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Sibelius - Pensees Lyriques Op.40

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by techneut, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    This set of character pieces by the Great Finn you don't hear very often. Some may say rightly so... I will not suggest this is great music. Sibelius wrote lots of stuff like this to pay the bills (which symphonies apparently didn't), and he was not a pianist nor especially drawn to the instrument. To those who can only want the best in piano music, don't bother with this and go look elsewhere. But I believe this music deserves an airing, and since nobody else does it ! Plus, PS is the place to go for rarities.

    I find much to enjoy in these unassuming pieces, shot through as they are with glimpses of the 'real' Sibelius, and had a good time practicing and recording them. I find them quite endearing in their simplicity and occasional gaucheness. In particular I love the deft little Polonaise (amusingly subtitled Alla Polacca, as if we could not have worked that out) that concludes the set. Enjoy. Or don't :wink:

    Sibelius - Pensees Lyriques Op.40 - 1: Valsette (0:59)
    Sibelius - Pensees Lyriques Op.40 - 2: Chant sans paroles (1:39)
    Sibelius - Pensees Lyriques Op.40 - 3: Humoresque (1:22)
    Sibelius - Pensees Lyriques Op.40 - 4: Minuetto (2:45)
    Sibelius - Pensees Lyriques Op.40 - 5: Berceuse (1:48)
    Sibelius - Pensees Lyriques Op.40 - 6: Pensee melodique (1:12)
    Sibelius - Pensees Lyriques Op.40 - 7: Rondoletto (1:41)
    Sibelius - Pensees Lyriques Op.40 - 8: Scherzando (1:06)
    Sibelius - Pensees Lyriques Op.40 - 9: Petite serenade (2:27)
    Sibelius - Pensees Lyriques Op.40 - 10: Polonaise (2:06)
     
  2. jono7

    jono7 New Member

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    And what a delightful rarity these are. I really enjoyed listening to them
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That is good. I imagine this may be the reaction of many people when they discover some all but unknown music on PS.
     
  4. richard66

    richard66 Richard Willmer Piano Society Artist

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    Actually I am acquinted with these, having read through them some years ago. I actually owned the score, which since has vanished, though I have managed to ger hold of a printout recently and looked though it again. I like the Pensée Melodique, which actually does sound like Sibelius.

    I shall listen to your performance with fresh ears. You can bet on that, because I have never heard these!

    After listening, two thoughts:

    1 - I wish I could write like this and pay the rent with the proceeds. Actually at times I do. What am I waiting for? Landlord! I don't have the money, but if you just hear this serenade of mine... :D
    2- Good performance of little nothings.
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Richard. Though these are slender pieces indeed, it had not occurred to me to consider them as "little nothings". :lol:
     
  6. Bruce Siegel

    Bruce Siegel New Member

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    Hey Chris, you're right—that polonaise is a cool piece! I especially like the first 30 seconds of it, which you play delightfully—with a precise, vigorous, rhythm, and just the right staccato feel on those block chords.

    Somehow, I'm trying to reconcile this Sibelius with the Sibelius of the 4th (I think it is) Symphony and it's just not happening! The language is just so different.

    Bruce
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Bruce. Yes it's a real corker isn't it ! Would maybe make a nice encore.
    I'd like to think my recording is consistently high-spirited, not just the first 30 seconds.
    Indeed, this music is a far cry from Tapiola or the 4th Symphony. It reminds me more of the Karelia Suite.
     
  8. Bruce Siegel

    Bruce Siegel New Member

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    I just listened again. Your playing IS high-spirited throughout, but the piece just works best for me at the beginning, and then again at the 1:04 point where that opening section returns. The quality of the writing impresses me less in other parts.

    Bruce
     
  9. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello Chris,
    I've just listened the last three pieces: nice music, and apparently very respectable execution ! Maybe the thumb-index trill in the 9th piece could have been a little faster, like in the last Beethoven's sonatas, but yet there is a nice equilibrium and space in the recording. I confirm it is one of the great things at PS to find such small, rare pianistic candies... Thanks for providing them so generously!
     
  10. andrew

    andrew Member Piano Society Artist

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    It would be quite fun to do a small concert and sandwich a couple of these with, say, a few of the Beethoven Bagatelles and Alkan Esquisses.
     
  11. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks Francois. Try the other ones, too :)
    Sibelius is not Beethoven - that trill is just a sequence of written-out 16ths, and I play them exactly as written. They could have been a bit smoother amd quieter though, maybe I'll redo this one.
    It is my pleasure to provide tons of inconsequential candy fluff to PS :lol:

    Ayuh, and have people play guess-the-composer afterwards.
     
  12. Francois de Larrard

    Francois de Larrard Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Oups, sorry, next time I'll check the score before to make untimely remarks !
     
  13. musicrecovery

    musicrecovery Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Techneut,

    I agree with you. These pieces should be heard. They are indeed endearing, expressive and in some ways Schumannesque.
    Here are some impressions I have of your performance which is by and large very nice. Of course, I do not know this music and
    so my comments are not based on any knowledge of the score.

    Pensees Lyriques 1 - really nice pacing between sections, really nice melodic lines, the music comes out from the start

    Pensees 2 - very lovely shifts in tempo, very nice playing.

    Pensees Lyriques 3 - Perhaps this could be interpreted with a tad more crispness and playfulness. It is nicely performed
    but seems as though it could be expressed with greater freedom and confidence.

    Pensees Lyriqes 4 - beautifully played.

    Pensees 5 - beautiful tone throughout and beautifully expressed. Bravo.

    Pensees Lyriques 6 - very enjoyable.

    Pensees Lyriques 7 - nice sparkle, really enjoyable.

    Pensees Lyriques 8 - fun, sweet, interestingly played.

    Pensees Lyriques 9 - lyrical, nice shading, perhaps the trill section should be softer, like a music box. Just wondering, beautiful melody line.

    Pensee Lyriques 10 - the dramatic line comes through, very nicely played.

    Techneut, you have really done a good deed in presenting these pieces.
    To me, they are wonderful miniatures with interesting statements and rhythmic motifs. Thank you so very much!!

    Kaila Rochelle
     
  14. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you Kaila. Good to see some credit given for these neglected pieces !
    I agree with you about the trill in no.9. As for no.3, yes it is maybe a bit rigid and mechanical. I'll
    consider redoing these two.
     

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