The Music of France: Kickoff challenge!

May is the month of French music! Share your favorite pieces by French composers with us this month as we explore this vibrant and beautiful art! Today is the kickoff livestream, tune in to learn a bit about this challenge and get started on the right foot!

 

Find the start time in your time zone by clicking the photo or following this event link:                                      

 

https://app.tonebase.co/piano/live/player/french-music-challenge-may-2022

 

 

 

We are going to be using this thread to gather suggestions and questions!                                                                  

  • What questions do you have on this topic?
  • Any particular area you would like me to focus on?
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  • I have something else scheduled at that time, but I'll catch the livestream later!

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    • Pauline
    • Pauline
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    This is not specifically on French music...it is just something that I discovered today at the Library:

    https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/234672/every-good-boy-does-fine-by-jeremy-denk/

     

    Jeremy Denk - Memoir - Every Good Boy Does Fine

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    • Pauline Great memoir and superb pianist.

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      • Pauline
      • Pauline
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Shaw-Jiun Wang That is great to hear! Thank you, Shaw-Jiun! I look forward to reading it!

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    • Parag Mehta
    • Mathematician & Teacher
    • Parag
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    A session on Poulenc's music or even more specifically his Nocturnes for example, would be amazing. Thanks for this... I have been quite ambivalent when it comes to ""French music". Hopefully this month will help me revisit the music afresh.

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  • Probably my favorite French composer is Cecile Chaminade, who is rather obscure, but I think her music is really well written. She lived from 1861 to 1944, and composed from age eight to nearly eighty, and was quite popular during it (though I think that began to decrease with the 20's and Schonberg). She was quite popular with Queen Victoria, and indeed, Chaminade's Organ Prelude was played at the Queen's funeral. She is mainly known as a melodist, and, though she had a great mastery over the melody, that is not her only accomplishment. In her later works, from an earlier simple ABA form, an almost Haydenesque Sonata Form develops, even though there isn't always a second theme. In pieces such as Pecheurs de Nuit, there is only one theme, just developed in several ways. While she mainly wrote salon music, she also wrote many "serious works", such as the etudes, which show a mastery of composition. I'll be working on some of her pieces this month.

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    • Thurmond R Did you see the performance of Chaminade's Themes and variations on the site? I think it is performed by Andrew Tyson. 

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    • Tammy
    • TT2022
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    “French music” instantly conjured two names, Debussy and Ravel. And of course, Le Six. But when I thought a bit more, French Baroque also came to mind — and I think Jean Philippe Rameau is having a bit of a moment. 

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  • +1 to French baroque, Couperin as well. We French people have a particular affection for pieces like "Les baricades misterieuses" 

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    • Jeff
    • Jeff
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Favourite French Music: Charles-Valentin Alkan- Le Festin d'Esope; Ravel - Alborada del gracioso; 

    Would love to learn about your view/ideas on the difference in use the of the pedals when playing the music of various modern french composers.  Thanks.

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  • Few favorites that either Yihan played or heard live performance of:  Claude Debusy (Cake walk, Arabesque), Ravel (Sonatine ) , Francis Poulenc (Napoli - Caprice Italien) Camille Saint-Saëns (The Carnival of the Animals)

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  • The Livestream says that it is private right now, and that I need a password to get in. I'm sure that this will be removed when the Livestream actually starts, but I haven't seen it before, and I don't want to, if it is an error, to miss most of the livestream. Thank you!

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    • Thurmond R It is public now, see you in a bit!

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    • Dominic Cheli Thank you!

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    • Jenny
    • Jenny.1
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I'd love to join in this challenge, but would need a simpler piece, somewhere around grade 4/5 level, any suggestions, or perhaps any suitable parts of pieces? Thank you, I'll enjoy following others progress in any case!

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      • Lisa Thomas
      • Piano Educator
      • Lisa_Thomas
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Jenny Listen to Vikingur Olafsson's "Debussy/Rameau" album, which has lots of what I would say are grade 4/5 level pieces by Rameau.  Just pick one and grab it off IMSLP.  I bought the whole "Pieces de Clavicin" Rameau compilation because there are so many charming pieces.

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      • Jenny
      • Jenny.1
      • 6 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Lisa Thomas Thank you so much for your message, Lisa. I'll definitely look this up. I have actually made a start on Ravel' s Prelude, but finding the many octaves quite challenging! I'm looking forward to seeing how we all get on. Hope you're having a great day.

      Like 1
    • Pauline
    • Pauline
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Les Baricades, Misterieuses - Very beautiful!

    Ravel's Prelude - Also very beautiful!

    That was lovely that you demonstrated (by sight reading) a brief section of a Chaminade piece.  I recall that Genevieve often spoke of Chaminade in previous LiveStream Chats. Chaminade was prolific indeed!

    Gounod - luscious piece that you played

    Trifonov - your most recent live concert! Sounds wonderful!

    The V. Le jardin Feerique - quite beautiful...loved the glissandi!

     

    Thank you, Dominic! Thank you, everyone who contributed!

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    • Lisa Thomas
    • Piano Educator
    • Lisa_Thomas
    • 6 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    I'm sorry I missed the live event, but hope to participate in the challenge anyway.  I looked back on all the pieces I've played in recitals the past few years and realized about half of them were by French composers.  While I don't have time to build something from scratch this month, I have been wanting to revisit "Pavane for a Dead Princess" to see how it sounds now that I have matured somewhat as a musician and have a new Yamaha grand piano.  I see there might be a few others playing it, though.  Would "Clair de Lune" be an alternate choice if I can give it a fresh coat of paint?  If you need something different, I can play Rameau's "Musette en Rondeau," which is a charming little piece I heard on Olafsson's "Debussy/Rameau" album.  What do you think?

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