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 Debussy Rhapsody
Author: Therese 
Date:   1999-04-21 23:45

I was just wondering about everyones input about The Premier Rhapsodie by Debussy. Different interpretations would be greatly appreciated!

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 RE: Debussy Rhapsody
Author: ted 
Date:   1999-04-22 23:12

For some reason, the word "ethereal" comes to mind. There are also many mood changes throughout the piece. I have found many interpretations very pleasing to listen to. My favorites are oldies by Gaston Hamelin and Benny Goodman (my favorite classical recording of Benny Goodmans). Also more recently, Sharon Kam has a recording with a lot of fire to it. Karl Leister's is more sedate, but just as pleasing to me.

I prepared this piece for a lesson recently. It was certainly a challenge playing so many passenges p, pp, and ppp with a good tone. Also some of the 32nd note runs took a lot of wood'shedding.

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 RE: Debussy Rhapsody
Author: Tim2 
Date:   1999-04-25 02:40

I too spend a long time in the wood shed on this one.

Ted is right in talking about the soft passages. The gradations between p, pp and ppp need to all be heard. The change in dynamics is a big part of this piece. It is control in the sound.

First page: A good crescendo to the A in measure 5 and then decrescendo will do well. Don't be wimpy about it. This will set the mood. At 1, (first theme) should be serenity. Stretch a bit on the length of the C & Eb in the second measure after 1. It is sort of like climbing the top of the phrase, going over the hump. In the same way, stretch the E natural and C in the fourth measure after 1. Here it is the end of the phrase and you want to say this is it. In the same way, the Bb in the 7th measure after one is lengthened before the little intro into the second theme at 2. While the measures between 1 & 2 should be soft, they should also be strong in support and sound. Should sound like you mean it, even at pp. Strong supported sound is also going to make the 4 measures after 2 sound smooth. These four measures, each time they come throughout the piece, are so important. Carry them out like a singer would. they would have depth in their sound to help them carry the intervals smoothly. At the En serrant, accelerando to the key change, whiop those last notes into the key change. It's forte now.

On the second page, those sextuplet 16 notes are clocked at 76 per dotted quarter. Tempo does not need to go any faster. Make sure every note can be heard.

On the last page, I gently pushed the tempo up to the end of the running 16ths. Then, total turn by the piano in tempo. Forte (and not staccato) on the last triplet eighths. Make every note heard going to the high Eb. It should not be a gliss. The last note should be subito pp and crescendo to a ff or even fff. Listen to pitch; keep it right there.

Keep in mind that a solid tone, great control in dynamics and clean notes in fast passages will make this work for you. Always remember, even when it is pp, you need to be strong in sound. Never be wimpy in this piece.

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 RE: Debussy Rhapsody
Author: Len DeFrank 
Date:   1999-07-26 05:13

I have found only 1 recoeding of this piece with piano. Do you know of any others?

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