Very well played! However, you ask for feedback. Tricky. Generally, I find it difficult to criticise performances, as everyone's sincere efforts are valuable. Personally, I play the piece a bit differently, but then debating the interpretation is to a large extent a matter of taste.
How I play this is in trying to have the first entrance scales a bit more hoveringly, like breaths of air and wind, or like the gentle ripple of water at a calm day's shoreline . And then the opening notes in the right hand as a distant flute, as if emerging from afar.
This is a good example:
I also would try and play it with a slightly more distinct pianissimo where prescribed, and a little bit more rubato. The pianissimo may admittedly be an issue of the recording and of the instrument. What piano is it? Have you tried playing this piece on an upper tier or mid tier grand piano?
Loc: Jakarta, Indonesia
Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. The piano is Kawai K-5. I don't know, but I find it a bit hard to play cleanly on my piano, and somehow find it a tad easier to do it on a grand. Oh, maybe it's just me wanting a bigger and better piano...
Loc: Rockford, IL
Perhaps. But your piano sounds LOVELY!!! And your playing does, too.
And along those lines (of playing cleanly) I think that you might be trying to play TOO cleanly to the point of sacrificing some of the expression that you clearly have in your heart to play. Just an observation. I know that playing and posting this stuff is like a high-wire act with no net, and I may be way off in my observation, but it is what I sense--that if you let your fingers follow a little more closely what your ears know that the notes want to say, you'll get a little more out of the piece.
It's VERY good!!! I enjoyed listening very much (three times! The first day you posted, then several times after that! )
Thank you so much for sharing! It's been a while since we've seen you here! So glad you are back!
I may not be fast, but at least I'm slow.
Loc: Jakarta, Indonesia
Hi Andy, Thanks so much for your kind words. I know I can always count on you to make my day. I have actually a lot of stuff I wanted to post here but have been extremely busy for the last couple of months and didn’t have much time to practise. I’ve been wanting to post Rachmaninov Elegie, one of my favourites from Rachmaninov’s solo piano works, but always feel it’s not ready yet. Hopefully, I’ll have the time to polish it these coming weeks and post it here. Cheers, O
One of the things that Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel had in common besides the word "Impressionism," is that they used to go nuts when performers would over romanticize their music. And, to this day, especially with the music of Debussy, that is exactly what 99.9% of all performers do with this great music.
Impressionistic music is not rhapsodic, in terms of its harmonic rhythm, it is angular. That is why these two composers specifically gave tempo and dynamic guidance when they wanted a change in a given section.
When the score say "tres doux et tres expressif," it doesn't mean smooth and expressive like Chopin, Schumann or Brahms. And, when it says "sans lenteur," it also means that you play it slow but not like a traditional romantic period largo.
So, in that I am a big believer in show and tell, here is a link of a dude who probably studied this piece under Marguerite Long, who studied it under good ol Claude.
Notice the asynchronization, and even some arpeggiation here and there. The bottom line is that this rendering is worlds apart from Ciccolini and the original post here.
And, we are talking about a performance philosophy associated with a particular composer's music. We are not talking about individual interpretation.
I don't play it like the link listed here, but I darn sure don't play it like everyone else does who ham it up, like it is some romantic ballad.
I hadn't listened to this recording when you first posted it, but for me, from a musical standpoint this is just a superb presentation of early Debussy -- clear as a bell, beautiful line, nothing "fussed over" or overly rapturous. Thanks so much for providing this little jewel!
Loc: Jakarta, Indonesia
Thanks for all the comments. Re Follow Your Bliss’s questions, I have played the piano for almost 20 years on and off, so I think my progress is painfully slow I had actually played this piece many many years ago and when I got Bavouzet’s CDs of Debussy’s piano works and listened to how beautifully he played it, I decided to re-learn it. It took me around 1 month to get it ready for recording. So Andy, your signature suits me very well