindle a rejuvenation in your partner’s flute playing career.  ;)  ;D

You could also try Ibert’s Concertino da camera for Alto Saxophone and 11 instruments for an intriguing and exciting sound world. I find it very colourful and energetic with its rich and varied musical language, tones and moods. I find it very engaging music.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81klG1aF9OL._AC_SL1200_.jpg)

I find this work to be a very colourful and energetic one with its rich and varied musical language, tones and moods. I find it very exciting music.

 ;D

Can't find that particular version but i have saved another one thank you.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 16, 2020, 02:17:04 AM
One final recommendation for Ibert, Olivier. Once again I may be pushing your boundaries a bit but, hey, that is what this is all about.  ;D

Ibert: Trois pieces breves This is another short work that I really like. It is very inventive and beguiling music and refreshingly whimsical.

(https://img.tradera.net/images/983/358186983_67c96434-4b98-49bf-8dfb-3d3cc9957ebc.jpg)

That CD is, in my opinion, indispensable for exploring French Chamber Music. I certainly recommend it to those who have not heard it yet.

I have listened to 3 pieces breves already (reply #9) and enjoyed it. I have that CD above already queued  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 16, 2020, 02:20:51 AM
Another composer you should not overlook is Mel Bonis (1858-1937).

Thank you, added as well.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 16, 2020, 02:38:20 AM
Well, I'm sold on the merits of Ibert, so this thread has been worthwhile already.  :laugh:

I've quite liked all the things I've tried, though the one that really caught my fancy was the opening movement of the Flute Concerto.

I'm sort of getting touches of Poulenc with a hint of Ravel, though that's partly just because I don't have that many reference points available to me. Poulenc but with a little more restraint and classicism.

EDIT: I'm finding the String Quartet very good too (chamber music is probably my favourite genre anyway).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on September 16, 2020, 03:45:33 AM
Thank you Mandryka. Machaut being in the list, I'll add De Vitry and Sainte Colombe Père for now.

It's a huge task you've set yourself, especially if you include early music. As far as I know there's no "racial" continuity -- no relationship between the art of Leonin and the art of Semisy or the art of Brice Pausset.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 16, 2020, 04:12:30 AM
Well, I'm sold on the merits of Ibert, so this thread has been worthwhile already.  :laugh:

I've quite liked all the things I've tried, though the one that really caught my fancy was the opening movement of the Flute Concerto.

EDIT: I'm finding the String Quartet very good too (chamber music is probably my favourite genre anyway).

You're welcome  ;D

I'll be playing the Flute Cto in a moment, you're not helping by throwing in the SQ either  !

you need to try that concertino for saxophone as well by the way (Fergus was onto something with this one)  :P
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 16, 2020, 04:36:37 AM
It's a huge task you've set yourself, especially if you include early music. As far as I know there's no "racial" continuity -- no relationship between the art of Leonin and the art of Semisy or the art of Brice Pausset.

I know  ???  I'll try to enjoy the journey, however long it takes. Some stops will be much shorter than other I am sure, but i'll take my time. I am not looking at those in terms of a racial continuity or relationships at all, just on their own specific merit really. They are only in that list because they are in my personal substantial blind spot, composers I struggled with before, and i bundled them because they so happen to be composers of my own country. As good a bundle as any. 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 16, 2020, 04:52:29 AM
Concertino da camera for Alto Saxophone and 11 instruments[/b]
Ibert: Flute Concerto [Galway/Dutoit]

2 good'uns, those.

I'm finding the String Quartet very good too (chamber music is probably my favourite genre anyway).

the SQ is not tickling me the right way so far.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on September 16, 2020, 05:46:10 AM
I know  ???  I'll try to enjoy the journey, however long it takes. Some stops will be much shorter than other I am sure, but i'll take my time. I am not looking at those in terms of a racial continuity or relationships at all, just on their own specific merit really. They are only in that list because they are in my personal substantial blind spot, composers I struggled with before, and i bundled them because they so happen to be composers of my own country. As good a bundle as any.

One thing that may be the case is that French music is very subtle. That's probably why it's less well appreciated than Italian music or German music. I think this may well be a racial trait going back to Machaut and stretching all the way to Dusapin.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: kyjo on September 16, 2020, 06:26:40 AM
Do not miss out on the wonderful music of Jean-Michel Damase (1928-2013)! This Dutton CD of his orchestral works is the perfect place to start:



You can see my very enthusiastic review if you scroll down a bit ;)

P.S. All this talk about Ibert has reminded me that I need to explore more of his music. I’ve always enjoyed Escales, Divertissement (surely one of the funniest pieces of music I know!), and the Flute Concerto. I recall the Symphonie marine being excellent as well.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: kyjo on September 16, 2020, 06:34:50 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:
(http://)

Yes, that’s a very good work; your Honegger comparison is quite apt. I recall the slow movement being particularly fine.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 16, 2020, 06:38:10 AM
Do not miss out on the wonderful music of Jean-Michel Damase (1928-2013)!

Damase is in the list, Kyle, no worries  ;)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 16, 2020, 06:45:02 AM
Next stop :  Edgar Varèse.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/82/20/0002894602082_600.jpg)

Played "Tuning Up", "Amériques", "Poème Electronique"
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 16, 2020, 07:21:09 AM
Next stop :  Edgar Varèse.


A blind spot for me also so I will definitely learn something here  8)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 16, 2020, 09:19:46 AM
If you are into piano music, then Cecile Chaminade is a must. Salon music at its best: elegant, tuneful, witty and eminently enjoyable.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Iota on September 16, 2020, 09:29:56 AM
Excellent thread idea, PO! Look forward to seeing what tasty morsels emerge from it. And in honour of its inception I just listened to the Ibert flute concerto which seems rather butterfly-like in the first and last movements, with an attractive tendresse in the middle movement, which was the one I preferred.
Also listened to 3 Pieces Breves, as recommended above, again whimsical, but I felt there was a tad more Stravinskian bite and humour to the whimsy than in the concerto, which made it more interesting to me. I suspect his smaller scale works might engage me most, but may try the Symphonie Marine too. 
 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on September 16, 2020, 10:27:23 AM
Yes, that’s a very good work; your Honegger comparison is quite apt. I recall the slow movement being particularly fine.
This mention of Honegger reminded me, irrationally, of a composer that I've been recently rediscovering, Maurice Ohana.

The love child of Messiaen and Stravinsky, in a manner of speaking.

But since I was focussed on providing composers without a number to the left of the hyphen, I didn't even think of Ohana.

I should, however, have thought of Gilbert Amy. Who does not have number... hyphen... and et cetera.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 16, 2020, 03:24:40 PM
So far Edgar isn’t doing it for me.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on September 16, 2020, 09:45:57 PM
Varèse's output is small, but it is just about as perfect as any human-made thing is likely to get.

Don't give up on yourself, Madiel. It's a splendid world there. And fortunately, it will be just as splendid whenever you're ready as it is now.

(My first one was Poème électronique. The one I played most often, at first, was Arcana

My oldest son's first was also Poème électronique. It hit him even harder: he went on to study with David Cope at UC Santa Cruz, earning a degree in computer music composition.)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on September 16, 2020, 11:21:37 PM
Enjoying Philippe Manoury’s second string quartet this morning

https://www.youtube.com/v/1A-XGTZjLlw
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 17, 2020, 01:01:13 AM
Varèse's output is small, but it is just about as perfect as any human-made thing is likely to get.

Don't give up on yourself, Madiel. It's a splendid world there. And fortunately, it will be just as splendid whenever you're ready as it is now.

I'll only say this once... you're on my ignore list. And the reason for it is your regular intimation that people ought to like the kind of music that you like, and your constant, repetitive evangelism of more recent composers. Not just that you evangelise, but the tone in which you do it (such as the tone you took on this thread when seeing a list without living composers).

This has nothing to do with "giving up on myself" and such language is condescending and insulting. You could have said not to give up on trying the music. But no, you said not to give up on myself. What the hell? That conveys some kind of deficiency that I have to correct.

I didn't make any kind of statement to the effect that other people ought to not like the music of Varèse, so please don't make statements that come across as suggesting that I ought to like the music of Varèse in order to be some kind of improved person. Learn how to talk about the music that you enjoy without conveying that everyone else is inferior for not having your sophisticated tastes.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 17, 2020, 01:42:35 AM
A blind spot for me also so I will definitely learn something here  8)

dip the toe gently  :laugh:
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 17, 2020, 01:47:17 AM
If you are into piano music, then Cecile Chaminade is a must. Salon music at its best: elegant, tuneful, witty and eminently enjoyable.

Sounds good, I'll add it.

I actually came across her name a few months back in a really round about way. A character played the role of Cecile Chaminade in "Anne with an E", the Netflix version of "Anne of the Green Gables", playing ...salon music at a party in a rich aunt's house and inspiring one of the artistic main characters towards music   ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 17, 2020, 01:49:31 AM
Excellent thread idea, PO! Look forward to seeing what tasty morsels emerge from it. And in honour of its inception I just listened to the Ibert flute concerto which seems rather butterfly-like in the first and last movements, with an attractive tendresse in the middle movement, which was the one I preferred.
Also listened to 3 Pieces Breves, as recommended above, again whimsical, but I felt there was a tad more Stravinskian bite and humour to the whimsy than in the concerto, which made it more interesting to me. I suspect his smaller scale works might engage me most, but may try the Symphonie Marine too.

Welcome aboard, Iota  8)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 17, 2020, 01:51:44 AM
Sounds good, I'll add it.

I actually came across her name a few months back in a really round about way. A character played the role of Cecile Chaminade in "Anne with an E", the Netflix version of "Anne of the Green Gables", playing ...salon music at a party in a rich aunt's house and inspiring one of the artistic main characters towards music   ;D

Nice!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 17, 2020, 02:00:36 AM
So far Edgar isn’t doing it for me.

Nor me, I'm afraid. Too much banging and dissonance overall for my own tastes.

"Arcana" was sort interesting for 5-10 minutes but it lost me afterwards. "Tuning up" was original and quirky, even pressed replay on this particular one, but I do not feel the need to revisit again.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 17, 2020, 03:34:34 AM
Nor me, I'm afraid. Too much banging and dissonance overall for my own tastes.

"Arcana" was sort interesting for 5-10 minutes but it lost me afterwards. "Tuning up" was original and quirky, even pressed replay on this particular one, but I do not feel the need to revisit again.

I haven't tried either of those yet. So far it was Ionisation, then Amériques. Just now Density 21.5 which is for solo flute, and now starting on Déserts where I stumbled across a Naxos performance conducted by someone I obliquely know, so that's novel...

I'm not having much reaction on the whole.

EDIT: Though interestingly, David Hurwitz was thoroughly enthusiastic about the Naxos disc. Said the performances were much better than Boulez' (and I've just found someone on Amazon saying the same thing). So maybe I'll listen to more of this album.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81gWs0RsOKL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 17, 2020, 04:47:37 AM
You don't like Varèse? You don't like Varèse??!?  Don't you know every time you say that, a beautiful water sprite in the Csárda-valley dies?? 

(https://i.postimg.cc/3JJ5yX0x/water-Sprite.jpg)

Varese is one of the most inventive and important of the 20th century composers.  Spend more time with his music.  Let him get under your skin, as it were.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 17, 2020, 04:59:56 AM
You don't like Varèse? You don't like Varèse??!?  Don't you know every time you say that, a beautiful water sprite in the Csárda-valley dies?? 

Varese is one of the most inventive and important of the 20th century composers.  Spend more time with his music.  Let him get under your skin, as it were.

I'll live with that burden :P  ;)


Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 17, 2020, 05:04:19 AM
Me too. For starters, I’m gay so talking about beautiful water sprites was entirely the wrong tactic.  ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 17, 2020, 05:23:49 AM
I moved on to Jean-Philippe Rameau earlier this afternoon.

I do not have a lot in my collection but he actually is the French composer I return to the most for the following :

Les Indes Galantes (Orchestral - Bruggen)
Les Indes Galantes (Harpsichord - Rousset)
Pieces de Clavecin (Bielder, Ross , Meyer)

The Suite in E minor particularly is a strong favorite of mine as it includes Rappel des Oiseaux et Gigue en Rondeau. I have always been satisfied with only Indes Galantes in instrumental versions. It should be a short foray as I tried a few times the operas themselves (audio, YT video) but to no avail. It just doesn't work for me once the singing is there.

Earlier today, I listened to the Overtures by Rousset. That was very good, really enjoyed that.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/07/91/0002894759107_600.jpg)

Checking out Rameau's works on wikipedia, I notice he did some motets. I'll give that a go later today on tomorrow.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/21/00/0794881600021_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 17, 2020, 05:30:16 AM
I enjoy a lot of his music also, but with Franck and Saint-Saens and Fauré out there, he doesn't get as many plays.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on September 17, 2020, 06:01:01 AM
I moved on to Jean-Philippe Rameau earlier this afternoon.

I do not have a lot in my collection but he actually is the French composer I return to the most for the following :

Les Indes Galantes (Orchestral - Bruggen)
Les Indes Galantes (Harpsichord - Rousset)
Pieces de Clavecin (Bielder, Ross , Meyer)

The Suite in E minor particularly is a strong favorite of mine as it includes Rappel des Oiseaux et Gigue en Rondeau. I have always been satisfied with only Indes Galantes in instrumental versions. It should be a short foray as I tried a few times the operas themselves (audio, YT video) but to no avail. It just doesn't work for me once the singing is there.

Earlier today, I listened to the Overtures by Rousset. That was very good, really enjoyed that.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/07/91/0002894759107_600.jpg)

Checking out Rameau's works on wikipedia, I notice he did some motets. I'll give that a go later today on tomorrow.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/21/00/0794881600021_600.jpg)

Swerved Varése, but up for Rameau following Nielsen which should make for an interesting twosome this evening. ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 17, 2020, 06:16:25 AM
I moved on to Jean-Philippe Rameau earlier this afternoon.

I do not have a lot in my collection but he actually is the French composer I return to the most for the following :

Les Indes Galantes (Orchestral - Bruggen)
Les Indes Galantes (Harpsichord - Rousset)
Pieces de Clavecin (Bielder, Ross , Meyer)

The Suite in E minor particularly is a strong favorite of mine as it includes Rappel des Oiseaux et Gigue en Rondeau. I have always been satisfied with only Indes Galantes in instrumental versions. It should be a short foray as I tried a few times the operas themselves (audio, YT video) but to no avail. It just doesn't work for me once the singing is there.

Earlier today, I listened to the Overtures by Rousset. That was very good, really enjoyed that.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/07/91/0002894759107_600.jpg)

Checking out Rameau's works on wikipedia, I notice he did some motets. I'll give that a go later today on tomorrow.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/21/00/0794881600021_600.jpg)
Must admit, I don't often visit (revisit?) Rameau.  Like you, I do enjoy (and own) that overtures disc with Rousset.  I should try again his operas (I own a few of them).

PD
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 17, 2020, 06:35:00 AM
I just checked the shelves and I actually have this particular work in the collection already!  :-[  Well, not technically mine, actually a Christmas present (a Galway boxset) to my partner (she used to play flute when she was younger) and Ibert's is in it. I'll queue that too. I did enjoy some of that boxset by the way, more than I expected to (again, the usual small chunks apply for this one, more to do with the instrument).

Also lined up for this morning, one last Ibert CD :

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/05/23/3377891312305_600.jpg)
Don't tell her that Olivier!  :o  ;)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 17, 2020, 07:12:11 AM
Don't tell her that Olivier!  :o  ;)

I make an effort to compromise  ;)...but she knows  :laugh:
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 17, 2020, 07:58:34 AM
One thing that may be the case is that French music is very subtle. That's probably why it's less well appreciated than Italian music or German music.

Debussy said this:  Le génie musical français, c'est quelque chose comme la fantaisie dans la sensibilité.

I don't know. It could very well aply to Schubert or Schumann as well.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on September 17, 2020, 01:26:27 PM
Adolphe Adam, Marin Marais, Nicolas de Grigny, Jean Gilles, Marcel Landowski, Louis-Théodore Gouvy, Marcel Dupré are all composers I rate highly.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 17, 2020, 06:24:48 PM
Don't care for Landowski, but Adam, Gouvy and especially Dupre (a master organist) I like.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on September 17, 2020, 10:12:33 PM
Suites Des Indes Galantes

Most enjoyable. A recording from 1961 that wears it's years well.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 12:14:34 AM
Adolphe Adam, Marin Marais, Nicolas de Grigny, Jean Gilles, Marcel Landowski, Louis-Théodore Gouvy, Marcel Dupré are all composers I rate highly.

Merci André. I'll add them.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 12:16:09 AM
Swerved Varése, but up for Rameau following Nielsen which should make for an interesting twosome this evening. ;D

Not really the best of weeks for the Water Sprites... :blank:  :laugh:
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 12:24:56 AM
Suites Des Indes Galantes
Most enjoyable. A recording from 1961 that wears it's years well.

Excellent !
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 18, 2020, 12:25:10 AM
Nor me, I'm afraid. Too much banging and dissonance overall for my own tastes.

"Arcana" was sort interesting for 5-10 minutes but it lost me afterwards. "Tuning up" was original and quirky, even pressed replay on this particular one, but I do not feel the need to revisit again.

I have been doing some exploratory listening to Varese’s music over the last couple of days as I know nothing of this composer. One work stood out for me, and that is Arcana. I find it to be powerful, interesting, exciting and compelling listening. I also find Déserts and Amériques to be intriguing but I cannot quite grasp them yet. I will have to study them more.
I have no interest in percussion ensembles, however.  ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 18, 2020, 12:28:43 AM
I moved on to Jean-Philippe Rameau earlier this afternoon.

I do not have a lot in my collection but he actually is the French composer I return to the most for the following :

Les Indes Galantes (Orchestral - Bruggen)
Les Indes Galantes (Harpsichord - Rousset)
Pieces de Clavecin (Bielder, Ross , Meyer)

The Suite in E minor particularly is a strong favorite of mine as it includes Rappel des Oiseaux et Gigue en Rondeau. I have always been satisfied with only Indes Galantes in instrumental versions. It should be a short foray as I tried a few times the operas themselves (audio, YT video) but to no avail. It just doesn't work for me once the singing is there.

Earlier today, I listened to the Overtures by Rousset. That was very good, really enjoyed that.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/07/91/0002894759107_600.jpg)

Checking out Rameau's works on wikipedia, I notice he did some motets. I'll give that a go later today on tomorrow.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/21/00/0794881600021_600.jpg)

Rousset is a fine interpreter of Rameau, I think, and he plays the harpsichord works very well if one is interested in that particular field of endeavour.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 18, 2020, 12:37:09 AM
I have been doing some exploratory listening to Varese’s music over the last couple of days as I know nothing of this composer. One work stood out for me, and that is Arcana. I find it to be powerful, interesting, exciting and compelling listening. I also find Déserts and Amériques to be intriguing ...

Great!  I am glad you are not a water-sprite genocidal maniac like Papy!   :P
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 18, 2020, 12:48:41 AM
Great!  I am glad you are not a water-sprite genocidal maniac like Papy!   :P

No, and if they all look like that I will contribute in any way to save them  ;D

Seriously though, I did find a lot to interest me in Varese's music and I will definitely explore further, if slowly.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 18, 2020, 02:49:21 AM
I took some of my Rameau in a thoroughly non-traditional form.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71oR03xrIUL._SS500_.jpg)

And I was rather surprised at how well the programming worked. The choices of Debussy pieces are very, very smart to fit with the Rameau ones. And yes, this won't work if you don't want your harpsichord music played on piano. But for what it is, it impressed me a lot more than I had expected.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 03:48:35 AM
I have been doing some exploratory listening to Varese’s music over the last couple of days as I know nothing of this composer. One work stood out for me, and that is Arcana. I find it to be powerful, interesting, exciting and compelling listening. I also find Déserts and Amériques to be intriguing but I cannot quite grasp them yet. I will have to study them more.
I have no interest in percussion ensembles, however.  ;D

 ???

joke aside, you make a case for trying Arcana again at some point.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 03:50:19 AM
Rousset is a fine interpreter of Rameau, I think, and he plays the harpsichord works very well if one is interested in that particular field of endeavour.

I only have one CD of his but yes, it is a very good one :

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/67/85/0822189008567_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 03:52:36 AM
I took some of my Rameau in a thoroughly non-traditional form.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/71oR03xrIUL._SS500_.jpg)

And I was rather surprised at how well the programming worked. The choices of Debussy pieces are very, very smart to fit with the Rameau ones. And yes, this won't work if you don't want your harpsichord music played on piano. But for what it is, it impressed me a lot more than I had expected.

Noted Madiel, thank you, and added in my queue. Maybe the mixing of tracks with Rameau will help me hear Debussy differently when I get to him.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 18, 2020, 03:59:51 AM
Noted Madiel, thank you, and added in my queue. Maybe the mixing of tracks with Rameau will help me hear Debussy differently when I get to him.
Sorry if I missed earlier comments, but are you (currently) not much of a fan of Debussy?

PD
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 18, 2020, 04:00:14 AM
???

joke aside, you make a case for trying Arcana again at some point.

Yes, I think that it is certainly worth taking some time over but one would have to be in the right frame of mind for a challenge.

This is one of the versions that I found to be very appealing whenever you are ready for it:



https://www.youtube.com/v/Bg3-Sdn4PPg
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 18, 2020, 04:00:44 AM
I only have one CD of his but yes, it is a very good one :

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/67/85/0822189008567_600.jpg)

Yes, it is a good one indeed.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 04:08:55 AM
Henri Sauguet is the French composer I am exploring today. I was really impressed by his 1st symphony recently, upon Jeffrey's (Vandermolen) recommendations. I'll be exploring his symphonies 2 (playing now), 3, 4, his three string quartets, his mélodies (songs), and some ballet music as well. Also some guitar music.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/20/63/0730099346320_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/29/64/0730099346429_600.jpg)  (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/28/72/0730099347228_600.jpg)  (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/ma/mk/ix5wnpoo9mkma_600.jpg)

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/07/07/3377891310707_600.jpg)  (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/28/52/0059582515228_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/83/16/5028421951683_600.jpg)



Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 18, 2020, 04:14:56 AM
Henri Sauguet is the French composer I am exploring today. I was really impressed by his 1st symphony recently, upon Jeffrey's (Vandermolen) recommendations. I'll be exploring his symphonies 2 (playing now), 3, 4, his three string quartets, his mélodies, and some ballet music as well. Also some guitar music.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/20/63/0730099346320_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/29/64/0730099346429_600.jpg)  (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/28/72/0730099347228_600.jpg)  (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/ma/mk/ix5wnpoo9mkma_600.jpg)

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/07/07/3377891310707_600.jpg)  (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/28/52/0059582515228_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/83/16/5028421951683_600.jpg)

Once again, I know nothing of this composer so I look forward to some recommendations here.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 04:20:37 AM
Sorry if I missed earlier comments, but are you (currently) not much of a fan of Debussy?

PD

Hi PD,
I would love to be a fan but he is one of the main French composers that I just don't click with. Over the years, I have regularly tried and picked up his piano works (Michelangeli) and orchestral works (Martinon) off the shelf but very little success. Hence this little project. Open my ears to as much French music as possible and hoping that when i get to spend some time with Debussy towards the end, it might appear more accessible to those ears. Ravel is in the same boat in the main (although some of works I do like already).

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 04:21:24 AM
Yes, I think that it is certainly worth taking some time over but one would have to be in the right frame of mind for a challenge.
This is one of the versions that I found to be very appealing whenever you are ready for it:

Quite. Thank you Fergus, I have saved it.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 04:58:24 AM
Once again, I know nothing of this composer so I look forward to some recommendations here.

So far, his symphony No.2 is surprisingly very engrossing. I wasn't convinced to start off with, with the soprano and the choir, but they just draw you in, like in a tale, through the seasons. Very atmospheric, sometimes eerie. Definitely a work where some narration would fit right in, like in Children of Lir  actually (I can't believe I would miss/consider narration !!). Worth it if in the right mood.

Couldn't be any more different to what I discovered with his First either.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/29/64/0730099346429_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 18, 2020, 05:08:40 AM
Well, I just listened to some long 'samples' of some of Sauget's works:  Les Forains, Tableaux de Paris, and his first symphony and what I heard left me feeling "Eh".   :(  It felt very retro to me...unexciting.  Pleasant and charming for Les Forains and the Tableaux, but not memorable.  Perhaps it was my mood?  Would be interesting to hear others thoughts here.

PD
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 18, 2020, 05:21:16 AM
You don't like Debussy? You don't like Debussy??!?!!
Don't you know every time you say that, a despondent French forest-nymph throws herself into the Seine, and drowns???   ???

(https://i.postimg.cc/pXSKsjbW/medieval-dress-tunic-forest-princess-6.jpg)

As Richard A. Leonard wrote:

(https://i.postimg.cc/446JLkDm/insert.jpg)


Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 18, 2020, 05:30:19 AM
So far, his symphony No.2 is surprisingly very engrossing. I wasn't convinced to start off with, with the soprano and the choir, but they just draw you in, like in a tale, through the seasons. Very atmospheric, sometimes eerie. Definitely a work where some narration would fit right in, like in Children of Lir  actually (I can't believe I would miss/consider narration !!). Worth it if in the right mood.

Couldn't be any more different to what I discovered with his First either.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/29/64/0730099346429_600.jpg)

WHAT!!!  :o  :o
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 05:35:08 AM
You don't like Debussy? You don't like Debussy??!?!!
Don't you know every time you say that, a despondent French forest-nymph throws herself into the Seine, and drowns???   ???

 :laugh:

I do not dislike Debussy. I just haven't found an entry point yet that unlocks his music for me  ;)

I might make an effort when his time comes  to save a nymph   :P
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 05:41:29 AM
Well, I just listened to some long 'samples' of some of Sauget's works:  Les Forains, Tableaux de Paris, and his first symphony and what I heard left me feeling "Eh".   :(  It felt very retro to me...unexciting.  Pleasant and charming for Les Forains and the Tableaux, but not memorable.  Perhaps it was my mood?  Would be interesting to hear others thoughts here.

PD

Fair enough  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 05:44:15 AM
WHAT!!!  :o  :o

oh, I knoooooooow !!!!

(https://64.media.tumblr.com/8717d05b4c0b556a6386e910e380d1bd/b9935e39d1d36c5e-5f/s500x750/48d1179adb771e2fae68dd57c4cc80f0a500600f.png)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 18, 2020, 05:46:47 AM
oh, I knoooooooow !!!!

(https://64.media.tumblr.com/8717d05b4c0b556a6386e910e380d1bd/b9935e39d1d36c5e-5f/s500x750/48d1179adb771e2fae68dd57c4cc80f0a500600f.png)

This thread is throwing up some interesting stuff already, in more ways than one  ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 07:19:22 AM
I have sampled those two (guitar music, songs) but they didn't work for me.

Madiel,
You might want to check out the Melodies/Songs one just in case it hits the mark for you.


(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/07/07/3377891310707_600.jpg)  (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/83/16/5028421951683_600.jpg)
[/quote]
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on September 18, 2020, 07:59:59 AM
Well, I just listened to some long 'samples' of some of Sauget's works:  Les Forains, Tableaux de Paris, and his first symphony and what I heard left me feeling "Eh".   :(  It felt very retro to me...unexciting.  Pleasant and charming for Les Forains and the Tableaux, but not memorable.  Perhaps it was my mood?  Would be interesting to hear others thoughts here.

PD

More likely it’s the genre, PD. French composers were often adept at writing charming light music with ease, so judging from that end of their output may lead one to believe they have little depth or originality. Like Florent Schmitt. Imagine coming to him through Le petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil (charming work). You’d never think he had stuff like the piano quintet, Psaume XLVII or La tragédie de Salomé in him.

For meaty, serious Sauguet, the symphonies nos 3 and 4 and the piano concerto may help you reconsider.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 18, 2020, 08:38:48 AM
More likely it’s the genre, PD. French composers were often adept at writing charming light music with ease, so judging from that end of their output may lead one to believe they have little depth or originality. Like Florent Schmitt. Imagine coming to him through Le petit elfe Ferme-l’oeil (charming work). You’d never think he had stuff like the piano quintet, Psaume XLVII or La tragédie de Saloméin him.

For meaty, serious Sauguet, the symphonies nos 3 and 4 and the piano concerto may help you reconsider.
Thank you for the suggestions André!  I'll give those a listen to soon.   :)

PD
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 18, 2020, 08:45:35 AM
He wrote a Piano Quintet?  Hmmm ... not in the works list.

Were you referring to  Divertissement de chambre, for piano, flute, clarinet, bassoon, & viola [1931]  ?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 18, 2020, 09:05:01 AM
French composers were often adept at writing charming light music with ease, so judging from that end of their output may lead one to believe they have little depth or originality.

Writing charming light music with ease is better than writing boring serious music at great pain. Plus, more often than not there's more originality in the former than in the latter. :D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on September 18, 2020, 09:18:31 AM
He wrote a Piano Quintet?  Hmmm ... not in the works list.

Were you referring to  Divertissement de chambre, for piano, flute, clarinet, bassoon, & viola [1931]  ?

I’m talking about Schmitt, not Sauguet in that post.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 18, 2020, 09:55:46 AM
Ah!  So you were - I'm going blind.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 18, 2020, 10:04:55 AM
Ah!  So you were - I'm going blind.

Off topic: where on earth do you find your avatars? They are way more fanciful than any of the water sprites whose fate seems to concern you greatly.  :D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 18, 2020, 11:22:09 AM
Off topic: where on earth do you find your avatars? They are way more fanciful than any of the water sprites whose fate seems to concern you greatly.  :D
I was curious too!  Particularly this one!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 18, 2020, 11:26:12 AM
The Magyars will rise!  They will expand to the times of medieval kingdom before the Mongols came!  Next year for certain!   :P
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 18, 2020, 11:28:35 AM
The Magyars will rise!  They will expand to the times of medieval kingdom before the Mongols came!  Next year for certain!   :P

I suggest you take a cold shower and listen to more Enescu.  :P
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 18, 2020, 12:16:46 PM
You mean Eneszló?   :D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 18, 2020, 12:26:41 PM
I go to bed and look at all the fun and games in Europe... Magyar hordes and all.

I shall try some Saturday morning Sauguet, not sure whether it will be Singing Sauguet or Symphonic Sauguet yet.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 18, 2020, 12:28:08 PM
Eneszló?   :D

Never heard about him. One of the lesser-known Arpad's chieftains?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 18, 2020, 12:57:51 PM
Okay, I'm not loving the Sauguet.

I lasted with Symphony No.3 for only a couple of minutes before thinking no, that's not what I want right now.  So I switched to String Quartet No.3, and while I've had it on for a bit longer I'm not feeling inspired. I can hear some of the same uninteresting qualities. Sure, it could be the performers (there's only 1 to choose from on Primephonic in each case)... or it could be that the music is a bit dull.

Switching to that Melodies album... hmm, could I find the words somewhere? That'd help me. But see, now I have to work out if it's the music that's flat or only the singer. Because the singer is definitely not impressing me.

I'd really like... a spark of energy somewhere. And I can't be certain whether this is just a run of flat performances or whether the music itself is flat.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 18, 2020, 01:17:16 PM
You don't like Henri?  YOU DON'T LIKE HENRI??!!?   Don't you know every time you say that, a Norwegian Hulder turns to ice, and melts away with the morning sun???   ???

(https://i.postimg.cc/ZY2y2NsR/ice.jpg)

oh, the humanity . . .
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 18, 2020, 01:42:44 PM
Yeah yeah. I already explained to you how I'm not in the target demographic for rescuing mythical women.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 18, 2020, 11:59:31 PM
Okay, I'm not loving the Sauguet.

I lasted with Symphony No.3 for only a couple of minutes before thinking no, that's not what I want right now.  So I switched to String Quartet No.3, and while I've had it on for a bit longer I'm not feeling inspired. I can hear some of the same uninteresting qualities. Sure, it could be the performers (there's only 1 to choose from on Primephonic in each case)... or it could be that the music is a bit dull.

Switching to that Melodies album... hmm, could I find the words somewhere? That'd help me. But see, now I have to work out if it's the music that's flat or only the singer. Because the singer is definitely not impressing me.

I'd really like... a spark of energy somewhere. And I can't be certain whether this is just a run of flat performances or whether the music itself is flat.

They list his songs here but at a glance, not many have the lyrics. Some have.

https://www.lieder.net/lieder/get_settings.html?ComposerId=2462 (https://www.lieder.net/lieder/get_settings.html?ComposerId=2462)

I already struggle with songs in French but there were also too much "mannerism" in the singing, that really put me off.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 19, 2020, 01:33:22 AM
Different day, different reaction.

Didn't click at all with Sauguet's symphonies No.3 & 4. Sampled about half of Les Forains ballet music as well. Bit underwhelmed too.
Trying his String quartets right now.

Oh well.

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on September 19, 2020, 09:51:13 AM
The following is a long gloss on "Different day. Different reaction," which is, I think, key for not only enjoying music but for talking about it as well.

As some of you know, I have been spending my cancer treatment exile in Southern California ripping every unripped CD in the four DJ boxes I left with my best friend when I moved to Europe in 2012. I have visited him a couple of times since then, each time ripping a few CDs that I thought I'd want to have. As I have been finding, in my current frenzy of ripping all of the remaining CDs, there was a problem with the idea expressed in the words "that I thought I'd want to have."

That has turned out, embarrassingly enough, to have been not only a mistake but a stupid mistake. CD after CD of music I was either indifferent to when I first bought it, or even that I simply didn't like, has turned out in my current listening to be at the very least music I enjoy and at the very most music that I find essential. Not all of them, but many.

The music hasn't changed. Those zeroes and ones baked into those plastic discs spin at the same speed and in the same order as ever before. Only I have changed. I have always managed to be pretty open to most kinds of music. But, sadly, I have also always managed to bring expectations to all of my encounters with new music (new as in new as well as new as in new to me). Or perhaps it's desires. The first electroacoustic music I heard that really grabbed me was Varèse's Poème électronique. For years afterwards, my favorite pieces of that type were things that were like the Varèse. So my favorite Xenakis, at first, was naturally Orient-Occident. I didn't dislike any of the other pieces. But I didn't listen to many of them very often. It took a long time to appreciate Bohor, which is a real stunner. And now essential.

My conclusion was that I was going about it all wrong. I would hear things that I liked, and then I would search out things that were like the things that I liked. Seems sensible, right? There's only so much time, after all. Why spend it listening to things you don't like?

Well, that's easy. Dispense with the whole like/dislike model. Learn to listen for what's there not for what you want to be there. It is a hard lesson, I know. It has taken me many years (around fifty) to learn this lesson, and I still fail. But there is a lot of truth to Cage's comment that everything in the world is asking you one question, "What makes you think you don't like me?" And the delightful irony of dispensing with the like/dislike model is that since you end up able to appreciate things you would never have thought you'd appreciate, you end up liking more things.

If you listen to something and it doesn't grab you right away, so what? Listen to something else. If you listen to something and like it at first but then it doesn't grab you any more, so what? Happens to everyone. That focus is always on you and how the music affects you. That focus is, I have become convinced, a big hindrance. It's not the music, it's not some putative quality inherent to the music that's at issue. It's the strategy that's at issue. The question that is usually asked is "What does this music do for me?" Well, it might do nothing for you. It might do something for you one day and something else another day. It's all so capricious, no? And inconsistent.

But the music is just the same from day to day. (I'm side-stepping the performance issue, you notice.) What changes is you. So that's easy. What can you do to make your experiences more consistent? Ask a different question: "What is this music doing?" Not what can it do for you but simply what is it doing. Or, even better, don't ask any questions at all. Don't listen to music for what you need. If you listen without needs, you might find--I have found, anyway, over and over again--that music you would never have considered desirable, that you may already have rejected, over and over again, is perfectly delightful.

In short, if you have no needs, all your needs will be met.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 19, 2020, 02:31:25 PM
In short, if you have no needs, there are other more useful things you can do with your time than sitting around using machinery to produce sound waves that have no utilitarian value whatsoever. FFS.

Music exists for the benefit of people. Not people for music. If you're not listening to music with the hope of getting something out of the experience, then all that's happening is intellectual wankery of the highest order. It's the auditory equivalent of chewing cardboard for the fibre content. Actually not even for that, if you "have no needs" then you don't need to chew anything. You'd just be chewing cardboard because some bloke on the internet reckoned that it was a good way to understand the qualities of the cardboard.

The fact that people have different needs on different days is not a bug, it's a feature. It's not a fault to be corrected. It's a reason to have a music library with a range of options. For the same reason that most normal people don't eat the exact same thing every day.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 20, 2020, 12:58:10 AM
I have been doing some exploratory listening to Sauguet’s music over the last couple of days as I also know nothing of this composer. I started with the Sauget thread, Sauget’s Sanctum, started by Jeffrey when he was a young man.  ;D  In the opening post Jeffrey offers a link to the opening of Symphony which I found that I very much like. I like its noble grandeur, its rich but bleak musical language and the wonderful harmonies that it employs. I will certainly follow up on this one.

The Piano Concerto I thought was a very fine work. I like the wistfulness of both its nature and tone. 

I have also sampled his guitar music and from what I have heard I find it engaging if not completely compelling.

I then sampled his Garden’s Concerto for harmonica which I duly abandoned.

Finally, I discovered the String Quartets. These, I found to be a delight. I liked the melodic and harmonic structure of these intriguing works. No. 3, in particular, demanded my attention. I found it very challenging but I know that I will ultimately find it very rewarding.


Just like Varese earlier, these are two composers to whom I have had no previous exposure. However, that has obviously changed and I will definitely pursue both of these further.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 20, 2020, 02:09:56 AM
Nice one Fergus. Glad you found something of interest.

Went out of my comfort zone with organ music this morning. I have always struggled with that particular instrument and sound (I think I only own one organ CD, with Leonhardt I think).

Listened to fair chunks of the below: half of the Naxos and the whole organ symphony No.3 by Widor. Still a struggle to get used to this sound. Saying that, it took me a very long while to get used to Harpsichord and yet I eventually made a full run through the Scarlatti/Ross box to great enjoyment. So maybe, one day, organ music will get its recognition from me too.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/29/81/0730099558129_600.jpg)  (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/65/97/0825646229765_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 20, 2020, 03:17:54 AM
Nice one Fergus. Glad you found something of interest.

Went out of my comfort zone with organ music this morning. I have always struggled with that particular instrument and sound (I think I only own one organ CD, with Leonhardt I think).

Listened to fair chunks of the below: half of the Naxos and the whole organ symphony No.3 by Widor. Still a struggle to get used to this sound. Saying that, it took me a very long while to get used to Harpsichord and yet I eventually made a full run through the Scarlatti/Ross box to great enjoyment. So maybe, one day, organ music will get its recognition from me too.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/65/97/0825646229765_600.jpg)


Well this is one pathway of French music that I will not be following you down, Olivier. I have that Apex 2 CD set for many years so I have done my penance in that regard. Alain was a very fine instrumentalist but I simply could not warm to these works at all. Perhaps someone will tell us that they are not representative of his work at all. I admit that I have not explored further but the issue was the musical language was inaccessible for me. Perhaps I may attempt to listen to some of his chamber music.

Incidentally, there are many others here far more qualified to talk to you in this field, but I for one would not be recommending Widor as an introduction to the world of organ music [not that you are]. If one was doing that one would need to be very appreciative of the musical language involved in this music.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 20, 2020, 04:06:13 AM
I then sampled his Garden’s Concerto for harmonica which I duly abandoned.

Did you hear this (Sauguet) in the version for oboe?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 20, 2020, 04:21:56 AM
Did you hear this (Sauguet) in the version for oboe?

No, with the harmonica....


https://www.youtube.com/v/2j4Fqsm3qa4


....although I could see how it might work for oboe. The voicing might make a difference all right.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 20, 2020, 04:53:24 AM
try this:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSYiyHyeBqE
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 20, 2020, 06:57:20 AM
try this:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSYiyHyeBqE

Thank you. I will investigate with no preconceptions  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 20, 2020, 07:07:49 AM
the oboe is infinitely better for classical music!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 20, 2020, 08:20:33 AM
the oboe is infinitely better for classical music!

Infinitely is a very good choice of words here  ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on September 21, 2020, 01:58:20 AM
Some forgotten symphonies:

https://www.youtube.com/v/Xc_bemPQ99k

https://www.youtube.com/v/imuNzTXRrng

https://www.youtube.com/v/N9N_rwjhpKU

https://www.youtube.com/v/GeAqwEpNDsU

https://www.youtube.com/v/gNxnyQ9Yk2k

https://www.youtube.com/v/yPnUkjjfpp0


Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on September 21, 2020, 02:53:22 AM
...and some forgotten concertos:

https://www.youtube.com/v/mdhcbsVs7BAhttps://www.youtube.com/v/qdtC-llH2Hc

https://www.youtube.com/v/clGRdiqdNKQ
https://www.youtube.com/v/GfF6nCJ6dEM

https://www.youtube.com/v/E7JESeDWUS4
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 21, 2020, 04:00:47 AM

Well this is one pathway of French music that I will not be following you down, Olivier. I have that Apex 2 CD set for many years so I have done my penance in that regard. Alain was a very fine instrumentalist but I simply could not warm to these works at all. Perhaps someone will tell us that they are not representative of his work at all. I admit that I have not explored further but the issue was the musical language was inaccessible for me. Perhaps I may attempt to listen to some of his chamber music.

Incidentally, there are many others here far more qualified to talk to you in this field, but I for one would not be recommending Widor as an introduction to the world of organ music [not that you are]. If one was doing that one would need to be very appreciative of the musical language involved in this music.

Thank you for your view, Fergus. Maybe I'll keep organ music for another project in 2022...or later  ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 21, 2020, 04:02:14 AM
Some forgotten symphonies:

thank you very much, all saved for later perusal.

...and some forgotten concertos:

And again.  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 21, 2020, 04:02:51 AM
I, too, decided French organ music was something I could skip. Organ music generally not being something I'm fond of, so any composer with a range of non-organ repertoire would be best approached by some other method.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 21, 2020, 04:14:47 AM
My French exploration of the day is Thierry Escaich (1965-). I think i picked up his name from the Top 10 thread, Brian had him in his list I believe ?

I have listened to this one in full earlier:

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/26/72/0886446417226_600.jpg)

If this comment makes sense, his music stays on the right side of modernism and dissonance for my own tastes. it is hovering on "that" line. The "baroque song" was challenging but intriguing. The "concerto for clarinet and orchestra" and the "Suite symphonique de Claude" were very interesting. Ones I think i will revisit.

Now playing this one at the moment:

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/82/56/3610156615682_600.jpg)

Feels quite a bit like a light-ish Schnittke. Still intriguing but probably in smaller doses.

I see that he has done some organ music as well. I might have a go later on to see what a modern take on on this sounds like  ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on September 21, 2020, 05:00:19 AM
Escaich is one of my favourite contemporary composers. If you ever get the chance to hear this disc, don’t miss it:

(https://www.music-bazaar.com/album-images/vol1016/925/925844/2786195-big/Thierry-Escaich-Concerto-Pour-Orgue-Premiere-Symphonie-Fantaisie-Concertante-cover.jpg)

It’s also available in the big Liège Phil box - the most fascinating and rewarding compilation from an orchestra ever issued  0:)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 21, 2020, 05:16:50 AM
Escaich is one of my favourite contemporary composers. If you ever get the chance to hear this disc, don’t miss it:

(https://www.music-bazaar.com/album-images/vol1016/925/925844/2786195-big/Thierry-Escaich-Concerto-Pour-Orgue-Premiere-Symphonie-Fantaisie-Concertante-cover.jpg)

It’s also available in the big Liège Phil box - the most fascinating and rewarding compilation from an orchestra ever issued  0:)

Thank you André, Qobuz has it, it is saved for later.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Scion7 on September 21, 2020, 09:52:41 AM
^ the organ concerto, first movement:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb3vxbdHw7E
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 21, 2020, 12:16:11 PM
I listened to the first two movements only earlier, that was very good. i enjoyed the organ mixed with the rest, I'll resume tomorrow.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on September 21, 2020, 03:11:41 PM
Keep it going, Papy!  ;)

If you ever have an epiphany you can try his beautiful choral work Le dernier Évangile.

(https://img.discogs.com/VUQz2HUZmQrtaLYPGFSvVb1BF5Y=/fit-in/600x598/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-13325890-1552136380-1604.jpeg.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: vandermolen on September 21, 2020, 09:37:27 PM
Enjoying this:
(http://)
Poetic and engaging music.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on September 21, 2020, 11:14:12 PM
Noël Gallon (1891- 1966) - https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/No%C3%ABl_Gallon

Concerto for woodwind trio and orchestra (1934) - fragment....
But sound and performance are excellent. and it is a light & fun neo-classical piece (think of d'Indy, Poulenc, Damase, Françaix...)
https://www.youtube.com/v/R52R7XP3nR8

https://www.youtube.com/v/UM0HRhm638s
Written when Hubeau was 18...
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 22, 2020, 01:32:50 AM
Enjoying this:
Poetic and engaging music.

ok Jeffrey, added to the list.
If you want a translation of the french notes, send PM me and i'll translate them.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 22, 2020, 01:35:31 AM
Keep it going, Papy!  ;)

If you ever have an epiphany you can try his beautiful choral work Le dernier Évangile.

(https://img.discogs.com/VUQz2HUZmQrtaLYPGFSvVb1BF5Y=/fit-in/600x598/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-13325890-1552136380-1604.jpeg.jpg)

Re-listening now André. I have saved that Evangile one as well.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 22, 2020, 02:48:53 AM
When I looked up Escaich on Primephonic they listed him as an artist (organist!) rather than as a composer. But they do have albums of his compositions.

Starting off with a clarinet concerto (on that Baroque Song album). And quite liking it so far.

EDIT: Now on Scènes de bal for string quartet, also finding this very enticing.

Papy Oli, you realise half the motivation in following this thread is that I'd notice our tastes are somewhat similar, so I'm more than happy to ride on your coattails.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on September 22, 2020, 03:52:27 AM
Enjoying this:
Poetic and engaging music.

Roger-Ducasse’s symphonic poem “Sarabande” (1911) is dedicated to Paul Cruppi, the 18-year old son of Louise Cruppi (née Crémieux). Paul Cruppi was Ducasse’s (piano)pupil.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Cruppi

Apparently, Paul befriended Jean Cocteau and died of a drug overdose: “l’adolescent serait mort d’une dose excessive de drogue, en compagnie de son ami Jean Cocteau que la famille tiendra responsable.”.
https://www.erudit.org/en/journals/etudfr/2019-v55-n1-etudfr04537/1059366ar/

Two versions on YT:
Toscanini (1946) : https://youtu.be/3g1PdZ7WaLg
André Girard (1966) : https://youtu.be/XuUDkroNZYo

The composer quotes from a charming and sad “vielle chronique” (16-17th century?) in old French spelling :
“L’endemain du dict jour, au matin menèrent
Le défunct Princelet en l’ Abbaye d’Aisnay. Icel,
Devant que trespasser, souventes foys avoit amiablement
Et doulcement requis: “Sonnez-moy
Ceste sarabande”, qui estoit une dance d’Hespaigne
Qu’un sonneur de luth qu’il aimoit sonnoit
Moult bellement. Et en agonir alloit requérant:
“Sonnez-moy ceste sarabande”; Adonc, à ce que
Plus souèvement departist de ça-bas, tout le
chemin qui mène en l’abbaye dessus dicte, et violes
et hautboys d’amour et flustes alloient sonnant la
dicte sarabande, emmi les psalmes des prebstres
et clercs, et plaincts fréquents de bonnes gens, qui
misérablement pleuroient et lamontoient. Et
oyoit-on en mëme temps toutes les cloches, bourdons
et campanelles, qui quarillonoient bien mélodieusement.”

Free translation
On the morning of the other day, they brought
the deceased  young Prince to the Abbey of Aisnay. (propably in Lyon).
Before passing away, this prince had often sweetly and gently asked
“Play for me this saraband”, a Spanish dance often
very beautifully performed by a beloved lutenist. And while
dying he would ask again “Play this saraband for me”.
So then, to let him depart sweetly from earth, one heard
on the way to the abbey, the aformentioned saraband
Sounded by viols, hautbois d’amour and flutes amidst the
psalms of the priests and clercs, the frequent plaints
of good people , lamenting and crying miserably. And
at the same time one heard all the bells, bourdons and carillons
chiming melodiously.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on September 22, 2020, 04:11:25 AM
The old French text has a nice flow and is very poetic. Also, very appropriate to the composition.

Thanks for that, Peter.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 22, 2020, 04:14:27 AM
When I looked up Escaich on Primephonic they listed him as an artist (organist!) rather than as a composer. But they do have albums of his compositions.

Starting off with a clarinet concerto (on that Baroque Song album). And quite liking it so far.

EDIT: Now on Scènes de bal for string quartet, also finding this very enticing.

Papy Oli, you realise half the motivation in following this thread is that I'd notice our tastes are somewhat similar, so I'm more than happy to ride on your coattails.

There is indeed something to Escaich's music.

Overall, simply glad people follow this little adventure, chime in along the way, find some interest, and, like me, (re)discover some good music.

Enjoy the trip, Madiel. :)

Lalo, Edouard (1823-1892) is the order of the day for me today.

Very little in my collection:

Cello Cto (Du Pré)
Symphonie Espagnole (Oistrakh)

streaming for now:

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/vb/pb/bwc2j9qxhpbvb_600.jpg)

edit: loving it !!!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on September 22, 2020, 04:42:01 AM
The old French text has a nice flow and is very poetic. Also, very appropriate to the composition.

Thanks for that, Peter.

De rien.
I'm curious now about the correspondence between Louise Crémieux and Romain Rolland!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 22, 2020, 06:25:58 AM
Lalo, Edouard (1823-1892) is the order of the day for me today.

Very little in my collection:

Cello Cto (Du Pré)
Symphonie Espagnole (Oistrakh)

streaming for now:

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/vb/pb/bwc2j9qxhpbvb_600.jpg)

edit: loving it !!!

Lalo is a very fine composer and there's much more to his music than the Symphonie espagnole. Try his piano trios, the other (two) violin concertos, the cello concerto, the cello sonata and the piano concerto. And don't forget the ballet Namouna, a magical work.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 22, 2020, 07:07:19 AM
Lalo is a very fine composer and there's much more to his music than the Symphonie espagnole. Try his piano trios, the other (two) violin concertos, the cello concerto, the cello sonata and the piano concerto. And don't forget the ballet Namouna, a magical work.

Thank you Andrei. Had a first listen to Namouna* earlier, also revisited the Cello Cto, both very good.

I have queued up the Cello sonata, Piano trios and the Violin concerti for tomorrow.

*edit: they were only excepts, I have saved a full version.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on September 22, 2020, 09:57:33 PM
While a couple of Lalo's concertante pieces are about the only things that get a regular airing, it seems he actually wrote more chamber music, or at least as much.

Currently listening to the 1st movement of Piano Trio no.3, and very happy with it thus far. EDIT: The opening of the 2nd movement scherzo is even better.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on September 22, 2020, 10:53:04 PM
Thank you Andrei. Had a first listen to Namouna earlier, also revisited the Cello Cto, both very good.

I have queued up the Cello sonata, Piano trios and the Violin concerti for tomorrow.

My all time favourite LP cover:

(https://i.imgur.com/WnoBc1S.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: vandermolen on September 22, 2020, 11:25:42 PM
ok Jeffrey, added to the list.
If you want a translation of the french notes, send PM me and i'll translate them.

Don't worry Olivier but thanks for the kind offer.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 22, 2020, 11:31:00 PM
Things are moving quickly here. Great to see it.  8)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 23, 2020, 01:42:06 AM
 ;D
try this:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSYiyHyeBqE

I have given Sauguet's Garden Concerto [arr. for oboe] a listen. Yes, an immensely more pleasing and tolerable sound altogether! Thank you again for posting it for me.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 23, 2020, 03:30:35 AM
My all time favourite LP cover:

(https://i.imgur.com/WnoBc1S.jpg)

Beautiful one indeed, Lol.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 23, 2020, 03:35:35 AM
While a couple of Lalo's concertante pieces are about the only things that get a regular airing, it seems he actually wrote more chamber music, or at least as much.
Currently listening to the 1st movement of Piano Trio no.3, and very happy with it thus far. EDIT: The opening of the 2nd movement scherzo is even better.

At this rate, i'll underline everything for Lalo in my reply #3 status. Listening to the Trios now, that's just beautiful stuff. Hell, I even enjoyed the Symphonie Espagnole last night (at least, once I had gone past the heavy shrieking violin 1st mvt, my main bugbear with this particular VC format in general  :-[ ).

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/86/90/3661585619086_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 23, 2020, 03:45:00 AM
Lalo is a very fine composer and there's much more to his music than the Symphonie espagnole. Try his piano trios, the other (two) violin concertos, the cello concerto, the cello sonata and the piano concerto. And don't forget the ballet Namouna, a magical work.


Quote
Listening to the Trios now, that's just beautiful stuff. .

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/86/90/3661585619086_600.jpg)



I have never really moved beyond the Lalo Cello Concerto or his Symphonie Espagnole. So, I obviously need to move beyond those two works.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 23, 2020, 03:56:31 AM
I have never really moved beyond the Lalo Cello Concerto or his Symphonie Espagnole. So, I obviously need to move beyond those two works.

Worth the time Fergus, although it might not be Varèsesque enough for you  :laugh:
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 23, 2020, 03:58:04 AM
Worth the time Fergus, although it might not be Varèsesque enough for you  :laugh:

OK, but I will still risk it  ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 23, 2020, 05:50:45 AM
Spending quite the rewarding afternoon listening to Massenet, with large chunks of these. Another composer to save into the French playlist it is.  :)


(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/75/23/0747313312375_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/21/24/0730099412421_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/20/25/0730099412520_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on September 23, 2020, 06:10:04 AM
Lalo’s opera Le roi d’Ys is a beautiful score. The overture has been recorded quite often. French opera is an acquired taste, once past the usual suspects (Carmen, Pelléas). Do check youtube clips of its best bits though:

The overture:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y1rE1Nt6lc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y1rE1Nt6lc)

Mylio’s Aubade, ‘Vainement, ma bien-aimée’. It’s been recorded to death, but here’s the best:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEUL3dVhfkg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEUL3dVhfkg)

And Margared’s big aria, ‘De tous côtés j’aperçois’:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3NeJOEZM6c (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3NeJOEZM6c)

There’s more to Lalo than just charming tunes !
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on September 23, 2020, 07:05:12 AM
Things are moving quickly here. Great to see it.  8)

You are right. I'm having trouble keeping up! :o
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 23, 2020, 07:20:03 AM
Spending quite the rewarding afternoon listening to Massenet, with large chunks of these. Another composer to save into the French playlist it is.  :)


(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/75/23/0747313312375_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/21/24/0730099412421_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/20/25/0730099412520_600.jpg)

I have the last two and this:

(https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2fYohROBgxU/VfV1HZZgeRI/AAAAAAAAEg0/CDJHeeJbShE/s400/cover.jpg)

Plus this:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51TW%2BoCx0eL.jpg)

plus the usual suspects when it comes to his operas.

A superb melodist who wrote refined, sensitive and sensual music. Camille Saint-Saens bhit the nail on the head when writing this about him:


Try as they may, they will not prevent Massenet from shining as one of
the brightest stars in our musical firmament. No composer has enjoyed
the public’s favour to the extent he did, apart from Auber—a composer he
didn’t like, any more than he did his school, but whom he resembles in a
strange way: they both had facility, huge productivity, wit, grace and suc-
cess, and both produced music that fitted their era; at the same time their
music was totally different from each other’s. Both of  them have been ac-
cused  of   flattering  their  listeners;  but  isn’t  it  rather  the  case  that  com-
posers and audience had the same tastes, and were in perfect agreement?


Amen!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 23, 2020, 07:22:42 AM
One French composer a day keeps... Fergus and Lol on their toes  8)

(joke aside, i'll try and slow down a little bit to keep some structure and focus as we go along...and listen to non-French stuff too  :laugh:)

One side point: has anybody got any objection if every now and then I also copy/paste some useful comments and suggestions from here into the relevant composers threads as well ? Thank you.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 23, 2020, 07:28:01 AM
One French composer a day keeps... Fergus and Lol on their toes  8)

(joke aside, i'll try and slow down a little bit to keep some structure and focus as we go along...and listen to non-French stuff too  :laugh:)

One side point: has anybody got any objection if every now and then I also copy/paste some useful comments and suggestions from here into the relevant composers threads as well ? Thank you.

Do as you please, Olivier! This is a very interesting and stimulating thread.. I browsed my collection of French music jus yesterday evening, found some very interesting things there that I've never listened to, or onyl superficially, and I hope I'll be able to contribute my thoughts and comments asap. Meanwhile, I changed my avatar and signature line to some French beauties. Vive la doulce France!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: aligreto on September 23, 2020, 08:18:06 AM
One French composer a day keeps... Fergus and Lol on their toes  8)

(joke aside, i'll try and slow down a little bit to keep some structure and focus as we go along...and listen to non-French stuff too  :laugh:)

One side point: has anybody got any objection if every now and then I also copy/paste some useful comments and suggestions from here into the relevant composers threads as well ? Thank you.

There was no criticism meant in any way, Olivier. I was just amazed at the pace of the progress of the thread. Continue to do what you do at your own pace. The thread will always be here so sluggards, such as I, can always catch up. Forward momentum, as in music, is important in these things. It is great to see such interest and so many responses. The thread has turned out to be very successful. Well done all  8)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on September 23, 2020, 10:58:45 AM
It's going to take me a while to catch up--particularly as I have a bunch of other CDs that I'm trying to work my way through too!  ::)

Happy trails though to you!

PD
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on September 23, 2020, 10:49:54 PM
One French composer a day keeps... Fergus and Lol on their toes  8)

(joke aside, i'll try and slow down a little bit to keep some structure and focus as we go along...and listen to non-French stuff too  :laugh:)

One side point: has anybody got any objection if every now and then I also copy/paste some useful comments and suggestions from here into the relevant composers threads as well ? Thank you.

Don't worry about slowing down, Olivier. Tortoise - like I do keep up.

I like the way the thread is centred around the less obvious suspects. Your last point is an excellent idea. 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 23, 2020, 11:11:00 PM
Do as you please, Olivier! This is a very interesting and stimulating thread.. I browsed my collection of French music jus yesterday evening, found some very interesting things there that I've never listened to, or onyl superficially, and I hope I'll be able to contribute my thoughts and comments asap. Meanwhile, I changed my avatar and signature line to some French beauties. Vive la doulce France!

Thank you Andrei. What are those interesting things/composers you have found please ?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 23, 2020, 11:21:47 PM
There was no criticism meant in any way, Olivier. I was just amazed at the pace of the progress of the thread. Continue to do what you do at your own pace. The thread will always be here so sluggards, such as I, can always catch up. Forward momentum, as in music, is important in these things. It is great to see such interest and so many responses. The thread has turned out to be very successful. Well done all  8)

it was not taken as such, no worries  :) and thank you again.

It's going to take me a while to catch up--particularly as I have a bunch of other CDs that I'm trying to work my way through too!  ::)
Happy trails though to you!
PD

thank you PD, happy listening.

Don't worry about slowing down, Olivier. Tortoise - like I do keep up.
I like the way the thread is centred around the less obvious suspects. Your last point is an excellent idea. 

ok, thank you Lol.
Thought I'd whet my appetite with the less obvious ones first and keep the "big guns" (my main struggles) towards the end. Working out very nicely so far if Lalo, Massenet and Ibert are anything to go by.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 24, 2020, 12:42:28 AM
Thank you Andrei. What are those interesting things/composers you have found please ?

For instance, Pierne, Florent Schmitt, Magnard, Roussel and a bunch of lesser-knowm names: Biarent, de Castillon, d'Ollone, Emile Goue, Paul Le Flem.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Roasted Swan on September 24, 2020, 02:44:55 AM
There is one French composer who is barely represented in the catalogue - his saxophone concerto turns up occasionally and I think there is a smattering of other things.  This is Pierre Max Dubois.  He is very much in the mould of Francaix/Ibert etc - neo-classical style with wit and wonderfully clear and precise orchestration - just really well-crafted music.  Wind and brass players are likely to be more familiar with his name as his works (I think) have been written/used as examination pieces.  I discovered his work when I bought the sheet music for his Concertino for Violin & Orchestra many years ago.  Its a delightful piece but one that I don't think has ever been commercially recorded.  His violin concerto is worth investigating too.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 24, 2020, 05:50:12 AM
For instance, Pierne, Florent Schmitt, Magnard, Roussel and a bunch of lesser-knowm names: Biarent, de Castillon, d'Ollone, Emile Goue, Paul Le Flem.

I'll cover at least the first four at some point. I tried one Pierne CD some weeks ago (a ballet one i think) but that didn't stick. I have saved other works of his to listen to. Schmitt will be a completely new one to me. For Magnard, I did a maiden run through the symphonies (naxos) not long ago and liked it it a lot. I am planning a go at the BIS cycle and his others works for sure. Roussel's cycle is sitting on the shelves but I have no particular recollection of those. To be addressed too.

For the lesser known ones, please do post what is worth a listen to as and when you re-explore them.  That'd be great.

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 24, 2020, 06:05:10 AM
There is one French composer who is barely represented in the catalogue - his saxophone concerto turns up occasionally and I think there is a smattering of other things.  This is Pierre Max Dubois.  He is very much in the mould of Francaix/Ibert etc - neo-classical style with wit and wonderfully clear and precise orchestration - just really well-crafted music.  Wind and brass players are likely to be more familiar with his name as his works (I think) have been written/used as examination pieces.  I discovered his work when I bought the sheet music for his Concertino for Violin & Orchestra many years ago.  Its a delightful piece but one that I don't think has ever been commercially recorded.  His violin concerto is worth investigating too.

Thank you RS, I have found the Saxophone Cto and a couple of quartets for Trombones and Clarinets. In the queue it goes.

Qobuz did not return anything for the concertino btw.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 24, 2020, 06:12:31 AM
Today's short French foray : Andre Campra. Another maiden composer to me.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/13/51/3149020125113_600.jpg)

Listening to his Messe de Requiem (Herreweghe). The type of work obviously tones down some of the usual Baroque "exuberance" that I usually struggle with. In this particular setting, that strikes quite a nice balance for me. That said, not sure yet if that would be a work I would return to.

Will try his motets tomorrow. 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: kyjo on September 24, 2020, 07:54:36 AM
Spending quite the rewarding afternoon listening to Massenet, with large chunks of these. Another composer to save into the French playlist it is.  :)


(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/75/23/0747313312375_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/21/24/0730099412421_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/20/25/0730099412520_600.jpg)

In addition to the ballet and orchestral suites, Massenet’s Piano Concerto is a gem of a work with a touching, hymn-like slow movement, and a rousing, catchy finale. The Stephen Coombs recording on Hyperion’s RPC series is excellent if you can access it, but the Ciccolini on EMI is perfectly fine too.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: JBS on September 24, 2020, 08:21:00 AM
I am giving this a first listen now as I post
 Certainly belongs here, despite the Nielsen.

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 24, 2020, 08:37:54 AM
In addition to the ballet and orchestral suites, Massenet’s Piano Concerto is a gem of a work with a touching, hymn-like slow movement, and a rousing, catchy finale. The Stephen Coombs recording on Hyperion’s RPC series is excellent if you can access it, but the Ciccolini on EMI is perfectly fine too.

Thank you Kyle, I have queued the Ciccolini and Idil Biret on Alpha.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 24, 2020, 08:41:53 AM
I am giving this a first listen now as I post
 Certainly belongs here, despite the Nielsen.



Looks interesting Jeffrey. I had already saved their below CD, I will add yours as well.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/vc/yv/wxv1h2k8syvvc_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on September 24, 2020, 09:27:33 AM
For the lesser known ones, please do post what is worth a listen to as and when you re-explore them.  That'd be great.

Will do.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on September 25, 2020, 02:46:20 AM
Olivier why is Raymond Loucheur not on your list? Going by the stunning violin concerto he certainly deserves to be! The only aspect of both performance and the work itself not being 10 out of 10 is that Devy Erlih's violin is recorded a bit too close (a common criticism of violin concertos I find).

It is thanks to this thread that I have discovered Loucheur's concerto.

 (https://i.imgur.com/g914niM.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 25, 2020, 04:05:20 AM
Olivier why is Raymond Loucheur not on your list? Going by the stunning violin concerto he certainly deserves to be! The only aspect of both performance and the work itself not being 10 out of 10 is that Devy Erlih's violin is recorded a bit too close (a common criticism of violin concertos I find).

Not in the list yet, Lol, but saved in my Watch Later list on Youtube for now. I saved the recs from Peter/pjme there at the time. I'll add Loucheur to the list here when I get to it  ;) Good to know you found it of interest too !
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on September 25, 2020, 06:37:58 AM
Not in the list yet, Lol, but saved in my Watch Later list on Youtube for now. I saved the recs from Peter/pjme there at the time. I'll add Loucheur to the list here when I get to it  ;) Good to know you found it of interest too !

We are all keeping you busy, Olivier. 8)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 25, 2020, 06:50:07 AM
We are all keeping you busy, Olivier. 8)

And aren't I grateful   ???   :laugh:

Good job I have started that symphony cycle by that Myaskovsky guy to alternate with all that French stuff...Pretty decent, I admit 8)
(We'll blame Jeffrey...again...obviously  >:D)

On topic:
Listened to Massenet's Piano concerto and chunks of Campra's Grands Motets earlier on. The former was pleasant in place but too much banging about in the first movement (with my own limitations in that particular format to boot).

Same personal limitations with the Grands Motets. Much preferred the more subtle Messe de Requiem yesterday.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on September 25, 2020, 10:44:30 PM
And aren't I grateful   ???   :laugh:

Good job I have started that symphony cycle by that Myaskovsky guy to alternate with all that French stuff...Pretty decent, I admit 8)
(We'll blame Jeffrey...again...obviously  >:D)

On topic:
Listened to Massenet's Piano concerto and chunks of Campra's Grands Motets earlier on. The former was pleasant in place but too much banging about in the first movement (with my own limitations in that particular format to boot).

Same personal limitations with the Grands Motets. Much preferred the more subtle Messe de Requiem yesterday.

Yes, I noted you are commencing on a Miaskovsky journey. Next up, the third, is outstanding.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: The new erato on September 26, 2020, 07:37:20 AM
You should add Fernand de la Tom elle. The recent Bru Bavhe 3 CD set is rather good. And I recommend Jean Cras highly as well.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 28, 2020, 04:38:05 AM
You should add Fernand de la Tom elle. The recent Bru Bavhe 3 CD set is rather good. And I recommend Jean Cras highly as well.

Thank you Erato, I have found that Bru Zane of De La Tombelle on Qobuz. I'll save it for future listening.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 28, 2020, 04:44:13 AM
Tried some Charles Tournemire earlier today but without much result.

Sampled the following, I just didn't respond at all. Could be having an off day... 0:)

Any other works to consider please if i get back to him in a few days ?

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/22/78/0730099347822_600.jpg)    (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/76/75/3298490047576_600.jpg)

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/29/77/0730099387729_600.jpg)    (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/76/47/0747313234776_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on September 28, 2020, 04:45:52 AM
Try symphony no 3, ‘Moscou’.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 28, 2020, 04:49:05 AM
Try symphony no 3, ‘Moscou’.

Noted, merci André.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on September 28, 2020, 05:22:31 AM
...and the last movement of symphony nr. 6 - which is very impressive (wordless chorus, brass, organ, bells, tamtam, timpani & cymbals) in an almost Mahlerian way.
I like symphony nr 3 - for it is quite short and has interesting orchestration. The other symphonies meander...inspite of many elegant melodies, exquisite orchestration.



Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on September 28, 2020, 05:27:58 AM
Thank you Peter, another nod to the 3rd. I'll try it later in the week.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on September 28, 2020, 07:26:34 AM
Thank you Peter, another nod to the 3rd. I'll try it later in the week.

It’s also vandermolen´s favourite  0:).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on September 28, 2020, 08:35:01 AM
We had a Tournemire topic between 2005 and 2016:

https://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,4110.0.html

Mostly positive reactions and the usual complaints about the Almeida performances.
I remember the world première of the 8th symphony in Antwerp 1992 - Muhai Tang conducting the Antwerp SO, if I remember correctly.




Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on September 28, 2020, 10:23:04 PM
Messiaen/Roussel/Satie/Milhaud: Works for Violin and Piano.

(https://i.imgur.com/ZeAFCLJ.jpg)

Works by French composers played by French artists on French pressed vinyl. :) The two that stood out for me is the quirky - no change there - Satie with "Choses vues a droite et a gauche" a three movement violin sonata with a total timing of 3.82 minutes! The opening movement is titled Choral Hypocrite. Satie never fails to surprise! My overall favourite was the the most French: Milhaud's 2nd Violin Sonata, with a lovely Pastorale opening movement.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: kyjo on September 30, 2020, 07:09:34 AM
...and the last movement of symphony nr. 6 - which is very impressive (wordless chorus, brass, organ, bells, tamtam, timpani & cymbals) in an almost Mahlerian way.
I like symphony nr 3 - for it is quite short and has interesting orchestration. The other symphonies meander...inspite of many elegant melodies, exquisite orchestration.

Tournemire’s 6th is a hugely impressive work, deserving of masterpiece status I’d say. That ending is thrilling!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on September 30, 2020, 08:14:47 AM
Any thoughts on this: Cantique des trois enfants dans la fournaise by Philippe Hersant. ?

https://www.youtube.com/v/kL9WRv75qpM

This "cantique" mirrors intentionally  the Messe à 4 Choeurs by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
I find it magical and moving.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on September 30, 2020, 08:52:42 AM
Just a brief reminder that France is essentially the birthplace of electroacoustic music. Electroacoustic music has been around for about the same amount of time as the classical era. Imagine a thread for exploring classical music that ignored the classical era to the same extent that this thread ignores electroacoustic music.

Now there are plenty of classical fans who aren't thrilled by the music of the classical era, but none of them would be allowed to ignore that era in the way that electroacoustic music is ignored.

People can promote the likes of Tournemire without fear of backlash, pretty much, but promoting electroacoustic calls up all the furies of Erebus to excoriate your presumption.

Oh well.

But for anyone who genuinely wants to explore French music, there's a huge and largely unheard world of it just waiting for ya. I've been doing it for almost fifty years now, and can attest to how much fun it is. Plus, most of its practitioners are still alive and quite personable. One of the earliest of those is one of the "still alive" ones, too, and a really lovely man. (As a matter of curiosity, he studied under both Koechlin and Boulanger. Two people that a lot of GMGers favor.)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 02, 2020, 10:48:07 PM
I listened to Campra's Requiem, as performed by John Eliot Gardiner, and liked what I was hearing a lot. More than I expected.

I've dabbled in a little bit of Tournemire but it hasn't really grabbed me yet. I'm going to dabble a little more.

Papy Oli is that the last composer you'd done? I've lost track.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 02, 2020, 11:53:58 PM
I listened to Campra's Requiem, as performed by John Eliot Gardiner, and liked what I was hearing a lot. More than I expected.

I've dabbled in a little bit of Tournemire but it hasn't really grabbed me yet. I'm going to dabble a little more.

Papy Oli is that the last composer you'd done? I've lost track.

Hi Madiel,

Sorry, very sporadic listening this week. Yes Tournemire was the last composer i listened to in bulk. Not for me overall, just trying his Symphony No.3 "Moscou" which was recommended here earlier as a last try.

Looking back at my posts, I also listened to once Magnard's Orchestral works on Naxos (I had discovered and thoroughly enjoyed his symphonies already before starting this project) and also to one Pierné CD. Pierné will be my next proper port of call next I think.

Glad you found the Campra of interest. It really hit the spot for me despite usually listening to this period in small doses.
 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 02, 2020, 11:57:30 PM
Any thoughts on this: Cantique des trois enfants dans la fournaise by Philippe Hersant. ?

https://www.youtube.com/v/kL9WRv75qpM

This "cantique" mirrors intentionally  the Messe à 4 Choeurs by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
I find it magical and moving.

Saved to watch later, thank you Peter.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 03, 2020, 12:19:40 AM
Just a brief reminder that France is essentially the birthplace of electroacoustic music. Electroacoustic music has been around for about the same amount of time as the classical era. Imagine a thread for exploring classical music that ignored the classical era to the same extent that this thread ignores electroacoustic music.

Now there are plenty of classical fans who aren't thrilled by the music of the classical era, but none of them would be allowed to ignore that era in the way that electroacoustic music is ignored.

People can promote the likes of Tournemire without fear of backlash, pretty much, but promoting electroacoustic calls up all the furies of Erebus to excoriate your presumption.

Oh well.

But for anyone who genuinely wants to explore French music, there's a huge and largely unheard world of it just waiting for ya. I've been doing it for almost fifty years now, and can attest to how much fun it is. Plus, most of its practitioners are still alive and quite personable. One of the earliest of those is one of the "still alive" ones, too, and a really lovely man. (As a matter of curiosity, he studied under both Koechlin and Boulanger. Two people that a lot of GMGers favor.)

We'll get there, SG  ;D  Some of your recommended names are in the list and be sure they will be approached in due course too like all others'. Likely to start with Pierre Henry actually soon.

The purpose of this little project is not to dismiss any genres or periods; on the contrary ! but please bear in mind we all have our own musical journeys, our own musical sweet spots. Regardless how we approach any music, some of it can feel way out of one's comfort zones (like Varèse did for me for instance). My attempts on those names (or any names) may be successful or extremely short-lived but I will have a good go and will see how I respond to it. I am sure others will tag along too when we get to your recommended music too. 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 03, 2020, 01:01:20 AM
Hi Madiel,

Sorry, very sporadic listening this week. Yes Tournemire was the last composer i listened to in bulk. Not for me overall, just trying his Symphony No.3 "Moscou" which was recommended here earlier as a last try.

Looking back at my posts, I also listened to once Magnard's Orchestral works on Naxos (I had discovered and thoroughly enjoyed his symphonies already before starting this project) and also to one Pierné CD. Pierné will be my next proper port of call next I think.

Glad you found the Campra of interest. It really hit the spot for me despite usually listening to this period in small doses.

Same regarding Campra. Not a period that I would often gravitate to, but I found it rewarding.

When you set up this thread, my own view was entirely that I would come along and join you on the journey that you had chosen. In part because I had already noticed that our interests often aligned - not always, but reasonably often. But also in part just because I thought going along the same path at the same time would be interesting, given I have been drawn towards some French composers recently.

It both fascinates and irritates me that any number of other people think the goal of this thread is not to walk alongside you, but to tell you where to go.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 03, 2020, 03:39:14 AM
It both fascinates and irritates me that any number of other people think the goal of this thread is not to walk alongside you, but to tell you where to go.

Well observed. It's easy to get carried away and forget -after a couple of pages -  the initial post.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on October 03, 2020, 07:32:03 AM
We'll get there, SG  ;D  Some of your recommended names are in the list and be sure they will be approached in due course too like all others'. Likely to start with Pierre Henry actually soon.

The purpose of this little project is not to dismiss any genres or periods; on the contrary ! but please bear in mind we all have our own musical journeys, our own musical sweet spots. Regardless how we approach any music, some of it can feel way out of one's comfort zones (like Varèse did for me for instance). My attempts on those names (or any names) may be successful or extremely short-lived but I will have a good go and will see how I respond to it. I am sure others will tag along too when we get to your recommended music too.

You're OK, Papy. And, Madiel's irritation notwithstanding, my own "little project" is not to tell anyone where to go, but to remind some of the more recalcitrant that some of the places that are consistently avoided are possibly also quite enjoyable. When I was first bowled over by new music, I very naturally wanted to share my discovery with others. Even Madiel enjoys sharing his pleasure in the music he likes. Where we differ is in how we approach those who enjoy sharing things that don't delight us, particularly. And, you know, it's not even that. Most of the things you like, most of the things Madiel likes, most of the things Florestan and vandermolen like, are also favorites of mine. This is something that gets lost sight of in the various observations. Observe this, my dear colleagues: I very much enjoy practically everything you think is fine and good and great. But since I also enjoy a lot of things that y'all strongly deprecate, even without much experience of them, and since those are the things I try to promote (why promote J.S. Bach, for instance, or W.A. Mozart--those people are already practically universally beloved), then I must be squelched.

And the squelchiest way to do that is to accuse me, constantly, of things I have never done. I want to do the same thing Madiel does, talk about the things I love, partly just to express my love and partly to encourage others to sample them. But because some of the things I love are considered anathema to certain of my fellow travellers, expressing my love for those things has to repackaged as me wanting to tell you what to listen to, as me insisting that you like the same things that I like.

Great. You (not "you, Papy Oli" but "you all") can drool all over Rachmaninoff (whom I adore, just by the way) all you like, but me just mentioning Radigue is the worst kind of jackbooted repression, ever. It would be risible were it not so depressing.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: T. D. on October 03, 2020, 08:09:59 AM
You're OK, Papy. And, Madiel's irritation notwithstanding, my own "little project" is not to tell anyone where to go, but to remind some of the more recalcitrant that some of the places that are consistently avoided are possibly also quite enjoyable. When I was first bowled over by new music, I very naturally wanted to share my discovery with others. Even Madiel enjoys sharing his pleasure in the music he likes. Where we differ is in how we approach those who enjoy sharing things that don't delight us, particularly. And, you know, it's not even that. Most of the things you like, most of the things Madiel likes, most of the things Florestan and vandermolen like, are also favorites of mine. This is something that gets lost sight of in the various observations. Observe this, my dear colleagues: I very much enjoy practically everything you think is fine and good and great. But since I also enjoy a lot of things that y'all strongly deprecate, even without much experience of them, and since those are the things I try to promote (why promote J.S. Bach, for instance, or W.A. Mozart--those people are already practically universally beloved), then I must be squelched.

And the squelchiest way to do that is to accuse me, constantly, of things I have never done. I want to do the same thing Madiel does, talk about the things I love, partly just to express my love and partly to encourage others to sample them. But because some of the things I love are considered anathema to certain of my fellow travellers, expressing my love for those things has to repackaged as me wanting to tell you what to listen to, as me insisting that you like the same things that I like.

Great. You (not "you, Papy Oli" but "you all") can drool all over Rachmaninoff (whom I adore, just by the way) all you like, but me just mentioning Radigue is the worst kind of jackbooted repression, ever. It would be risible were it not so depressing.

FWIW, perhaps OT and no disrespect to the original poster, but as a lurker on threads like this I hope for suggestions of "peripheral" or less widely-known composers.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on October 03, 2020, 09:33:45 AM
Obviously we all want to share our pet loves, it’s only natural. Others’ suggestions of new works or interpretations can be ignored or followed. As for me I plead guilty of both suggesting stuff and succumbing to too many tempting suggestions, at the risk of my eventual ruination  :D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 03, 2020, 12:38:32 PM
 :) :) :)
Ah, those pet loves! I really must find music by French female composers. Tailleferre isn't the only one.
But for now: Bonne nuit!

https://www.youtube.com/v/3mZtxcYLRoQ

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 03, 2020, 06:27:43 PM
You're OK, Papy. And, Madiel's irritation notwithstanding, my own "little project" is not to tell anyone where to go, but to remind some of the more recalcitrant that some of the places that are consistently avoided are possibly also quite enjoyable. When I was first bowled over by new music, I very naturally wanted to share my discovery with others. Even Madiel enjoys sharing his pleasure in the music he likes. Where we differ is in how we approach those who enjoy sharing things that don't delight us, particularly. And, you know, it's not even that. Most of the things you like, most of the things Madiel likes, most of the things Florestan and vandermolen like, are also favorites of mine. This is something that gets lost sight of in the various observations. Observe this, my dear colleagues: I very much enjoy practically everything you think is fine and good and great. But since I also enjoy a lot of things that y'all strongly deprecate, even without much experience of them, and since those are the things I try to promote (why promote J.S. Bach, for instance, or W.A. Mozart--those people are already practically universally beloved), then I must be squelched.

And the squelchiest way to do that is to accuse me, constantly, of things I have never done. I want to do the same thing Madiel does, talk about the things I love, partly just to express my love and partly to encourage others to sample them. But because some of the things I love are considered anathema to certain of my fellow travellers, expressing my love for those things has to repackaged as me wanting to tell you what to listen to, as me insisting that you like the same things that I like.

Great. You (not "you, Papy Oli" but "you all") can drool all over Rachmaninoff (whom I adore, just by the way) all you like, but me just mentioning Radigue is the worst kind of jackbooted repression, ever. It would be risible were it not so depressing.

Not everything is about you. For instance, my last post was not about you. It was about the whole collection of posts in this thread that have been nothing more than telling Papy Oli what names to add to the list of composers, instead of engaging with the sizable list that already exists.

WHICH names people want added has nothing to do with it. Simply the air of telling him "you're doing it wrong" that has come across from several sources. Some of the posts have been quite literally saying that the list is deficient.

Now, maybe that's because some people here feel that they already well versed in these 80-odd composers and following along as they're explored would be boring to them. Although then I have to wonder at the motivation of getting involved in a boring thread...  But it makes very little sense to me to say to a person, in the very early stages of such a huge listening project, that they need more homework. If people were coming along when the list had shrunk a bit, that would be different, but from the very start the list as is was not good enough for some people.

I might share my 'pet loves' of pieces for particular composers when it's that composer's turn - as people are already sharing pieces when a particular composer comes up. But that's working within the parameters of Papy Oli's choices. What I find weird is the number of people who want to fiddle with the parameters first to make Papy Oli's journey of exploration more to their own liking.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on October 03, 2020, 09:37:23 PM
:) :) :)
Ah, those pet loves! I really must find music by French female composers. Tailleferre isn't the only one.
But for now: Bonne nuit!

Eliane Radigue
Michèle Bokanowski
Bérangère Maximin
Christine Groult
Françoise Barrière
Emmanuelle Gibello

Bonne exploration!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 04, 2020, 12:28:37 AM
Just a few disorganised thoughts on the last few posts before we go back to some happy listening:

Once I established my initial list from the composers index and the top 10 posts, I did ask fellow members for any suggestions they might have of worthy additions. As it stands, yes, I am personally more than satisfied with the list as it is now and its volume and variety is sufficient for me to explore at this time.

However, whilst i created the thread for a purely personal listening project basis, this is not for me to say strictly what should or should not be posted (within the topic subject that is). Any other recommendations being posted along the way would still be of interest, if not for me necessarily, but for anybody else now or in the future.

Think of it that way:

Take the British Composers thread. It took me 14 years of classical listening to find an entry point and the right listening mind into British composers and at that point, that particular thread was a goldmine to me and I read it two or three times overs as I went along on my discoveries.
It would be hypocritical of me, on the one hand, to be grateful that someone maybe randomly mentioned Cyril Rootham in that British thread's page 5 or 17 (for argument's sake) and, on the other hand, be reluctant that someone will mention Marjorie Dupont-Castagnette in page 31 of this thread here, even if at that point we are listening to Durufle or Josquin Des Prez. Maybe someone somewhere in 10 years time will be eventually incredibly glad to come across Marjorie's name here like I did Rootham's there. 

I made up Marjorie's name but you get my drift.

Madiel is correct in the way that i would ideally prefer the listening element to stay fairly coherent along the way (one composer at  time for me, with maybe two or three tops overlapping as people join in with their listening in their own time). We know this place after all, we can't help threads going off course here and there (like a "normal" discussion after all), the main thing is we enjoy the direction of travel overall.

Thank you again for all your contributions so far.

Anyway, back to listening.

Still on Pierné's chamber music at the moment. More on that later  :)


Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 04, 2020, 01:22:26 AM
Très bien!

I enjoy the music of Pierné a lot. the only cd with chamber music I have is this one:
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41WTZYJD7TL.jpg)

The quintet I find excellent. The sonata will be on my listening list for this afternoon.
However, as with many conductors/composers, the orchestra/orchestration had no secrets for him.
Paysages Franciscains, Les cathédrales (original version with wordless chorus) , the sumptuous cantata l'An mil amply bear witness to his talent. Earlier works (pianoconcerto, Fantaisie-ballet ...) sound less personal to me.

ps Somewhere I have a photograph of Marjorie Dupont-Castagnette... ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 04, 2020, 01:44:36 AM
Initial personal impressions of Pierné from a couple of chamber works (violin sonata, piano trio) are: pleasant enough, but not engaging me to any greater degree (like Lalo did. for example).

I’ll try some other forms. There’s a couple of orchestral albums I can spy.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 04, 2020, 05:12:27 AM
As promised, had a go at the Pierné sonata. Solid and very French, thanks to maître César Franck. Inspite of all the finesse and craftmanship, I missed the personal signature/voice I hear in the orchestral works.
The quintet - very Franckian again - allows for more fun, excitement & rhythmical adventure. To me the recordings (1983) sound fresh and natural.

Et voilà!
(https://www.picclickimg.com/d/w1600/pict/330706342826_/AD726-Photo-femme-bureau-bouteille-Cinzano-vers-1930.jpg)
Marjorie Dupont-Castagnette (1880-1948).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 04, 2020, 05:41:18 AM
Et voilà!
(https://www.picclickimg.com/d/w1600/pict/330706342826_/AD726-Photo-femme-bureau-bouteille-Cinzano-vers-1930.jpg)
Marjorie Dupont-Castagnette (1880-1948).

 :laugh:
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 04, 2020, 05:50:33 AM
Re Pierné, I only tried his Cydalise some weeks back. Never really got me going, I was just sitting there waiting for something to happen. I'll try it again at the end of his exploration.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/42/17/3377891311742_600.jpg)

I have had several interrupted listens to this chamber music vol.1 :

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/09/11/3377892311109_600.jpg)

The violin sonata and the piano quintet did not appeal to me. Some other smaller works did but like Madiel, they are hovering just beyond the lightly pleasant (Serenade in A Major, Berceuse, Caprices, Pastorale, Canzonetta). Not a bad place to be by any means. Pleasant but nicely done. Now on the second half of the 2nd CD.

Vol.2 and other types of work also lined up.

edit: Prelude de concert sur un theme de Purcell & Preludio e fughetta are some fun little pieces.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 04, 2020, 06:08:24 AM
...his Cydalise some weeks back. Never really got me going, I was just sitting there waiting for something to happen.

...des goûts et des couleurs... I found this on Musicweb:

In pointing out the continual resemblances to Daphnis and Chloe (composed in 1912, just three years before Pierné finished work on the three acts of Cydalise), I fall into the trap of the sage who remarked to Brahms on the close similarity between his tune for the last movement of his first symphony and that of Beethoven’s last. Quite rightly, Brahms retorted: ‘Any fool can see that!’ For this I crave your indulgence: it does at least give you some idea of what to expect. Further, just as the symphonies are of comparable quality with each other, so are these ballets; and just as Brahms’s work was essentially his own, so is Pierné’s. The booklet doesn’t record whether Pierné actually conducted Daphnis in his first years as director of the Concerts Colonne (a post he held 1910-34) but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. Franck, Massenet and Saint-Saëns are quoted as influences here, but the strongest stylistic correspondence (rather than influence) strikes me as being with Szymanowski, especially in the hushed opening for the choir – very King Roger. Once the horn and flute enter however, this pastoral landscape is unmistakably French.

The mise-en-scène is a charming mishmash of archaic characters and settings with the overall character of a pastorale: nymphs, fauns, sultans and sultanas disporting themselves in the gardens of Versailles at some unspecified time. Our hero, Styrax, has a cheeky clarinet motif which proves ingeniously adaptable according to context, whether lovelorn, active or triumphant. But the further into the ballet you go, the more wonderful tunes there are sprinkled around. The climax of Act I’s dancing lesson settles with a bump into the a surging melody of which John Williams would be proud. Pierné, however, can afford to be profligate: we hear it, then again, developed to an exultant climax, then abandoned. No matter, there’s another just as luscious ten minutes later. Shallon opens up at these moments but he never lingers, and this seems all to the good.

Pierné’s orchestra is a large one (including saxophone), exotically used. The ballet within a ballet in Act 2 has a harpsichord tinkling away, normally a mock-Baroque device of some irritation to me, but it is redeemed and complemented by a light and witty orchestral accompaniment.

First recordings have a tendency to sound definitive but the playing here is so rhythmically tight, tempos are so apt and orchestral sound is so French (no matter of its Luxembourgeois origin) that its first prize at MIDEM seems well-deserved. You need be no particular fan of obscure repertoire to enjoy this: and if you do, I suggest going in search of a bargain twofer on Ultima of the Piano Quintet and a biblical (Christmas) cantata, Les Enfants à Bethléem. Each of these has the same capacity to delight a receptive ear as Cydalise, despite the claim of the set on Timpani to house Pierné’s ‘chef d’oeuvre’.

Peter Quantrill
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 04, 2020, 06:20:51 AM
...des goûts et des couleurs... I found this on Musicweb:

Thank you for this Peter, I'll re-assess it at the end. Maybe, by then, my ear will be more receptive  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on October 04, 2020, 08:52:51 AM
You're OK, Papy. And, Madiel's irritation notwithstanding, my own "little project"

...

the things Florestan [...] like

Okay, Michael, let's settle the matter once and for all.

I have no problem whatsoever with your advocating the music you like; I do have a big problem with how you do it. Each and every post of yours in this respect is smug and condescending; each and every post of yours in this respect implies or states bluntly that anyone who does not like the music you like has a wrong approach to music or is somehow defficient in this respect. You might not be aware of it, you might not want to sound like it --- but the net result is this: your forum persona is like it and you sound like it, ie smug, condescending and smartass-ish.

As for myself, I have found my musical comfort zone long time ago and I mostly stay within its boundaries; I am not ashamed of that and I make no apologies for that. Firstly, it is large enough to keep me busy for the remainder of my life (I will turn 48 next December); secondly, I have no intention whatsoever to waste even a single minute of my precious time on things I know for sure I won't enjoy. I only listen to music which I know will bring me pleasure, enjoyment and happiness. If you have a problem with that, it's exactly your problem, not mine.

Bottom line, you go listen to Eliane Radiguez and I'll go listen to some Chopin or Schubert. To each his own. Raum fuer alle hat die Erde.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on October 04, 2020, 11:24:25 AM
This settles nothing, Florestan.

It's a repeat of the same old talking points you always use, with the pernicious perpetuation of extreme, and inaccurate, interpretation as simple fact. Value judgments are not facts. The two things are different. And presenting either of them as the other is simply dishonest.

Far as I can see, you do indeed have a lot of trouble with me advocating the music I like, you have even told me to stop posting the music I like to threads because nobody wants to hear about that crap.

My posts in this regard do not criticize anyone for being wrong or deficient, as such, but for talking about the music I advocate in such consistently, persistently, unapologetically negative ways. If you were really fine with my advocation, without needing, yourself, to listen to anything but Chopin and Schubert and the like, then you would simply not comment about it. Instead, you comment on it all the time, masking your distress about Radigue (no "z") and about that kind of music getting any positive commentary with ad hominim attacks of me.

Here's a quick little reversal of one of your favorite points: I have no problem whatsoever with you (or anyone else) disliking any of the music that I enjoy; I do have a huge problem with how you do it.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 04, 2020, 04:20:46 PM
Okay, Michael, let's settle the matter once and for all.

I have no problem whatsoever with your advocating the music you like; I do have a big problem with how you do it. Each and every post of yours in this respect is smug and condescending; each and every post of yours in this respect implies or states bluntly that anyone who does not like the music you like has a wrong approach to music or is somehow defficient in this respect. You might not be aware of it, you might not want to sound like it --- but the net result is this: your forum persona is like it and you sound like it, ie smug, condescending and smartass-ish.

As for myself, I have found my musical comfort zone long time ago and I mostly stay within its boundaries; I am not ashamed of that and I make no apologies for that. Firstly, it is large enough to keep me busy for the remainder of my life (I will turn 48 next December); secondly, I have no intention whatsoever to waste even a single minute of my precious time on things I know for sure I won't enjoy. I only listen to music which I know will bring me pleasure, enjoyment and happiness. If you have a problem with that, it's exactly your problem, not mine.

Bottom line, you go listen to Eliane Radiguez and I'll go listen to some Chopin or Schubert. To each his own. Raum fuer alle hat die Erde.

Well I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Honestly, any number of people on this forum manage to post about the music they like without constantly giving the impression that everyone else should be blamed for failing to appreciate it.

I’ve often tried listening to things that other people are enthusiastic about. But not when there’s an air of judgement hanging over how I’m expected to respond.

The instruction to not give up on MYSELF, rather than the music, was the epitome of that. That’s a message that my response to the music was wrong and must be fixed.

Trying to characterise that as just plain old advocacy of music like everyone else does is either a complete lack of awareness of tone or disingenuous.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on October 05, 2020, 05:11:34 AM
you have even told me to stop posting the music I like to threads because nobody wants to hear about that crap.

I have never told you anything of the sort. You are a liar and from now on I won't waste my time on you any more. Bye bye.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 05, 2020, 05:24:57 AM
Dear unhappy musiclovers,

can we continue now?
May I suggest that you use private messages (eventually start a new topic in the back room diner) to ponder over your disputes, differences , controvercies and other troubles?

Yours truly,

Jean-Louis Dupont-Castagnette
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 05, 2020, 05:35:19 AM
Otherwise, we'll have to ask you to argue solely in French in order to remain within the spirit of this thread !!  >:D

Merci mes amours  :-*  :laugh:
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 05, 2020, 05:42:44 AM
From the WAYLT this morning :

Good morning all.

unfortunately, some tracks in each work are truncated to 30 secs samples by Qobuz, so only getting a general feel of thee works for now. Might head off to YT to listen further if interest is picked.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/79/11/3377891311179_600.jpg)

Paysages franciscains is wonderful, reminding of Respighi.

"Paysages franciscains is wonderful, reminding of Respighi."-
Exactly - albeit Respighi in his refined (Fontane) mood.
I like "religious" Pierné aswell. "l'An mil" is " A vast symphonic poem in three parts with a highly-detailed programme, it evokes the terror of the Christian world at the very end of the first millennium, when the prospect of an apocalypse announced in the Holy Scriptures became increasingly oppressive. The choice of this highly symbolic subject had been suggested to him by his friend the painter Luc-Olivier Merson, reputed for his works of mediaeval inspiration." (from the excellent Timpani booklet).
 and
"Despite his being neither a fervent churchgoer nor even a devout Catholic, this great success—the work was awarded the Monbinne Prize shortly thereafter — would encourage him to continue in the path of religiosity, resulting in three large frescoes: La Croisade des enfants (1905), Les Enfants à Bethléem (1907) and Saint-François d’Assise (1912)."
La croisade gets very occasionally a performance in the Netherlands and Germany. I attended a performance in Utrecht ca. 40 years ago... Les enfants à Betléem  has a good Erato recording and saint François ( conducted by jean Fournet)can be heard on YT.
I love the use of folksongs or folksong-like melodies, Gregorian chant and ,IMO, splendid orchestration.

L'An Mil is definitely intriguing. Had to go to YT for a full version. That's one work I will have to revisit tomorrow with more attention.
Had a proper listen to Les Paysages Franciscains, mildly interesting but again, sitting there waiting for something to happen. I did get that impression of build up towards the last mvt but it took its sweet time and felt eventually underwhelming. I'll relisten again tomorrow.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: ritter on October 05, 2020, 06:16:48 AM
For the lighter side of the orchestral Pierné, I’d suggest you explore his suites for Ramuntcho (a stage adaptation of Pierre Loti’s novel). Really infectious, but also melancholic at times, infused with Basque rhythms.It’s available on YouTube (2 videos, one for each suite), Juanjo Mena‘s recording on Chandos. I’ve had this CD for decades, and am very satisfied  with it:


BTW, the Piano Concerto has one if the most scherzando scherzos in the repertoire. Delightful!

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on October 05, 2020, 07:25:57 AM
I purchased this LP some time ago out of curiosity. But obviously not curious enough as I have never played it! Think I will have to now as Pierné is such a presence on this thread although not having heard a note of his music.

 All album notes are in French which I am unable to read but the titles of works are very Debussy -ish.
 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 05, 2020, 09:21:47 AM
Good luck.
It was the first Pierné disc I bought (somewhere ca 1981-82). And Dervaux's version of Paysages Franciscains remains my favorite. In most comments one reads that he lacks the genius if Debussy. So be it.
I hear a composer with a personal, sophisticated voice - definitely so in his late works.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on October 05, 2020, 09:50:02 AM
For the lighter side of the orchestral Pierné, I’d suggest you explore his suites for Ramuntcho (a stage adaptation of Pierre Loti’s novel). Really infectious, but also melancholic at times, infused with Basque rhythms.It’s available on YouTube (2 videos, one for each suite), Juanjo Mena‘s recording on Chandos. I’ve had this CD for decades, and am very satisfied  with it:


BTW, the Piano Concerto has one if the most scherzando scherzos in the repertoire. Delightful!

Despite its ugly cover this is a disc to treasure !

+ 1 regarding Dervaux’ contributions (and of d’Indy and Rabaud - it’s a 3 disc set worth hunting down).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 06, 2020, 06:25:47 AM
Quite an ambivalent feeling towards Pierné right now.

I was as good as won over this morning by my second listen to L'An Mil and Cathedrales. Even the Paysages Franciscains were an enjoyable ride compared to the first visit. Definitely a CD worth persevering with.

Just tried the Ramuntcho suite advised above and i am back to that nice-but-flat-and-boring-wait-something-might-happen-but-doesn't impression again (the overture was only a sample but the rest full tracks).

then i get bowled over by the second mvt of the Piano Cto. Not the 3rd. Ah well.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: ritter on October 06, 2020, 06:54:09 AM
Quite an ambivalent feeling towards Pierné right now.

I was as good as won over this morning by my second listen to L'An Mil and Cathedrales. Even the Paysages Franciscains were an enjoyable ride compared to the first visit. Definitely a CD worth persevering with.

Just tried the Ramuntcho suite advised above and i am back to that nice-but-flat-and-boring-wait-something-might-happen-but-doesn't impression again (the overture was only a sample but the rest full tracks).

then i get bowled over by the second mvt of the Piano Cto. Not the 3rd. Ah well.
Indeed, the scherzo (2nd movement) of the Piano Concerto is quite something, The rest of the work, though, says rather little (to me at least).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on October 06, 2020, 06:59:29 AM
Quite an ambivalent feeling towards Pierné right now.

I was as good as won over this morning by my second listen to L'An Mil and Cathedrales. Even the Paysages Franciscains were an enjoyable ride compared to the first visit. Definitely a CD worth persevering with.

Just tried the Ramuntcho suite advised above and i am back to that nice-but-flat-and-boring-wait-something-might-happen-but-doesn't impression again (the overture was only a sample but the rest full tracks).

then i get bowled over by the second mvt of the Piano Cto. Not the 3rd. Ah well.

Only going on the album I posted above I am inclined to agree, Olivier. Admittedly distracted by the closing of the EPL transfer window but I did lose interest.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 06, 2020, 11:34:18 AM
Quite an ambivalent feeling towards Pierné right now...
.... i am back to that nice-but-flat-and-boring-wait-something-might-happen-but-doesn't impression again...

Très bien, entendu. My beloved Pierné is not your glass of kir Royal.
I look forward to where La Musique will bring you.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 07, 2020, 12:03:38 AM
Très bien, entendu. My beloved Pierné is not your glass of kir Royal.
I look forward to where La Musique will bring you.

oh but it still is a quite pleasant dessert wine to me ;) One you can enjoy happily, albeit every now and then and in smaller doses  0:)

I am definitely not dismissing him altogether. The L'An Mil CD has been saved in favourites. I'll revisit it later on and ponder if it's worthy of a purchase for me.

Trying his melodies & songs right now. Again, not necessarily something I would listen for a full CD length but for a few songs, it's definitely ok. Not sure about the female singing on this (find it a little bit grating  :-[  - edit: maybe not the right word but a bit too "operatic" for me, the male voice and songs hit the mark more for my tastes) Still, another little step in the right direction for me and French songs (after Hahn's major step).

Paging Madiel, have you tried those ?

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/91/20/3377891312091_600.jpg)

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 07, 2020, 02:02:00 AM
I believe I did very briefly try that album, yes. Or at least looked at it... I haven't really been motivated to try any more Pierné since the day I was trying bits and pieces without anything really registering. I've got quite enough exploration to be going on with and will happily rejoin you with whoever the next French composer is. I don't want to count how many different chronological explorations of composers I'm currently running through because the answer might terrify me.  :laugh:
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 07, 2020, 02:25:21 AM
I believe I did very briefly try that album, yes. Or at least looked at it... I haven't really been motivated to try any more Pierné since the day I was trying bits and pieces without anything really registering. I've got quite enough exploration to be going on with and will happily rejoin you with whoever the next French composer is. I don't want to count how many different chronological explorations of composers I'm currently running through because the answer might terrify me.  :laugh:

Fair enough!  :laugh: Closing the loop with this one again.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/42/17/3377891311742_600.jpg)

Slight improvement on the first visit, managed the full first act. Now being familiar with his sound, this one made more sense, but again, some very "nice bits" but not hitting the spot in the right way throughout.

Slightly off topic, re your chronological exploration projects, which benefits have you drawn from such approach, besides I assume the daily variety to have several on the go (Debussy, Faure, Mozart, Bartok at least by the looks of it ?) ? I assume being musically trained will be a element to pick up on any sort of compositional progression ? 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 07, 2020, 02:38:23 AM
Slightly off topic, re your chronological exploration projects, which benefits have you drawn from such approach, besides I assume the daily variety to have several on the go (Debussy, Faure, Mozart, Bartok at least by the looks of it ?) ? I assume being musically trained will be a element to pick up on any sort of compositional progression ?

I don't know that musical training really makes any difference, no. After all in most cases I'm just listening like anyone else would, not studying scores or anything like that.

I just think it makes sense because this is how people in the right time and place would have come across the music and heard it change, in exactly the same way that I hear my favourite pop music artists change as they release new albums (and I much prefer artists that change, not ones that just keep trying to repeat a hit album). You hear new material and your chief reference point is what you've heard from the same composer previously.

And I certainly do hear, with many composers, the gradual shifts in style over time. I guess it's partly just that I like an element of mental organisation. It's not as if I keep track in my head of the exact dates of composition or first performance, but I do retain some notion of whether I'm listening to early, middle or late works and an awareness of how this makes a difference to what I'm hearing.

But more than anything, the process of doing the exploration is often about giving myself a much better picture of what a composer actually wrote - I don't like just retreading over the same most famous pieces or types of music over and over. For composers that I particularly like, my CD collection tends to expand a lot afterwards.

Also... I do think a lot of composers get better as they get older, and so if you're going chronologically the experience keeps improving!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 07, 2020, 04:30:44 AM
"Closing the loop with this one again" - I have some photographs of the world premiere performance in 1923:

Acte 2: Un coin des parterres de Versailles - Somewhere in the gardens of Versailles
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 07, 2020, 04:31:46 AM
Cydalise 1923

Acte 1 : Le parc de Versailles.
Un bassin dans le fond. Une grotte de rocaille. De grands vases de marbre. Une statue de l'Amour, bandant son arc, a demi recouverte de lierre. C'est la nuit.
A pond in the background. A rockery cave. Large marble vases. A statue of Love, bending its bow, half covered with ivy. It's night.
Acte 2 / 3ème tableau: Les greniers de Versailles, ou l'on a improvisé une installation pour Cydalise. Large fenêtre au fond, ouvrant sur le parc. Oeils-de-boeuf. Lucarnes.
The attics of Versailles, with an improvised room for Cydalise. Large window at the back, opening onto the park.
Bull's-eye windows. Skylights.

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 07, 2020, 04:33:48 AM
Cydalise 1923
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 07, 2020, 04:41:28 AM
Interesting, thank you Madiel. Enjoy the journey(s) !!  ;D

Thank you for the pictures, Peter !

Next French pick, 2 birds with one stone : Léonin and Pérontin, with this one off my shelves :

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/28/40/0747313234028_600.jpg)

As I mentioned in the WAYLT thread, I bought this among my first few classical CDs 14-15 years ago, solely on the basis of the name Notre Dame appearing on the cover, with no idea of the work or composers. Not one I have listened to often (3-4 times tops), and even if choral /mass music has not been my cup of tea in the last 2-3 years, it has been a rewarding listen with fresh ears.

Had a wander on Qobuz and they have those as well for me to have a go at:

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/85/70/0002894777085_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/34/02/3760029000234_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/04/50/0002894775004_600.jpg)

I might extend to this twofer as well as it includes some Machaut and De Vitry too, which were also recommended and in the list:

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/12/73/0002894717312_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on October 07, 2020, 08:27:13 AM
...not hitting the spot in the right way throughout.
A lot of people really, really hate to hear this, but "oh, well": the easiest and most efficient way to address this situation is to make your "spot" larger.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 07, 2020, 02:45:46 PM
The easiest and most efficient way is actually to move on and try some other music, instead of spending your life determined to like things that you don't like. It's not as if there isn't enough other music to try.

But hey, maybe you could spend some time exploring things you're unfamiliar with instead of just watching everyone else? Try Christine and the Queens. She's French.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on October 07, 2020, 06:28:20 PM
The quickest way to dislike something is to dislike it before you've heard it.

The most efficient way to ensure that music will not "hit the spot" is to make the spot as small as possible.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 07, 2020, 06:51:22 PM
The quickest way to dislike something is to dislike it before you've heard it.

Are you refusing to try Christine and the Queens, then?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 08, 2020, 12:41:51 AM
A lot of people really, really hate to hear this, but "oh, well": the easiest and most efficient way to address this situation is to make your "spot" larger.

The quickest way to dislike something is to dislike it before you've heard it.
The most efficient way to ensure that music will not "hit the spot" is to make the spot as small as possible.

The whole point of this project is for me to find new spots or re-assess some particular spots that i have struggled with. I am really not bothered about the size of the spot or I approach the size of a spot. I just go by how a work makes me feel, the reactions it gives me.

I have had oysters once, hated the taste and made me physically ill. I did try them first then I didn't like them. Just because oysters is a delicacy for some, I am not going to stuff my face repeatedly with oysters until such time I force myself to like it. What's the point in this. That decision is based on my tastes, not a reflection on oysters. Feel free to call it my shortcoming if you will.   

I love sticky toffee pudding. It took me a long while to love sticky toffee pudding. Such puddings along the way never convinced me until such time I found a particular serving that really hit the spot. Over time, sticky toffee pudding became my favourite dessert and it takes something quite special to displace chocolate-based desserts in my books. Just because I love sticky toffee puddings, it doesn't mean however that I will have all the sticky toffee puddings available, nor do I want to have sticky toffee pudding all the time.

I only ever had nibbles of ginger bread in the past, that alone didn't convince me at all on ginger. Until one day I had a slice of ginger cake made by a relative. That convinced me that there might be something to be said about ginger. Now, I am quite a fan of fresh ginger and spring onion chicken, I am a moderate fan of ginger biscuits and I am still not convinced by ginger bread.

Why this food analogy ?

- oysters are Varèse.
- Sticky toffee pudding is Mahler. The ones that really convinced were Bertini and Maazel. The sticky toffee puddings I won't have is No.8.
- Ginger is Pierné. The ginger bread is Cydalise, the ginger cake is some of his chamber music, The ginger biscuits are the Paysages Franciscains, the ginger chicken is l'An Mil.

I am happy (and so should I be) about those particular spots that I have connected with so far and there's absolutely no reason to beat myself up about the ginger bread and definitely not about the oysters. I just move on and explore another spot. I am personally more concerned in the frame of this little project with finding (or connecting with) suitably-sized sweet spots that appeal to me rather than desperately hunting larger ones which, upon my own inspection and reactions, will not (at that time). That doesn't exclude at all me revisiting the latter at a later stage either.

Bon Appétit  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 08, 2020, 12:56:23 AM
One man's chitterlings is another man's andouillette.

Christine and the Queens is like chitterlings for me. I'd rather have Andouillette  :laugh:

There's room for both in this world though and i wouldn't force andouillette on anyone...  >:D

Feeling peckish now...  8)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 08, 2020, 01:19:19 AM
I just had dinner...

I tried that Naxos Léonin/Pérotin album earlier today. The chant I didn’t mind, but the organum ended up annoying me.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 08, 2020, 02:01:21 AM
I see what you mean. I was ok with the organum on the Naxos one as they are quite short.

I just listened to the one below and a couple of organum are 7-15 min long. A bit too long and tedious eventually.

On the other hand, Salvatoris Hodie and Beate Viscera are absolutely gorgeous pieces.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/34/02/3760029000234_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on October 08, 2020, 02:06:17 AM
The whole point of this project is for me to find new spots or re-assess some particular spots that i have struggled with. I am really not bothered about the size of the spot or I approach the size of a spot. I just go by how a work makes me feel, the reactions it gives me.

I have had oysters once, hated the taste and made me physically ill. I did try them first then I didn't like them. Just because oysters is a delicacy for some, I am not going to stuff my face repeatedly with oysters until such time I force myself to like it. What's the point in this. That decision is based on my tastes, not a reflection on oysters. Feel free to call it my shortcoming if you will.   

I love sticky toffee pudding. It took me a long while to love sticky toffee pudding. Such puddings along the way never convinced me until such time I found a particular serving that really hit the spot. Over time, sticky toffee pudding became my favourite dessert and it takes something quite special to displace chocolate-based desserts in my books. Just because I love sticky toffee puddings, it doesn't mean however that I will have all the sticky toffee puddings available, nor do I want to have sticky toffee pudding all the time.

I only ever had nibbles of ginger bread in the past, that alone didn't convince me at all on ginger. Until one day I had a slice of ginger cake made by a relative. That convinced me that there might be something to be said about ginger. Now, I am quite a fan of fresh ginger and spring onion chicken, I am a moderate fan of ginger biscuits and I am still not convinced by ginger bread.

Why this food analogy ?

- oysters are Varèse.
- Sticky toffee pudding is Mahler. The ones that really convinced were Bertini and Maazel. The sticky toffee puddings I won't have is No.8.
- Ginger is Pierné. The ginger bread is Cydalise, the ginger cake is some of his chamber music, The ginger biscuits are the Paysages Franciscains, the ginger chicken is l'An Mil.

I am happy (and so should I be) about those particular spots that I have connected with so far and there's absolutely no reason to beat myself up about the ginger bread and definitely not about the oysters. I just move on and explore another spot. I am personally more concerned in the frame of this little project with finding (or connecting with) suitably-sized sweet spots that appeal to me rather than desperately hunting larger ones which, upon my own inspection and reactions, will not (at that time). That doesn't exclude at all me revisiting the latter at a later stage either.

Bon Appétit  :)

Excellent post, Olivier!

For the life of me I cannot understand why some people are so deeply concerned with other people's listening habits and waste no opportunity to criticize them for not being in line with their own and to try modifying them according to their own. Looks like such people simply cannot enjoy their favorite music unless and until everybody else enjoys it.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 08, 2020, 02:44:41 AM

I'm not into her kind of 'noise" music. But this little portrait is charming, clarifying & interesting.
And I'm sure her poule-au-pot and clafoutis aux cerises are fabulous!

https://www.youtube.com/v/D2U0q4lZiFg

Le petit Frantz - https://www.youtube.com/user/LeptitFrantz1/featured - has quite a good collection of rare French music - mostly in old, historical radio recordings.
Anyway, since Louis Aubert is featured in Papy Oli's list, I dare to suggest his symphonic poem "Les saisons", a work for mezzo, chorus, organ and orchestra.
https://youtu.be/OPEYSksCJUo
The use of a wordless chorus is since Puccini, Ravel, Debussy, Pierné, RVW, Holst and countless film composers a trusted and (overly) "effective" magical effect . Louis Aubert goes blissfully over the top in this big (25 mins.) sweltering and extatic Pavlova/croquembouche/Ile flottante , composed in 1937. Could it be sticky toffee?
Don't eat anything else...
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 08, 2020, 03:36:23 AM
I see what you mean. I was ok with the organum on the Naxos one as they are quite short.

I just listened to the one below and a couple of organum are 7-15 min long. A bit too long and tedious eventually.

On the other hand, Salvatoris Hodie and Beate Viscera are absolutely gorgeous pieces.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/34/02/3760029000234_600.jpg)

I just tried Salvatoris Hodie - it appears to be the same recording though with a different cover - and yes I quite liked it. Though I did find it went on a bit longer than my enjoyment.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Roasted Swan on October 08, 2020, 03:42:55 AM
The whole point of this project is for me to find new spots or re-assess some particular spots that i have struggled with. I am really not bothered about the size of the spot or I approach the size of a spot. I just go by how a work makes me feel, the reactions it gives me.

I have had oysters once, hated the taste and made me physically ill. I did try them first then I didn't like them. Just because oysters is a delicacy for some, I am not going to stuff my face repeatedly with oysters until such time I force myself to like it. What's the point in this. That decision is based on my tastes, not a reflection on oysters. Feel free to call it my shortcoming if you will.   

I love sticky toffee pudding. It took me a long while to love sticky toffee pudding. Such puddings along the way never convinced me until such time I found a particular serving that really hit the spot. Over time, sticky toffee pudding became my favourite dessert and it takes something quite special to displace chocolate-based desserts in my books. Just because I love sticky toffee puddings, it doesn't mean however that I will have all the sticky toffee puddings available, nor do I want to have sticky toffee pudding all the time.

I only ever had nibbles of ginger bread in the past, that alone didn't convince me at all on ginger. Until one day I had a slice of ginger cake made by a relative. That convinced me that there might be something to be said about ginger. Now, I am quite a fan of fresh ginger and spring onion chicken, I am a moderate fan of ginger biscuits and I am still not convinced by ginger bread.

Why this food analogy ?

- oysters are Varèse.
- Sticky toffee pudding is Mahler. The ones that really convinced were Bertini and Maazel. The sticky toffee puddings I won't have is No.8.
- Ginger is Pierné. The ginger bread is Cydalise, the ginger cake is some of his chamber music, The ginger biscuits are the Paysages Franciscains, the ginger chicken is l'An Mil.

I am happy (and so should I be) about those particular spots that I have connected with so far and there's absolutely no reason to beat myself up about the ginger bread and definitely not about the oysters. I just move on and explore another spot. I am personally more concerned in the frame of this little project with finding (or connecting with) suitably-sized sweet spots that appeal to me rather than desperately hunting larger ones which, upon my own inspection and reactions, will not (at that time). That doesn't exclude at all me revisiting the latter at a later stage either.

Bon Appétit  :)

Great post!  I am sure we all could substitute our own composers for your oysters, sticky toffee pudding and ginger bread!  But what would your comfort food/composer/piece of music from childhood be??!!

mine would be:  homemade treacle sponge = Malcolm Arnold (specifically Tam O'Shanter) which was my 1st "favourite" piece on the 1st LP of my own that I bought......
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 08, 2020, 07:56:19 AM
Great post!  I am sure we all could substitute our own composers for your oysters, sticky toffee pudding and ginger bread!  But what would your comfort food/composer/piece of music from childhood be??!!

mine would be:  homemade treacle sponge = Malcolm Arnold (specifically Tam O'Shanter) which was my 1st "favourite" piece on the 1st LP of my own that I bought......

If I want something comforting, I tend to always go for any of the first three sonatas by Beethoven Op.2 No.1,2,3. They cheer me up no end every time. A bit like that tall glass of cold chocolate milk I had as a kid (and still have as a kid well into his forties  :laugh: )

(Talking of Arnold, his Grand Grand Overture gives me that happy feeling too every time too!!)

Anyway, back on topic.

Anyone fancy picking a name in the list on page 1 for me next to explore, randomly or not (not Debussy, Ravel or Fauré yet though). The composer name mentioned in the 1st post right below this one will be my next port of call, thank you.  :) 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on October 08, 2020, 08:49:48 AM
For the life of me I cannot understand why some people are so deeply concerned with other people's listening habits and waste no opportunity to criticize them for not being in line with their own and to try modifying them according to their own. Looks like such people simply cannot enjoy their favorite music unless and until everybody else enjoys it.
Papy Oli identified a problem. I read his description of the problem and saw a logical solution to it. That's all.

Nothing to do with being "deeply concerned with other people's listening habits," nothing to do with criticizing people for anything, nothing to do with "favorite music" or with the sources of enjoyment, either.

Papy Oli set this up originally to get reactions and responses to his listening habits. Lots of people have responded by making suggestions about his listening habits and about what to listen to next. He just asked for a suggestion as to what to listen to next. Someone will make a suggestion (no, it won't be me) and he will take that on. Pretty ordinary behavior round these parts, no?

Just generally, what you seem excessively exercised about is is pretty ordinary behavior round these parts--people with favorites encouraging other people to share their enjoyment. Everyone does this. Everyone. If I differ from this in any way, it is that I do this rather remarkably less than everyone else.

The problem is articulated all the time, too. Since different people have different tastes, there's never going to be any agreement about what's worth listening to. That's the easy part. The difficulty arises, I think, with the solutions to the problem (X does not hit the spot). The solutions typically focus on the X's. Something's wrong with the piece or something's wrong with the performance. Or, in a nice twist, something's wrong with the whole idea of there being a problem. I look at the situation and see a solution. Focus on the spot, instead. (Not on different spots, Olivier! There's only the one spot, and the problem is that only a few of all the different things are hitting it.) If the spot is small, then the search will be for finding the things that will hit that spot. That one spot. It will be a frustrating search. The spot is small. Not very many things will hit it. And only the same type of things will do that hitting in "the right way." So the search will end up revealing simply more of the same.

Make the spot, the one spot, bigger. Nothing to do with liking or disliking any particular thing, especially not with liking any particular thing that I happen to like. If Olivier makes his spot bigger, will Ferrari ever hit it? Possibly not. I'm pretty sure that no matter how large my spot is, Wagner will never hit it. That's fine. Will Wagner fans continue to try to get me to like some Wagner? Probably. That's what fans do. All fans, Florestan. And that's fine, too.

Remember y'all. No composer is trying to hit your spot. That's not what's going on at all. You've got a spot. Some things will hit it, some won't. Your spot is not being aimed at. The bigger the spot, the more things will hit it. That is simply all there is to it.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on October 08, 2020, 11:27:29 AM
I break my promise with this post but I can't help it.

Papy Oli identified a problem. I read his description of the problem and saw a logical solution to it. That's all.

Incorrect. Olivier identified absolutely no problem whatsoever. He simply said that Pierne's music did not hit the spot for him. Never did he make even the slightest suggestion that this is for him a problem in need of a solution.

The only one here who perceives this as being a problem is you.

Quote
The problem is articulated all the time, too. Since different people have different tastes, there's never going to be any agreement about what's worth listening to. That's the easy part. The difficulty arises, I think, with the solutions to the problem (X does not hit the spot). The solutions typically focus on the X's. Something's wrong with the piece or something's wrong with the performance. Or, in a nice twist, something's wrong with the whole idea of there being a problem.

Precisely. There is absolutely no problem whatsoever with "X does not hit Y's spot". Zero, zilch, nada de nada. Again, it's you and you alone who have a problem with that and make such a fuss about it.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 08, 2020, 01:59:36 PM
Anyone fancy picking a name in the list on page 1 for me next to explore, randomly or not (not Debussy, Ravel or Fauré yet though). The composer name mentioned in the 1st post right below this one will be my next port of call, thank you.  :)

Ahem.

Lots of names I'm curious about, but we'll get to them all eventually. I ended up picking Maurice Duruflé. Please.

PS I've just realised that Henri Duparc isn't on your list. I seem to recall that songs are not a favourite genre of yours, but Duparc's small body of work does include some utterly superb songs in my opinion.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 09, 2020, 01:55:04 AM
Papy Oli identified a problem.

I do not perceive Pierné not hitting my spot as a problem. I do not blame Pierné nor do I blame myself for this "mismatch".

At least, not anymore.

Until a few months back, yes, I would have perceived it as a personal setback and definitely something being wrong with me. That's what's "eaten away" at me for years when I didn't get Vaughan Williams, Shostakovitch or Sibelius (what do the others get that I don't). That was extremely counter-productive and made listening to them feeling like a chore devoid of enjoyment, as not "getting it".

I see where you are coming from with the wider personal spot. I even agree with it to a large extent, with the idea of the listener having to be ready to accept the music as is. Where we'll have to agree to disagree, is that (from a previous post, correct me if I am wrong), you take the work solely on its own merit, leaving your (any?) emotional response at the door. For me, that emotional response is my first and probably only port of call. I rely on this because i am not musically trained to add a layer of technical response and appreciation to the music.

Letting go of that problem, that personal hindrance and hang up was key for me. This is why in the last few months I have eventually found enjoyment in Vaughan Williams, some Schnittke (this one really taught me to let any prejudice at the door!), some Boulez, now Escaich, etc...but not Varese. I tried it (with, I believe, an open mind), it was challenging but the response I had to it is not a feeling I seek to repeat at this stage (call it on edge, uncomfortable, queasy..). So I choose to be ruthless and move on. Maybe in a few months or years time it may change when I come across Varèse again.

I consider that one new composer at a time, it is still widening that spot of mine, even if it is by an increment at a time. You may get greater results by your wider approach, I am fine with that incremental one  :) 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 09, 2020, 01:56:51 AM
Ahem.

Lots of names I'm curious about, but we'll get to them all eventually. I ended up picking Maurice Duruflé. Please.

PS I've just realised that Henri Duparc isn't on your list. I seem to recall that songs are not a favourite genre of yours, but Duparc's small body of work does include some utterly superb songs in my opinion.

And why not... Duruflé it is !  ;)

I only have his requiem in my collection (HM Sacred Music boxset), I'll start with that and seek further.

I'll add Duparc, thank you.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 09, 2020, 02:07:01 AM
Maurice and Madeleine have an association.
https://www.france-orgue.fr/durufle/index.php?zpg=drf.mmm.pre
Most of it French only.
Small oeuvre.
Between 1919 and 1926 he studied/worked with: Charles Tournemire, Eugène Gigout, Jean Gallon, Georges Caussade, Charles-Marie Widor, Paul Dukas and Louis Vierne!!
I wonder what P. O. thinks.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 09, 2020, 04:25:56 AM
Thank you Peter, I have lined a few of the works for this afternoon listening.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 09, 2020, 04:31:14 AM
started with :  Op. 3   Prélude, Récitatif et Variations pour Flûte, alto et piano, dédié à Jacques Durand

Live sound not brilliant, but a nice little piece (with flute  ??? ).

Strangely enough, Louis Moyse on this CD is the son of Marcel Moyse, who as per the website above ("Oeuvres" tab) played it for the first time in 1929.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/94/02/0190374690294_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 09, 2020, 04:32:58 AM
I don't even know the Requiem so I'm going to start there. But tomorrow. There's copious amounts of football to watch tonight...

I didn't initially realise that I'd picked a composer with so few opuses to his name.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 09, 2020, 04:39:59 AM
I don't even know the Requiem so I'm going to start there. But tomorrow. There's copious amounts of football to watch tonight...

Aussie Rules ? Soccer ? or Rugby Football ?  ;D

I didn't initially realise that I'd picked a composer with so few opuses to his name.

I nearly did a Madiel but couldn't find Op.1 and Op.2 so i am sticking to my usual random order !
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 09, 2020, 05:10:26 AM
Aussie Rules ? Soccer ? or Rugby Football ?  ;D

Possibly all 3 actually... rugby league and Aussie rules are both in the finals at the end of the season (1 match each tonight) plus I want to catch up on the soccer in Europe from overnight!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 09, 2020, 05:55:44 AM
Possibly all 3 actually... rugby league and Aussie rules are both in the finals at the end of the season (1 match each tonight) plus I want to catch up on the soccer in Europe from overnight!

Nice mix of an evening, enjoy !
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 09, 2020, 06:04:56 AM
Well, Duruflé is really top notch.

I am finishing this one and these are just gorgeous works.

Started with some little gems :  Notre Père pour chœur a cappella  &  Quatre Motets sur des thèmes grégoriens pour chœur a cappella, Op. 10. Played those twice. Loved them.

Then Messe “Cum Jubilo” pour chœur de barytons et orgue, Op. 11

Finishing his Requiem pour soli, chœurs et orgue, Op. 9 at the moment.

Superb singing and fantastic sound.

Having perused the (very short) Duruflé thread, there appears to be 3 different versions of the requiem : Large Orch + Organ, Small Orch + Organ, Organ only. The below is the latter. Having check my shelves, my version in the HM Sacred music box is small orch + Organ. I'll dig it up tomorrow. Can anyone point to a large orch + organ version please ?

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/5a/rd/hjgozylwprd5a_600.jpg)
 
I'll make an attempt at his organ music afterwards.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Biffo on October 09, 2020, 06:07:07 AM
And why not... Duruflé it is !  ;)

I only have his requiem in my collection (HM Sacred Music boxset), I'll start with that and seek further.

I'll add Duparc, thank you.

After Durufle you could try Koechlin
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 09, 2020, 06:11:42 AM
After Durufle you could try Koechlin

Could do  :) there's one chance in 70 that it might be him  ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 09, 2020, 07:02:52 AM
Duruflé's "Trois dances" for orchestra are quite substantial and hover somewhere between very early Messiaen -in - Ascension -mood and l'Apprenti sorcier.

I had this LP - Duruflé conducts the ORTF orchestra.

(https://img.discogs.com/euZ3pfyflYDzJyeHeB2d42GRNR8=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-12483517-1536438896-1441.jpeg.jpg)

And I knew his name from this recording:
(https://img.discogs.com/8jJ2orS7ZcuxN4kvcxq4IxN_4Wo=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-4711919-1373059244-6149.jpeg.jpg)



Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 09, 2020, 07:30:56 AM
checking the Trois Danses now on this one, thank you :

https://www.youtube.com/v/PxEOqj1wHWU
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on October 09, 2020, 07:54:49 AM
I see where you are coming from with the wider personal spot. I even agree with it to a large extent, with the idea of the listener having to be ready to accept the music as is. Where we'll have to agree to disagree, is that (from a previous post, correct me if I am wrong), you take the work solely on its own merit, leaving your (any?) emotional response at the door.
OK, though usually what people mean by "correct me if I am wrong" is "I am right; I dare you to contradict me." ;D The first part is close. I do not think that "merit" is quite the right concept for this situation. Merit implies judgment, and I do attempt to reserve judgment, especially at this early stage. The second part is way off. I am not even sure that that is possible. Emotional responding is just what we do, regardless. What I certainly try not to do is let my initial response count for anything. It sounds like it's similar for you. For years, I found Berio's "Visage" unlistenable. I don't think I mentioned that to anyone, though, because I didn't think it meant anything much, except that I was not ready for it. When I was, it would be fine (and it is). And if I never was, there would be plenty of other things to listen to. We certainly agree about that.

My point here was not about what you personally should do or not do. Something had not hit the spot for you. That implies that "hitting the spot" is the goal of all this business, that not hitting the spot means that something has gone wrong. Simply as a matter of logic, it occurred to me that instead of fretting about the putative qualities of this or that arrow (to express the metaphor baldly), one could simply enlarge the spot, not as some philosophical imperative, as it has been interpreted, but simply as a practical matter.

And, also just as a practical matter, I would note, again, that the pieces don't change. The notes in Varèse's Arcana occur in the same order, in the same combinations, for everyone. What's different is the everyone. It is so easy when a piece puts one off to identify the problem (if you'll allow me that word) as being in the piece. But the piece is constant. Nothing you can do or say will ever change the piece. The people listening to the piece, however, are all over the place. Some love it; some hate it. Some start out hating it, but end up loving it. Some (though I would hope fewer) start out loving it, but end up hating it. And everything in between. In all this activity, in all this flux, the piece remains the same. It is just itself. So it seems to make sense to focus on the thing that changes rather than the thing that does not.

As a practical matter. :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 10, 2020, 01:02:03 AM
checking the Trois Danses now on this one, thank you :

https://www.youtube.com/v/PxEOqj1wHWU

Here's a (not very good sounding radio) recording of Duruflé's other orchestral work, "Andante et scherzo" opus 8 "dédié à Henri Tomasi". It is NOT opus 20.
https://www.youtube.com/v/HuWHRbK9jwo


Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 10, 2020, 09:48:11 PM
I've listened to most of the Duruflé I could readily get my hands on. And quite enjoyed most of it apart from the couple of solo organ pieces I tried (a reflection of the genre rather than the composer - just rarely have interest in solo organ).

The Requiem's appeal is readily apparent - I heard the 1961 orchestral version. I liked the particular performance of the 4 motets, op.10 even more, and the short Notre-Père. The Messe Cum Jubilo was also okay, not quite at the same level for me.

The op.3 work for flute was also good. The 3 dances for orchestra op.6 were very good, particularly the third dance. I thought I'd really like the 2-piano version of that one, but the performance I found didn't have the dynamism of the orchestral performance.

I'm disappointed I couldn't find the op.8 Andante and scherzo except for Youtube versions. The second one I found didn't seem any better in sound quality than the one pjme has posted.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 11, 2020, 12:17:28 AM
Excellent ! The Requiem you posted yesterday in the WAYLT thread is the one I own. Not in the mood for it yet today, I'll pick it up again later.

Little exploration for the morning :

Dubois, Pierre-Max (1930-1995):

Quatuor pour clarinets

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/59/06/0801918340659_600.jpg)

Saxophone Concerto No. 2

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/22/27/0636943512722_600.jpg)

Quatuor pour trombones

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/47/60/7318590006047_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 11, 2020, 12:52:04 AM
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/na/23/w5mtl0uzd23na_600.jpg)

Whoever wrote the accompanying blurb on Qobuz is not that keen  :laugh:

If the music of Pierre Max Dubois resists description, the difficulty may stem from his opaque intentions, his emphasis on style over substance, and his apparent rejection of personal expression. His music may be loosely classified as modernist, but it is seldom more experimental or adventurous than that of his teacher and chief influence, Darius Milhaud. Dubois' works for clarinet and piano are marked by flirtations with polytonality, ambiguous modal harmonies, and, in later pieces, the use of twelve-tone rows; but these are treated superficially and without consistency, as if Dubois adopted them only as devices to spice up his otherwise tame and traditional work. Such bland pieces as the Rapsodie, the Romance, and the Sonatina leave little impression, except that they are merely competent recital pieces. The banal Épitaphe and the meandering Sonata Breve for solo clarinet are uninteresting exercises, and the neo-Classical Quator is just an imitative diversion without a point. Only in the Sonata di Mady and Coïncidence are there signs of growth and exploration, but these are held back by Dubois' reliance on conventional patterns and clichés. Clarinetist Csaba Klenyán and pianist Ildikó Cs. Nagy give these works solid performances, and the uncredited clarinetists on Quator -- if not a multi-tracked Klenyán? -- are able and engaging.

© TiVo
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 11, 2020, 02:36:36 AM
Maybe that review wasn't far off. The quartet for clarinets and the quartet for saxophone are worth one visit. Maybe the trombones one as well. The rest not so much. 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 11, 2020, 02:55:21 AM
Ready to address a chunkier composer tomorrow. Biffo gave the nudge, so Koechlin it will be. Completely maiden composer to me this one.

Planning to try those :

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/86/46/0747313904686_600.jpg)    (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/33/19/3377891311933_600.jpg)
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/85/47/0747313904785_600.jpg)    (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/28/12/0761203751228_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 11, 2020, 03:19:03 AM
What, you're done with Dubois already? Yikes.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 11, 2020, 03:33:36 AM
There wasn't much on Qobuz bar the ones I have posted.

All the rest of the Dubois entries seemed to be smaller saxophone works/etudes scattered on lots of saxophone compilations. I'd rather move on to something meatier.

What i heard was pleasant but not overly exciting either  :(
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 11, 2020, 05:01:32 AM
What i heard was pleasant but not overly exciting either  :(

I agree. Pleasant but too much "ohlala" - even if I do like an occasional dip into frivolous lightweight music.
I have only one work:
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61o3px1w12L.jpg)
I bought the cd for the (imo substantial) Harris concerto - a work i definitely like.
Arthur Benjamins Suite has -compared to Dubois'Concerto Italien - much more fun and poetry.

Koechlin, mon Dieu! Where to start?
This may help:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2018/Jul/Koechlin_orchestral_SWR19046.htm
I wish you good luck, patience and perseverance.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on October 11, 2020, 06:17:06 AM
Have fun with Kochlin, Papy! :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 11, 2020, 08:18:26 AM
Koechlin, mon Dieu! Where to start?
This may help:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2018/Jul/Koechlin_orchestral_SWR19046.htm
I wish you good luck, patience and perseverance.

Have fun with Kochlin, Papy! :)

Thank you both, I will try  ;D

Btw, feel all free to post about Fauré or Dubois as I carry along, I certainly won't mind the overlap and impressions.

I still need to go back to my chamber orchestra and organ version of the Fauré requiem myself to close that particular loop.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 11, 2020, 06:01:11 PM
I listened to some P.M. Dubois.  Not all that interesting so far, just kind of "there". It so happened that on an album with a saxophone concerto, it was followed by an Ibert piece. So I listened to both, and preferred the Ibert. Not by a huge amount, as maybe saxophone concertos are not my chief interest, but I did find the Ibert a bit more engaging.

Dubois reminds me of Poulenc a bit.

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Symphonic Addict on October 11, 2020, 06:57:21 PM
The other Dubois, Théodore Dubois, is much more interesting IMO. If you like Saint-Saëns, you could like Dubois.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: kyjo on October 11, 2020, 08:17:09 PM
The other Dubois, Théodore Dubois, is much more interesting IMO. If you like Saint-Saëns, you could like Dubois.

I can't recommend his lovely Piano Quintet (for oboe, violin, viola, cello, and piano!) highly enough. Simply gorgeous music:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51QGETWS6eL._SX425_.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 11, 2020, 09:09:38 PM
I didn't realise Theo isn't on the list. Not that I know either Dubois particularly, but Primephonic defaulted to Theo as "Dubois" and had to spell out the other one.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: springrite on October 11, 2020, 09:19:24 PM
I didn't realise Theo isn't on the list. Not that I know either Dubois particularly, but Primephonic defaulted to Theo as "Dubois" and had to spell out the other one.
Now, they certainly defaulted the wrong Dubois!!!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 11, 2020, 10:05:35 PM
Now, they certainly defaulted the wrong Dubois!!!

On the contrary, it sounds like they're assuming you probably want the better one.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 12, 2020, 12:14:38 AM
Theodore has been added to the list now  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 13, 2020, 03:11:42 AM
Two and a bit pieces has been sufficient for me to emphatically put Koechlin on my list of composers for further exploration.

He seems to have been pretty prolific over his long career (at least 225 opuses), but my initial impression is that the recording selection is rather meagre. There aren't many discs at all dedicated to his music from what I can see. A pity if my first exposure is any guide.

EDIT: In terms of Koechlin-focused discs (rather than ones where he's just one composer thrown in among many), it looks as if SWR/Hanssler are pretty dominant with the 2 boxes of orchestral and chamber/piano music (7 CDs in each box).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 13, 2020, 03:40:22 AM
I am responding much more to his chamber music than his orchestral works so far.

Listened to some of Jungle Book movements: La Course de Printemps Op.95, La Méditation de Purun Baghat, Op. 159 & Les Bandar-log, Op. 176, "Scherzo des singes ", that really did nothing much for me. Very atmospheric, quite, too much for me.

String quartets No.1 & 3 were quite engaging. Shame the sound was putting me off on the Ardeo. Closely recorded, loud breath intakes along the way.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/35/01/3760067550135_600.jpg) (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/66/01/3760067550166_600.jpg)

His Piano music for 4 hands was a nice discovery last night, courtesy of Rafael who posted it and I followed suit. Really liked that one, bar one of the sonatinas.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51B2S3NS98L._AC_.jpg)

Not a great response to his songs overall. lack of clear diction is a bug bear of mine in songs, I should really understand what's being sung in my own language but i only got one word in four, if that...just a personal annoyance  >:D

That being said, a particular one, "No.2 L'Hiver" (off 7 Rondets, Op.8) did stop me in my tracks. This one is worth a listen.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/43/23/3377891312343_600.jpg)

Did have a short attempt on his Organ works. Usual personal shortcoming on this one. No reflection on the works which might appeal to some.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/28/12/0761203751228_600.jpg)

Playing the Oboe Sonata Op.58 & Bassoon Sonata, Op. 71. Now this is just gorgeous. I think I will focus on that set for a day or two.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/85/47/0747313904785_600.jpg)

Also found this below set on Qobuz which looked interesting in the frame of this project, it has one of his symphonies (The Seven Stars' Symphony, Op. 132). Will have a go at that later on too.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/74/18/0886445651874_600.jpg)

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 13, 2020, 03:48:45 AM
I suspect, as I try a few more things, that might be a fair few works that would suit adjectives like "quiet" and "dreamy".

Which might not always be suitable, but happen to suit me very nicely tonight in my current mood/circumstances.

I listened to one orchestrated song, "Le sommeil de Canope", which was nearly 15 minutes long and I found completely entrancing.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 13, 2020, 03:55:50 AM
You might want to try "Suite for English Horn, Op. 185 - I. Mélopée pour s’évader du réel" on the Hanssler chamber box.

Really fitting title. My mind just completely drifted away in the last 10 minutes.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 14, 2020, 02:50:11 AM
Explored further into the Koechlin Chamber music box set yesterday.

CD1 - works for clarinet, loved it, with the exception of the selection of the Monodies (exists as a single release)
CD2 - works for flute - pleasant overall but not something I would have a need to go back to.
CD3 - Loved the Bassoon sonata and Oboe Sonata as per day before, also the English Horn sonata. Yet to listen to Portrait of Daisy Hamilton.

Sadly, it seems CD3 is not from a single SWR/Hanssler release but mixed sources from back catalogue. CPO have a oboe specific (also Oehms) and bassoon specific releases. I'll investigate those further.

Back to the Orchestral works right now :

Vers la voûte étoilée, Op. 129 - enjoying this too very much, powerful, uplifting.
Next: Khamma (Debussy arr. C. Koechlin)
 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 14, 2020, 04:19:47 AM
Don't forget the early (opus 50) Ballade for piano solo (ca 1915)- piano - orchestra version ca 1919, a dark, romantic work.
A short text is printed in the score - possibly by Koechlin himself, or by Heinrich Heine...or inspired by Heine...

"De vieilles légendes
et d'anciennes petites chansons
chantent dans la forêt du souvenir:
Et voici qu'elles se mêlent
a la détresse du présent
en un grand cri vers la nuit...
La nuit pâle, d'où le calme descend
sur létang
à la clarté de la lune."

Ancient legends and old little songs, sing in the forest of memory:
And see how they interweave with  todays distress
in a mighty cry towards the night...
The pale night, from which stillness descends
on the pond
illuminated by the moon.

I know only of two recordings
piano solo by Jean Pierre Ferey (on Scarbo)
piano/orchestra: Bruno Rigutto and the Monte Carlo PhO/Alexandre Myrat. EMI
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 14, 2020, 04:52:31 AM
Don't forget the early (opus 50) Ballade for piano solo (ca 1915)- piano - orchestra version ca 1919, a dark, romantic work.
A short text is printed in the score - possibly by Koechlin himself, or by Heinrich Heine...or inspired by Heine...

"De vieilles légendes
et d'anciennes petites chansons
chantent dans la forêt du souvenir:
Et voici qu'elles se mêlent
a la détresse du présent
en un grand cri vers la nuit...
La nuit pâle, d'où le calme descend
sur létang
à la clarté de la lune."

Ancient legends and old little songs, sing in the forest of memory:
And see how they interweave with  todays distress
in a mighty cry towards the night...
The pale night, from which stillness descends
on the pond
illuminated by the moon.

I know only of two recordings
piano solo by Jean Pierre Ferey (on Scarbo)
piano/orchestra: Bruno Rigutto and the Monte Carlo PhO/Alexandre Myrat. EMI

thank you Peter. Found the Ferey recording on Qobuz. playing it now.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/00/36/3375250113600_600.jpg)

Khamma is another one for the "+" list by the way. One I will revisit again.

I copied the Koechlin opus list from wiki into Excel and I am now highlighting what I like and graying out the ones I don't. I am now just one small chronological step away from turning into Madiel  ;D

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 14, 2020, 05:02:59 AM
...aaaaaand my work here is done. Night.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Iota on October 14, 2020, 10:34:57 AM
Khamma is another one for the "+" list by the way. One I will revisit again.

I was listening to Khamma the other day and thought of this thread, as it has the unusual distinction of having three French composers involved in its realisation, Debussy, Koechlin and also Gabriel Pierne who conducted its first performance, which seems to make it particularly qualified for a mention on this thread somehow ..

While I'm here I'll mention if you don't already know it, the relatively well-known Les Heures Persanes, which has both piano and orchestral versions, both very well worth hearing I think. I find the orchestrated version particularly heady and dream-like (perhaps too 'atmospheric' for your tastes based on your comment in #298 ..?), with the piano version somewhat more transparent. Both mesmeric.

There's also Marines et Paysages, another piece that has two versions, both beautifully evocative imo, one for solo piano, the other for flute, violin and piano.

Following this thread with interest, and am most impressed by your stamina!  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 15, 2020, 02:24:48 AM
I was listening to Khamma the other day and thought of this thread, as it has the unusual distinction of having three French composers involved in its realisation, Debussy, Koechlin and also Gabriel Pierne who conducted its first performance, which seems to make it particularly qualified for a mention on this thread somehow ..

While I'm here I'll mention if you don't already know it, the relatively well-known Les Heures Persanes, which has both piano and orchestral versions, both very well worth hearing I think. I find the orchestrated version particularly heady and dream-like (perhaps too 'atmospheric' for your tastes based on your comment in #298 ..?), with the piano version somewhat more transparent. Both mesmeric.

There's also Marines et Paysages, another piece that has two versions, both beautifully evocative imo, one for solo piano, the other for flute, violin and piano.

Following this thread with interest, and am most impressed by your stamina!  :)

I don't know what I was expecting when i started on Koechlin but I certainly wasn't expecting to be engrossed in such a way in his chamber music like I am right now. At the moment, Portrait of Daisy Hamilton and the 1st mvt of the Viola Sonata. Gorgeous stuff.

Thank you for your recs, Iota. "Heures Persanes" & "Marines and Paysages" are on the way somewhere in that boxset in their piano version. The former is also in the Orchestral box. I'll have to seek out the orchestral version of the latter somewhere else.

So far, the bulk of what I have "ruled out" has more to do with my own tastes (flute works, organ works, songs). I'll have to make a point of going back to the orchestral works i "dismissed" at the start (Jungle book extracts).

If the piano music works for me, I think that Chamber set will sit on the shelves after Christmas  ;D
 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 15, 2020, 02:32:19 AM
...aaaaaand my work here is done. Night.

 :laugh:

I daren't yet looking at the number of opuses for Ravel, Debussy and Fauré...  ???
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 15, 2020, 03:23:06 AM
:laugh:

I daren't yet looking at the number of opuses for Ravel, Debussy and Fauré...  ???

Ravel and Debussy didn't write much at all. Faure... well he had a long career but was not insanely prolific.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on October 16, 2020, 08:32:34 AM
Since they will soon be burried, I took the liberty to copy-paste these posts from the WAYL2N thread.

Among the lesser known French piano music composers from that period, Samazeuilh, Ropartz or Schmitt are generally [...] interesting, IMHO.

Reynaldo Hahn as well. Vincent d'Indy has some nice piano music too. From an earlier generation, Gounod and Bizet.

Nohing profound and earth-shattering, of course --- just colorful, tuneful, sensuous and beautiful music.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 16, 2020, 08:37:30 AM
Thank you Andrei.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 20, 2020, 02:01:07 AM
Finished with Koechlin this weekend. Covered quite a wide range of his works. His chamber music is what was eventually the most of interest to me (Clarinet, Bassoon, Oboe sonatas etc). I Struggled with the (very) slow building up (to nothing... ) of his orchestral works. Might revisit some of those again though in the future (Jungle book, Buisson ardent at least).

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. 129,  Khamma (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

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on October 20, 2020, 02:13:56 AM
My first new composer this week is someone that is actually not on the list. I came across his name via a BBC documentary "The Forgotten History" focusing on the history of Black composers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000n18w/black-classical-music-the-forgotten-history (https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000n18w/black-classical-music-the-forgotten-history)

One of the composers mentioned was Joseph Boulogne, Le Chevalier de Saint George (1745-1799)..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevalier_de_Saint-Georges (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevalier_de_Saint-Georges)

A contemporary of Mozart, who he met in a trip to London, he got the nickname of the "Black Mozart". However, according to the documentary, Mozart did actually pinch some of Boulogne's earlier musical ideas when they met in London. That makes it worth a listen if anything.

Queuing those :

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/54/42/3325480554254_600.jpg)  (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/46/43/3325480554346_600.jpg)
(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/52/44/3325480554452_600.jpg)  (https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/27/32/0880513103227_600.jpg)

Started with the quatuors. Very lively and entertaining. Hits the spot.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 20, 2020, 04:00:39 AM
I basically know him for the association with Haydn's "Paris" symphonies.

Will have a listen to whatever I can find...
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on October 23, 2020, 10:24:13 AM
Here's a nice one by Pierre-Jean de Beranger

https://www.youtube.com/v/AMBGwqXI9kc
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 27, 2020, 02:58:30 AM
I listened to some of the Saint-Georges I could find on Primephonic, but there really wasn't much. Mostly violin concertos.  And a sonata for flute and harp. The Arion label that Papy Oli showed several albums from didn't seem to be available on that particular streaming service. The "Le Mozart Noir" album was there, and some Naxos recordings too.

Reasonably pleasing but it didn't generally grab my attention while I was working. I think the performances were a little variable too to be honest.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on October 30, 2020, 01:31:51 AM
Time for a gentle wake up call?  ;)

https://www.youtube.com/v/5E54Dzmy6lI

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on October 30, 2020, 04:22:23 AM
Well Papy Oli has disappeared from the site for the last week.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 18, 2020, 03:26:19 AM
So...Where were we ?  :-[  :)

My apologies for this hiatus.  0:)

I do not have Qobuz for the time being, so what is on my shelf and what I find on YT will have to do for now.

Decided to go on the quiet side this morning by digging up some Satie. I really love the the Gymnopédies and the Gnossiennes (particularly the sloooow versions by De Leeuw) but I never spent proper time with much else of his or not clicked with it.

Time to correct this and explore the rest of the De Leeuw twofer again.

Playing the 3 Sarabandes now.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/12/16/0002894621612_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on November 18, 2020, 06:26:50 AM
Olivier, you might be interested in checking out these articles/page about Ravel's Piano Concerto for Left Hand and Wittgenstein.  I thought of you when I stumbled across the articles.  In particular, I quite enjoyed watching and learning more about the piano concerto watching an analysis by Stephen Johnson complete with samples by the BBC orchestra and (I am embarrassed to admit that I forgot the pianist's name)....?  I had started a thread the other day on Paul Wittgenstein.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3WX6QVVc7wtQRCCKJzNHPJ0/paul-wittgenstein-the-one-armed-piano-maestro-of-ww1

Best wishes,

PD
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Iota on November 18, 2020, 08:07:40 AM
Decided to go on the quiet side this morning by digging up some Satie. I really love the the Gymnopédies and the Gnossiennes (particularly the sloooow versions by De Leeuw) but I never spent proper time with much else of his or not clicked with it.

Time to correct this and explore the rest of the De Leeuw twofer again.

Playing the 3 Sarabandes now.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/12/16/0002894621612_600.jpg)

An excellent way to restart the thread, Papy O! De Leeuw's playing is mesmerising on that set. Good to see you back.  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on November 18, 2020, 10:02:20 AM
Et nous revoilà en route!

What a wonderful, unusual "creature" Satie was. He reminds me a little bit of painter James Ensor...both eccentric (both half British) and creating often mesmerising and/or (mildly) provocative art.

The Sarabande inspired many French composers:

Pierre Octave Ferroud: https://youtu.be/QORWQ8t-ynk
J.P. Rameau: https://youtu.be/nliifc82gbg
Camille Saint Saëns: https://youtu.be/op4uI-Y0ckw
Maurice Ohana: https://youtu.be/FzDJlZLp_Zk
Mel Bonis: https://youtu.be/FQsQ3Xz0wQo

....



Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on November 18, 2020, 04:53:45 PM
Satie, eh?

Okay, this will be interesting...
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 19, 2020, 03:07:43 AM
Olivier, you might be interested in checking out these articles/page about Ravel's Piano Concerto for Left Hand and Wittgenstein.  I thought of you when I stumbled across the articles.  In particular, I quite enjoyed watching and learning more about the piano concerto watching an analysis by Stephen Johnson complete with samples by the BBC orchestra and (I am embarrassed to admit that I forgot the pianist's name)....?  I had started a thread the other day on Paul Wittgenstein.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3WX6QVVc7wtQRCCKJzNHPJ0/paul-wittgenstein-the-one-armed-piano-maestro-of-ww1

Best wishes,

PD

Thank you PD, I have saved the link for future investigation when I get to Ravel :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 19, 2020, 03:12:46 AM
An excellent way to restart the thread, Papy O! De Leeuw's playing is mesmerising on that set. Good to see you back.  :)

Thank you Iota.

I agree with your view on De Leeuw, although his slowness will be very much an acquired taste. To an extent, he has "ruined" the Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes for because when i listen to a "normal" speed version, the first thought coming through my mind is "that's not right" (very much like Celibidache with Bruckner as well !).

I had a couple of listens to Sarabandes and now to 3 Sonneries de la Rose+Croix. Progress is being made  0:)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 19, 2020, 03:14:31 AM
Et nous revoilà en route!

What a wonderful, unusual "creature" Satie was. He reminds me a little bit of painter James Ensor...both eccentric (both half British) and creating often mesmerising and/or (mildly) provocative art.

The Sarabande inspired many French composers:

Pierre Octave Ferroud: https://youtu.be/QORWQ8t-ynk
J.P. Rameau: https://youtu.be/nliifc82gbg
Camille Saint Saëns: https://youtu.be/op4uI-Y0ckw
Maurice Ohana: https://youtu.be/FzDJlZLp_Zk
Mel Bonis: https://youtu.be/FQsQ3Xz0wQo

....

En avant, Marche !!

Thank you for those links, Johan. I'll check them later today.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 19, 2020, 03:22:46 AM
Satie, eh?

Okay, this will be interesting...

One that you struggle with yourself ?

(Aussie Off topic : I know this was a while ago now, but boy did I really enjoy the Richmond-Geelong AFL Grand Final, it had everything to hook me properly into that sport. Definitely something I will follow up more often as and when the next season starts, as long as BT sport still has the broadcasting right for those in the UK. Rugby league still evades me though after years of trying bits of games...  ;D) 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on November 19, 2020, 05:02:35 AM
One that you struggle with yourself ?

(Aussie Off topic : I know this was a while ago now, but boy did I really enjoy the Richmond-Geelong AFL Grand Final, it had everything to hook me properly into that sport. Definitely something I will follow up more often as and when the next season starts, as long as BT sport still has the broadcasting right for those in the UK. Rugby league still evades me though after years of trying bits of games...  ;D)

On topic: Yes I suspect so, though really I haven't heard a huge amount. I shall try to go on with an open mind and focus on the actual music rather than some of his quirky ideas that I react against.

Off topic: My own preference is usually AFL over rugby league, so definitely thrilled to hear when a non-Australian enjoys it. You probably didn't enjoy it half as much as my brother-in-law and his relatives, who are all dedicated Richmond supporters and have suddenly found themselves with their best team in decades. For any family with roots in Melbourne, AFL teams are genetically inherited. You've no idea what an obsession it is for many Melburnians...
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on November 19, 2020, 07:55:52 AM
On topic: Yes I suspect so, though really I haven't heard a huge amount. I shall try to go on with an open mind and focus on the actual music rather than some of his quirky ideas that I react against.

Well, IIRC, one of those quirky ideas was that you should actually pay no special attention to the music while it's being played. (I'm too lazy to dig up the reference).  :D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on November 19, 2020, 01:12:16 PM
Well, IIRC, one of those quirky ideas was that you should actually pay no special attention to the music while it's being played. (I'm too lazy to dig up the reference).  :D

Yeah well, if he didn’t value his own music not sure I should either.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on November 20, 2020, 01:48:29 AM
Yeah well, if he didn’t value his own music not sure I should either.
It is more complicated than that, I think. I suppose one can say that Satie invented" Muzak"....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furniture_music

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on November 20, 2020, 02:54:15 AM
It is more complicated than that, I think. I suppose one can say that Satie invented" Muzak"....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furniture_music

This is not improving my opinion.

Nor are the Sarabandes I'm currently listening to... they kind of remind me of Debussy's Sarabande in Pour le Piano without being remotely interesting. I'm sure there's a market for this, but I'm not the market.

Nevertheless I will try some other things.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 20, 2020, 03:24:47 AM
I enjoyed De Leeuw's Pièces Froides and Sonneries de le Rose+Croix yesterday, more than sarabandes

Listening to this one at the moment - it includes some songs  ;)  0:)

Still very (very !) slow but the singing is beautiful.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/24/34/0025091023424_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on November 20, 2020, 03:47:39 AM
The" musique d'ameublement" was one of Satie's quirky ways of upsetting academia and bourgeoisie.
However, I think that it isn't farfetched to think that, at certain times in his life (e.g. ca 1905 he started studying counterpoint at the Scola cantorum) he (secretly?) aspired also at being a "real" composer, not only a provocateur.
When the princesse de Polignac commissioned a work he produced his most ambitious work" Socrate" for 4 female voices and (small) orchestra. I find it difficult, "naked", austere music (the version for tenor solo is even less "pleasing").
Satie is a wondrous and unique phenomenon and a real composer with a real gift for melody.

https://youtu.be/BpPVqsXEIWg

https://youtu.be/hTwRY__oJM4


Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on November 20, 2020, 04:29:04 AM
Trying this album.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71lO8qAV6jL._SX425_.jpg)

The first Gnosienne will always be a winner because Tori Amos used it as the basis of a song... we will see how the rest goes.

EDIT: There is music on here that elicits a mildly positive reaction.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on November 20, 2020, 05:20:52 AM
I enjoyed De Leeuw's Pièces Froides and Sonneries de le Rose+Croix yesterday, more than sarabandes

Listening to this one at the moment - it includes some songs  ;)  0:)

Still very (very !) slow but the singing is beautiful.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/24/34/0025091023424_600.jpg)
I'm trying to recall what I heard Barbara Hannigan singing (maybe about a year ago).  Someone had told me about a contemporary composer and I found her singing it on youtube.  I remember being quite impressed with her voice and performance, so when I ran across this posting, I wasn't surprised to hear that you enjoyed it (though again, I don't know the works).   :)

Best,

PD
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 20, 2020, 05:43:05 AM
EDIT: There is music on here that elicits a mildly positive reaction.

We will have none of that disproportionate behaviour here, thank you :P  ;D

(which work(s) ?  8) )
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on November 20, 2020, 06:55:16 AM
I'm trying to recall what I heard Barbara Hannigan singing (maybe about a year ago).  Someone had told me about a contemporary composer and I found her singing it on youtube.  I remember being quite impressed with her voice and performance, so when I ran across this posting, I wasn't surprised to hear that you enjoyed it (though again, I don't know the works).   :)

Best,

PD
Ah, found it!  Not French (but you still might want to check it out).  It's by Abrahamsen and called "Let Me Tell You" (using Ophelia's words from Hamlet to tell her own story but rearranged, etc.).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxKkRWTiWDo&list=PLkoKuMUKhyTP4yCkU2o0ULV2vhMMO8xOf
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 20, 2020, 07:06:10 AM
The Sarabande inspired many French composers:

Pierre Octave Ferroud: https://youtu.be/QORWQ8t-ynk
J.P. Rameau: https://youtu.be/nliifc82gbg
Camille Saint Saëns: https://youtu.be/op4uI-Y0ckw
Maurice Ohana: https://youtu.be/FzDJlZLp_Zk
Mel Bonis: https://youtu.be/FQsQ3Xz0wQo

....

Interesting little selection, thank you again. The Ferroud, Saint Saëns & Bonis caught my ear particularly.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 20, 2020, 07:19:44 AM
Ah, found it!  Not French (but you still might want to check it out).  It's by Abrahamsen and called "Let Me Tell You" (using Ophelia's words from Hamlet to tell her own story but rearranged, etc.).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxKkRWTiWDo&list=PLkoKuMUKhyTP4yCkU2o0ULV2vhMMO8xOf

Thank you for the link PD. Not much my cup of tea this time.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on November 20, 2020, 07:45:16 AM
Thank you for the link PD. Not much my cup of tea this time.
No problem.  :)

PD
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Iota on November 20, 2020, 12:00:46 PM
Madiel (#331),
Perhaps the Sarabandes are not for you, or indeed Satie broadly, but if you felt disposed to listen to de Leeuw playing them (or any other Satie) at some point, I'd urge you to do so.
He seems to make the destination, the purpose of every note about illuminating the present, everything else falls away and it's simplicity becomes utterly transfixing. The Sarabandes are like musical cloudlets in an open sky, they drift nowhere, hardly do anything but can be nonetheless fathomlessly beautiful. The Debussy is much richer, more overtly ravishing and something very different imo. De Leeuw really opened my ears to Satie like nobody else.


To Papy O: Very sad to say that my streaming site does not have those (Hannigan) Satie songs, they sound very appealing.


Satie is a wondrous and unique phenomenon and a real composer with a real gift for melody.

A sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree!  :) And thanks for reminding me of the Socrate, which I haven't listened to for ages. I don't think it was quite for me then, but that may now perhaps have changed.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on November 20, 2020, 12:05:56 PM
Count me as an admirer of Satie, but I prefer Ciccolini’s approach vs. de Leeuw’s turtle-paced performances, however, I do like the Hannigan/de Leeuw recording of mélodies and Socrate (a work I’m starting to warm back up to). To Madiel, I highly recommend this box set:

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODQ2ODU4Ni4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MzE2ODM0NzZ9)

I don’t like everything Satie has written, but there are some fine works in his oeuvre. I think patience is one of the keys in appreciating Satie’s music.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Iota on November 20, 2020, 12:32:10 PM
Count me as an admirer of Satie, but I prefer Ciccolini’s approach

I'll see if I can take a listen to some.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 20, 2020, 01:12:54 PM

To Papy O: Very sad to say that my streaming site does not have those (Hannigan) Satie songs, they sound very appealing.


Iota,
I do not have a subscription to a streaming site any more for now. I found the whole De Leeuw/Hannigan album on YT :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miUD-B_mjo8&list=OLAK5uy_kQPIU_Hb2KrbB6g8rGdWN5rxRAFc_eV80 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miUD-B_mjo8&list=OLAK5uy_kQPIU_Hb2KrbB6g8rGdWN5rxRAFc_eV80)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 20, 2020, 01:17:42 PM
Count me as an admirer of Satie, but I prefer Ciccolini’s approach vs. de Leeuw’s turtle-paced performances, however, I do like the Hannigan/de Leeuw recording of mélodies and Socrate (a work I’m starting to warm back up to). To Madiel, I highly recommend this box set:

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODQ2ODU4Ni4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MzE2ODM0NzZ9)

I don’t like everything Satie has written, but there are some fine works in his oeuvre. I think patience is one of the keys in appreciating Satie’s music.

The whole Ciccolini set is on YT too, all 6 and a half hours of it !

https://www.youtube.com/v/RU-RZB8c4Ys

Thank you John, I'll sample it too.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on November 20, 2020, 01:34:34 PM
I'll see if I can take a listen to some.

The whole Ciccolini set is on YT too, all 6 and a half hours of it !

https://www.youtube.com/v/RU-RZB8c4Ys

Thank you John, I'll sample it too.

Excellent, fellas. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy Ciccolini’s approach.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on November 20, 2020, 01:45:10 PM
Interesting little selection, thank you again. The Ferroud, Saint Saëns & Bonis caught my ear particularly.

Excellent. So, Ohana's harpsichord is too spiky.
Anyway, continue with Satie and keep us posted.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: steve ridgway on November 20, 2020, 11:55:24 PM
I enjoy the electroacoustic music of Henry etc. and was first lured into listening to orchestral instruments by Varèse’s Deserts. It took a while to get used to the timbres and performance dynamics compared to popular music but I’ve grown to appreciate the complexity, lack of repetition and thought composers have generally put into their work and the way they’ll continue to develop their ideas over a whole lifetime.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on November 21, 2020, 02:00:24 AM
Count me as an admirer of Satie, but I prefer Ciccolini’s approach vs. de Leeuw’s turtle-paced performances, however, I do like the Hannigan/de Leeuw recording of mélodies and Socrate (a work I’m starting to warm back up to). To Madiel, I highly recommend this box set:

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODQ2ODU4Ni4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MzE2ODM0NzZ9)

I don’t like everything Satie has written, but there are some fine works in his oeuvre. I think patience is one of the keys in appreciating Satie’s music.

Is that barefooted man on the cover Debussy? :D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on November 21, 2020, 08:00:29 AM
Is that barefooted man on the cover Debussy? :D

Hah...it very well could be, but that man in the cover has a beard and to my recollection Debussy never had a beard, only a goatee.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 26, 2020, 08:54:53 AM
I did some random sampling of the Ciccolini box and came to the conclusion that what I had on the De Leeuw twofer and the Naxos "best of" on my shelves was for now still sufficient to me when I was in the mood for Satie. Still, this exercise was worthwhile all the same as I am now responsive to some of his works beyond Gnossiennes and Gymnopedies, to which i'd use to stick to.

Ogives, Sonneries de la Rose+Croix, Pièces Froides were particularly good , and some of the Melodies too. Maybe I'll take a further exploratory step next time I revisit this composer. 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 26, 2020, 09:59:51 AM
Moved on to Saint-Saëns yesterday.

I have some of his works scattered on my shelves. Had a fruitful listen yesterday to Carnaval des Animaux (Argerich), Piano Cto No.4 and introduction/Rondo Capriccioso (Bernstein box), Piano Trio No.1 (Beaux Arts Trio) . "La Nuit" (posted by pjme on the WAYLT thread) was a beautiful recommendation even if Dessay's voice would be testing me over time.

Did have a full listen to Symphonies No.1 (Pretre), No.2 (?) & No.3 (Jarvi prom) on YT this afternoon. Found the former two on the pleasant side but ultimately underwhelming. The Third took some time to take off too. I'll listen to Bernstein version of the Third tomorrow to re-assess.

Planned for tomorrow from the shelves again : Another visit to symphony No.3 (Bernstein), Cello Concerto No.1 (Du Pre), Violin concerto No.3, Piano concerto No.2 and Danse macabre.

which other works would you deem worthy for me to try as well on YT please ?

PS: Unimportant fun fact from my listening to Jarvi's Third earlier: the organ during that Prom concert was played by Thierry Escaich. Now, that name would have gone completely unnoticed by me in other times but thanks to this thread a few weeks back, I became "familiar" with him and picked up on his appearance. It is a minor detail I know but that's the little things that make this exploration worthwhile.  :)
 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on November 26, 2020, 12:01:45 PM
which other works would you deem worthy for me to try as well on YT please ?

The Septet, the Piano Quartet, the Piano Quintet, the Bassoon Sonata, the Oboe Sonata, the Clarinet Sonata. I'd be surprised if they were not on YT.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on November 26, 2020, 12:39:51 PM
The Septet, the Piano Quartet, the Piano Quintet, the Bassoon Sonata, the Oboe Sonata, the Clarinet Sonata. I'd be surprised if they were not on YT.

Thank you Andrei.

Incidentally, all the works appear on the Nash Ensemble CD I saw you mention (or approve of) earlier this week (and I also put in my Presto wishlist as well...and forgot about it all earlier). I'll sample those properly as well.

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on November 26, 2020, 12:51:37 PM
Thank you Andrei.

You're welcome, Olivier.

Quote
Incidentally, all the works appear on the Nash Ensemble CD I saw you mention (or approve of) earlier this week (and I also put in my Presto wishlist as well...and forgot about it all earlier). I'll sample those properly as well.

Yes. Also a delightful trifle, the Tarentelle for flute, clarinet and piano.  ;)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: some guy on November 26, 2020, 08:40:02 PM
The opera Samson et Dalila. Preferably the Davis, Cura, Borodina recording.

I would not recommend trying to listen to this on youtube. I sampled half a dozen. The sound was execrable in all of them. So perhaps the Met it is. Here's the first two acts for free: https://www.operaonvideo.com/samson-et-delila-met-2018-alagna-garanca-naouri/

The requiem. I have the Chandos with Fasolis. It seems altogether perfect to me.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on November 27, 2020, 04:58:22 PM
I actually decided a few weeks ago that I was going to do the whole chronological exploration thing with Saint-Saens. Yes, I know that's going to take me a while. I've no regrets 3 opuses in.

I just think that I've become increasingly aware of what a massively important figure he is in French music, yet I know barely any of his music. I own a few works because they're in my box set of Paul Tortelier, and that's about it. But he was a major driving force in establishing, or re-establishing, the French musical scene that led to such major composers in the next couple of generations.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on November 27, 2020, 06:22:16 PM
I actually decided a few weeks ago that I was going to do the whole chronological exploration thing with Saint-Saens. Yes, I know that's going to take me a while. I've no regrets 3 opuses in.

I just think that I've become increasingly aware of what a massively important figure he is in French music, yet I know barely any of his music. I own a few works because they're in my box set of Paul Tortelier, and that's about it. But he was a major driving force in establishing, or re-establishing, the French musical scene that led to such major composers in the next couple of generations.

I’d say that more importantly than anything, Saint-Saëns was a fine composer who deserves to be explored by anyone who has an interest in late-19th/early 20th Century French music and the same goes for Fauré who I must count as one of my favorite composers thanks to much of your own writing about this composer. You really helped me understand this composer more than anyone else I’ve spoken with (for years, he confused me and I’m not even sure why this was the case). It was soon after reading your commentary on him that I bought the Stott box set of his piano music and that’s when everything unlocked for me. Oh, I guess I should get back to talking about Saint-Saëns... ;)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on November 27, 2020, 07:26:14 PM
Look, nothing wrong with pairing those 2 together, they were very close.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on November 27, 2020, 09:16:25 PM
Look, nothing wrong with pairing those 2 together, they were very close.

Indeed.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Symphonic Addict on December 02, 2020, 04:54:00 PM
Thank this thread I got reacquainted with Ibert's music and it was a very welcome rediscovery this year. Just heard Ouverture de Fête again. What a stunning piece of music. It has grandeur and a certain rhythmic vitality, scintillating orchestration, and it's quite moving in a sort of way. And the orchestration, as always, very French, energetic, at times sharp, but always masterful. Blown away, literally!

His Flute Concerto also left me amazed the other day by how eloquent and quirky passages it has. What other works of his you all consider in the same or similar league (including Ouverture de Fête if you know it)?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Irons on December 03, 2020, 01:46:43 AM
Thank this thread I got reacquainted with Ibert's music and it was a very welcome rediscovery this year. Just heard Ouverture de Fête again. What a stunning piece of music. It has grandeur and a certain rhythmic vitality, scintillating orchestration, and it's quite moving in a sort of way. And the orchestration, as always, very French, energetic, at times sharp, but always masterful. Blown away, literally!

His Flute Concerto also left me amazed the other day by how eloquent and quirky passages it has. What other works of his you all consider in the same or similar league (including Ouverture de Fête if you know it)?

You mention "rhythmic vitality", if you have not already heard it Symphonie Marine I'm sure you will be impressed.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Symphonic Addict on December 03, 2020, 02:31:33 PM
You mention "rhythmic vitality", if you have not already heard it Symphonie Marine I'm sure you will be impressed.

Thanks, Irons. I'm not sure if I've heard it already. I'm gonna check.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on December 09, 2020, 06:19:07 AM
Very sporadic listening in the last week but I have been going over samples a few times of various Saint-Saëns recordings.

The Nash ensemble twofer on Hyperion will definitely be a purchase in the future. Too many good things on this one. I was listening to samples in the living room the other day and a few tracks in, my partner looked up from her work & laptop and said "ooooh i like that". Not that I needed much convincing myself. :laugh:

Other samples I have found of interest : his String quartets, Cello Concertos, his symphonic poems (all on Naxos). Also really enjoyed his piano concertos 2 & 4 off my shelves. Will have to dig deeper in a full cycle of his PC (possibly stick with Dutoit/Rogé that I have for the PC4, maybe Hough on Hyperion too. Need to check Naxos again for those.).

Symphony-wise, No3 is just stupendous. The other symphonies never really took off and bore me a fair bit.

Still, another composer to add as a positive outcome of this little project.

The opera Samson et Dalila. Preferably the Davis, Cura, Borodina recording.

The requiem. I have the Chandos with Fasolis. It seems altogether perfect to me.

Not a fan of opera myself but I will check the requiem to close the loop on Camille's lot, thank you.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on December 09, 2020, 06:25:12 AM
I actually decided a few weeks ago that I was going to do the whole chronological exploration thing with Saint-Saens. Yes, I know that's going to take me a while. I've no regrets 3 opuses in.

I just think that I've become increasingly aware of what a massively important figure he is in French music, yet I know barely any of his music. I own a few works because they're in my box set of Paul Tortelier, and that's about it. But he was a major driving force in establishing, or re-establishing, the French musical scene that led to such major composers in the next couple of generations.

Poor soul  :P  ;D  Enjoy the journey  :)

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on December 09, 2020, 06:28:05 AM
Thank this thread I got reacquainted with Ibert's music and it was a very welcome rediscovery this year. Just heard Ouverture de Fête again. What a stunning piece of music. It has grandeur and a certain rhythmic vitality, scintillating orchestration, and it's quite moving in a sort of way. And the orchestration, as always, very French, energetic, at times sharp, but always masterful. Blown away, literally!

His Flute Concerto also left me amazed the other day by how eloquent and quirky passages it has. What other works of his you all consider in the same or similar league (including Ouverture de Fête if you know it)?

Glad you find this exploration thread of interest, Cesar.

Ibert was nice discovery for me. The Chandos twofer by Jarvi is one I have in the purchasing pipeline for this particular composer.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on December 09, 2020, 09:45:58 AM
Glad you find this exploration thread of interest, Cesar.

Ibert was nice discovery for me. The Chandos twofer by Jarvi is one I have in the purchasing pipeline for this particular composer.

Why not this one?

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on December 09, 2020, 05:16:33 PM
Poor soul  :P  ;D  Enjoy the journey  :)

Thanks for the reminder. Listening to opus 8: duos for piano and harmonium. Kind of fascinating.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 04, 2021, 07:19:41 AM
That Saint-Saëns exploration has been fruitful.

I have basically gone through & liked everything I had on my shelves :

Cello Concerto No 1 In A Minor Op. 33
Piano Trio No.1 in F Major
Violin Concerto No.03 in B minor
Danse Macabre
Havanaise
Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso
Le Carnaval des Animaux
Samson et Dalila (Extracts)
Symphony No.03 in C minor “Organ”
Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor, Op.22


I then bought The Nash Ensemble twofer on Hyperion, simply full of gems and a collection I will go back to often :

Septet in E Flat Major Op.65
Tarentelle in E minor Op.6
Bassoon Sonata in G major Op.168
Piano Quartet in B Flat Major Op.41
Piano Quintet in A minor Op.14
Oboe Sonata in D Major Op.166
Clarinet Sonata in E Flat Major Op.167
Caprice sur des Airs Danois et Russes Op.79


I also bought and received today a full used Piano concertos set with Dutoit/Rogé (same forces as the No.2 I had in my collection on an "Essential" twofer). Will run my way through those in the coming days but the samples were really good (even if it is a format I do not usually seek).

Piano Concerto No.1 in D Major Op.17
Piano Concerto No.4 in C minor, Op. 44
Piano Concerto No.3 in E Flat Major Op.29
Piano Concerto No.5 in F Major Op.103

Finally, I have asked for his Piano Trios (by the Florestan Trio - Hyperion) for my forthcoming Birthday. Again, gorgeous samples. Looking forward to getting this one.

The only works that didn't really appeal to me were the rest of his symphonies. I am also still on the fence about his string quartets.

Anything major I may have missed please ?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on January 04, 2021, 08:44:53 AM
I caught the first symphony on the radio, it had just started and didn’t recognize it. I last listened to the work when I bought the Martinon set some 15 years ago. What struck me is how heteroclite the music was - fun, melodious but seemingly from different influences, with a wagnerian first movement, an offenbachian finale. I liked it a lot and was surprised when I heard what it was.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on January 04, 2021, 09:44:18 AM
I need to go back to those Saint-Saëns symphonies. Of course, I love the 3rd, but don’t quite remember the others. Hopefully, over my off days, I’ll be able to revisit at least two of them.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Jo498 on January 04, 2021, 10:59:49 AM
The trios are worthwhile. And the violin sonatas, especially the first. The string quartets are not essential, but like the other cello and violin concertante pieces worth getting eventually.
The popularity of the concertos is probably 2nd and 4th piano, b minor violin and first cello concerto before the rest, but the actual wwrdifferences are not huge to the "lesser" works. There was also a nice anthology of tone poems with Dutoit, I think? I don't listen to S-Saens frequently, but it is all original and entertaining music.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Brass Hole on January 04, 2021, 11:31:39 AM
That Saint-Saëns exploration has been fruitful.
Anything major I may have missed please ?

These do not overlap with mine:
Cello Sonata 1 Op 32 (Poltera & Stott),
Allegro Appassionato for Cello & Orchestra or Cello & Piano Op 43 (Maisky OCO or Moser),
Fantasie for Violin & Harp Op 124 (Capucon & Langlamet) and
Violin Sonata 1 Op 75 (Weithaas & Avenhaus) though I dropped this sonata out a while ago.

I call him the heaviest of the lightweights.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Symphonic Addict on January 04, 2021, 07:48:44 PM
Saint-Saëns is the most consistently good and variegated French composer in my book, and clearly he belongs to my top 25 favorite composers. His symphonies, despite most of them are early, there is quite appealing music and ideas in each. Apart from the Organ Symphony, I particularly like the Symphony Urbs Roma.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 05, 2021, 06:04:25 AM
Thank you for the various inputs. Looks like I'll have to re-assess the symphonies. The Martinon set goes cheap on Ebay.

I'll sample the violin sonatas and cello sonatas later on and see how that fares.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 05, 2021, 06:38:40 AM
In the meantime, I am starting a run through César Franck.

On the shelf, there is :

Violin sonata in A (Oistrakh) - not convinced
Cello sonata in A Major (Du Pré) - not convinced
Piano Quintet (Richter) - not convinced
Prelude, Chorale, Fugue (Moravec) - Pretty good

Violin sonata in A (Argerich/Maisky)
Symphony in D (Bernstein NYP)
Symphony in D (Giulini)
Symphony in D (Naxos)
Psyche & Eros (Giulini)
Le Chasseur Maudit (Naxos)
Les Eolides (Nxos)

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: OrchestralNut on January 05, 2021, 06:53:55 AM
In the meantime, I am starting a run through César Franck.

On the shelf, there is :

Violin sonata in A (Oistrakh) - not convinced
Cello sonata in A Major (Du Pré) - not convinced
Piano Quintet (Richter) - not convinced
Prelude, Chorale, Fugue (Moravec) - Pretty good

Violin sonata in A (Argerich/Maisky)
Symphony in D (Bernstein NYP)
Symphony in D (Giulini)
Symphony in D (Naxos)
Psyche & Eros (Giulini)
Le Chasseur Maudit (Naxos)
Les Eolides (Nxos)

Olivier,

I discovered Franck's Symphony in D minor last year and it is now immediately one of my overall favourite symphonies. Had the great fortune to also attend a live performance in early 2020.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 05, 2021, 07:04:38 AM
Olivier,

I discovered Franck's Symphony in D minor last year and it is now immediately one of my overall favourite symphonies. Had the great fortune to also attend a live performance in early 2020.

Sounds good Ray. I don't have much recollection of the work myself so I look forward to (re(visiting) the version I have.

Quite underwhelmed by Le Chasseur Maudit but really enjoying Les Eolides at the moment.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: OrchestralNut on January 05, 2021, 07:09:31 AM

Quite underwhelmed by Le Chasseur Maudit but really enjoying Les Eolides at the moment.

I have not heard these two works yet by Franck.

I will say that it took three or four listens to the Symphony in D minor before it made a positive impact on me. But, once it did!

The haunting, arresting English horn solo in the middle movement gives me shivers.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Brass Hole 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


 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: OrchestralNut on January 05, 2021, 08:04:22 AM
Next stop :  Edgar Varèse.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/82/20/0002894602082_600.jpg)

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
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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:)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Brass Hole 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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.

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 05, 2021, 02:49:59 PM
Google showed him as having the 2 nationalities...we can trust Google, right ?  0:)

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Jo498 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).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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. 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Jo498 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: OrchestralNut 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Brass Hole 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:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81XxzxfJbpL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: OrchestralNut on January 06, 2021, 10:45:05 AM
You are looking for this recording...but it's an unwieldy piece, waste of time:

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81XxzxfJbpL._SS500_.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Brass Hole 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.   :)

👍
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Jo498 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).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: BWV 1080 on January 09, 2021, 09:32:08 PM
The spectralists are worth giving a listen.  This is an amazing piece - using a symphony orchestra to synthesize the opening trombone

https://youtube.com/v/GRRwk3hwrDI
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on January 10, 2021, 11:00:51 AM
Someone was asking about ethereal music, so I thought I'd spend some time this week in the obscure byways of French piano, starting with Albéric Magnard's Promenades Op. 7


https://www.youtube.com/v/amWJ5GJhR2o&ab_channel=BartjeBartmans

This is the CD I'm using, I haven't heard all that youtube, but the first two pieces suggest to me that anyone whose appetite is whetted should dump the youtube fast and get the recording

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/A15iPDcp5TL._AC_SX425_.jpg)

I've never heard his symphonic music, people tell me he's Bruckner manqué. Whatever, you couldn't get further from Bruckner in the drop dead gorgeous piano music.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: kyjo on January 10, 2021, 02:43:46 PM
Thank this thread I got reacquainted with Ibert's music and it was a very welcome rediscovery this year. Just heard Ouverture de Fête again. What a stunning piece of music. It has grandeur and a certain rhythmic vitality, scintillating orchestration, and it's quite moving in a sort of way. And the orchestration, as always, very French, energetic, at times sharp, but always masterful. Blown away, literally!

His Flute Concerto also left me amazed the other day by how eloquent and quirky passages it has. What other works of his you all consider in the same or similar league (including Ouverture de Fête if you know it)?

I was recently blown away by this Timpani CD of two of Ibert’s ballets: Le chevalier errant and Les amours de Jupiter:

(https://media.cultura.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/1000x1000/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/l/e/le-chevalier-errant-3377891312305_0.jpg?t=1596561923)

Unsurprisingly, this music is full of great tunes, rhythmic vitality, and is scintillatingly orchestrated. But there’s also a rather surprising amount of “meat” and depth to this music, especially in Le chevalier errant. Seriously impressive music, and not inferior to any of the great 20th century ballets in the slightest!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: kyjo on January 10, 2021, 02:54:50 PM



I can enthusiastically recommend that set, particularly for the stupendous recordings of his very underrated early piano trios. Dare I say they’re my favorite works of his alongside the Violin Sonata and Piano Quintet. I’ve never been too keen on the Symphony in D minor as I find it to be quite poorly orchestrated....
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Jo498 on January 11, 2021, 12:46:45 AM
I agree that the almost complete negligence of the early trios is a bit of a mystery. While the first one is the best and the first movement of the first probably the best one of the lot, at least the first one should be standard trio rep and the others should be at least be known on the level of e.g. the Chopin Trio.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Brass Hole on January 11, 2021, 01:10:24 AM
I agree that the almost complete negligence of the early trios is a bit of a mystery. While the first one is the best and the first movement of the first probably the best one of the lot, at least the first one should be standard trio rep and the others should be at least be known on the level of e.g. the Chopin Trio.

The answer of your mystery is the piano. It's so heavily scored that it's almost impossible to balance the ensemble. The cascading octaves and countless repeating chords need a virtuoso. It's far superior than the other three for sure. But the last three are not equals of Chopin's in many musicological aspects, maybe in taste?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Jo498 on January 11, 2021, 01:42:29 AM
yes, the piano dominance is probably the reason. But if you look what has been "excavated" or revived from 19th and early 20th century by lesser known romantics it remains strange that a bunch of flawed but interesting works of a major composer are virtually unknown and hardly ever recorded. Admittedly I have not heard the Alkan Trio but this has been recorded as well and there are similar examples.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on January 11, 2021, 01:57:29 AM
Day two of my week of exploring the unexplored byways of French piano music brings me to Abel Decaux’s Clairs de lune

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81s7LfgcZLL._AC_SL1420_.jpg)

This is expressive and impressionistic music which reminds me of things in Debussy and in late Liszt. I was disappointed because someone once told me years and years ago that Decaux anticipated serial music à la Schoenberg, but just from casual listening that sounds wrong to me: this is not serial. Not at all unattractive nevertheless and I’m glad to have made its acquaintance.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 11, 2021, 05:07:23 AM
The spectralists are worth giving a listen.  This is an amazing piece - using a symphony orchestra to synthesize the opening trombone

https://youtube.com/v/GRRwk3hwrDI

Noted thank you. Grisey is in the "explore" list on page 1. I have saved the link of this YT video for when I get to him  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 11, 2021, 05:18:40 AM
Someone was asking about ethereal music, so I thought I'd spend some time this week in the obscure byways of French piano, starting with Albéric Magnard's Promenades Op. 7

https://www.youtube.com/v/amWJ5GJhR2o&ab_channel=BartjeBartmans

This is the CD I'm using, I haven't heard all that youtube, but the first two pieces suggest to me that anyone whose appetite is whetted should dump the youtube fast and get the recording

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/A15iPDcp5TL._AC_SX425_.jpg)

Thank you, link also saved and sampled briefly. I had sampled Magnard before this project kicked off and added his symphonies and his orchestral works in my collection already. I'll make a run through them and add his piano music and chamber music when it is his turn.
I've never heard his symphonic music, people tell me he's Bruckner manqué. Whatever, you couldn't get further from Bruckner in the drop dead gorgeous piano music.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 11, 2021, 05:21:58 AM
I was recently blown away by this Timpani CD of two of Ibert’s ballets: Le chevalier errant and Les amours de Jupiter:

(https://media.cultura.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/1000x1000/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/l/e/le-chevalier-errant-3377891312305_0.jpg?t=1596561923)

Unsurprisingly, this music is full of great tunes, rhythmic vitality, and is scintillatingly orchestrated. But there’s also a rather surprising amount of “meat” and depth to this music, especially in Le chevalier errant. Seriously impressive music, and not inferior to any of the great 20th century ballets in the slightest!

I was impressed by that CD as well at the time, Kyle. One i should revisit.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 11, 2021, 05:50:40 AM
I will be closing the loop on César Franck shortly with his Symphony in D (with Giulini). Another fruitful exploration for me. I am just besotted with the Cello version of the violin sonata, what a gorgeous piece (Wang/ Capucon will be a future purchase for this). I still have some reservations about the original VS, more to do with my reaction to strident or shrieking violin tones. I  prefer the softer and more "melancholic" (to me) cello sound. That said, I am currently listening to 30-sec samples of the Cypres box recommended further up and the VS sounds a bit softer and closer to my liking.

I am also coming round to the Piano Quintet (Dalberto with Novus Qt) and will probably get that too in the future. the Prelude, Chorale & Fugue and Prelude, Aria & Final on that same album are just gorgeous.

I was not enthralled by the Piano Trios on the couple of recordings I streamed in the last week but again, the Cypres box samples just now made me go "oh i like this"...so there's hope.

I revisited Chasseur Maudit & Eolides off my shelves and had a much better impression than ever before. It's a win for those too.

I skipped his melodies and organ music. Maybe one day.

Thank you all, once again, for your inputs on this composer. This is a great musical journey for me. Vive la France  ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: North Star on January 11, 2021, 06:25:04 AM
Day two of my week of exploring the unexplored byways of French piano music brings me to Abel Decaux’s Clairs de lune

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81s7LfgcZLL._AC_SL1420_.jpg)

This is expressive and impressionistic music which reminds me of things in Debussy and in late Liszt. I was disappointed because someone once told me years and years ago that Decaux anticipated serial music à la Schoenberg, but just from casual listening that sounds wrong to me: this is not serial. Not at all unattractive nevertheless and I’m glad to have made its acquaintance.
Yes, it anticipates the free atonal Schönberg rather than the serialist.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 11, 2021, 08:38:32 AM
A foray into the short (and ultimately even shorter !!) works of Jean Barraqué.

(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/761203956920/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)

Not for me, at least not today.

Let's put it that way: The 30-second advertising & musical interludes every 2-3 tracks on Idagio Free were actually a pleasant and welcome distraction from Barraqué. My loss maybe, but for now, I'll live with it  0:)  :)

 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: North Star on January 11, 2021, 09:24:13 AM
For something soothing after Barraqué, how about the Airs de coeur (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_de_cour)? Vincent Dumestre has made some wonderful recordings of Étienne Moulinie, Antoine Boësset, Pierre Guédron, etc. Catherine King and Jacob Heringman singing with Charles Daniels' lute accompaniment are also lovely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qpGtevdQ2k
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhqeCGh73nw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_e-3kJwS18

www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5nTJY4ozRI&list=OLAK5uy_mbDK23UCQp2YP56iMkfCm4NseAG-Ovgz8







Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 11, 2021, 09:49:25 AM
Thank you for those, Karlo. I have saved the links and will add them to the composers' list.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on January 11, 2021, 11:23:41 AM
Yes, it anticipates the free atonal Schönberg rather than the serialist.

Yes, it's not bad at all! 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on January 11, 2021, 05:19:23 PM
I’ve been listening to some Barraque. It does nothing for me.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on January 12, 2021, 01:52:28 AM
Day 3, time for the big piano cycle by Antoine Mariotte, impressions urbaines.

(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/1C1236.jpg)

These pieces are all quite substantial, and describe city life  - factories, suburbs, dancehalls, railway stations, urban wasteland. The musical style is weighty, at times motoric, chromatic harmonies throughout.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on January 12, 2021, 02:44:33 PM
I’ve been listening to some Barraque. It does nothing for me.

I listened to the concerto, the ensemble 2e2m performance, I love it.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on January 12, 2021, 03:10:27 PM
Preemptive because I can see where Olivier has gone with his listening.

I’m listening to the first movement of Farrenc’s Piano Quintet No.1. A name previously completely unknown to me.

Sold. She will be going on the further listening pile without hesitation.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on January 12, 2021, 08:56:36 PM
Day four, and the cycle of 12 pieces, Paysages et Marines, by Charles Koechlin, descriptive music, very changeable, and played clearly and poetically by Michael Korstick, well recorded. It’s really charming stuff.

(https://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/23/05/4010276020523_600.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on January 12, 2021, 09:04:46 PM
Day 3, time for the big piano cycle by Antoine Mariotte, impressions urbaines.

(https://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/1C1236.jpg)

These pieces are all quite substantial, and describe city life  - factories, suburbs, dancehalls, railway stations, urban wasteland. The musical style is weighty, at times motoric, chromatic harmonies throughout.

There’s a second cycle on this recording, Kakémonos. It’s much more contemplative than Impressions Urbaines, with oriental influences. The two together make me think that Mariotte is a real find - a fabulous writer for piano, totally unknown.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: pjme on January 13, 2021, 12:31:11 AM
I vaguely remember that a recording of Mariotte's opera "Salomé" was issued 10-15 years ago.
Good information here:
https://operawire.com/cd-review-antoine-mariottes-salome/

and from The gramophone:

"There has been a resurgence of interest in Antoine Mariotte of late thanks to the revival, in 2014, of his 1908 opera Salomé – the subject, in his lifetime, of a notorious legal battle between himself and Strauss’s publishers over the rights to Oscar Wilde’s play, on which it is similarly based. Stylistically straddling Impressionism and modernism, he’s an intriguing figure. Like Roussel, he divided his early career between music and the navy, studying with Widor while on leave, and sketching musical impressions of the Far East while sailing the South China Sea. In later life he taught composition in Lyon, and was director of the Opéra-Comique from 1936 to 1939.
Daniel Blumenthal’s imposing recital juxtaposes a handful of his songs with two big piano works from the 1920s. Impressions urbaines (1921) depicts the factories, dance halls and stations of a unnamed French city – possibly industrial Saint Etienne, where Mariotte was initially educated. Growling and percussive, it has been compared with Honegger’s Pacific 231 and Prokofiev’s Le pas d’acier, though its ethos is naturalist rather than machine-age – an evocation of the dehumanising cities of Zola or Verhaeren rather than a contructivist glorification of labour. Bleak, unresolved figurations echo Debussy’s ‘Des pas sur la neige’. A climactic funeral march, depicting crumbling tenements, recalls ‘Bydlo’ from Mussorgsky’s Pictures. Apart from the dancehall scherzo, where Mariotte lightens the textures, the writing is unremittingly heavyweight. Blumenthal powers his way through it with compelling force.

Kakémonos, dating from 1925 but reworking sketches made in Japan some 30 years earlier, brings out more finesse in his playing. Michel Fleury’s booklet-notes argue that Mariotte may have studied Japanese music while in the Far East: apart from an incongruous temple scene, over which the influence of Debussy’s ‘Pagodes’ looms large, this is not so much an Orientalist fantasy as a cool reproduction of Eastern melodic and harmonic structures. The mélodies are elegant, if slight: Sabine Revault d’Allonnes sings them with admirable poise but can be tentative in her upper registers. Fleury’s superb essay comes in French and English, though no translations are given for the sung texts."


https://youtu.be/kC5JJXcJVFw

Apparently, both these piano cycles have been orchestrated by Mariotte.
There are a few fragments of Salomé on YT. The scenery in Wexford I find really very ugly and cheap - cardboard sets and grotesque costumes made of old curtains.
The Munich production with Anna-Maria Thoma as Salomé isn't (imho) any better visually, inspite of a very bloody/skinned Jochanaan and set in an (equally cheap) set of steel stairs and leather sofas....Herodes picks up a gun and shoots Salomé - omitting "Tuez cette femme"....Sigh.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 13, 2021, 06:02:49 AM
I have updated the two lists on page 1 with the addition of Mandryka's Mariotte and Karlo's Airs de cour composers for future reference visit.

As Madiel mentioned above, I have indeed moved away from Barraqué and stepped into Louise Farrenc's works, after seeing her name pop up in the Listening thread. Only 2 pages in her composer thread but just full of praise. I listened to Symphony No.1 yesterday. Very good and entertaining throughout but saying that, I am not actually sure this would be a work i would go back to. Also listened to a flute trio, again, pleasant but not something i would listen more to (my own limitation with the flute sound this time).

I am now finishing her Piano Quintet No.1 and it is simply superb. Now this sounds like something I will add to my collection sooner rather than later. Will explore the rest of her symphonies and chamber works in the coming days for sure. (Andrei (and others), if you read this and have not tried Farrenc's music before, go straight to this piano quintet No.1 !! ) 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on January 13, 2021, 06:14:32 AM
So far I’ve listened to the 1st quintet, a clarinet trio, the nonet (which according to Wikipedia was a great success at the time), and now trying Symphony No.2.

I regret none of it!

I will at some point go back and do a more attentive listen, as parts of today have been a bit distracted. But it wasn’t remotely difficult decision to add Farrenc to the list of composers for further exploration.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 13, 2021, 06:44:51 AM
i have just finished the 2nd Piano Quintet, very convincing and engaging again.

I know that is not the same format but musically, these two works are as good as anything I have heard in the Beaux-Arts Trio big box for instance. They wouldn't feel out of place at all in that box.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on January 13, 2021, 07:06:26 AM
I have updated the two lists on page 1 with the addition of Mandryka's Mariotte and Karlo's Airs de cour composers for future reference visit.

As Madiel mentioned above, I have indeed moved away from Barraqué and stepped into Louise Farrenc's works, after seeing her name pop up in the Listening thread. Only 2 pages in her composer thread but just full of praise. I listened to Symphony No.1 yesterday. Very good and entertaining throughout but saying that, I am not actually sure this would be a work i would go back to. Also listened to a flute trio, again, pleasant but not something i would listen more to (my own limitation with the flute sound this time).

I am now finishing her Piano Quintet No.1 and it is simply superb. Now this sounds like something I will add to my collection sooner rather than later. Will explore the rest of her symphonies and chamber works in the coming days for sure. (Andrei (and others), if you read this and have not tried Farrenc's music before, go straight to this piano quintet No.1 !! )

Thanks for the tip, Olivier! I think I might have heard some Farrenc but can't remember what and when. Will report back.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on January 13, 2021, 09:51:55 PM
Day Five of my week of French romantic piano music. Today it’s Gabriel Dupont’s cycle Les Heures Dolentes. What I can say is that the music is brooding and melancholic, and somehow that seems to really bring out the best in Emil Naoumoff.

(https://img.discogs.com/kbMMztgZM_Q-DasSE_i04vX_2LM=/fit-in/600x597/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-6457549-1419726442-4411.jpeg.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Symphonic Addict on January 14, 2021, 01:20:23 PM
I was recently blown away by this Timpani CD of two of Ibert’s ballets: Le chevalier errant and Les amours de Jupiter:

(https://media.cultura.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/1000x1000/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/l/e/le-chevalier-errant-3377891312305_0.jpg?t=1596561923)

Unsurprisingly, this music is full of great tunes, rhythmic vitality, and is scintillatingly orchestrated. But there’s also a rather surprising amount of “meat” and depth to this music, especially in Le chevalier errant. Seriously impressive music, and not inferior to any of the great 20th century ballets in the slightest!

I do remember having heard these works some while ago, but I don't have vivid memories of them. An opportunity to revisit them.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mandryka on January 15, 2021, 04:01:43 AM
Day six (I think) of the ruelles reculées.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61MYT79MSRL._AC_SX450_.jpg)

This is just fabulous! Earl Wild can make anything entertaining, even Hahn. I’ve tried others, and they don’t come close.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 15, 2021, 06:52:50 AM
Closing the loop on Farrenc at the moment with her Symphony No.3.

Very positive overall but I think I will limit a future purchase to the CD's with the Piano Quintets and the Nonet/Clarinet Trio. Not that I disliked the rest but those 4 works made the strongest impression for an initial collection entry. A worthwhile exploration again.

Incidentally, the weekly Presto email today mentions Farrenc in one of their interviews:

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/articles/3722--interview-ironwood-on-louise-farrenc?utm_source=News-2021-01-15&utm_medium=email (https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/articles/3722--interview-ironwood-on-louise-farrenc?utm_source=News-2021-01-15&utm_medium=email)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on January 16, 2021, 08:00:59 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51AA2ad4VWL._AC_SY355_.jpg)

(Hat tip to Olivier and Madiel!)

This is indeed music right up my alley! In turns passionate, tender, melancholy or merry, always romantic and unfailingly tuneful (albeit not memorably so). If need for comparisons be, Spohr and Onslow immediately come to mind. First-rate second-rate Romantic music which I'm going to explore further. Nice find, thank you both, gentlemen!  8)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on January 16, 2021, 11:24:18 AM
Great. Now I need to investigate Spohr and Onslow.  :laugh:
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on January 16, 2021, 11:25:32 AM
Great. Now I need to investigate Spohr and Onslow.  :laugh:

Make sure you do --- it's a very rewarding trip!  8)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 19, 2021, 03:47:35 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51AA2ad4VWL._AC_SY355_.jpg)

(Hat tip to Olivier and Madiel!)

This is indeed music right up my alley! In turns passionate, tender, melancholy or merry, always romantic and unfailingly tuneful (albeit not memorably so). If need for comparisons be, Spohr and Onslow immediately come to mind. First-rate second-rate Romantic music which I'm going to explore further. Nice find, thank you both, gentlemen!  8)

Belated answer, sorry Andrei ! Glad Farrenc hit the spot for you  :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 19, 2021, 03:50:01 PM
Great. Now I need to investigate Spohr and Onslow.  :laugh:

For what it's worth, the below albums did make the cut for further consideration when I initially looked at these two composers :

Onslow - Piano Trios Vol.1 (CPO)
Onslow - Piano Trios Vol.2 (CPO)
Onslow - Piano Trios Vol.3-4 (CPO)

Spohr - Double quartets No.1 & 2 (Naxos) or the full Hyperion set.
Spohr - string quintets No.3 & 4 (Marco Polo)
Spohr - piano quintet, Double Quartet, Octet, Nonet (Decca)

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 19, 2021, 04:50:40 PM
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.

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzkyNjE4My4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NjUwMDc2MjB9) (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzkyNjE2NC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NjUwMDc3MDB9)  (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAzOTk2MC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NjQ3NDQ4Njl9) (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk1NTI3NC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0MDE5ODI1MTh9)

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk2MDExMy4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MDc3MTIzODJ9) (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAwNTkyNy4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0NzA2NDg1NjN9)  (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAyMzU2My4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0MDE5ODI0ODR9) (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk1MTQ0NC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0NjEwODM1MDN9)

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk3NjQxOC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MDk3OTc2Mjl9)  (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODM2Njk3My4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MDk3OTcyMjF9)  (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAwMTA4OC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NjQ3NDUzNzN9)

And from my shelves:

(https://img.discogs.com/fDUaLrxfsRVU-2EHrtqjBc1boKU=/fit-in/600x614/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-3840953-1347033932-7683.jpeg.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41dFZVfkuTL._AC_SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71vxB2zo37L._AC_SY355_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41CRDlE3JOL._SX355_.jpg)

(https://img.discogs.com/ueQMeA1wk74hO_yFfv3S2WYELqU=/fit-in/600x592/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-2529488-1289430624.jpeg.jpg)  (https://static.universal-music.de/asset_new/101245/195/view/preludes-2-buch-0028942739121.jpg)  (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzkzMjU5NS4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0NjEwODIwMzR9) 


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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on January 19, 2021, 08:00:52 PM
Enjoy the rabbit hole.

I’m still partway through my own Debussy chronology (though mostly works I already know to some degree).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 20, 2021, 09:12:49 AM
With a lot of mixed tracks on several CD's, It was too much faffing about digging one mélodie at a time on Idagio and still go by opus/track order. I decided to stick to a whole CD and i'll cross its content off in my list. I started with one singer that was recommended some while back (forgot if it was here or in another thread/context).

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODQ0ODQxNC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0MDE5ODI1MTh9)

Really enjoyed the opening works (op.8/1, op.46/2, op.23, op.58, Op.7/1).  Op.61 was more misses than hits. Starting Op.95 now. Op.95/1 is mesmerising.

A good breakthrough overall in that genre (also on some Debussy songs over the last couple of days - might have to try Dietschy's albums of his as well).

Are there any particular opus numbers I should focus on for the songs by Fauré & Debussy please ?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on January 20, 2021, 11:06:42 AM
With a lot of mixed tracks on several CD's, It was too much faffing about digging one mélodie at a time on Idagio and still go by opus/track order. I decided to stick to a whole CD and i'll cross its content off in my list. I started with one singer that was recommended some while back (forgot if it was here or in another thread/context).

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODQ0ODQxNC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0MDE5ODI1MTh9)

Really enjoyed the opening works (op.8/1, op.46/2, op.23, op.58, Op.7/1).  Op.61 was more misses than hits. Starting Op.95 now. Op.95/1 is mesmerising.

A good breakthrough overall in that genre (also on some Debussy songs over the last couple of days - might have to try Dietschy's albums of his as well).

Are there any particular opus numbers I should focus on for the songs by Fauré & Debussy please ?

I nominate these melodies from Debussy as particular highlights (in no particular order): Cinq poèmes de Charles Baudelaire, Fêtes galantes, Sets 1 & 2, Chansons de Bilitis, Ballades de François Villon and Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé. Also, the arrangement of La Damoiselle élue for soprano, contralto, chorus and piano is also exquisite and a must-hear, IMHO.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 20, 2021, 11:09:16 AM
I nominate these melodies from Debussy as particular highlights (in no particular order): Cinq poèmes de Charles Baudelaire, Fêtes galantes, Sets 1 & 2, Chansons de Bilitis, Ballades de François Villon and Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé. Also, the arrangement of La Damoiselle élue for soprano, contralto, chorus and piano is also exquisite and a must-hear, IMHO.

Thank you John, I'll check those.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on January 20, 2021, 11:27:25 AM
Thank you John, I'll check those.

 8) I hope you enjoy them as much as I have, Olivier.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on January 20, 2021, 12:38:42 PM
A second for some of those Debussy - the Fetes Galantes and Bilitis are definitely up there.

For Faure you’ve already heard some of the most famous via one of my favourite albums of all time. Clair de lune, Apres un reve, Le Secret.

Op.61 is also famous but also acknowledged as complex and difficult. It’s harder to get into than most.

If in doubt, for both composers I’m regularly fond of Verlaine settings!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 20, 2021, 02:56:34 PM
A second for some of those Debussy - the Fetes Galantes and Bilitis are definitely up there.

For Faure you’ve already heard some of the most famous via one of my favourite albums of all time. Clair de lune, Apres un reve, Le Secret.

Op.61 is also famous but also acknowledged as complex and difficult. It’s harder to get into than most.

If in doubt, for both composers I’m regularly fond of Verlaine settings!

Noted thank you. Re Fauré, I did sample and enjoy the first opuses too on the Signum series with Martineau and various singers (which I think you recently bought a couple of volumes of recently ?).  I'll have a run through those fully as they are (mixed opus tracks).

 
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on January 20, 2021, 10:10:59 PM
Noted thank you. Re Fauré, I did sample and enjoy the first opuses too on the Signum series with Martineau and various singers (which I think you recently bought a couple of volumes of recently ?).  I'll have a run through those fully as they are (mixed opus tracks).

I bought their Poulenc series not the Fauré. Very similar covers and both series have Martineau as the common link.

I’ve sampled the Fauré series and I suspect it’s generally good, but there were a couple of singers I didn’t like the sound of.

Martineau also did a Fauré series on a different label, mostly with Sarah Walker. I’ve bought one album of that as I think Walker is excellent. However I don’t like the male singer on other volumes so much.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on January 24, 2021, 05:48:13 PM

Cross-posted from the WAYL2 thread:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61PenKMjwBL._AC_.jpg)

Quintets for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and piano, both composed in the mid-1890s. Caplet’s is a light, playful and melodic work that uses each individual voice to engage in a lively conversation. Magnard’s way with the same forces is to blend and fuse sounds  within a strongly profiled thematic vein, then letting individual voices come out and back into the texture. IOW it is more ‘orchestral’, both in texture and thematic development. These contrasting ways with identical chamber music forces makes for a highly stimulating hour of fine music. Recommended.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 25, 2021, 08:14:48 AM
I bought their Poulenc series not the Fauré. Very similar covers and both series have Martineau as the common link.

I’ve sampled the Fauré series and I suspect it’s generally good, but there were a couple of singers I didn’t like the sound of.

Martineau also did a Fauré series on a different label, mostly with Sarah Walker. I’ve bought one album of that as I think Walker is excellent. However I don’t like the male singer on other volumes so much.

Ah so it was, sorry.

I'll have to look out for that Walker/Martineau.

No listening over the weekend but more songs for me today.

Playing the Debussy Warner set as it comes.

(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/190295652562/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 25, 2021, 08:16:36 AM
Cross-posted from the WAYL2 thread:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61PenKMjwBL._AC_.jpg)

Quintets for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and piano, both composed in the mid-1890s. Caplet’s is a light, playful and melodic work that uses each individual voice to engage in a lively conversation. Magnard’s way with the same forces is to blend and fuse sounds  within a strongly profiled thematic vein, then letting individual voices come out and back into the texture. IOW it is more ‘orchestral’, both in texture and thematic development. These contrasting ways with identical chamber music forces makes for a highly stimulating hour of fine music. Recommended.

Thank you for the heads-up André. I'll have to remember this one when I revisit Magnard beyond his symphonies & orchestral works.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on January 25, 2021, 08:38:58 AM
Playing the Debussy Warner set as it comes.

(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/190295652562/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)

What do you mean by ‘as it comes’, Olivier?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 25, 2021, 09:42:27 AM
What do you mean by ‘as it comes’, Olivier?

It was too much hassle to try and stream one song at a time in opus number order, as I planned initially, so I just play that set in whatever order they are in that set. I'll do the same for the Fauré mélodies i.e. ignoring the opus order.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on January 25, 2021, 09:47:24 AM
It was too much hassle to try and stream one song at a time in opus number order, as I planned initially, so I just play that set in whatever order they are in that set. I'll do the same for the Fauré mélodies i.e. ignoring the opus order.

I see, so you own the Warner set?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on January 25, 2021, 10:32:56 AM
I see, so you own the Warner set?

No, only streaming the piano section (some 4 hands music for now, not covered by Bavouzet) and the songs section at the moment. Quite liking the songs and the variety of voices at the moment. Might get that Songs section as a download soon if it carries on that way.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on January 26, 2021, 08:24:04 AM
As for my own French exploration, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying going through Milhaud’s oeuvre but certainly not in any kind of order. I never been one to feel the need or even see what the fun is going through a composer’s oeuvre chronologically. One can get a feel of a composer’s style without doing any of this. Also, I just don’t like the idea of having some kind of regimented listening schedule. I just want to listen, but to each their own. Anyway, Milhaud actually is quite surprising in that his oeuvre is huge but the consistency of the writing is always at a high level even though, as expected, some works are stronger than others. Whether chamber, melodies, ballet, etc. his own compositional voice comes through loud and clear.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on February 01, 2021, 07:19:22 AM
I'll have to get properly to Milhaud & Poulenc at some point.

On a separate matter, without mentioning to them which music I was exploring recently, my parents in France watched a classical concert that was recently recorded in their neck of the woods for a regional Breton TV channel, and luckily, it is available on catch-up (even for me in the UK, so hopefully for you guys in various locations too).

Quite timely, this concert includes some Debussy, and also music by Breton composers Ropartz & Cras, composers in my to-do list.

Here is the link:

https://www.tvr.bzh/v/5a97b65-concert-29-01-2021 (https://www.tvr.bzh/v/5a97b65-concert-29-01-2021)

I'll have a proper look in the next couple of days. Looking forward to it.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on February 03, 2021, 08:25:50 AM
I am really digging what I have heard of Debussy so far.

The combination of works on this CD is just superb throughout.

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODM2Njk3My4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MDk3OTcyMjF9)
 
I have really enjoyed the Bavouzet set so far too (probably listened to 2 CDS worth).  The works that stood out so far have been Preludes Book I, Images oubliées, Valse, D'un cahier d'esquisses, Nocturne and particularly Ballade Slave. If my success rate carries on with his piano music, I will probably be getting the piano set from the Warner box, to complement and fill the gaps of the Bavouzet.

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODQyOTkyNy4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NjU4MzA2MDJ9)

I am also thoroughly enjoying my first listen to his String quartet right now.

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk3NjQxOC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MDk3OTc2Mjl9)

As it goes, I can see Debussy (and definitely Saint-Saëns) barging in my personal top 10  ???  I haven't spent as much time with Ravel and Fauré of late, but the latter could be knocking at the door too.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on February 16, 2021, 03:24:50 AM
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.

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/00028947565284.jpg)   (https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/095115512227.jpg)

Also some Roger-Ducasse. Bit flat and underwhelming.

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/747313027682.jpg)   (https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/747313027781.jpg)

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

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/5028421948621.jpg)

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

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/3377891310974.jpg)

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

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/095115174326.jpg)


Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2021, 07:45:14 AM
Tried some Milhaud last night. Bit of struggle, not sounding like my cup of tea so far.

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/5028421948621.jpg)

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

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/095115174326.jpg)

Yes and yes! Milhaud does reward the listener who doesn’t give up. What sounds like ‘not your thing’ could very well be your thing as long as you continue to explore his oeuvre. Those Little Symphonies are exquisite. An aspect of Milhaud that gives some listeners trouble is his use of polytonality, but IMHO, the way he uses it is so clever and inventive that I believe it gives his music a unique sound-world and is like an extra spice that enhances an already good-tasting meal. Of course, my love for Debussy holds no bounds --- he’s my numero uno, but as I may have mentioned before, Bavouzet isn’t my Debussy pianist of choice.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on February 16, 2021, 08:07:25 AM
Yes and yes! Milhaud does reward the listener who doesn’t give up. What sounds like ‘not your thing’ could very well be your thing as long as you continue to explore his oeuvre. Those Little Symphonies are exquisite. An aspect of Milhaud that gives some listeners trouble is his use of polytonality, but IMHO, the way he uses it is so clever and inventive that I believe it gives his music a unique sound-world and is like an extra spice that enhances an already good-tasting meal.

Oh it might well be, it was only a first approach. Which Milhaud works would be worth trying next, John ?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2021, 08:31:31 AM
Oh it might well be, it was only a first approach. Which Milhaud works would be worth trying next, John ?

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 romping, good fun (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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2021, 10:48:55 AM
Thank you I'll look those up when I get back to him.

 8)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel 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.

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/00028947565284.jpg)   (https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/095115512227.jpg)

Also some Roger-Ducasse. Bit flat and underwhelming.

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/747313027682.jpg)   (https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/747313027781.jpg)

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

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/5028421948621.jpg)

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

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/3377891310974.jpg)

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

(https://albumart.primephonic.com/s900/095115174326.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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.

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzkyNjE4My4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NjUwMDc2MjB9) (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzkyNjE2NC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NjUwMDc3MDB9)  (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAzOTk2MC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NjQ3NDQ4Njl9) (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk1NTI3NC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0MDE5ODI1MTh9)

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk2MDExMy4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MDc3MTIzODJ9) (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAwNTkyNy4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0NzA2NDg1NjN9)  (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAyMzU2My4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0MDE5ODI0ODR9) (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk1MTQ0NC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0NjEwODM1MDN9)

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk3NjQxOC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MDk3OTc2Mjl9)  (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODM2Njk3My4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MDk3OTcyMjF9)  (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODAwMTA4OC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NjQ3NDUzNzN9)

And from my shelves:

(https://img.discogs.com/fDUaLrxfsRVU-2EHrtqjBc1boKU=/fit-in/600x614/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-3840953-1347033932-7683.jpeg.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41dFZVfkuTL._AC_SY355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71vxB2zo37L._AC_SY355_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41CRDlE3JOL._SX355_.jpg)

(https://img.discogs.com/ueQMeA1wk74hO_yFfv3S2WYELqU=/fit-in/600x592/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-2529488-1289430624.jpeg.jpg)  (https://static.universal-music.de/asset_new/101245/195/view/preludes-2-buch-0028942739121.jpg)  (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzkzMjU5NS4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0NjEwODIwMzR9) 


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.   
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image 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!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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 ?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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 :

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODU0NjU2My4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NTYwOTY5NDZ9)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel 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.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81anMYJg9pL._SX425_.jpg)

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.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71NLVfqAIxL._SX425_.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: ritter 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:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/514ENG2XF1L.jpg)

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  ::)).

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on March 17, 2021, 06:42:23 AM
Thank you both, I have saved all those recommendations on Idagio.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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 !!
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: North Star 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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.

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk2MzAzOC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0NzExMjYxMDd9)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on March 30, 2021, 04:07:03 AM
Okay, I am loving this:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81syQR6FX3L._SX425_.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli 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.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on March 30, 2021, 05:11:43 AM
Okay, I am loving this:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81syQR6FX3L._SX425_.jpg)

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.

Nothing much more on Idagio. Only 3 of his motets coupled with a Fauré requiem on Erato :

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk4MTQzMC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NTI1NjEwMjN9)

The two Sagerstam are the only music of his I listened to at the time, not with  great success either. You have picked my interest on his piano music though. Now that "Hints of Fauré" and "kinship to Ravel" sound like positives in my mind these days  0:) I'll save this one for streaming later.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on March 30, 2021, 05:25:57 AM
Nothing much more on Idagio. Only 3 of his motets coupled with a Fauré requiem on Erato :

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzk4MTQzMC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NTI1NjEwMjN9)

The two Sagerstam are the only music of his I listened to at the time, not with  great success either. You have picked my interest on his piano music though. Now that "Hints of Fauré" and "kinship to Ravel" sound like positives in my mind these days  0:) I'll save this one for streaming later.

I did see those motets on Primephonic as well.

I hope you like the piano music when you get to it. Our tastes often align, so to be honest I wasn’t expecting to be enthusiastic. So it will be interesting, once we’ve both listened to the same things, to see whether this is a case where we have different tastes or whether I happened to start with a better album.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: ritter on March 30, 2021, 05:40:08 AM
I tend to agree on d'Indy: I can listen to him, but there's nothing really memorable in his music (at least to my ears).

Chabrier, OTOH, should not IMHO be dismissed as purely entertaining and charming. Behind this appearance (which is certainly true, and there's nothing wrong with that per se) there's true musical depth, inventiveness and originality in many places.

For instance, that jewel that is Sous-bois from the Pièces pittoresques (it was also orchestrated by the composer for the Suite Pastotrale):

https://www.youtube.com/v/AD9CAra1Hs8

And his opéra bouffe L'Étoile (music and libretto) is a work of genius! Here's the overture (a potpourri of the opera's main themes):

https://www.youtube.com/v/cHJGfQCUWMg
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on March 30, 2021, 06:15:13 AM
I tend to agree on d'Indy: I can listen to him, but there's nothing really memorable in his music (at least to my ears).

This is my problem with d’Indy as well. He comes out of that Franck school of thought, which is unappealing to me. Your thoughts on Chabrier are interesting, but he’s another one that does very little for me, although I’m certainly more receptive of his music than d’Indy.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: OrchestralNut on March 30, 2021, 06:31:08 AM
This is my problem with d’Indy as well. He comes out of that Franck school of thought, which is unappealing to me.

I should keep in mind to explore d'Indy's music, considering he comes from the Franck school of thought, which is appealing to me.  Chausson as well, I should explore.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on March 30, 2021, 06:32:27 AM
I should keep in mind to explore d'Indy's music, considering he comes from the Franck school of thought, which is appealing to me.  Chausson as well, I should explore.

Yeah, d’Indy would be right up your alley, Ray. :)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on March 31, 2021, 03:23:36 AM
Okay, I am loving this:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81syQR6FX3L._SX425_.jpg)

[...] 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.

I hope you like the piano music when you get to it. Our tastes often align, so to be honest I wasn’t expecting to be enthusiastic. So it will be interesting, once we’ve both listened to the same things, to see whether this is a case where we have different tastes or whether I happened to start with a better album.

Halfway though this one right now. What's not to like, really  0:) Definitely a better entry pick for Roger Ducasse and a better timing for me. This is the type of piano music I would have, until weeks ago, walked away from but now that I have connected with some Debussy, Ravel & some Fauré, this album really hits the mark. I am just wallowing in the Preludes  ;D
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on March 31, 2021, 03:24:56 AM
I tend to agree on d'Indy: I can listen to him, but there's nothing really memorable in his music (at least to my ears).

Chabrier, OTOH, should not IMHO be dismissed as purely entertaining and charming. Behind this appearance (which is certainly true, and there's nothing wrong with that per se) there's true musical depth, inventiveness and originality in many places.

For instance, that jewel that is Sous-bois from the Pièces pittoresques (it was also orchestrated by the composer for the Suite Pastotrale):

https://www.youtube.com/v/AD9CAra1Hs8

And his opéra bouffe L'Étoile (music and libretto) is a work of genius! Here's the overture (a potpourri of the opera's main themes):

https://www.youtube.com/v/cHJGfQCUWMg

Those works are on the Jarvi Chandos CD I sampled before. One for the re-listen pile, Rafael.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on March 31, 2021, 04:33:33 AM
Chabrier, OTOH, should not IMHO be dismissed as purely entertaining and charming. Behind this appearance (which is certainly true, and there's nothing wrong with that per se) there's true musical depth, inventiveness and originality in many places.

For instance, that jewel that is Sous-bois from the Pièces pittoresques (it was also orchestrated by the composer for the Suite Pastotrale):

https://www.youtube.com/v/AD9CAra1Hs8

And his opéra bouffe L'Étoile (music and libretto) is a work of genius! Here's the overture (a potpourri of the opera's main themes):

https://www.youtube.com/v/cHJGfQCUWMg

I didn't mean to suggest that I didn't like Chabrier. I generally enjoyed what I tried. However, for me the goal of this thread is to pick up names for more exploration, and I've got to set the bar reasonably high if the list of names is to stay manageable. As it is I've got an extra half dozen French composers who I'd basically never heard before that I want to probe deeper.

I'll happily take into account Chabrier as part of an album (I suspect one of the side-effects of this whole exercise is that I'll be more interested in 'recital' sort of albums with a variety of composers). But something like that piano piece doesn't really speak to my personal tastes enough to persuade me to prioritise Chabrier when I have so many other "priorities" being generated.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on March 31, 2021, 04:35:19 AM
Definitely a better entry pick for Roger Ducasse and a better timing for me.

Conversely, I've listened to some of the 1st volume of Segerstam's Roger-Ducasse recordings today, and it didn't appeal nearly as much as the piano disc!

EDIT A DAY LATER: Having listened to more of the Segerstam recordings, and more importantly having paid a bit more attention while listening, I did respond to them a bit more. But I still don't really get the same vibe that I do from Hastings performing the piano works, and the Hastings was most appealing.

There's a complete piano set by Martin Jones, which I will have to try at some point, but I don't have a slightly mixed impression of Jones from things I've read about various performances.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81AH7Hpeh1L._SS500_.jpg)

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on April 14, 2021, 05:51:49 AM
Had missed your edit, I'll sample that Jones CD.

Surprise of the day : I am loving this Chausson album. Jessye Norman's singing is really working for me, I wasn't expecting that at all. i haven't had the need to actually stop the CD after 3 or 4 tracks as I usually do with melodies. I am just loving this. One first big tick for getting that Armin Jordan box. I am now intrigued to check other melodies CD with Norman.

(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/809274899262/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on April 15, 2021, 02:32:04 AM
I think I already said, Chausson's songs were the most appealing works of his that I heard.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on April 20, 2021, 05:06:33 AM
I tried some of Dutilleux's main works over the last few days.

I really liked the atmosphere of the 2 Symphonies and some of the piano works, played again by Queffelec.

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzkyMjc2NS4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjEyODUxNTM5ODR9) (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiNzkyODM3NC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0NjEwODUyMzh9)


I wasn't won over by the other works (Monde lointain, Metaboles, Shadows of time, etc..), maybe another day...

Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: North Star on April 20, 2021, 06:14:43 AM
The String Quartet Ainsi la nuit is definitely worth checking out also, a ton of atmosphere there.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on April 20, 2021, 06:16:48 AM
The String Quartet Ainsi la nuit is definitely worth checking out also, a ton of atmosphere there.

Hi Karlo,

Ok, I'll check that one, thank you.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on April 21, 2021, 06:24:40 AM
The String Quartet Ainsi la nuit is definitely worth checking out also, a ton of atmosphere there.

Tried that one Karlo but not bowled over. Maybe I'll revisit in the future.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on April 21, 2021, 06:30:13 AM
Updated page 1 of the thread with the below recent explorations:

Yay - Delibes (Sylvia, Coppélia)

Some good - Dutilleux (symphonies, piano music), Roger-Ducasse (piano music), some Pierné (due to revisting the Bavouzet Chandos volumes)

Nay - M.A. Charpentier, Jean Cras, Pierre Henry, D'Indy
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: vandermolen on April 21, 2021, 11:50:23 AM
Really enjoying this (Dutilleux) at the moment:
(http://)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on April 22, 2021, 01:13:44 AM
Updated page 1 of the thread with the below recent explorations:

Yay - Delibes (Sylvia, Coppélia)

Some good - Dutilleux (symphonies, piano music), Roger-Ducasse (piano music), some Pierné (due to revisting the Bavouzet Chandos volumes)

Nay - M.A. Charpentier, Jean Cras, Pierre Henry, D'Indy

I'm getting many composers behind now. You did Pierné earlier though, right? Or am I getting mixed up with Vierne?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on April 22, 2021, 01:26:39 AM
I'm getting many composers behind now. You did Pierné earlier though, right? Or am I getting mixed up with Vierne?

Yes I did some Pierné some while back and it didn't work for me at the time. After Bavouzet really converted me on Debussy, I looked at his discography and noticed he was part of the Pierné series on Chandos so I listened to those more recently and i enjoyed them.

I haven't done Vierne yet, it is in the pipeline. I have a few recordings lined up on Idagio.

I have tried to update page 1 of the thread with who/what I have listened to so far and who's yet to explore (bar a few possible gaps of course).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on April 22, 2021, 02:09:34 AM
Thanks. I'm sure I'll go back to consult page 1 at some point but I'm just trying to follow along the thread as you go (so I can share my own views on the same composers). I was doing well until I stopped listening to classical for several weeks and went on an Elton John binge... and then I've had mixed results, partly because I've failed to have many days at work lately where I can just knuckle down to a task and have some music on headphones at the same time.  I had one brief encounter with Milhaud but really wanted to go back and try some more before drawing any conclusions (not least because I know he wrote a very large number of works).
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on April 22, 2021, 02:53:54 AM
Really enjoying this (Dutilleux) at the moment:
(http://)

Nice Jeffrey, I enjoyed his 2 symphonies very much.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on April 22, 2021, 02:57:41 AM
Thanks. I'm sure I'll go back to consult page 1 at some point but I'm just trying to follow along the thread as you go (so I can share my own views on the same composers). I was doing well until I stopped listening to classical for several weeks and went on an Elton John binge... and then I've had mixed results, partly because I've failed to have many days at work lately where I can just knuckle down to a task and have some music on headphones at the same time.  I had one brief encounter with Milhaud but really wanted to go back and try some more before drawing any conclusions (not least because I know he wrote a very large number of works).

Milhaud is one on the to-do list - I only tried some quartets and some orchestral works briefly but left uncertain about him. I need to allocate him more time, including with his symphonies and chamber music.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on April 22, 2021, 06:51:40 AM
I have to say I’ve somewhat cooled on Fauré. There are many works of his that I do love, especially those piano cycles like Nocturnes and the Barcarolles, but, overall, he’s just not as interesting to me as his younger compatriots. I do like quite a bit of his chamber works as well, but it seems I’m more attracted to his later works overall.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Florestan on April 22, 2021, 10:11:58 AM
I have to say I’ve somewhat cooled on Fauré.

Which of course means nothing. The day after tomorrow next quarter of an hour can bring about a complete reversal.  :P
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on April 22, 2021, 06:10:00 PM
Which of course means nothing. The day after tomorrow next quarter of an hour can bring about a complete reversal.  :P

 :P
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on April 23, 2021, 03:44:36 AM
I have to say I’ve somewhat cooled on Fauré.

*picks up vase and throws it across the room*
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Mirror Image on April 23, 2021, 05:20:23 AM
*picks up vase and throws it across the room*

*Dodges vase and sticks tongue out* :P
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on April 29, 2021, 04:19:11 AM
Bizet is another composer I am sure I will go back to over time. Already knew the Arlésienne Suites but the Symphony in C and Roma/Chasse dans la forêt d'Ostie were really great new works to me (From the Frémaux box). The Carmen highlights were entertaining too and more than enough as it was.

Now trying 3 French composers in one go (Choral works):

Daniel-Lesur - Le Cantique des Cantiques
Messiaen - Cinq rechants for vocal ensemble
Jolivet - Ephitalame

(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/3760014191121/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on April 29, 2021, 05:17:00 AM
Ooooooooh that voice...  :o  0:)

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODMwMzYxNS4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0OTAwODMxOTd9)   (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODY3NTA4Ny4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NzE5OTIxNzh9)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on April 29, 2021, 12:09:18 PM
I listened to 2 short viola works on this CD earlier this evening:

Chausson: Pièce Op. 39
Vierne, L: Deux pièces, Op. 5

They are little gems. Will listen to the rest of the release tomorrow.

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODgyMDU0NS4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1OTkyMzk5NzV9)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on May 05, 2021, 02:22:56 AM
I sampled numerous random tracks in various works on the Roussel edition over the weekend. It is not a sound world that has appealed to me at this time.

I will have to revisit the symphonies I have on my shelf (Janowski/Orch. Phil. Radio France) and see how it goes.

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODU0NjY2My4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1NTI3ODUzNjh9)   (https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODMzODI3OC4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE0OTcxNjY4NTV9)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on May 05, 2021, 02:30:33 AM
Canteloube - Chansons d'Auvergne one the other was a winner on the day. I really enjoyed that Davrath version.

(https://img.discogs.com/vhOtDXnFArqYONjssHT3q1XWH7U=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-11469766-1516893311-9686.jpeg.jpg)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on May 05, 2021, 02:35:55 AM
Another good discovery was Gounod's ballet music from Faust with the below recording. I don't think I'll go through the full opera but I plan to sample his symphonies soon too.

(https://d1iiivw74516uk.cloudfront.net/eyJidWNrZXQiOiJwcmVzdG8tY292ZXItaW1hZ2VzIiwia2V5IjoiODM4ODU3Ni4xLmpwZyIsImVkaXRzIjp7InJlc2l6ZSI6eyJ3aWR0aCI6OTAwfSwianBlZyI6eyJxdWFsaXR5Ijo2NX0sInRvRm9ybWF0IjoianBlZyJ9LCJ0aW1lc3RhbXAiOjE1MDg4MzQ0NzZ9)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on May 05, 2021, 03:10:04 AM
You're just getting further and further ahead of me, Olivier.

I did spend some time listening to Milhaud recently. There seem to be quite strong parallels with Poulenc. I did pretty much like everything of Milhaud's that I tried but there wasn't anything that made me go "wow!" and induce me to really get in deep. So I think he will qualify as a composer I will see approvingly on mixed programmes.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on May 05, 2021, 03:29:29 AM
There is a wee bit of tiredness now in that exploration to be honest so I skipped being too thorough per composer and I just dabble in some of their main works to cover the remaining composers quicker and have a general feel for now instead.

Since our tastes have aligned a few times, what have you listened yet to in Milhaud that you liked please (even if not wowed) ?
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on May 05, 2021, 03:37:36 AM
Sorry, I honestly can't remember as it's been spread out over a few weeks. My listening at work has been very intermittent. There was some orchestral works and some chamber but I'd be hard pressed to tell you exactly which pieces (and there are so many!)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on May 05, 2021, 03:38:48 AM
Ok, no worries  :)

I have some of his symphonies lined up, I see how it goes.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on May 10, 2021, 01:24:33 AM
Tried some samples of Louis Vierne in the last couple of days but not much to my liking.

(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/190295137274/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)
(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/5028421951546/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)
(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/3377891311001/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)

The viola work on this was good though.

(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/5400439007659/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)


Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on May 10, 2021, 01:28:43 AM
I also listened to various bits of Milhaud's symphonies on CPO but that didn't do much for me.

I enjoyed a little bit more his chamber music on this one, and also some of the suites (Provençale, Française)

(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/5028421954493/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)

All in all, a composer for the backburner maybe.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on May 10, 2021, 01:38:37 AM
Finally, I also samples random tracks in these various Messiaen boxes. Again, not a sound world that attracts me at this time. I will keep him up my sleeve for another time though, probably via extracts of Catalogues d'oiseaux.

(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/00028947901143/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)

(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/5099921746659/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)

(https://idagio-images.global.ssl.fastly.net/albums/825646216260/main.jpg?auto=format&dpr=1&crop=faces&fit=crop&w=720&h=720)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: André on May 10, 2021, 04:05:31 AM
Milhaud is an acquired taste. It comes in bits and takes root quietly. Over time you realize he’s a decidedly unique composer. A bit like learning to enjoy cactuses  :P
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on May 10, 2021, 04:19:53 AM
Milhaud is an acquired taste. It comes in bits and takes root quietly. Over time you realize he’s a decidedly unique composer. A bit like learning to enjoy cactuses  :P

 :laugh:

I recognize he has a unique identity and I'll give it time, André.

Let's just hope he fares better over time than the various cacti I have owned in the past :blank:
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: OrchestralNut on May 10, 2021, 04:22:12 AM
:laugh:

I recognize he has a unique identity and I'll give it time, André.

Let's just hope he fares better over time than the various cacti I have owned in the past :blank:

 :D  Cacti....yes, there is a fair bit of thorny, prickly music out there.  ;)
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Papy Oli on May 13, 2021, 12:39:18 AM
A couple more composers tested in the last few days :

Alkan, Charles-Valentin (1813-88) - Various etudes, the 3 Concerto de Camera

Found the concertos of interest. Will have to go back to those. For those interested, The full Brilliant Alkan Edition is £5.42 as FLAC on Presto.

Boulez, Pierre (1925-2016) - Pli selon Pli, Marteau sans Maître, Dérives, Piano Sonatas

hmm.. one for the backburner. I did like some of Dérives and Marteau some time back. This time, it all just left me just perplexed  ;D

Pleyel, Ignaz (1757-1831) - CPO extracts of Prussian quartets, Piano trios, Clarinet concertos

Nice but a bit bland.
Title: Re: The French Music Exploration thread
Post by: Madiel on May 14, 2021, 02:59:36 AM
I've been dabbling in Ropartz today, and finding him quite interesting. Not least because as I understand it he was very consciously a Breton composer.

The music has a certain heaviness to it, but without being what I would consider "clunky". I can see some connection with Franck (not that I know Franck that well).

I really liked the piano trio, and some songs were appealing. Symphony No.4 was still decent but it didn't grab me as much. Symphony No.2 is currently playing and so far I'm enjoying it more than no.4.