Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

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Lance
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Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by Lance » Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:26 pm

I have become a huge fan of the French pianist, Alexandre Tharaud. His repertoire is very wide, even to include popular music (performed strikingly well). Erato has come forth with a three-CD set [51808] with each CD marked "Solo," "Concertos," and "Rarities and Surprises." Each of the discs contains at least something newly recorded or previously unreleased from earlier sessions. However, it was the "Rarities and Surprises" CD that mostly captured my interest in this well-priced set. If you are a follower of Tharaud, you probably have many of the complete recordings of works of which this set contains excerpts or movements. Still, a great bargain with exceptional pianism all the way not to mention the unreleased, newly-recorded, and surprises/rarities.

The "Solo" CD has never-before-head music by Bach, Chabrier and Satie, and includes Tharaud's own arrangement in the world-premiere of the Adagietto from Mahler's Symphony No. 5

the "Concertos" disc contains unreleased recordings of Mozart, Ravel, and Poulenc. It is filled out with excerpts from other solo and concerto recordings.

The "Rarities" disc contains new recordings from Ravel, Ladmirault, Le Flem, and D'Alessio along with Tharaud's own arrangement and world prmiere of Debussy's Prelude l'apres-midi d'un faune, Poulenc's Valse: Musiques de soie, Tharaud's own Corpus Volubilis and Weiner's Chanson de Charles Trenet.

Tharaud writes his own story in the excellent booklet provided with the set.

Highly recommended for pianophiles! •
Lance G. Hill
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maestrob
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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by maestrob » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:14 am

That does indeed look interesting, Lance. Since you brought up Thareaud's name here, I've listened to quite a few of his recordings on amazon, and have been impressed enough to buy Versailles and his latest disc of French Songs with Sabine Devielhe (he's recorded two so far.). His repertoire ranges from Bach to Boulez, and he plays it all with panache and style. Among his many accomplishments, there is a set of Poulenc's complete chamber music on Naxos. I find true depth and involvement in his sensitive playing, and confidently predict that he will leave a wide legacy of first-rank discs for music lovers to enjoy for ages to come!

In case anyone is interested, there is a fine documentary DVD available in which he reflects on his career and music-making in general from 2014 in English. Here is the cover:

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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by slofstra » Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:58 am

Lance wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:26 pm
I have become a huge fan of the French pianist, Alexandre Tharaud. His repertoire is very wide, even to include popular music (performed strikingly well). Erato has come forth with a three-CD set [51808] with each CD marked "Solo," "Concertos," and "Rarities and Surprises." Each of the discs contains at least something newly recorded or previously unreleased from earlier sessions. However, it was the "Rarities and Surprises" CD that mostly captured my interest in this well-priced set. If you are a follower of Tharaud, you probably have many of the complete recordings of works of which this set contains excerpts or movements. Still, a great bargain with exceptional pianism all the way not to mention the unreleased, newly-recorded, and surprises/rarities.

The "Solo" CD has never-before-head music by Bach, Chabrier and Satie, and includes Tharaud's own arrangement in the world-premiere of the Adagietto from Mahler's Symphony No. 5

the "Concertos" disc contains unreleased recordings of Mozart, Ravel, and Poulenc. It is filled out with excerpts from other solo and concerto recordings.

The "Rarities" disc contains new recordings from Ravel, Ladmirault, Le Flem, and D'Alessio along with Tharaud's own arrangement and world prmiere of Debussy's Prelude l'apres-midi d'un faune, Poulenc's Valse: Musiques de soie, Tharaud's own Corpus Volubilis and Weiner's Chanson de Charles Trenet.

Tharaud writes his own story in the excellent booklet provided with the set.

Highly recommended for pianophiles! •
I'm convinced, and it is on its way! $27 for a new three CD set is fair pricing. Believe it or not the DVD shown by 'maestrob' prices out at $139 CDN with shipping on top of that.

The CD set includes Canadian Nézet-Séguin on some of the tracks and also Montreal's Les Violons du Roy. I'm looking forward to listening to this release.

Thanks, Lance.

maestrob
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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by maestrob » Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:18 pm

Henry, American amazon is selling the Tharaud DVD for $14.36 here, but you may have to wait a while for delivery as they're currently out of stock, or you can get it from England from a pair of third party suppliers for about $16:

https://smile.amazon.com/Temps-Derobe-D ... sic&sr=1-1

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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by Len_Z » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:13 pm

I like Alexandre Tharaud very much, have been collecting his recordings forever and have attended several recitals - solo as well as chamber, with Queyras, for example.

In general, I feel the French have an abundance of extremely fine piano players nowadays, among them Adam Laloum, Bertrand Chamayou, Lise de la Salle, David Fray and recent winners of prestigious international competitions Lucas Debargue and Alexandre Kantorow.

Don't want to steal the thunder from Tharaud, but does anybody else think that French school of pianism is at its true zenith today?

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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by Lance » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:27 pm

The French pianists are right up there, but I think the Russian pianists still take the top slot with England not far behind. But truly, love them all. Each has something - of the best of them - to say! In former days, the French had many fine artists ... it was, after all, the "golden age" of pianism.
Len_Z wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:13 pm
I like Alexandre Tharaud very much, have been collecting his recordings forever and have attended several recitals - solo as well as chamber, with Queyras, for example.

In general, I feel the French have an abundance of extremely fine piano players nowadays, among them Adam Laloum, Bertrand Chamayou, Lise de la Salle, David Fray and recent winners of prestigious international competitions Lucas Debargue and Alexandre Kantorow.

Don't want to steal the thunder from Tharaud, but does anybody else think that French school of pianism is at its true zenith today?
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by Len_Z » Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:49 pm

I would definitely agree about the Russians, what with Pletnev, Sokolov, Volodos and the younger crop - for instance, Volodin, Lifschitz, Korzhukhin, etc. But the British? I must be missing some very important names. Hough? Grosvernor? Who else?

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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by Lance » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:33 pm

Well, I may be pushing the envelope here a bit ... there are not as many pianists today as in the past, but I look at it as a whole, taking into account some very important names of the past as well. Of the younger set, as you say, Hough, Grosvenor, and Mark Viner, Howard Shelley, Martin Jones, Jack Gibbons, Ronald Smith, Peter Donohoe, Anthony Goldstone, John Ogdon, Myra Hess, Moiseiwitsch (actually not born in England but lived there, as did Alfred Brendel), Paul Crossley, Clifford Curzon, Adelina de Lara, Moura Lympany, Martin Roscoe, Cyril Smith, Kathryn Stott, Valerie Tryon, and quite a few more. However, we could also name others of the past for Russia and France as well. Anyway, isn't it nice to see all these names! I have garnered much pleasure from all of them. [I suppose we could stretch a point and include Marc-André Hamelin, a Canadian, a once British territory, who has spent much time in England and the Isles, especially when making his recordings!]
Len_Z wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 4:49 pm
I would definitely agree about the Russians, what with Pletnev, Sokolov, Volodos and the younger crop - for instance, Volodin, Lifschitz, Korzhukhin, etc. But the British? I must be missing some very important names. Hough? Grosvernor? Who else?
Lance G. Hill
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______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by maestrob » Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:23 am

Well, it's stretching a point of course, but Bronx-born Murray Perahia, although he had a close relationship with Horowitz who was based in New York City, has lived and worked in London since 1975, and was knighted in 2007. He did record and conduct his outstanding set of Mozart Concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra.

Also, Canadian-born Angela Hewitt has lived in London since 1985, thus has based her career there as well.

Could we say they are honorary British pianists then? :wink: Certainly, they both sound like they belong to that tradition of music-making IMHO.

Hewitt's and Perahia's Bach both remind me of Dame Myra Hess's beautifully round and deep tones.

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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by slofstra » Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:55 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sun Nov 22, 2020 8:23 am
Well, it's stretching a point of course, but Bronx-born Murray Perahia, although he had a close relationship with Horowitz who was based in New York City, has lived and worked in London since 1975, and was knighted in 2007. He did record and conduct his outstanding set of Mozart Concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra.

Also, Canadian-born Angela Hewitt has lived in London since 1985, thus has based her career there as well.

Could we say they are honorary British pianists then? 😉 Certainly, they both sound like they belong to that tradition of music-making IMHO.

Hewitt's and Perahia's Bach both remind me of Dame Myra Hess's beautifully round and deep tones.
I've seen Hewitt a couple of times in Canada, and much was made of her being "Canadian". I saw her in Berkeley, CA and homes in London and Rome were mentioned, but no allusions to that backwater, Ottawa. She does "British snob" very well, but that's okay.

A footnote on the catalogue of names of French pianists: please add Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by Lance » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:39 pm

I recently watched the DVD ... it is well done and we see a very humane side of Tharaud. While in French, English translations are at the bottom of the screen. It occurred to me why anyone would want to put themselves through such stress in performing for the public, from acoustics, pianos, trying to please the public, etc., et al. It was also interesting to see Tharaud's daughter being the sound engineer for his "Autograph" album, which I have and enjoy.
maestrob wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:14 am
In case anyone is interested, there is a fine documentary DVD available in which he reflects on his career and music-making in general from 2014 in English. Here is the cover:

Image
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by maestrob » Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:39 am

How wonderful, Lance, that you bought that DVD! AND that Tharaud is old enough to have a daughter who can be involved in its production.

Yes, the life of a performer can be remarkably stressful. Look at how Horowitz had to retreat into early retirement for a while, coming back to Carnegie Hall in 1965. Glen Gould also retreated from the concert stage, didn't he? As for singers, I know that Lili Pons (who was married to Andre Kostelanetz) used to throw up before her performances quite often, and Franco Corelli, who also retreated from the stage quite early, had severe problems with stage fright. I've been told that Loretta had to push him out on stage at the MET many times!

As for me, I'm quite sure that the disabling symptoms of my sleep disorder which caused me to lay down my baton 20 years ago were caused by the stress of producing and rehearsing my concerts in Carnegie Hall.

Still, we have the recorded legacy of these many great artists to enjoy thanks to modern sound and video technology, and for that we must be truly thankful.

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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by Rach3 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:55 am

slofstra wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:55 pm
A footnote on the catalogue of names of French pianists: please add Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Add also Jean Eflam Bavouzet , Billy Eidi and Phillipe-Laurent Aimard.

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Re: Pianist Alexandre Tharaud's "Le poète du piano" set

Post by Lance » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:17 pm

Well, stage fright/nerves happens with many great (and un-great) artists! I think of legendary Rosa Ponselle who stepped down from live performance at the age of 40 for nerves. I recall my mother telling me when Lily Pons and Lawrence Tibbett came to Binghamton, NY to perform for the great IBM Corporation (once long headquartered in Endicott, NY, my home town), she was very much aware of Pons' nerves situation and the regurgitating problem. Tibbett was quite the opposite. On the other hand, we human beings are not programmable computers though some artists took/take pills to quell their nerves before a performance. Some believe those medications change or alter a performance in some ways.
maestrob wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:39 am
How wonderful, Lance, that you bought that DVD! AND that Tharaud is old enough to have a daughter who can be involved in its production.

Yes, the life of a performer can be remarkably stressful. Look at how Horowitz had to retreat into early retirement for a while, coming back to Carnegie Hall in 1965. Glen Gould also retreated from the concert stage, didn't he? As for singers, I know that Lili Pons (who was married to Andre Kostelanetz) used to throw up before her performances quite often, and Franco Corelli, who also retreated from the stage quite early, had severe problems with stage fright. I've been told that Loretta had to push him out on stage at the MET many times!

As for me, I'm quite sure that the disabling symptoms of my sleep disorder which caused me to lay down my baton 20 years ago were caused by the stress of producing and rehearsing my concerts in Carnegie Hall.

Still, we have the recorded legacy of these many great artists to enjoy thanks to modern sound and video technology, and for that we must be truly thankful.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

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