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 Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: nes 
Date:   2007-09-04 09:10

Why is it that at the second 'Le Double plus vite' many performers do not follow the marking and take it faster than what it seems Debussy wanted? tempo 1 is around 50, then it slows down, then score asks to play twice as fast.. say 100-112, yet in the recordings it goes between 112-126??

It seems some people would rather interpret their own style rather than the authors.

It could be my edition.. in Australia is there a way of seeing the original score?

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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: sfalexi 
Date:   2007-09-04 09:20

Don't know. Apparently other pieces are taken faster nowadays also because of advances in the clarinet. For instance, if I remember my community band conductor talking about Mozarts Clarinet Concerto, the clarinets back then didn't have as many keys and it was very clumsy for them to try to play very quickly so it was made to be done slowly. But then you can get recordings of people playing that (and other pieces) absurdly fast. Fastest I heard was a recording of Bonade who seemed to play it so fast that the violins seemed to my ears to try to rush to keep up with his tempo.

Alexi

Platoon Sergeant
US Army Japan Band


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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2007-09-04 14:23

I was about to start a similar thread. I have noticed accelerando before 'Un peu retenu', after (4).
Also, at (6) we have 'a Tempo (moderement anime)'. I have always read this to mean the same tempo as (5) 'moderement anime', quarter-72. However I always hear (6) played significantly faster than (5).
Towards the end we have 'Plus anime' which is often followed by a gradual accelerando up to (11).

I have been to masterclasses where I was told to do these things, but my question is 'Why?'. Debussy didn't write it. If one looks at the score they find a very different piece than is ustally played.
Also, is there any pianist alive that can count well enough to play the 4 measures after (12) correctly.
My first 'coach' for this piece was a composition/theory professos in college. He didn't know anything about the 'way it is done'; he just knew what Debussy wrote on the score. So I look at it the same way. Debussy wrote X so I try to do X.



Post Edited (2007-09-04 15:29)

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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: CPW 
Date:   2007-09-04 17:06

sflexi, are you saying that there is a recording of Bonade doing the Prem. Rhap.??

Against the windmills of my mind
The jousting pole splinters

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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: Philip Caron 
Date:   2007-09-04 21:49

Probably Debussy (and Mozart) did not compose for people living in today's world. It is rare music indeed whose interpretations can remain static and still be effective, except for a learned and historical-minded minority of listeners.

An interpreter should make whatever choices necessary to render the music they play effective to listeners, including possibly the additon to or removal of things represented in the score. (Or even the choice not to play pieces that no longer have relevance to enough listeners.) Of course, this is nothing new, and as far as I can determine this kind of philosphy has been applied by many performers at least from the Classical era forward, including composers playing or conducting their own works.

This is in no way to impugn straight or traditional or middle-of-the-road performances, which in many cases can be magnificently effective. But even then, the perceptions of what's straight or traditional will change. I wouldn't worry too hard, then, about the composer's intentions or lack of them. This does not mean "anything goes." Seek hard to understand the score as written, and given that also explore deeply possibilities indicated there.

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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: nes 
Date:   2007-09-05 04:53

Actually by Debussy's time, the clarinet had undergoner a major shift. It was not too far behind the technicality of them nowadays. Anyway, it stands, by many examples, that composers often didn't worry about the difficulty of their compositions, but by how they wanted the music to go.

Therefore shouldn't we interpret tehir music the way they wanted us to. Like in the Debussy?

Some poeple worry that pieces aren't played on the correct instruemnts, but don't you think the fact it's more normal to change the score, is far scarier and a disastrous move.

If you want to play a piece how you want it to go, then compose your own or find apiece where the composer partially leaves it up to you, or get a friend to compose for you.

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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: skygardener 
Date:   2007-09-05 05:01

nes- "Actually by Debussy's time, the clarinet had undergoner a major shift."
True. I have a Buffet Bb that was made in 1896 and mechanically it is almost exacly the same as a modern Buffet. There are no less or more keys, but there are some differences in spring design, key shape, and a big difference in the quality of the metal. But I think it is safe to say there is just about nothing altered with respect to the fingerings available to the person using that clarinet or a modern one.

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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: CPW 
Date:   2007-09-05 13:41

Nes, you still did NOT answer my question.
Did you hear Bonade do the rhapsody (on recording, of course). If so, where is it available?
OR were you refering to Mozart....same question applies.

Against the windmills of my mind
The jousting pole splinters

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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: nes 
Date:   2007-09-05 14:15

I didn't say that it was sfalexi who said that, ask him.

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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: CPW 
Date:   2007-09-05 19:52

oops u r rite
so sorry
sfalexi....check above.

Against the windmills of my mind
The jousting pole splinters

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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: sfalexi 
Date:   2007-09-06 11:35

CPW,

I meant I heard a recording of Bonade playing Mozart extremely fast. I can't for the life of me remember where I heard it. I remember it was in my room a few years ago. Perhaps a streaming file from the internet somewhere? Can't remember. Sorry. I was interested in it because it was (A) the mozart concerto, (B) a recording from many decades before I was born, and (B) it was bonade playing. Wish I could tell you where I found it cause I don't have it anymore.

For Debussy, I have a recording by Stanley Drucker which is great. I also have others, but I like his the best.

Alexi

Platoon Sergeant
US Army Japan Band


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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: D Dow 
Date:   2007-09-06 12:13

One of my favorite of this is the James Campbell version ...he has such a clear liquid technique so suited to the work. The performance is effortless. My other favorite is Sabine Meyer with Abbaddo..a very fine interpretation. George Petersen with the Concertgebouw and Haitink in stellar as well.

David Dow

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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: elmo lewis 
Date:   2007-09-07 00:41

My teacher, a student of Bonade, told me to play the scherzo faster and said something to the effect that everyone plays it faster. This was 35 years ago. It does feel good to play it faster but Debussy definitely wants it slower-he wrote "meme mouvt" twice. Scherzando is not a tempo indication. Debussy wants us to play playfully. A real musician can make it sound playful at Debussy's tempo.

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 Re: Debussy Premiere Rhapsody
Author: nes 
Date:   2007-09-07 04:50

go elmo!

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