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Thread: Joseph-Guy Ropartz

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    Senior Member eugeneonagain's Avatar
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    Default Joseph-Guy Ropartz

    Joseph Guy Marie Ropartz (15 June 1864 – 22 November 1955) French composer and conductor. (read more here at Wikipedia).

    Never heard of this fellow before. I've just picked up a disc with his string quartets: 1-3 and they are very much worth a listen.

    Wikipedia likens his style to Debussy and Franck (under whom he studied organ), but it has more of a likeness to d'Indy and quite a strong Celtic flavour which gives it some affinity to British folk music. The latter is surely a product of his Breton culture.

    The quartets are an interesting blend of late 19th century meets early 20th century, which can be heard in the harmonies and the chromaticism.
    Last edited by eugeneonagain; Apr-16-2018 at 16:30.

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    I've explored the Breton composer, Joseph-Guy Ropartz's opus in some depth (as French & French/Celtic music of this period interests me), and would say that his "Prelude, Marine et Chansons" and Piano Trio in A Minor are among his finest chamber works, arguably masterpieces (along with, but to a slightly lesser degree, his String Trio). The Stanislas Ensemble has done first class recordings of all three works, & their entire CD can be heard on You Tube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ5a...-atOvsTqzfNjHr

    The Montreal Chamber Players have also made a very fine recording of the "Prelude, Marine et Chansons" on Atma, & I may slightly prefer their performance. It comes coupled with equally beautiful performances of chamber masterpieces by Debussy, Roussel, Koechlin, & Ravel--a terrific album:

    https://www.amazon.com/Autour-Harp-R...layers+ropartz
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...dm_ws_sp_ps_dp

    (In addition, Trio Hochelaga has recorded the Piano Trio as well, on Atma (coupled with a piano trio by another Breton composer, Rhené-Baton), but I've not heard that recording: https://www.amazon.com/Ropartz-Rhene...s=ropartz+atma)

    Ropartz' 5th & 6th String Quartets are excellent too (but probably not quite on the same level as the works mentioned above). The 5th SQ was composed shortly after the death of Ropartz' wife. It contains a very brief, poignant Adagio that lasts for only 1:47 minutes. One senses that in his grieving, Ropartz may have found it too difficult to write a more substantial Adagio, as this movement comes off as deeply felt and personal. Yet, I would consider his 6th SQ to be the better, more assured work, and arguably his finest SQ. The 3rd Lento movement is especially beautiful, and the conclusion to the quartet is stronger than the ending of the 5th I think. Here's a clip to the Stanislas Quartet playing the 5th & 6th quartets (the Stanislas Quartet has recorded all six of Ropartz's SQs):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDRW...jERCl4&index=5

    Ropartz' Cello Sonata No. 2 is worth hearing too. Though I wouldn't say that I like it as much as other French Cello Sonatas from the period--such as those by Koechlin, Magnard, & Debussy. I didn't find Ropartz' 3 Violin Sonatas to be especially inspired on first listening, but maybe I need to go back to them [EDIT: I've just re-listened to the 3rd Violin Sonata, & it's better than I had remembered... EDIT 2: ditto for the 2nd Violin Sonata, as well]:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfoe...AeBeXSuSblDzmF
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G7c...k1OZzv&index=8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMKA...f5OgSt78SrEAbQ

    As for Ropartz's orchestral music, his Symphony No. 3 (a choral work) is generally considered to be one of his better symphonies, of six. I first heard it on an 1985 EMI (digital) recording from conductor Michel Plasson & the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse many years ago, which I remember liking at the time. There's also been a more recent recording of No. 3 from conductor Jean-Yves Ossonce on the Timpani label, which is part of a full cycle of Ropartz' Symphonies 1-6, but I've yet to get to it (& it may not be as good as Plasson's recording, I'm not sure):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qik...p_UfOt3SajrdOO

    Finally, I have this CD of Ropartz's solo piano music on my wish list:

    https://www.amazon.com/Ropartz-Piano...s=ropartz+atma

    My two cents.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Apr-16-2018 at 21:00.

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    Prélude, Marine et Chanson is incredibly gorgeous, so delicate and inspiring. I also know his symphonies. They are very good, very worth to listen to.

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    Senior Member Gordontrek's Avatar
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    The Adante et Allegro is a standard in the solo trumpet repertoire. I've had the pleasure of performing it before. Admittedly, I haven't explored his other works, but this thread has inspired me to do so.
    "May God have mercy on my enemies, because I won't." - George S. Patton

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    Senior Member eugeneonagain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordontrek View Post
    The Adante et Allegro is a standard in the solo trumpet repertoire. I've had the pleasure of performing it before. Admittedly, I haven't explored his other works, but this thread has inspired me to do so.
    This surprises me because I also play trumpet and I have never come across it. Never been introduced to it.

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eugeneonagain View Post
    This surprises me because I also play trumpet and I have never come across it. Never been introduced to it.
    It's a fine piece; just listened to it on Naxos Music Library which has 3 versions to choose from.

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    Senior Member eugeneonagain's Avatar
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    I just listened and I do know it; I just didn't know it was Ropartz. Shame on me.
    Last edited by eugeneonagain; Apr-18-2018 at 22:13.

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