Debussy, Rodrigo, different perceptions.

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Mark Harwood
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Debussy, Rodrigo, different perceptions.

Post by Mark Harwood » Fri Jun 19, 2015 5:16 pm

I enjoy Classical guitar music, especially in the ensemble. So, by chance, I have collected eight recordings of the Concerto de Aranjuez. I enjoy them all, and have never been moved to discuss the differences between them. Sometimes the second movement floats, sometimes not so much. Much pleasure, no strong opinions.
More recently I have collected ten CDs of the works by Debussy that I prefer: ...Faune, Three Nocturnes & La Mer.
Each recording is very much distinct. There are so many facets to these pieces that comparing the various interpretations looks like being a lifetime project. It's fascinating.
Does anyone have any insights to offer here?
"I did it for the music."
Ken Colyer

piston
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Re: Debussy, Rodrigo, different perceptions.

Post by piston » Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:00 pm

Dear Mark:

Your message made me think about its premise (correct me if I'm wrong) that there's a greater range of interpretation for these core impressionistic works you have selected from Debussy's opus than for composers such as Rodrigo. I'm not sure that I have detected the same but it is conceivable that these particular Debussy works, and more, such as La Cathedrale engloutie, are more conducive to a lot of variations at the baton because conductors have more range in expressing impressions than in interpreting purely abstract music.

If you are correct, wouldn't the same logic also apply to any kind of program music? To any work expressing an extra-musical message?
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

Lance
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Re: Debussy, Rodrigo, different perceptions.

Post by Lance » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:53 pm

Having collected recordings for fifty years plus (hard to believe!), I can say that there is no PERFECT recording of just about any piece of music. Certain performers capture certain music more deftly or impressionistically to the listener. I have 150 Beethoven Emperor concertos, and like you, I enjoy most all of them, however, certain artists play the music differently on their pianos. A piano is a piano is not necessarily true, but more often it's the artist behind the keys. The performer will have a "flair" that someone else does not, whether it be rubato, tonal characteristics. I guess this is why avid collectors of music frequently have many versions of the same piece of music.

I, too, have many of the Rodrigo guitar concerto, including Yepes, Parkening, Lagoya, Bream, John Williams, Moreno, and Angel Romero. My ears tell me if I had to pick one or two, it would probably be Angel Romero and Alexander Lagoya ... there's just something in their blood that lends itself to the music. The others are also more than satisfactory. It could also be the quality of the guitar, the balance between instrument/orchestra, or the conductor. I agree, however, that it is much more than merely "playing the notes." It's a bit of magic, if you will, to the listener.

It is an interesting point to ponder, for sure, why we prefer certain interpretations. Even if you don't know who the artist is (say, listening to the radio whilst traveling), you hear something that immediately appeals.

Probably, if nothing else, with singers, especially, it is the quality of the VOICE, the range and evenness, the vibrato ... ah, so much. I recognize, for example the musicality/dramaticism in the voice of Maria Callas, but I don't call hers a particularly beautiful voice. Montserrat Caballé carries that distinction for me. But it's a personal thing ... some people don't very much like either of these artists.

I don't believe there is a definitive response to your question: it is largely a personal thing. But it is ver nice to see you on the CMG board!
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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Mark Harwood
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Re: Debussy, Rodrigo, different perceptions.

Post by Mark Harwood » Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:20 pm

Thanks for the interesting responses.
That's why I visit this site: to learn from folks who know more.
"I did it for the music."
Ken Colyer

John F
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Re: Debussy, Rodrigo, different perceptions.

Post by John F » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:38 pm

When I was in college, a roommate bought Miles Davis's LP "Sketches of Spain" which includes an arrangement by Gil Evans of the Rodrigo concerto's slow movement, with Davis playing the flugelhorn and trumpet. First time I heard that music. Not just a reorchestration, it includes a new middle section. Might interest you, though of course it's not for guitar.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSGUPsAeL34
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: Debussy, Rodrigo, different perceptions.

Post by lennygoran » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:02 pm

piston wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:00 pm
Your message made me think about
Your message made me think about how much I've missed you in this forum along with some of your wonderful photos! Regards, Len :D

Lance
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Re: Debussy, Rodrigo, different perceptions.

Post by Lance » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:28 pm

Yes, definitely. I have missed Piston, too. I think he is from the state of Maine, so maybe he moved by now. It has been far too long since we have seen him.

JACQUES, are you listening?!?
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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