Author Topic: The French Music Exploration thread  (Read 13437 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #440 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).



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.
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #441 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.
Olivier

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #442 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.
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Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #443 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!
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #444 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).

 
Olivier

Offline Madiel

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #445 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.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2021, 10:12:41 PM by Madiel »
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Online André

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #446 on: January 24, 2021, 05:48:13 PM »

Cross-posted from the WAYL2 thread:



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.

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #447 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.

Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #448 on: January 25, 2021, 08:16:36 AM »
Cross-posted from the WAYL2 thread:



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.
Olivier

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #449 on: January 25, 2021, 08:38:58 AM »
Playing the Debussy Warner set as it comes.



What do you mean by ‘as it comes’, Olivier?
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #450 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.
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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #451 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?
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #452 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.
Olivier

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #453 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.
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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #454 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

I'll have a proper look in the next couple of days. Looking forward to it.
Olivier

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #455 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.


 
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.



I am also thoroughly enjoying my first listen to his String quartet right now.



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.
Olivier

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #456 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.

   

Also some Roger-Ducasse. Bit flat and underwhelming.

   

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



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



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




Olivier

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #457 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.



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



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.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2021, 07:47:14 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #458 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 ?
Olivier

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Re: The French Music Exploration thread
« Reply #459 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.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2021, 08:34:02 AM by Mirror Image »
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