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#1443863 - 05/26/10 07:46 AM Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread.
Alkisztian Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 15
Loc: Europe
Amédée Méreaux.
You probably haven't heard of his name, and if you have it's probably something that popped up when you searched for "difficult music".

Not much is known about him, this is all the info I can find on the internet and might not be 100% correct.

"(b Paris, 17 Sept 1802; d Rouen, 25 April 1874). French musicologist,pianist and composer. His main achievement is Les clavecinistes de 1637 à 1790 (1864-7), an edition with essays on the composers represented. His grandfather Nicolas-Jean Le Froid de Méreaux (1745-97) was an organist and composer of operas and oratorios."

From personal experience, a lot of people on the internet claims his music to be
unmusical
too difficult (it makes alkan and liszt look like nothing)

and even MAH (Marc Andre Hamelin) said that Mereaux was unmusical, and therefor not interested for him to play (Or he just said so because he is too frightened to play Mereaux) he also said one of Mereaux's pieces (the 24th etude of his 60 etude set. That's right 60.) is the only piece he knew of that makes you catch vertigo.

Not much of Mereaux music exist on the net, there are a few midi uploads of his etudes. My personal favorite so far is no.15 and no.4. Please have a listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vN9ilM2zCg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErgwPpUcsEE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-dV471Avqc&feature=related

Personally I like his music A LOT and he's currently among my top 5. But I have this thing for difficult works for piano.

Hope you enjoyed him as much as I did, I attempted some of his works just to fail. I play Liszt and Alkan btw.
_________________________
Liszt Transcendental étude no.4
Liszt Sonata B- Minor
Alkan Le Preux

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#1443866 - 05/26/10 07:53 AM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: Alkisztian]
izaldu Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/08
Posts: 1255
Loc:
I don t think Hamelin is afraid of anything piano ... if he can´t play it, chances are it cannot be played.

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#1444071 - 05/26/10 02:24 PM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: izaldu]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
These are nice etudes. These are my thoughts:

-If No. 15 were arranged for 4 hands, it would make a good concert piece.

-No. 56 doesn't sound impossible. It's basically the Chopin Ballade 2 final arpeggios over and over again (but not quite as fast, thankfully).

-No. 4 would also be okay for 4 hands, but not as good as No. 15.

Eh, I really don't go deep into the nonstandard repertoire (deeper than knowing of the people and some of their works). Alkan is an exception for me.


Edited by Orange Soda King (05/26/10 02:24 PM)

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#1444081 - 05/26/10 02:46 PM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: Orange Soda King]
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Thanks for telling us about Mereaux and sharing a few youtube videos. Very interesting! How did you first learn about him? Was it his music that initially drew you in, or something else?
_________________________
Sam

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#1444210 - 05/26/10 05:53 PM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: pianojerome]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2659
Loc: Netherlands
know him, alas, Alkan et al.beat him, more like chaps like Dussek FGS
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couch de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1444213 - 05/26/10 05:56 PM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: dolce sfogato]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2383
Loc: San Jose, CA
Dussek's "L'invocation" Sonata is quite the neglected masterwork.. Firkusny made a fantastic recording.

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#1444220 - 05/26/10 06:00 PM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: jeffreyjones]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19578
Loc: New York City
I found all three etudes quite boring. If the music wasn't there to show how difficult the composition was, I would have been even more bored. I think I listened to about 1/3 of each piece.


Edited by pianoloverus (05/26/10 06:03 PM)

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#1444226 - 05/26/10 06:09 PM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: jeffreyjones]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2659
Loc: Netherlands
what about his op. 61, f-sharp minor, Elégie, TEARS!
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couch de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1444241 - 05/26/10 06:33 PM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: Alkisztian]
MikeN Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 579
Loc: Ohio
I remember coming across the name in Hamelin's interview but on hearing it I can see why he finds them of no musical value. There are just too many other things in the repertory that are more worth the time.

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#1444512 - 05/27/10 04:18 AM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: MikeN]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5361
Loc: Europe
I'm with pianoloverus on this one: I found them quite boring and tiring. I couldn't find a reason (especially to have 56 etudes?!?!?!? At least). I mean there was little to no innovation, at least to my ears and I am judging based on when he was alive, not in todays standards!
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1444558 - 05/27/10 07:13 AM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: pianoloverus]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I found all three etudes quite boring. If the music wasn't there to show how difficult the composition was, I would have been even more bored. I think I listened to about 1/3 of each piece.


Compared to actual substantial pieces, I find that technical etudes in GENERAL are boring, including Chopin's. But when I think of them as just etudes, that puts a different light on them for me.

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#1444570 - 05/27/10 07:51 AM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: Orange Soda King]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19578
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I found all three etudes quite boring. If the music wasn't there to show how difficult the composition was, I would have been even more bored. I think I listened to about 1/3 of each piece.


Compared to actual substantial pieces, I find that technical etudes in GENERAL are boring, including Chopin's. But when I think of them as just etudes, that puts a different light on them for me.
Yes, but the greatest sets of etudes(Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Scriabin)have a lot to offer musically IMO. I think even Alkan's Etudes, which I'm only a minor fan of, are far more interesting musically than the ones by Mereaux.

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#1444655 - 05/27/10 09:54 AM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: Nikolas]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2383
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
I'm with pianoloverus on this one: I found them quite boring and tiring. I couldn't find a reason (especially to have 56 etudes?!?!?!? At least). I mean there was little to no innovation, at least to my ears and I am judging based on when he was alive, not in todays standards!


I could see the interest to a composer, who could play through these pieces and have it demonstrated to him what was or was not playable. Some of the figurations are novel, even if the musical content is zero.

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#1444702 - 05/27/10 11:12 AM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: pianojerome]
Alkisztian Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 15
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: pianojerome
Thanks for telling us about Mereaux and sharing a few youtube videos. Very interesting! How did you first learn about him? Was it his music that initially drew you in, or something else?


I read about him somewhere, I searched for his name (Just Mereaux) on youtube and found something completely different. A few years later he was shown in my recommended videos (again, on youtube) so I listened to one or two of his etudes, and started to like him. Because frankly, I do like him musically. He appeals to me.
_________________________
Liszt Transcendental étude no.4
Liszt Sonata B- Minor
Alkan Le Preux

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#1444706 - 05/27/10 11:15 AM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: pianoloverus]
Alkisztian Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 15
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I found all three etudes quite boring. If the music wasn't there to show how difficult the composition was, I would have been even more bored. I think I listened to about 1/3 of each piece.


Compared to actual substantial pieces, I find that technical etudes in GENERAL are boring, including Chopin's. But when I think of them as just etudes, that puts a different light on them for me.
Yes, but the greatest sets of etudes(Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Scriabin)have a lot to offer musically IMO. I think even Alkan's Etudes, which I'm only a minor fan of, are far more interesting musically than the ones by Mereaux.


I think no.15 and no.4 are very musical, of course it's subjective. And these are his etudes, keep in mind. The etudes are op.63 so he composed a lot, apparently. But there are no other pieces but a few etudes which you can hear on youtube. Which is sad, because I am sure if we could hear his other works (non-etudes) more people would be interested in hearing him. Too bad I can only find a few opuses by him on the internet...
_________________________
Liszt Transcendental étude no.4
Liszt Sonata B- Minor
Alkan Le Preux

Top
#1444712 - 05/27/10 11:20 AM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: MikeN]
Alkisztian Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 15
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: MikeN
I remember coming across the name in Hamelin's interview but on hearing it I can see why he finds them of no musical value. There are just too many other things in the repertory that are more worth the time.



I am still interested in hearing his 60 etudes, I'd pay someone to digitally convert them.
_________________________
Liszt Transcendental étude no.4
Liszt Sonata B- Minor
Alkan Le Preux

Top
#1444740 - 05/27/10 12:18 PM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: Alkisztian]
jeffreyjones Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 2383
Loc: San Jose, CA
Originally Posted By: Alkisztian
I think no.15 and no.4 are very musical, of course it's subjective. And these are his etudes, keep in mind. The etudes are op.63 so he composed a lot, apparently. But there are no other pieces but a few etudes which you can hear on youtube. Which is sad, because I am sure if we could hear his other works (non-etudes) more people would be interested in hearing him. Too bad I can only find a few opuses by him on the internet...


There are a few pieces on IMSLP, but I don't see anything that rises above the level of overgrown potboilers - and potboilers that show exceptional lack of talent, at that. I'd sooner like to see a Kalkbrenner or Herz revival. Their music can be nearly as difficult, and they had competence. By which I mean they could come up with more than one tune per piece.

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#1444748 - 05/27/10 12:39 PM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: Alkisztian]
MarkH Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 867
Loc: Seattle, WA
Just out of curiosity, since it was piqued by this topic and Hamelin's mention of Mereaux during the recent interview, I read through part of Mereaux's Ballade Op. 60 on IMSLP. It wasn't hugely innovative - based on the sections I read it appeared to be variations on a simple theme, but it did have a nice sense of wistfulness, and was relatively idiomatic besides what appears to be a penchant for unreachable chords in some sections. It struck me as emotionally similar to Schumann in one his more naive and simpletonian moods, but with a lower compositional quality similar to Sauer in some of his sonatas. Not an earth-shattering discovery, but much more consequential than the previously posted etude MIDIs.

Regardless of whether or not Mereaux is a long-lost genius, thanks Alkistian for starting this topic, and if you are one of the people involved in the Mereaux project on youtube, thank you for putting so much effort into preparing MIDIs of his works. We can all benefit from learning more about people like him, even if we don't decide to work up one of his compositions ourselves.
_________________________
Currently Studying: Debussy - Pagodes; Alkan - Cello Sonata 4th movement (duet transcription by Alkan); assorted Dvorak Slavonic Dances

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#1445019 - 05/27/10 07:29 PM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: MarkH]
dolce sfogato Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 2659
Loc: Netherlands
Just downloaded his 'Grande Fantaisie sur une Mazourka (sic) de Chopin', will try it tomorrow and let you all know about the experience, looks quite fun!
_________________________
Longtemps, je me suis couch de bonne heure, but not anymore!

Mussorgski tableaux d'une exposition/Ravel miroirs

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#1701649 - 06/25/11 04:53 AM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: pianojerome]
Kemeny Gabor Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/24/11
Posts: 1
Loc: Budapest, HUNGARY, EUROPE
The thing is Amadée Méreaux is almost unknown in fact, I've never heard of him before as well I dare to say a few of those works I've heard with scores on You Tube are masterpieces.
He must have been a fantastic pianist too.
There are no need making 4 hands version from any of these pieces in question, they all are playable but need a lot of practising naturally.
I'm a composer on more fields of music and a pianist as an artist too, for 33 years now, that means I realize what i put down here.
Although Mr Hamelin who's one of the greatest conterporary pianists doesn't like these pieces,we all can be sure he'd play each of them fantastically.
_________________________
Gabor

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#1701655 - 06/25/11 05:13 AM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: Alkisztian]
Batuhan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/09
Posts: 904
Loc: Istanbul
Where is music ?
_________________________
Sorry for my English, I know it sucks, but I'm trying to improve.


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#1701703 - 06/25/11 08:52 AM Re: Amédée Méreaux - Unknown French composer reviving thread. [Re: Batuhan]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Originally Posted By: Batuhan
Where is music ?


Chopin must have taken it all. smile

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