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Grovlez - L'Almanach aux Images

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Monica wrote:
    Your right, I deleted it. I guess the only place one could find his photo would be at the class photo archives of the Conservatoire de Paris from the 1890s onward, or perhaps in a Fauré biography.
     
  2. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    I think that I found a photo of Grovlez. :D It was on the web site http://www.operanostalgia.be/html/Rimini-various.html. The caption reads "(Kipnis-Formicchi-Hackett-Rimini-Grovlez(conductor)-Ansseau/Chicago 1925)". I'm attaching the picture here.

    Let me know what you think

    Scott
     
  3. musical-md

    musical-md Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Peculiar that the caption is reverse-text to the picture. Who's who?
     
  4. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    The caption I was referring to was on the web site below the picture. I didn't pay attention to the writing on the picture until I had uploaded and posted it. The website in question has numerous pictures of Rimini. He appears to be 3rd from the right, making Grovlez the 2nd from the right. There are photos of the others available on the web so I did a quick look up and, without taking DNA samples, I believe that the names are in order from left to right. The picture of Fernand Ansseau was the most distinctive and identifiably the fartherst right. The farthest left, Igor Kipnis, is a little difficult to tell since none had him in a hat and he is bald without a hat.

    I imagine that the backward caption is due to someone writing on the backside of the negative plate.

    Here is a thumbnail that I also found that is supposedly Grovlez.

    Scott

    Edit: I actually found these through a Bing search for "Grovlez Photo". This last was attributed the the web-site http://www.last.fm/music/Gabriel+Grovlez though it only seemed to show up in Bing.
     
  5. pianolady

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

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    That's a neat photo, Scott. Except those men look like they belong in the mafia. But that is Chicago, so..... :wink:

    Seriously, I also saw that photo from LastFM, but I don't trust it. They also showed that other photo that George had up earlier and he was also labeled as being Grovlez. Plus, the man in the photo - the one second from right does not have a big mustache like the lastfm man. I know, that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't the same man. I think we need more proof, though, another photo to help us corroborate things.

    What a mystery, huh? Sort of like a game now - Who can find the real Grovlez?
     
  6. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    At least, this one with the group has the names identified on the photo, not as a file name, so it would appear that we may be getting closer.

    I know that one picture that showed up in a search for Grovlez was the Henry Pade (or some such name) that you have previously mentioned. What happened in that search was not that the photo was mis-attributed, but that in the image search it found Grovlez name in the text on the same page as the photo.

    You might try contacting the owner of the web site. If you use the first part of the url, it gets to the home page and does have a place to contact them.

    Scott
     
  7. pianolady

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

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    Sorry, Scott, I'm totally lost here... :? :? :? I should contact what web site? And why? Can you please do it? I'm so busy at work these days - they're making me actually have to work, can you believe that? :lol:

    I think searching for additional photos in other places/books is a good idea.
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    True. But does every composer have to ? For example does Mendelssohn ooze originality in his songs without words ? I think not, but nobody complains because he's famous. There will be other examples. I find these pieces by Grovlez just as attractive and varied as some by more well-known composers. But then I always have a taste for obscure composers that sing a simple song.

    I've never noticed any hints of Spanish-ness here, though nos. 6 an 8 seem to have a similar atmosphere to Mompou. Just where do you hear echoes of Goyescas ?

    Thanks ! Though I am puzzled by the 'nonetheless'.
     
  9. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for these photos Scott. I just love old photos like the first one where celebrities pose together. Even though the composer's name seems to be spelled Gabriel Grovez here, we may well assume the second from right is him, at least if the names are applicable from left to right, which they seem to be - although it's hard to be sure, and why is the text mirrored ? Probably it was written in black on the back of a negative ? Mysterious ! But we know that Grovlez worked in Chicago at one stage so it could be him.

    But even without the mustache he does not seem to be the same guy from the thumbnail. Looks quite different to me. Although that is hard to be sure too because the thumbnail seems to depict a much younger man.

    Maybe I should cut the image from the group photo, try to enhance it, and use it on the page. Could be copyright infringement though. Maybe a better idea to contact the Conservatoire de Paris where he studied ? They must have archives there. Someplace out there must have a picture. Can't be that Grovlez is the first modern composer we can't find a picture of....
     
  10. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    I was referring to the link that I had put in the post with the group picture.

    Scott
     
  11. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    Chris, not unless he is a vampire and can't be seen in mirrors or photgraphic images.

    Scott
     
  12. andrew

    andrew Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    If you flip the picture, it looks like it says L > R. , then the names of the six men. So Grovlez is presumably the second from the right or the second from the left. But I searched for a picture of Cesare Formichi and got this: http://image.allmusic.com/00/acg/cov200 ... 15z5c6.jpg which looks like the second from the left albeit younger (compare chins). I'd agree with the suggestion Grovlez is second from the right.

    Alexander. I remember reading Igor's obituary in International Piano Quarterly.
     
  13. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    The first time I listened to Grovlez, I was in a real bad mood on Monday, and I also found out that it was going to rain on my sailing trip (tomorrow morning). I had tuned in on PS, and I must have taken it out on poor Grovlez for reinventing the musical wheel. I just listened to the suite again, and there definitely is intrinsic value to his music. History is not always fair to lesser known composers. Apart from little recognition, having a limited output makes it difficult to realize one's full potential as a composer. They are eclipsed and at times trampled by other major composers during their time. Musical Darwinism! Look how long it took to find a photo of the jovial fellow!...

    The first parts of the suite started off with French Impressionism, then I heard Spanish elements to the music in the later parts. It was Chanson de l'escarpolette that seemed reminiscent of Granados both rhythmically and harmonically. Don't worry, the word "Nonetheless" referred to my aforementioned initial thoughts on Grovlez, which I wanted to be apart from your excellent playing.

    BTW, the piano has a sweet and warm tone. It sounds like the strings and hammers have settled in nicely, and the registers sound tonally balanced since the restoration. I think that early Romantic music would sound wonderful on your fine piano, like Schubert!

    ... It's still going to rain tomorrow, so, if I am not on PS in 2 weeks, that means I was lost at stormy seas... :p
     
  14. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    No harm in stating he was not a beacon of originality, to which I agree. But IMO this set is an absolute charmer. I feel like revisiting another set of his, Impressions de Londres, which I toyed with ages ago and is a bit more substantial. But I can't find it anymore - I rather fear I have gotten rid of it, having sold a (maybe too) substantial amount of music recently. Damn !

    I am all reassured :D
    But if that Chanson sounds like Granados I must be doing something wrong, because it is marked Mouvement de Valse Viennoisee :roll:

    Yes I am very pleased with it right now. It has just been tuned, the hammer felts having been roughed up a little (I asked for an intonation but that was apparently not necessary yet). The Tascam's fuller sound also helps of course.

    Ah yes. I still want to do the ubiquitous Impromptus one day. Not that we don't have them yet :wink:
     
  15. pianolady

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

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    Sorry, but I may have confused you guys. I never said that Grovlez sounded like Grandos. I meant that it looks like Grovlez once did some arranging on Granados' opera.
     
  16. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    It was George suggesting that some parts of this suite are reminiscent of the Goyescas (which I personally can't hear).
     
  17. jlr43

    jlr43 Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Chris,

    I agree with you that this set has some interest. In addition to Debussy's influence (and I could be way off-base here, having never heard of Grovlez before), I seem to hear hints of Grieg (Lyric Pieces) and maybe even Dvorak, what with the drone basses and rustic, dancing rhythms (in certain pieces, e.g., No. 4). Interesting that the Berceuse de la Poupee differs from the title in the Children's Corner set by only one word, although that word makes all the difference for the piece's character :p My only real complaint with the music is that it sometimes lacks tautness and structural integrity, meandering discursively from section to section. But it more than makes up for that with its pleasing impressionistic sonorities and eclectic incorporation of various influences (at least so it seems to me).

    Your playing of these pieces seems generally well phrased and controlled. You seem to have a feel for the slow, lyrical pieces in particular. These are also IMHO more polished than some of your earlier recordings. My only advice would be to sometimes give the technical side a bit more work. It was mostly clean and clear, but there were a few passages in which the rhythm sounded a bit awkward or the fingerwork a bit enjambed. Some things I noted about specific pieces:

    1. Nice jaunty rhythm at the outset. The left hand seemed soupy in a couple of places near the beginning.

    2. Very well played, sensitively phrased and nice ritard to end.

    3. Good singing line. The double-note unison passage somewhere in the middle seemed as though it could be more precise (also hands not quite together).

    4. Again, overall rhythm could be tauter IMO, seems as though maybe the overall tempo could be a tad faster and livelier. I like the element of surprise in your ending.

    5. I like your sound and balance very much here. The underlying rhythmic pulse seems just a little bit flabby to my ears (maybe some of the accents could be a bit more mordant). I have to say I have a soft spot for these bucolic character pieces (these aren't in the league of those in the Liszt Annees, but they're pretty convincing).

    6. Very elegant touch. Nice glissando-like effects. Nothing really to complain about on this one.

    7. Wow, talk about a mercurial change in mood! The Viennese waltz theme is immediately apparent. This one seemed a bit overpedaled in places, and maybe a few slipped notes; nothing major though. Overall it could perhaps have more lilt and charm.

    8. Nice and introspectively played. Again nice sound and well-employed rubato.

    But not to nitpick too much. Very nice work on these in general. Thanks for introducing us to this music.

    Joe
     
  18. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks Joe. Yes there may be some tiny imperfections as always. We are amateurs after all - or at least I am.
    The double-note section in the middle of the Sarabande is actually impossible to play as written, i.e. legato all the way with the top note in RH held down. One has to compromise. This passage makes me thing that Grovlez was not a pianist.
     
  19. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    I have cut out what we believe to be Grovlez, sharpened the picture a bit, and put it up on the site.
    Thanks Sctott for digging this up ! Hopefully I'm not breaching any copyright here...
     
  20. pianoman342

    pianoman342 Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Hi Chris,

    I sampled these and they sound good. I would have liked the Chanson du Chasseur a little slower.

    I can definitely hear the impressionistic style. There are some pieces that sound a lot like some of Debussy's preludes.

    A lot of these pieces I don't really care for, though "Petites litanies de Jésus" is kind of like a lullaby, it seems to have a nostalgic feel to it that appeals to my tastes. :)

    Good playing, I am now going to check out your Hamelin piece!

    ~Riley
     

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