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#2085379 - 05/19/13 07:30 PM Claude Debussy - Maid with flaxen hair
inzovu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/28/13
Posts: 4
Loc: Belgium
I wanted to make a recording of this piece before starting to study for my exams. I will have to record it again but i hope you enjoy this one :):

It i recorded with a casio px-130.

#2085398 - 05/19/13 08:34 PM Re: Claude Debussy - Maid with flaxen hair [Re: inzovu]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18610
Loc: Victoria, BC
Overall, I feel the tempo is a little too slow and the result is that the piece does not flow too well. The internal beats of each measure are sometimes too strong; I am too often hearing an accent on each beat, further impeding the natural flow of the music.

I am more concerned, though, that you have many timing issues that you need to work out. While Debussy is played with considerable rubato (it is marked "sans rigueur" at the outset, you still need to have a sense of beat, however fluid it may be, and it is lacking in your playing.

These examples need to be worked out :
- measure three/four : you hold the D-flat for five beats instead of four (two beats in measure four, two beats in measure five)
- measure 7 : the B-flat is late coming in
- measure 11 : you do not hold the D-flat on beat two for its full value plus the sixteenth-note it is tied to
- measure 15 : You do not hold the C-flat for a full beat before playing the bass G-flat
- measure 16 : you hold the G-flat that starts on beat two for three beats instead of two
At measure 19, the score is marked :"un peu animé which, as you know, means to increase the tempo. You do not do so.
- measure 24 : All of a sudden you double the tempo; you're playing the eight-note chords almost as quickly as you played the sixteenth-notes earlier. I know the score indicates "au mouvement," but that just means to return to the original tempo after the "cedez" in measure 27. I didn't feel that you observed the "cedez" indication, either.
- measure 28 : What happened here? You hold the chord for almost five beats; it gets only two full beats before the upper D-flat comes in.

Once you get these timing issues worked out, consider next working on the dynamics. While the piece is gentle throughout, it does need some judicious touches of cresc. and dimin.

I would like to hear what you can do with this once you correct the many timing issues that you seem to have overlooked in this performance.

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#2085542 - 05/20/13 02:48 AM Re: Claude Debussy - Maid with flaxen hair [Re: BruceD]
inzovu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/28/13
Posts: 4
Loc: Belgium
thanks a lot for your advices! i'll work on these points.

#2085575 - 05/20/13 05:24 AM Re: Claude Debussy - Maid with flaxen hair [Re: inzovu]
inzovu Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/28/13
Posts: 4
Loc: Belgium
I tried to imporove it a little bit:

Please give me some more advices. I don't have a teacher so i'm glad to have comments from other pianists. I'll try to imporove it later because now i'm starting my exams at the university so i won't have much time to pratice but i will read your comments.

#2085637 - 05/20/13 08:53 AM Re: Claude Debussy - Maid with flaxen hair [Re: inzovu]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19929
Loc: New York City
Since you've probably memorized some of the timing errors I'd suggest playing it with the music as a reference and counting or using a metronome for a while. I think you eliminated some of the errors Bruce mentioned in your second video, but the measure 24 near doubling is still there.

I would also try to add some more dynamics as indicated in the score.

#2085651 - 05/20/13 09:31 AM Re: Claude Debussy - Maid with flaxen hair [Re: inzovu]
Cinnamonbear Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 4094
Loc: Rockford, IL
Hi inzovu! Welcome to Piano World!

My comments would be similar to those of Bruce and Pianoloverus, but with a specific underlying reason which I will explain. Debussy was a notation stickler because he had certain effects he wanted to hear come from the piano as part of his compositional art. Keep in mind, he was alive in that Impressionist milieu. Therefore, it is critical to examine the note values, pedal markings, dynamic markings, and all the specific notations you can see, then listen deeply into them as you play in order to hear and understand what sound Debussy was trying to capture for you to re-create by way of his notations.

This will be difficult to do with a Casio keyboard. But, if you use your imagination you will see what I mean. Right now, because of the limitations of the Casio sound, you are relying on melody phrasing to relate the beauty of this piece. You have a very, very nice touch and good musical sensitivity. But I think you need access to a better instrument to experience my point. If you follow the instructions in this thread and get thee to a well tuned grand piano, you might just have an over-the-top epiphany as you hear the rich interplay of live harmonics undulating and shimmering around you! grin Debussy knew how to play with the piano's resonance, and the best interpreters of his music (I believe you could become one) listen to re-create those effects as they play.

Thanks for sharing! Good luck with your exams.


Edited by Cinnamonbear (05/20/13 09:42 AM)
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.


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