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#1824755 - 01/14/12 01:06 PM Debussy Prelude 1: Danseuses de Delphes
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
http://www.box.com/s/4yvxqu8kio65jsn6mxio

I haven't played it for my teacher yet, just learned the notes.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1824809 - 01/14/12 01:58 PM Re: Debussy Prelude 1: Danseuses de Delphes [Re: liszt85]
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17847
Loc: Victoria, BC
This is not an easy piece to bring off, in spite of the fact that it may "look easy" on the page. It's all about balance, colour and subtlety, isn't it?

May I make a few suggestions?

For my taste and feel for this piece, I think that your volume comes up too much by measure 4. These are very small increments in volume and even though you need to play the F on beat two of measure 4 loud enough to sound through the rest of the measure, I don't feel that you need to be as loud as you are at this point. I would suggest, too, that the remaining chords in that measure be much more subdued. Similarly in measure 8; I don't think you need to build it up quite so dramatically, yet, as you're only working towards a mf on the F in measure 9.

Starting at measure six, I would like to hear the chords on the half beat played quieter. I was going to say bring out the melody more, but I really want to hear those off-beat chords less. You should still only be at a p, and already you are sounding almost mf. Use the way you play measure 15 as a guide; to me this is more the balance you should strive for at measure 6.

Don't you hold the fermata at measure 20 a little too long?

The balance between top and bottom starting at measure 11 seems quite well-done, although I might subdue the internal chords just a shade more than you do. Keep the direction "doux mais en dehors" quite firmly in your mind, with focus on the "doux"; don't bring out the top too much. The top will carry itself pretty well given the register in which it is written; there shouldn't be any need to try to bring it out particularly.

You carry the melody line quite well through the chords in measure 18 through 20; just make sure that while playing those ppp chords all the notes sound together.

Note that measure 21 starts p and measure 23 is marked piu p. For my taste, your crescendo at measure 24 is a little too broad; it should move up to only p. Again, be careful (in measures 26 and 27 that all the notes of the chords sound precisely together.

Make sure that we hear the top D in the chord in measure 31.

You certainly have "learned the notes" of this work. I think that it needs a little more subtlety, throughout, eventually, but I have no doubt that that is something that you and your teacher will be working on.

I would be interested to hear/read what the title "Danseuses de Delphes" means to you, and how it will eventually colour your interpretation of this lovely work.

Thank you for sharing.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#1824818 - 01/14/12 02:10 PM Re: Debussy Prelude 1: Danseuses de Delphes [Re: liszt85]
Tim Adrianson Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1026
Liszt85, I listened to an old Welte piano roll recording of Debussy himself playing his Danseuses de Delphes. It was instructive -- relative to your own conception, I believe Debussy provides a better sense of a Greek ceremonial dance. I'm hard put to tell you why, though -- I believe it's a subtle combination of voicing and phrasing that gives it a slow-moving but unmistakeably dance-like quality. I accessed it on YouTube, just bringing it to your attention.

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#1824826 - 01/14/12 02:17 PM Re: Debussy Prelude 1: Danseuses de Delphes [Re: liszt85]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Bruce, excellent observations, as usual. I'm aware of some of those issues that you mention.. it needs a lot more polishing (like I say in the description on boxnet). smile I will repost this when I've worked with my teacher on some of these issues that you talk about.

Tim, thanks for the pointer.. will have a listen!
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#2185437 - 11/19/13 11:35 PM Re: Debussy Prelude 1: Danseuses de Delphes [Re: BruceD]
NickatNight Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 5
I'm also studying this piece.
And everything in your post is pretty much exactly what my new piano teacher told me. And it's going well!

Hope the original poster discovered more of the preludes by now.

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#2185446 - 11/20/13 12:13 AM Re: Debussy Prelude 1: Danseuses de Delphes [Re: NickatNight]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7518
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: NickatNight
I'm also studying this piece.
And everything in your post is pretty much exactly what my new piano teacher told me. And it's going well!

Hope the original poster discovered more of the preludes by now.

Since it's been two years since this was posted, and the OP's last post on this site dates from the day after this one, somehow I doubt you're going to hear back from him. wink
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2185448 - 11/20/13 12:16 AM Re: Debussy Prelude 1: Danseuses de Delphes [Re: Polyphonist]
jazzyprof Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/04
Posts: 2621
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Originally Posted By: Polyphonist
Originally Posted By: NickatNight
I'm also studying this piece.
And everything in your post is pretty much exactly what my new piano teacher told me. And it's going well!

Hope the original poster discovered more of the preludes by now.

Since it's been two years since this was posted, and the OP's last post on this site dates from the day after this one, somehow I doubt you're going to hear back from him. wink

He couldn't, even if he wanted to be heard from. He was banished a long time ago.
_________________________
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy...period."......JP

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#2185539 - 11/20/13 08:10 AM Re: Debussy Prelude 1: Danseuses de Delphes [Re: liszt85]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Yes, L85 was a good guy, but he had difficulty sometimes in keeping his Internet temper in check. A lesson to all of us.

This inspires me to get out the old Preludes book again and record that particular beast. I learned it a while back, but not to a fully polished state.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#2185689 - 11/20/13 12:40 PM Re: Debussy Prelude 1: Danseuses de Delphes [Re: Tim Adrianson]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 677
Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
Liszt85, I listened to an old Welte piano roll recording of Debussy himself playing his Danseuses de Delphes. It was instructive -- relative to your own conception, I believe Debussy provides a better sense of a Greek ceremonial dance. I'm hard put to tell you why, though -- I believe it's a subtle combination of voicing and phrasing that gives it a slow-moving but unmistakeably dance-like quality. I accessed it on YouTube, just bringing it to your attention.


Ken Caswell, out of Austin, TX, is a friend of mine who has been invaluable to me in regards my research into rolled chord playing. He recorded in digital stereo, the Debussy roll, and this piece is the first selection on the CD.

Therefore, I know what a Welte-Mignon piano sounds like, and that is exactly what this is. You good folks have be conned by someone who got an old roll recording and then posted it here.

There are slight differences between the two recordings, but what you are listening to is Claude Debussy playing his own stuff.

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