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Alkan - Gigue et air de ballet Op. 24

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by felipesarro, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    "The Gigue op 24 is the most intellectual of all the mid-period works. It is the most concise being only thirty-four bars long with an asymmetric 14-20 binary bar subdivision. The influence of Mozart's extraordinary Gigue K574 with its quirky imitative style may be observed but the influence of the chromatically descending melodic motive of Bach's Fugue in E minor (book 1/10 of the 48 Preludes and Fugues) is more important. In the Alkan example some extreme dissonances occur almost by contrapuntal design. An interesting harmonic variant is Alkan's use of the submediant rather than the relative major for the second half of the Gigue. The craggy uncompromising style of the Gigue contrasts sharply with its companion piece, the Air de Ballet which is less inspired. Here the model is the opéra ballet of Rameau, thus illustrating Alkan's subtitle to this piece 'dans le style ancien'. This 'ancient style' in Alkan's op 24 is exemplified by square harmonic modular phrase structure, a quasi chanson rhythm and a persistent use of the Dorian mode with its characteristic flattened seventh and an omission of the third of chord at cadences thus blurring the major/minor tonality. All these factors combine with Alkan's characteristic use of the five bar phrase, his liking for tonic-centred melodies and a romantic reinforcing the lower bass octaves. Despite the length of the piece (207 bars) which contains much simples repetition of ideas, op 24 has considerable charm from the direct opening D minor rondeau theme in pungent octaves designated 'très carrément' to the delicacy of the first couplet with its soprano tenor delicate texture. A delightful harmonic surprise is the sudden move to B minor via a D major and an inner use of melodic chromaticism. This couplet theme is picked out as part of the triplet melodic variant. After a reprise of the rondeau theme, Alkan announces the second couplet in the dominant key which in its heavy use of tonic/dominant harmony, self-contained sequences and incessant use of right hand octaves is more reminiscent of his early style. His dense use of chordal and heavy left hand octave textures indicates a move towards a more uncompromising massed style."
    -- William Alexander Eddie


    Alkan - Gigue et air de ballet, Op. 24
     
  2. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Never heard this one...but thanks for sharing.
     
  3. mgasilva

    mgasilva New Member

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    Hello again Felipe,

    To me this sounds very well played, and this is a piece I would certainly like to hear in a recital.

    The first couplet to me represents a crumbling castle of cards.

    The second couplet reminds me of Mozart music, and is of an energy I would call childish but in a good way, brisk, vibrant or frolicky.
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I never heard this before, either. It's okay - mostly the beginning part. Sounds hard to play and you did well with all those octaves near the end. It is up.
     
  5. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    it's not that good, isn't it?
    I have much a better impression when I'm recording. I can't noticed I'm playing all those slips, so I think it's okay and then I stop recording.
    I notice them only afterwards... :roll:
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    No no - it's not anything against your playing. It's the piece itself. I blanked out in the middle and didn't tune back in until the end, so that tells me that I'm not that crazy about the piece. Your playing is fine. :)
     
  7. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    oh, I see.

    at first I decided to record it for the sake of originality (the only comercial recording available is by Osamu Nakamura, released only in Japan). but after playing it several times, I "learned" how to love it!
    hehe

    but I know it takes a while.
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    You'll have to train yourself to listen for slips when recording. Yes there are quite a lot of them here. Also in the gigue, synchronization between the hands is not optimal, it sounds a bit messy here and there. You should play more Bach :p The gigue should be clearer and crisper.

    Your style is better suited to the Air de Ballet. Can't blame you for missing a couple of the octaves in the finale. Although you could have worked on that a bit more (are you sure you did not hear these ???)

    Interesting pieces both, I knew the Gigue but have never played it. The slips would have bothered me less had the sound been better. But the high notes of your piano seem badly out of tune.
     
  9. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    really, I hear much fewer slips while playing or recording. Many others come off later, when I edit the recording.

    yes, my piano will be tuned tomorrow 8)
     
  10. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I didn´t follow along with score, but just wanted to meet this piece from hearing. So, they may be some slips (and some I could hear even without score). But it´s a damn difficult piece and so I have to say you have done a great job here.

    I like both pieces very much, because their structure is so interesting. So, thank you very much for sharing this with us and giving us the possiblity to meet these unknown pieces! :!:
     
  11. felipesarro

    felipesarro New Member

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    thanks, Andreas!

    in fact, the gigue is pretty famous. only the air de ballet is not often played. in fact, I gave MYSELF the opportunity of meeting this unknown piece, because I myself had never listened to the air before. hehe
     

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