Piano music of Cécile Chaminade - lovely!

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Lance
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Piano music of Cécile Chaminade - lovely!

Post by Lance » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:33 am

Paris-born pianist/composer Cécile Chaminade lived between 1857 and 1944. A prodigy from the age of eight, when she began to write her own music, one wonders why she has fallen out of favor with pianists (and recording companies) today. I happened to be listening to a long unavailable CD of her music as performed by a pianist whose name isn't all that well known but should be: Madeleine Stucki. Chaminade's stomping ground for concert performances remained largely in France and England, but her music, prior to her death, was still played widely, and copy distribution in the USA was enormous. Much of it might be considered "parlor music," but delightful music it is and it is much more than mere parlor music.

The disc I have of Stucki's playing is on the Swiss Relief label [931039, DDD, 71:16]. It was recorded during the summer of 1994 in Bern, Switzerland. There are 17 tracks on the disc, many of which are not available on the three Hyperion CDs [66584, 66706, and 66846) recorded by pianist Peter Jacobs.

I was struck by Chaminade's Etude mélodique, Op. 118, her Danse créole, Op. 94, Lolita (Spanish Caprice), Op. 54, and the brilliant Étude de Concert, Op. 35 ("Automne"). It is incredible how so much of this truly listenable and highly entertaining music could be produced in such quantities from this composer/pianist. The pensive "Automne" was an especially reflective piece ... such a touching (almost sad) melody, and then watch it unfold. One wonders from whence the inspiration came from for this. This was a somewhat lengthy piece at nine minutes, not just another Romantic bon-bon.

Other pieces include Poème Provençal, Op. 127 (four pieces); Six Romances sans paroles, Op. 76, and another group of individual pieces taken from other opuses.

Just a highly enjoyable and listenable experience.

More to the point, too, is WHERE is pianist Madeleine Stucki these days. Here's an artist that plays this music as though it was in her blood, it's that good in its musical sensitivities, pathos, humour, and virtuosity. Her tone quality and technique - and the recording quality - is superior in every way, but Chaminade's genius and Stucki's performance qualities are quite magical.

When I get excited about hearing something, I have to share it! Anybody else a Chaminade (or Stucki) fan?
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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Corlyss_D
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Post by Corlyss_D » Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:59 am

I like her stuff. XM Radio plays it surprisingly often, considering how much of their schedule is consumed with tiresome Beethoven, overwrought Tchaikovsky, and incredibly boring Bach on a harpsichord.
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jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:03 am

There was some piece or other in my learner's anthology. I want to say "Scarf Dance"; does that sound right? Dear old Mrs. Troidle had to correct me when I referred to the composer, who was listed only as Chaminade, as "he."

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

Febnyc
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Post by Febnyc » Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:56 am

Cécile Chaminde's gracious Piano Trios have a recording on an ASV disc. These are lovely, lyrical works - really beautiful.

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Post by Wallingford » Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:17 pm

Any of you ever checked out Chaminade's OWN PLAYING?....Mainly on this disc--
http://www.amazon.com/Piano-G-Ts-3/dp/B ... F8&s=music
A helluva virtuoso, she was indeed (so was Saint-Saens, on the same disc). You have to make allowances for the usual sour pitch in the G&T discs of a full century ago; but in the end, you're greatly rewarded.
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
--Paul Simon

Lance
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Post by Lance » Tue Jan 23, 2007 4:32 pm

Yes, that's APPIAN 5533. Chaminade's recordings were made in 1901. Wouldn't she be pleased to know we are still listening today, 106 years later!!!
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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diegobueno
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Post by diegobueno » Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:00 am

There's a Concertino for flute and orchestra by Chaminade which is still greatly loved by flute players. One is more likely to hear it in its band arrangement than the original orchestration, but it's charming nusic nonetheless.

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