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Debussy - Etudes #VII, VIII, IX

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by Francois de Larrard, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Dear All,
    Please find a recent recording I made of three of the Debussy's etudes. If you find them deserving to be uploaded (in spite of their many defects), I could try to record the whole set of 12. It is probably the summit of late Debussy's piano compositions. Almost completely atonal, but of a very free style, and a constant search for sound. Hence for me Debussy is really the sound sorcerer. No real storytelling in this music, but rather a succession of moments showing each time a new aspect of our favorite instrument. Thank you for listening and commenting,

    Debussy - Etude No. 7 - Pour les degres chromatiques (3:45)
    Debussy - Etude No. 8 - Pour les agrements (3:09)
    Debussy - Etude No. 9 - Pour les notes repetees (5:14)
     

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  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    They sound well enough to me.
    I've created the links in the OP but it may take a while before they work. PS is being migrated to Amazon cloud storage and someone else is doing the uploading for the time being. I don't know if we are going updating pages on the main site any time soon.
     
  3. pianolady

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

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    Hello Francois,
    I've never heard any of Debussy's etudes before, so these were interesting. No. 7...good thing for a pianos double escapement action, right?

    I don't quite understand why no. 8 is to work on ornaments. I didn't really hear any.

    No. 9 is pretty, although the repeated notes are mostly just a few in the opening section and when it comes back later on. Oh well, who am I to judge Debussy's work. I'm sure I'm just not understanding things correctly. Still, your playing sounded very nice!
     
  4. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Monica,
    Thanks for your appreciation. For #8, I agree that there are few ornaments in the baroque sense. BTW, Debussy does not refer to "ornements" but to "agrements", which means in French "something agreable". Hence you find in the score a number of patterns written in small notes, which means kind of secondary sentences having a decorative role, in comparison wih the main melodic line.
    As a matter of fact, yes the #9 has a lot if repeated notes (maybe I used too much pedal, so that it is less apparent in my recording).
    All these studies are extremely delicate to execute cleanly. Pollini did record them with his usual perfect technique, but I don't find his renditions poetical at all. On the contrary, the old Gieseking played them with a sublime sense of fineness, contrasts, gradations betweeen several screens... and some wrong notes that do not matter (at least for me).
     
  5. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    To your information, the files do not appear to be uploaded. Also, strangely, in the high part of this screen, the titles do not correspond to the files (although they do in the attachments of my original post). Some IT issues ?
     
  6. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    The files *are* uploaded. The links I created do work, only I had the numbers mixed up, not sure why. Probably an IT issue :p It's corrected now.
    I left the attachments mainly as a reminder that we have not updated the main site with them yet. Reaon for that is that some changes are taking place behind the scenes and I wanted to wait a bit and see how that will develop.
     
  7. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Francois,
    I listened to these a few weeks back (during the big change) and liked them, but could not post a comment. Unfortunately, I did not take notes so I can only thank you and say I'll try to get back to them again. (The machine from which I'm commenting does not have a speaker, and my 'music machine' is not on today).
    Thanks for the introduction to these works.
     
  8. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks Stu, yes the usual process of PS has been in trouble. I am looking forward to read your comments. Regards,
    Francois
     
  9. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    To the administrators (Chris, Monica, Richard...): these files, although accepted by Chris, are still not uploaded. Did I do something wrong ? Thanks for your help !
     
  10. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello François, I've never heard these Etudes before. I thought I was listening to Messiaen instead of Debussy due to the atonal nature of these compositions. I don't have the score, but it's still challenging that it sounds great as suite. Thanks for the introduction to these pieces.
     
  11. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    You're welcome ! Indeed these pieces are less popular than the preludes among the pianists, due to their technical difficulties. But they are as beautiful, and they sound very contemporary (although they are a century old).
     
  12. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I like the clarity and well-reflected expressivity of these recordings! That´s very adequate to Debussy. The sound-quality of these recordings is also really good, so the tone colour sounds a bit "thin" to me. May be you should record with 96 or more Khz to get more substance of tone in your recordings. But that´s just a suggestion of improvement and more minor.
     
  13. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hello Andreas,
    Thank you for your compliments and your advice. Regarding the recording, it is done in .wav format (the CD standard) then it is compressed to mp3. As for the noise that I find sometimes slightly 'nasal' (maybe what you call ´thin'), it is the typical Yamaha sound. These pianos have great qualities, but they lack sound in the bass range, at least those of limites length (mine is 1.90 m long). But I think you are more experienced than I am in sound treatment. What is your advice to correct this nasality ? I am using Audacity software to treat the recorded files.
     
  14. musicusblau

    musicusblau Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    You are right about the sound of Yamaha grands especially if they are not so long. In former times I had a Kawai of 206 cm, which really had a good bass, but the sound was not as deep and somehow of an individual and noble character like my Grtrian-Steinweg is now.
    44,1 khz is enough for the standard of this site, of course. But my personal philosophy is to record at least with 96 khz, because you get more of the tone and the whole ambience and atmosphere on the recording. People who say they don't realize a difference are definitively wrong from my view. But hearing is perception and so it is subjective. I would recommend to do some bass boost with equalizer and to use ambience of a big room and may be more reverb. I use WaveLab and Reaper and I have no experience with Audacity. Boost also the very high frequencies to give the ambience more "air".
     

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