Classical Music Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have yet to find some nice pieces by Debussy and Ravel on youtube (yes, i go there for all of my classical music needs). I have already listened to Debussy's Clair de Lune and Ravel's Tzigane but they're not exactly on my favorites list. I have just finished listening to Chausson's poeme for violin and orchestra, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Does anybody have any recommendations of pieces written by French composers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Lekeu's v.s.
Faure´s first v.s.
Saint-Saëns first v.s.
Ravel's and Debussy's v.s.
Franck v.s.
Ysaye's solo sonatas
Just to begin. I've include belgians because they are very much alike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Hello Luximus,

Well, I'm not really sure if his music is on "youtube", but if you enjoy French composers like Debussy, how about Eric Satie (1866-1925).

You may enjoy his early piano works. There is a budget CD on the Philips Classics Label, which is a double CD of his early piano works performed by Reinbert de Leeuw.

I have the CD, and I'm listening to it right now. Wonderful work! :)

Does your love of French music extend to opera?

If so, may I reccomend......

Thais, by Jules Massenet (1842-1912)

Les Troyens, by Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

These are 2 of my favorate operas! :)
 
G

·
Of course, I like French music, and opera (perhaps, because I am French…);)

May I recommend especially these songs:

Massenet’s Songs
Renaldo Hahn’songs ( Felicity Lott’s performance is perfect)
Gabriel Faure’s Songs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
L'heure exquise, oh yes! the piano and Verlaine's poem are sublime.

did you try "si mes vers avaient des ailes?" (Victor Hugo's poem)
No, I haven't but I'll definitely try.

J'ai entendu parler de Hahn pour la première fois il y a deux mois et j'ai acheté le CD d'une contralto canadienne qui comprend trois ou quatre chansons par ce compositeur... J'adore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all your recommendations, folks! I'll definitely check up on some of those. What about some violin pieces by these French composers? i'm already a fan of Saint-Saens, but I've yet to discover some nice violin pieces by Debussy and Ravel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
489 Posts
I don't know if Ravel has any other violin pieces other than the Tzigane that you already mentioned. An interetesting issue with Tzigane it is that it is very precarious to stage a performance of this piece due to the extreme difficulty of the Harp part.

Many smaller orchestras do not actually have a harpist on staff and prefer to hire one a few times per season when needed. When my orchestra played Tzigane (I didn't know this would be a problem), we simply could not find a harp player who wanted to play this. We ended up having to bring in the harp from the Czech Philharmonic, who played incredibly well but cost a fortune.

So a warning to conductors and general managers: unless you have a harpist on staff who you can "force" to learn and play this, beware before you program this piece.
 
G

·
My favourites are L'heure exquise and Fêtes galantes :D
"si mes vers avaient des ailes", to words by Victor Hugo, was written when he was only sixteen…

--

One critic said of Reynaldo Hahn's songs, that he is at home in the elegant salons and seems to be wandering in the park at Versailles, where fauns and satyrs pipe their songs in secluded spots.

--

The case of Felicity Lott is very interesting. I started a thread about songs performed by foreign singers ( Schubert's lieder singed by French or a Spanish singer, etc…) and I thought that a song can only be performed, I mean Perfectly, by a singer speaking the same language. But I know now, as I listened Felicity Lott, who is British, performing Reynaldo Hahn's Songs, that I was wrong. Her pronunciation is absolutely perfect - great technical- light, precise, -- Voice flying among doves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
I can't believe that no one has mentioned the complete ballet Daphnis and Chloe (Ravel). Several recordings exist but the one that seems to get to the very heart of this score is Munch with the Boston Symphony (RCA Living Stereo reissue 09026-61846-2). Don't be bluffed by the age of the recording (1959 I think) - like so many competent recordings of that era by Mercury and RCA, it holds its own against any modern recording and has a warmth that the latest recordings lack - important with a work like this.

Of Debussy's important orchestral works, I'd put La Mer, Iberia and Jeux near the front.
 
G

·
What about some violin pieces by these French composers?
Plenty of prominent violin in the Ravel string quartet.

Even if you are not a fan of quartets, this one is quite addictive and came to many people's attention in the UK several years ago when it was used extensively in a TV adaptation of The Camomile Lawn.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top