By Lesley A. Wright, Scott McCarrey
Views at the functionality of French Piano track deals a number of techniques principal to the functionality of French piano tune of the 19th and 20th centuries. The individuals contain students and energetic performers who see functionality now not as an autonomous task yet as a convention enriched by way of a wealth of old and analytical methods. To underline the usefulness of contextual figuring out for functionality, each one writer highlights the alternatives performers needs to confront with examples drawn from specific repertoires and composers. themes explored comprise editorial perform, using early recordings, emergent disciplines resembling analysis-and-performance, and traditions handed down from instructor to pupil. subject matters that emerge exhibit the significance of versions as a kind of conversation, the demanding situations of notation, the importance of element and of deeper continuity, the significance of appearing and educating traditions, and the effect of move disciplinary frameworks. A hyperlink to a collection of played examples at the Brigham younger University-Hawai'i web site permits readers to listen to and evaluate performances and interpretations of the song mentioned. the quantity will attract musicologists and analysts attracted to functionality, performers, scholars, and piano academics.
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Additional info for Perspectives on the Performance of French Piano Music
That last page of “Feux d’artifice” enormously helps us in other passages. No longer need we battle between the very fast half-note tempo and the notated thirtysecond-note oscillations in the coda of “Jardins sous la pluie” (nearly all pianists guess this anyway). 6a). This page repeatedly baffles well-intentioned performers with an apparent conflict between its Animé heading (and metronome mark ± = 112) and the detailed thirty-second-note figurations in both hands. For those of us brought up never to miss out notes just to make something easier, an immediate impulse is to disregard the metronome marking (a standard source of dubiety in much repertoire).
This inevitably leaves me in the position of, on the one hand, parroting Debussy’s oft-reported advice to “observe everything marked in the score” and, on the other hand, arguing against too literal a reading. The answer has to be a contextual one: “observing” everything in the score can include knowing exactly how to read in terms of what Debussy assumed competent and alert performers would know. As with many composers, his notation alternates, for very practical purposes, between the prescriptive (“do exactly this”) and descriptive (“work out how to get this sounding effect”).
23 He rightly points out that if piano rolls are a problematic medium for nuances of touch and dynamic, they are nonetheless invaluable in terms of tempo relationships. Armed with all this information, modern performers—who by now are not Romantics transitioning to a new era—must still decide how much they should model their work on earlier generations. For those who may be inclined to use historic recordings for quick answers, Dingle cautions against any a priori suppositions regarding playing style and suggests that Madeline Valmalète’s (1925) recording of Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin is much closer to what might be expected of a modern-day performer.