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Debussy-Voiles

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by arensky, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. arensky

    arensky New Member

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    The second Prelude from Book I, more discussed in theory and history textbooks (whole tone and pentatonic scales, influence of Chinese and Indonesian music) than actually played. Not a perfect rendition (Chris will find the errors :D ) but not the worst either. Sorry about the piano tuning, monsoon rains have come to prevent the forest fires 8) but also to undo my tuner's work :x Oh well, enjoy, and comments appreciated and wanted!

    Also, the title's meaning is ambiguous: the word "Voiles" in French can mean either "sails" or "veils", what does it suggest to you?

    Debussy - Preludes, Book 1 - 2: Voiles ( 3:35 )
     
  2. François Micol

    François Micol New Member

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    Funnily enough, I had never imagined it could mean something other than "sails". It's probably because of Debussy's numerous water-pieces (La mer, Ondine, Poissons d'or...) that I automatically made the connection. That said, "veils" would also be very fitting. So I don't know!

    As for your performance, it was really good. I think you grasped the "magic" of the piece quite well, maintaining a very mysterious, "veiled" tone colour throughout. Perhaps a few melodic lines could've been brought out a tad more clearly, but that's really nitpicking for the hell of it. ;)
     
  3. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Haha, my reputation is firmly established it seems :wink:
     
  4. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    You've been away for ages Chase. Welcome back, what kept you so long ?
    This is a masterful recording of this deceptively tricky prelude. Quite fast to my ears, but that is probably because I've always played it too slow. Much to my chagrin, I could find nothing to pick on, not even one wrong note :x
    My only possible gripe is that the sound is not very open, it sounds a bit muffled. Are you playing with the lid closed ? Would you consider opening it ?
    I have put it on the site. Amazing that we do not have all the preludes yet !
     
  5. arensky

    arensky New Member

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    Self retraining and reassesment of my relationship with the piano and music (and life) in general, heavy introspective stuff! But I'm back, and better, according to those who know me best. You'll be hearing more from me from now on, no kidding. :)


    Thanks, and yes it is tricky; easy for it to sound like mush all the way through, and I'm not satisfied with this recording but it's the best I can get it right now

    I sped up my interpretation after listening to Cortot's old recording; he gives the piece a rhythmic motion that propels the piece through the clouds, so to speak. And his old (then new, probably) Pleyel grand allows for a variety of tone and touch that is hard to duplicate on most non-French pianos. My Steinway (older than the Preludes) achieves a pretty good tonal palette for Debussy, but the sound is still a bit granitic.

    There are no wrong notes 8) but there are at least three that do not sound. Listen again... :wink:

    The lid was wide open but on my first takes the sound distorted at the Eb pentatonic climax, so I moved the Edirol (perched on a music stand about 5 feet high) back to about 6 feet from the piano. There was still distortion, so I lowered the input level. Perhaps I shouldn't have equalized it (RCA 1947 LP on Audacity) This happened with another recording I did recently; maybe something's wrong with my Edirol's condenser mic. I'm thinking it's time for a good stereo recording mic anyway. BTW, most of my recordings at home are made with the lid closed and the Edirol very close to the piano.

    [quote[I have put it on the site. Amazing that we do not have all the preludes yet ![/quote] 8)

    I will be providing a few more, including some we don't yet have, in the near future!

    Francois, thanks for your feedback! Yes, the clarity is sometimes lost in the fog; Chris is right, this is a deceptively difficult piece to play well.
     

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