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Poulenc - Improvisation No. 15, “Hommage à Édith Piaf”

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by pianolady, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    This is a redo. My first version sounded quite stiff, although nobody told me that at the time. So now it's a few years later and I'm trying again. I've tried to let my hair down this time and play it with more abandonment. Hope it's okay...

    Anyway, I just did a little research about this piece. Supposedly, Poulenc and Piaf did not know each other personally, but they died in the same year - 1963.

    Poulenc - Improvisation No. 15, “Hommage à Édith Piaf”
     
  2. jontyl

    jontyl New Member

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    Sorry, I get 404 not found when I try to listen to this :|

    Thank you for telling me. :D I had an extra space in the file name. It's fixed now.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for telling me. :D I had an extra space in the file name. It's fixed now.
     
  5. StuKautsch

    StuKautsch Member Piano Society Artist

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    Not stiff at all, Monica. Either a touch too much reverb or pedal through my speakers, but it's a small thing.
    Just noticed that you'd recorded a few others of these - I like the first A minor (#5), and will try to listen to the others. I could never figure out why Poulenc was not more of a big name...

    I hope you find time to get a few more of these in; how many are there?
     
  6. hreichgott

    hreichgott New Member

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    I like it very much... can almost hear Piaf singing :)
     
  7. mnodine

    mnodine New Member

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    Very nice, Monica. What a beautiful piece. You make it hard to criticize anything!

    Maybe one small thing is at the "céder...céder encore...Lent" section about 1.05, you
    could begin the ritardando a little sooner. But that's just an interpretation thing.

    The only oddity is in the "céder beaucoup" section about 1.29, the change of
    tempo was unsteady enough that it made some of the rhythms sound dotted.

    Certainly nothing in there that would be worth re-recording! I think you've
    inspired me to put this one on my bucket list (currently 900+ and counting...),
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for listening, Stu, Heather, and Mark! Happy Valentine's Day!! :) [​IMG]

    There are 15 Improvisations. I would like to learn some more of them someday. I just looked at my list and it shows that the five I have already recorded are all odd numbers. Hmmm....

    Me too! :)

    Thank you, Mark! Funny you mention that my tempo sounded unsteady at the spot at 1:29, because I actually was unsteady there! :lol: I had started daydreaming and suddenly came back to reality at that place but sort of 'lost it'. I'll just say it was another interpretation thing :) .
     
  9. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    It's been awhile since your earlier effort, but your rendition here strikes me as being fully creditable in every way. Listening to it now, I image that your ears have to be on alert constantly for clear pedaling, as there are so many chromatic and neighboring tones abounding there. My guess is that you had to apply some light touches along with some quarter- and half-pedal releases to avoid blurs. Very nicely done, Monica. That coda leading up to the chordal close is very unusual, but it works quite well. I enjoyed listening.

    David
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi David, and happy belated Valentine's Day!

    Thank you for listening. Yes, pedaling was very tricky here. And this is one of those rare pieces where I used all 3 pedals! Right there at that coda leading up to the chordal close. I had to slide my left foot over from the middle pedal to the soft pedal without missing a beat. It was an interesting little personal challenge to get it to work seamlessly.
     
  11. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    And a Happy Valentine's Day to you too!

    David
     
  12. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Monica,

    this piece is nice ! I like your playing and the sound of your recording too.

    Yes there is definitely something of the atmosphere of some Piaf's songs but I could not recognize one particularly. Can you help me ?

    Didier
     
  13. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    That is very nice, and best of all, it does actually sound like a somewhat mushy late-night improvisation!
     
  14. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Didier, I'm glad to see you! I think it's been years since you've listened to one of my recordings!! :D

    I don't know if this piece has in it some actual melody from a Piaf song. I think that Poulenc just had her in mind when he composed this piece. It's very dramatic and tragic....just like Piaf. I could be wrong, though.

    Thank you, Andrew! Mushy late-night in a dark night club....yes!
     
  15. Didier

    Didier Member Piano Society Artist

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    You mean it's been years since I've posted a comment to one of your recordings ? Yes possibly but meanwhile I've listened to some of them... :wink:
     
  16. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm glad to know that, but I wish you (and other members who hardly comment) would comment more often. I've said this before-- I always feel like I spend a lot of time with certain members and don't get anywhere close to the same amount of attention back from them. Just a little peep now and then would be nice. It makes it feel less one-sided here on the forum. :)
     
  17. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Monica,
    Beautiful piece and charming rendition ! I've never been a big fan of Edith Piaf (I have even to confess that I can hardly suffer her voice). But here, if there is a nostalgic climax, we are (fortunately) far from Piaf's expressionism. This music suits you beautifully, so that you have definitely to complete the whole series...
     
  18. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Francois,
    Thank you for the kind words! :) You're certainly making me feel like looking into these Improvisations again...sooner rather than later.

    I too am not a fan of Piaf. In fact, I've only heard her sing La Vie en Rose one time, but that was enough... :wink:
    I would much rather listen to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald or Rosemary Clooney.
     
  19. troglodyte

    troglodyte Member Piano Society Artist

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    Very nice and convincing playing! (But I have to admit it is not really my kind of music.)

    Joachim
     
  20. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm a big fan of Ella Fitzgerald ! Nothing to see with Poulenc, however, but what a great artist... And what a light and fresh voice she kept even being 60 and older...
     

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