Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

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hangos
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Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by hangos » Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:37 am

Long ago I remember reading something said by, I think, Debussy, in which he imagined a pantheon of himself, Chopin and Schumann as composers for the piano.

My own personal preference goes Chopin, then Debussy, then Schumann (slow pieces only - I can't bear the skittish scherzos!) in terms of their piano works, but I must say that I really love Debussy's sound, especially on Arrau's late 1970s recordings.

My two questions are;
1. How highly do you rate Debussy's writing for the piano?
2. How do you like Arrau's interpretations of Debussy?

Martin

val
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by val » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:31 am

To me, Debussy's piano music is at the level of Schumann or Chopin. The Images, Préludes, Études, Estampes, L'Isle Joyeuse, Masques, Pour le piano are wonderful masterpieces. There is a remarkable imagination regarding the harmony and the form seems more free that in many composers of his time, Schönberg and Webern included.

The extraordinary quality of invention in a music that is made of changes, very subtle, elegant and full of colour, doesn't mean that it is decorative or just "impressionist". There is a deep human and emotional dimension in this music: Pas sur la Neige, Feuilles mortes, Ce qu'a vu le vent d'Ouest, Cloches à travers les feuilles ...
Gieseking was THE interpreter of this music. All others seem artificial or superficial.

hangos
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by hangos » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:55 am

val wrote:To me, Debussy's piano music is at the level of Schumann or Chopin. The Images, Préludes, Études, Estampes, L'Isle Joyeuse, Masques, Pour le piano are wonderful masterpieces. There is a remarkable imagination regarding the harmony and the form seems more free that in many composers of his time, Schönberg and Webern included.

The extraordinary quality of invention in a music that is made of changes, very subtle, elegant and full of colour, doesn't mean that it is decorative or just "impressionist".
Exactly, and Arrau was a master of keyboard colour and was patient enough to make these changes apparent
There is a deep human and emotional dimension in this music: Pas sur la Neige, Feuilles mortes, Ce qu'a vu le vent d'Ouest, Cloches à travers les feuilles ...
Gieseking was THE interpreter of this music. All others seem artificial or superficial.
val,
it's hard for me to understand that you could include Arrau in that "all others" - slow, ponderous, stilted are the words usually levelled at Arrau by his detractors, but superficial!!!?


Martin

DavidRoss
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by DavidRoss » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:12 am

I love Debussy's piano music, second only to Beethoven (and Bach's keyboard works). Schubert & Chopin are okay, but I've never connected with their music like I do with Debussy's.

As for Arrau, sorry but I do not share your enthusiasm. "Slow, ponderous, stilted"--the direction may be right, but I wouldn't go that far. Listening to some of his Images now, the word that comes to mind is "heavy-handed." Not in touch, but in timing. Instead of floating, he plods, making the music seem self-conscious, self-important. But that's just my take, and it's just taste, not fact. De gustibus non est disputandum, and so on.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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maestrob
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by maestrob » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:18 am

For extraordinary Debussy, you can't go wrong with Jean-Efflam Bavouzet in his new complete traversal. The recordings are stunning in their clarity, and his touch and self discipline easily outmatch Gieseking's more dated sound.

Incidentally, Debussy's own playing was not at all what we've come to expect from modern pianists: Debussy was much more free with both rubato and note values, yet never sloppy.

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As for Chopin & Schumann's solo works, my favorite listening this week has been the inimitable Guiomar Novaes, who was born in 1895, bringing her closer to those great Romantics than so many more famous contemporary players....

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barney
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by barney » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:43 pm

It seems rather immodest of young Claude to rate himself above Mozart and Beethoven and Liszt, to name 3. If Bach wrote the keyboard's Old Testament and Beethoven the New, does that mean Debussy wrote the Koran?

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by karlhenning » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:54 pm

barney wrote:It seems rather immodest of young Claude to rate himself above Mozart and Beethoven and Liszt, to name 3.
Maybe Martin misremembers. We might check facts before slamming Debussy.

Or, no, heck, slam on.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:12 pm

karlhenning wrote:
barney wrote:It seems rather immodest of young Claude to rate himself above Mozart and Beethoven and Liszt, to name 3.
Maybe Martin misremembers. We might check facts before slamming Debussy.

Or, no, heck, slam on.

Cheers,
~Karl
Well, slamming on, I wouldn't make too much of it. Debussy's pianistic world began with the Romantics--Beethoven, for whom he had little use in general, did not even come into the picture. And it cannot be denied that Romantic piano style and technique is its own world. On those terms, the triumvirate seems perfectly fair to me.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Jack Kelso
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by Jack Kelso » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:19 am

I forget if I mentioned Debussy's quote before, but he did say:

"Should I someday reach heaven I would wish to be seated either at the left hand of Chopin or the right hand of Schumann."

Still---for me Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt are the next most important 19th-century composers for piano, perhaps even ahead of Debussy.

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by karlhenning » Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:08 am

Jack Kelso wrote:Still---for me Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt are the next most important 19th-century composers for piano, perhaps even ahead of Debussy.
And since Debussy wrote practically all of his important piano music in the 20th century, that's just fine ; )

Cheers,
~Karl
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hangos
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by hangos » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:07 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:I forget if I mentioned Debussy's quote before, but he did say:

"Should I someday reach heaven I would wish to be seated either at the left hand of Chopin or the right hand of Schumann."Still---for me Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt are the next most important 19th-century composers for piano, perhaps even ahead of Debussy.

Tschüß,
Jack
Jack,
I can't thank you enough for finding that quote! I knew it went something like that but couldn't find it anywhere on the internet.
Martin

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by karlhenning » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:09 pm

hangos wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:I forget if I mentioned Debussy's quote before, but he did say:

"Should I someday reach heaven I would wish to be seated either at the left hand of Chopin or the right hand of Schumann."Still---for me Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt are the next most important 19th-century composers for piano, perhaps even ahead of Debussy.

Tschüß,
Jack
Jack,
I can't thank you enough for finding that quote! I knew it went something like that but couldn't find it anywhere on the internet.
Martin
Jack misremembers, I want to say slightly, though in this case Jack imparts a sort of divinity to Schumann which is absent from what Debussy actually wrote. Of the Images Book I, Debussy wrote to Durand:
Debussy wrote:Without false vanity, I think [they] work well and will take their place in piano literature to the left of Schumann and to the right of Chopin.
Cited in Paul Roberts's Debussy (Phaidon, 2008).

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
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Jack Kelso
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by Jack Kelso » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:09 pm

karlhenning wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:Still---for me Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt are the next most important 19th-century composers for piano, perhaps even ahead of Debussy.
And since Debussy wrote practically all of his important piano music in the 20th century, that's just fine ; )

Cheers,
~Karl
I guess you got me there, Karl! :oops:

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by Jack Kelso » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:20 pm

karlhenning wrote:
hangos wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:I forget if I mentioned Debussy's quote before, but he did say:

"Should I someday reach heaven I would wish to be seated either at the left hand of Chopin or the right hand of Schumann."Still---for me Beethoven, Schubert and Liszt are the next most important 19th-century composers for piano, perhaps even ahead of Debussy.

Tschüß,
Jack
Jack,
I can't thank you enough for finding that quote! I knew it went something like that but couldn't find it anywhere on the internet.
Martin
Jack misremembers, I want to say slightly, though in this case Jack imparts a sort of divinity to Schumann which is absent from what Debussy actually wrote. Of the Images Book I, Debussy wrote to Durand:
Debussy wrote:Without false vanity, I think [they] work well and will take their place in piano literature to the left of Schumann and to the right of Chopin.
Cited in Paul Roberts's Debussy (Phaidon, 2008).

Cheers,
~Karl
No "divinity" intended, Karl (great we have you to keep us in line!).

I took the quote from memory. But does it make any difference if "they" are left or right? At any rate the "Images" seem to be between them!

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

DavidRoss
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by DavidRoss » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:21 pm

karlhenning wrote:
Debussy wrote:Without false vanity, I think [they] work well and will take their place in piano literature to the left of Schumann and to the right of Chopin.
Cited in Paul Roberts's Debussy (Phaidon, 2008).
Alphabetical--how charmingly modest!
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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ravel30
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by ravel30 » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:50 pm

hangos wrote:Long ago I remember reading something said by, I think, Debussy, in which he imagined a pantheon of himself, Chopin and Schumann as composers for the piano.

My own personal preference goes Chopin, then Debussy, then Schumann (slow pieces only - I can't bear the skittish scherzos!) in terms of their piano works, but I must say that I really love Debussy's sound, especially on Arrau's late 1970s recordings.

My two questions are;
1. How highly do you rate Debussy's writing for the piano?
2. How do you like Arrau's interpretations of Debussy?

Martin
Hangos,

Debussy is my favorite composer :D and I find his piano music to be simply amazing and original (the later work). My personal preference would be Debussy,Schumann and Chopin. For some reasons, I have a tough time to listen to a lot of Chopin. I always need to listen to it in small doses. What is wrong with me :lol: ? And Schumann is also another of my great favorites.

I have never heard Arrau's play (not just Debussy but any music) but I would be curious to hear in play. Any classics recording by Arrau ?

Oh and about Debussy's modesty (or ego). I read the same quote before (I think he was talking about his Preludes) and yes it seems like Debussy had a high opinion of his work (and a big ego). I do not think that he is the first and only composer with such an attitude.

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:49 pm

ravel30 wrote:I have never heard Arrau's play (not just Debussy but any music) but I would be curious to hear in play. Any classics recording by Arrau ?
You could go your entire life without hearing Arrau and all would be fine...I mean that most sincerely too, he's totally forgettable...very good, but ultimately nothing to write home about...like Van Cliburn, in fact... :mrgreen:
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by DavidRoss » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 pm

ravel30 wrote:Oh and about Debussy's modesty (or ego). I read the same quote before (I think he was talking about his Preludes) and yes it seems like Debussy had a high opinion of his work (and a big ego). I do not think that he is the first and only composer with such an attitude.
Makes me wonder what you're reading into the comment...? On the face of it, he's saying only that his piano music will be shelved alphabetically between Chopin and Schumann.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by karlhenning » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:49 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
karlhenning wrote:Jack misremembers, I want to say slightly, though in this case Jack imparts a sort of divinity to Schumann which is absent from what Debussy actually wrote. Of the Images Book I, Debussy wrote to Durand:
Debussy wrote:Without false vanity, I think [they] work well and will take their place in piano literature to the left of Schumann and to the right of Chopin.
Cited in Paul Roberts's Debussy (Phaidon, 2008).
No "divinity" intended, Karl (great we have you to keep us in line!).

I took the quote from memory. But does it make any difference if "they" are left or right? At any rate the "Images" seem to be between them!
The noun divinity was a little tongue-in-cheek, mon cher. But I did want to see if I could locate the source quote . . . a comment about heaven seemed so uncharacteristic of Debussy.

This sort of conversation on the forum interests me keenly as a sort of musicological game of Telephone. The remark in Debussy's correspondence with his publisher is neighborly, but fairly business-like; and I think David has the right tack in attributing a down-to-earth modesty in the comment. Somehow in your processing and transmission of the remark, there entered an eschatological element which is quite alien to Debussy.

Cheers,
~Karl
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by Chalkperson » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:36 pm

karlhenning wrote:Somehow in your processing and transmission of the remark, there entered an eschatological element which is quite alien to Debussy.
Reading that quickly I thought that you were saying that Jack's comment was full of sh*t, but, on looking up the word eschatological, I realize it means something else... :lol:
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by DavidRoss » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:47 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
karlhenning wrote:Somehow in your processing and transmission of the remark, there entered an eschatological element which is quite alien to Debussy.
Reading that quickly I thought that you were saying that Jack's comment was full of sh*t, but, on looking up the word eschatological, I realize it means something else... :lol:
But still.... :wink:
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." ~Albert Einstein
"Truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it; but, in the end, there it is." ~Winston Churchill

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by hangos » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:50 pm

ravel30 wrote:
hangos wrote:Long ago I remember reading something said by, I think, Debussy, in which he imagined a pantheon of himself, Chopin and Schumann as composers for the piano.

My own personal preference goes Chopin, then Debussy, then Schumann (slow pieces only - I can't bear the skittish scherzos!) in terms of their piano works, but I must say that I really love Debussy's sound, especially on Arrau's late 1970s recordings.

My two questions are;
1. How highly do you rate Debussy's writing for the piano?
2. How do you like Arrau's interpretations of Debussy?

Martin
Hangos,

Debussy is my favorite composer :D and I find his piano music to be simply amazing and original (the later work). My personal preference would be Debussy,Schumann and Chopin. For some reasons, I have a tough time to listen to a lot of Chopin. I always need to listen to it in small doses. What is wrong with me :lol: ? And Schumann is also another of my great favorites.

I have never heard Arrau's play (not just Debussy but any music) but I would be curious to hear in play. Any classics recording by Arrau ?
Oh and about Debussy's modesty (or ego). I read the same quote before (I think he was talking about his Preludes) and yes it seems like Debussy had a high opinion of his work (and a big ego). I do not think that he is the first and only composer with such an attitude.
Matt
Have a look and listen to Arrau at 80 playing one of my favourite Debussy pieces
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0Hyq4Xc7Q8
Then just click on any of the other videos
Martin

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by hangos » Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:52 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
ravel30 wrote:I have never heard Arrau's play (not just Debussy but any music) but I would be curious to hear in play. Any classics recording by Arrau ?
You could go your entire life without hearing Arrau and all would be fine...I mean that most sincerely too, he's totally forgettable...very good, but ultimately nothing to write home about...like Van Cliburn, in fact... :mrgreen:
Apart from his uniquely burnished,deep and rich sound which distinguishes all his recordings - at least he didn't sound like anyone else :?
Martin

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by Jack Kelso » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:48 am

DavidRoss wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:
karlhenning wrote:Somehow in your processing and transmission of the remark, there entered an eschatological element which is quite alien to Debussy.
Reading that quickly I thought that you were saying that Jack's comment was full of sh*t, but, on looking up the word eschatological, I realize it means something else... :lol:
But still.... :wink:
Isn't it a beautiful thought......when it is time for us to go that we will join the great music-makers of the past and "re(a)vel" (no pun intended!) with them in their heavenly harmonies...?!

Tschüß,
Jack
"Schumann's our music-maker now." ---Robert Browning

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by karlhenning » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:59 am

Jack Kelso wrote:Isn't it a beautiful thought......when it is time for us to go that we will join the great music-makers of the past and "re(a)vel" (no pun intended!) with them in their heavenly harmonies...?!
A lovely thought, indeed. But it wasn't Debussy's, there ; )

Cheers,
~Karl
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ravel30
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by ravel30 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:12 pm

hangos wrote:
ravel30 wrote:
hangos wrote:Long ago I remember reading something said by, I think, Debussy, in which he imagined a pantheon of himself, Chopin and Schumann as composers for the piano.

My own personal preference goes Chopin, then Debussy, then Schumann (slow pieces only - I can't bear the skittish scherzos!) in terms of their piano works, but I must say that I really love Debussy's sound, especially on Arrau's late 1970s recordings.

My two questions are;
1. How highly do you rate Debussy's writing for the piano?
2. How do you like Arrau's interpretations of Debussy?

Martin
Hangos,

Debussy is my favorite composer :D and I find his piano music to be simply amazing and original (the later work). My personal preference would be Debussy,Schumann and Chopin. For some reasons, I have a tough time to listen to a lot of Chopin. I always need to listen to it in small doses. What is wrong with me :lol: ? And Schumann is also another of my great favorites.

I have never heard Arrau's play (not just Debussy but any music) but I would be curious to hear in play. Any classics recording by Arrau ?
Oh and about Debussy's modesty (or ego). I read the same quote before (I think he was talking about his Preludes) and yes it seems like Debussy had a high opinion of his work (and a big ego). I do not think that he is the first and only composer with such an attitude.
Matt
Have a look and listen to Arrau at 80 playing one of my favourite Debussy pieces
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0Hyq4Xc7Q8
Then just click on any of the other videos
Martin
Hi Hangos,

Many thanks for your link. I greatly enjoyed it. Very nicely played. It is also one of my favorite piano piece by Debussy. This Arrau sounds interesting.

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by Wallingford » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:53 pm

hangos wrote:Long ago I remember reading something said by, I think, Debussy, in which he imagined a pantheon of himself, Chopin and Schumann as composers for the piano.

My own personal preference goes Chopin, then Debussy, then Schumann (slow pieces only - I can't bear the skittish scherzos!) in terms of their piano works, but I must say that I really love Debussy's sound, especially on Arrau's late 1970s recordings.

Martin
Great the three were indeed.....but musical heaven would be desperately dull indeed without all the other pianist-composers of the era!
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by DavidRoss » Fri Mar 12, 2010 8:34 am

hangos wrote:Have a look and listen to Arrau at 80 playing one of my favourite Debussy pieces
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0Hyq4Xc7Q8
That's nice. Arrau was certainly a gifted pianist. Youtube also has Michelangeli playing the same piece:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLbpQl1cCl8
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

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hangos
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by hangos » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:35 pm

DavidRoss wrote:
hangos wrote:Have a look and listen to Arrau at 80 playing one of my favourite Debussy pieces
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0Hyq4Xc7Q8
That's nice. Arrau was certainly a gifted pianist. Youtube also has Michelangeli playing the same piece:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLbpQl1cCl8
Yes, I've watched that one too - and it's also great, but very different from Arrau - much clearer, but perhaps a little at the expense of mystery.
I often listen to both these pianists' CDs of Debussy and very much enjoy both (but then again, I can derive equal pleasure from both Arrau and Argerich! :oops: )(I mean their recordings, of course!!!)
Martin

ravel30
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by ravel30 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:29 pm

I find Michelangeli's Images I and II on DG to be amazing but I must say that I am not a big fan on his interpretation on Debussy's preludes.

Did Arrau ever recorded the Preludes ? And if so, are they any good ?

Matt.

Corlyss_D
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:40 pm

hangos wrote:My two questions are;
1. How highly do you rate Debussy's writing for the piano?
Having heard Debussy by Gieseking since I was in utero, I adore his music.
2. How do you like Arrau's interpretations of Debussy?
I never really gave others a chance. Monday I loaned out my treasured set of Gieseking's Complete Piano Music by Debussy and pray that it will come back to me whole. I don't know what possessed me - I never let that get out of reach. Frankly, since he's the standard by which all others are judged, I hope you have him in your collection.

As regards your ranking, I read something today about Chopin while I was looking up the Funeral March for Sharyl that made me think "so that's where Debussy comes from!" I think pound for pound Chopin and Debussy were probably equally influential on their generations, with a slight edge to Chopin for his role in opening up the vistas of the modern instrument. It would be difficult for me to pick between them but music-wise the slight edge would have to go to Debussy because I have been so much more familiar with his music for far longer than I have been Chopin. Until Lance put me on to the Moravec, I had thought "nice tunes," a few of which have ended up as pop music, but that was about it.
Corlyss
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jbuck919
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:12 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Monday I loaned out my treasured set of Gieseking's Complete Piano Music by Debussy and pray that it will come back to me whole. I don't know what possessed me - I never let that get out of reach. Frankly, since he's the standard by which all others are judged, I hope you have him in your collection.
Here is another pianist who offers a convincing interpretation (of this piece anyway), different from Gieseking's:


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

ravel30
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by ravel30 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:29 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:Monday I loaned out my treasured set of Gieseking's Complete Piano Music by Debussy and pray that it will come back to me whole. I don't know what possessed me - I never let that get out of reach. Frankly, since he's the standard by which all others are judged, I hope you have him in your collection.
Here is another pianist who offers a convincing interpretation (of this piece anyway), different from Gieseking's:

Thanks Jbuck ! I really this version. Dare I ask who is playing ? I did some research and I am afraid that the answer is rather interesting...

jbuck919
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:36 pm

ravel30 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:Monday I loaned out my treasured set of Gieseking's Complete Piano Music by Debussy and pray that it will come back to me whole. I don't know what possessed me - I never let that get out of reach. Frankly, since he's the standard by which all others are judged, I hope you have him in your collection.
Here is another pianist who offers a convincing interpretation (of this piece anyway), different from Gieseking's:

Thanks Jbuck ! I really this version. Dare I ask who is playing ? I did some research and I am afraid that the answer is rather interesting...
I think you're on to something.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Werner
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by Werner » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:43 am

Interesting - it's Debussy louis-mème - and as I suspected, confirmed by looking at some of the comments posted with the clip, that it's a piano roll, as indicated by the year of the composer's passing in 1918. Interesting, but the best we can have from Debussy''s own hands, with all of the roll's deficiencies. And then Gieseking's classic mono recording leading up to whatever there is by now (I haven't looked it up) in current technology. Debussy, as it were, on Original Instrument.
Werner Isler

jbuck919
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:47 am

Werner wrote:Interesting - it's Debussy louis-mème - and as I suspected, confirmed by looking at some of the comments posted with the clip, that it's a piano roll, as indicated by the year of the composer's passing in 1918. Interesting, but the best we can have from Debussy''s own hands, with all of the roll's deficiencies. And then Gieseking's classic mono recording leading up to whatever there is by now (I haven't looked it up) in current technology. Debussy, as it were, on Original Instrument.
Of course part of the point is that Debussy and Gieseking disagree on the performance of the piece. Here is a summary of the issue (I only give the link because it got scrambled up in the copy-pasting):

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Solving+p ... 0149767135

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

hangos
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by hangos » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:49 am

ravel30 wrote:I find Michelangeli's Images I and II on DG to be amazing but I must say that I am not a big fan on his interpretation on Debussy's preludes.

Did Arrau ever recorded the Preludes ? And if so, are they any good ?

Matt.
He certainly did - both sets, plus both sets of Images and all 3 Estampes ; they are on a hard to get / very expensive 3-CD set or the Preludes can be bought on 2 separate CDs, each one with a set of Images as a filler.
Personally, I like Arrau's recording of them, he is very patient, has a lovely deep and liquid tone and is extremely well recorded (late 1970s Philips analogue)
Have a look on amazon.com (where they are much cheaper than on amazon.co.uk!)
http://www.amazon.com/Preludes-Images-D ... 842&sr=1-4

Martin

Martin

hangos
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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by hangos » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:53 am

ravel30 wrote:I find Michelangeli's Images I and II on DG to be amazing but I must say that I am not a big fan on his interpretation on Debussy's preludes.

Did Arrau ever recorded the Preludes ? And if so, are they any good ?

Matt.

Sorry, Matt, I forgot you live in Canada - here's a link to the amazon.ca page for Arrau's Debussy (looks like it might be cheaper to get them from amazon.com after all)

http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?u ... au+debussy

Martin

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Re: Chopin, Schumann, Debussy

Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:54 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Here is another pianist who offers a convincing interpretation (of this piece anyway), different from Gieseking's:
Well, as we have discussed here, composers are often not the best or most effective interpreters of the music they composed. :D Great find, John. I had no idea that Debussy had ever recorded anything. I see there's quite a bit of Gieseking on youtube as well. Thanks for that too.
Corlyss
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