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Author Topic: Messiaen - Petites esquisses d'oiseaux  (Read 6067 times)
andhow04
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« on: July 06, 2010, 01:40:54 PM »

this is from a concert a couple of weeks ago.  here is the whole program:

Medtner - two fairy tales, op.20
Quentin Kim - Sonata in g# minor
Franck - Prelude, Chorale n Fugue
INTERMISSION
Debussy - Masques / D'un cahier d'esquisses / L'isle joyeuse
Bartok - Musiques nocturnes
Messiaen - petites esquisses d'oiseaux

this piece was written in 1984 and dedicated to yvonne loriod.  it was messiaen's last piece for solo piano, not taht that makes it more profound or whatever, it just was.  it is a bit simpler than most of the pieces in the catalogue... and a lot shorter.  each one is about two mintuies long.  there are 6 movements but i am only posting 5 because the 6th wasn't up to my standard.

I. Le rouge gorge [European Robin]
Erithacus rubecula


* 12 Petites esquisses d'oiseaux - I..mp3 (1854.03 KB - downloaded 87 times.)
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andhow04
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 01:41:29 PM »

II. Le merle noir [Blackbird]
Turdus merula


* 13 Petites esquisses d'oiseaux - II..mp3 (1810.96 KB - downloaded 58 times.)
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andhow04
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2010, 01:42:04 PM »

III. Le rouge gorge [European Robin]
Erithacus rubecula


* 14 Petites esquisses d'oiseaux - III.mp3 (1810.91 KB - downloaded 33 times.)
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andhow04
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2010, 01:42:42 PM »

IV. La grive musicienne [Song Thrush]
Turdus ericetorum



* 15 Petites esquisses d'oiseaux - IV..mp3 (1934.02 KB - downloaded 33 times.)
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andhow04
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2010, 01:43:18 PM »

V. Le rouge gorge [European Robin]
Erithacus rubecula


* 16 Petites esquisses d'oiseaux - V..mp3 (2291.6 KB - downloaded 32 times.)
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pianist1976
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2010, 06:57:20 AM »

I'm starting to appreciate the music of Messiaen (I have an embarrassing gap in post-1950 music that I'm trying to fill now).

Marvelous music and very nice playing. Congrats!  Cheesy

P.S. Could you, please, detail the recording equipment and piano? Thanks in advance  Smiley
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andhow04
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2010, 10:18:24 AM »

I'm starting to appreciate the music of Messiaen (I have an embarrassing gap in post-1950 music that I'm trying to fill now).

Marvelous music and very nice playing. Congrats!  Cheesy

P.S. Could you, please, detail the recording equipment and piano? Thanks in advance  Smiley

he had a long stretch of writig bird related pieces in the 50's, but this one came rather later on. you need to be very nimble to play it, but these don't require a lot of power.  if you cnan get the score it's worht looking at, because messiaen has some fingerings which appear eccentric but show you what he had in mind physically.

thanks for compliment!

the piano was a 9 foot steinway, i don't know the equipment , it was recorde by engineers in the hall.  On the cd the quality is top notch, but just to let you know i think i converted it twice before posting here; first to itunes, then to mp3, so it may have lost some quality.

thanks for listening.. i hpe more people hear these pieces, they are very approachable in my opinion.
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rachfan
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2010, 02:34:56 AM »

Hi andhow,

Tonight I listened to the sketches of the birds.  I believe you played these intricate pieces exceptionally well.  It's a fine accomplishment indeed.  The music is certainly characteristic of Messiaen's idiom and quite accessible to the listener, at least for me.  Many of the harmonies are innovative and rich in their dissonance.  Because of the seeming randomness of it all, I imagine that memorizing this music would be a challenge.  I doubt that I could have memorized it, even back when I still had a memory. Grin  
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Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.
birba
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 05:06:24 PM »

I absolutely love these pieces and you play them superbly.  Your nitid touch is exactly what this music requires in the upper register.  Brilliant.
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andhow04
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2010, 03:29:39 AM »

Hi andhow,

Tonight I listened to the sketches of the birds.  I believe you played these intricate pieces exceptionally well.  It's a fine accomplishment indeed.  The music is certainly characteristic of Messiaen's idiom and quite accessible to the listener, at least for me.  Many of the harmonies are innovative and rich in their dissonance.  Because of the seeming randomness of it all, I imagine that memorizing this music would be a challenge.  I doubt that I could have memorized it, even back when I still had a memory. Grin  

thanks for the nice words... chords can be memorized because in general they are just transposed versions of each other; also they are relatively consonant chords, with only a few key dissonant notes added in. 
i'm glad you listened and glad you liked it!
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andhow04
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 01:18:48 AM »

I absolutely love these pieces and you play them superbly.  Your nitid touch is exactly what this music requires in the upper register.  Brilliant.

thanks !  they are bright pieces arent they
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ramseytheii
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2010, 11:11:45 PM »

Thank you for posting this unusual, but I think accessible, piece on the Audition Room.  So often these days, the posters to the Audition Room seem to have lost all interest in the actual sound of the piano.  This sound is excellent, brilliant and light, and so much variation in the touch.  I don't know these, but can they perhaps go a bit slower?

Bravo for keeping the Audition Room standard high, and keeping us interested in real performances of real music.

Walter Ramsey


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birba
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2010, 06:34:39 AM »

Thank you for posting this unusual, but I think accessible, piece on the Audition Room.  So often these days, the posters to the Audition Room seem to have lost all interest in the actual sound of the piano.  This sound is excellent, brilliant and light, and so much variation in the touch.  I don't know these, but can they perhaps go a bit slower?

Bravo for keeping the Audition Room standard high, and keeping us interested in real performances of real music.

Walter Ramsey



No, the tempo is perfect.  I don't think even Yvonne Loriod could have done much better!  This has become a must for me to learn these, in my first year of retirement! They're much more accessible then the catalogue des oiseaux.  Both for the performer and the listener.
I agree with your comments on the use of the audition room.  Not so much because someone may want to play the fantasie-impromptu or moonlight sonata - not everyone has something "new" and out of the standard repertoire to perform.  But we have been overly concerned over slow-pianist or whatever he's called.  The threads concerning him no longer regard his playing or interpretation.  Just a lot of mud slinging.  And I, too, at times, have participated in this macabre sado-maso divertimento.  But I do listen to almost all the contributions to audition room.  I love to follow along with the score and offer constructive help.
I do have to say, though, that you have been conspicuously absent lately... Wink
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lontano
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« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2010, 09:16:33 PM »

I discovered the music of Messiaen in the mid-1970's and met both the composer and his wife twice: once in 1978 when Ms Loriod performed the complete "Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus" (entirely from memory!) and again at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (NYC) the following year when there was a celebration and performance over several days of his complete organ works (to date, obviously). While I can't perform his music, I spent many years studying/learning his entire oeuvre. While there are a number of works I couldn't recommend to anyone but a true die-hard (particularly works of his later years) I must say that getting to know all his solo piano music has been a wonderful experience.

While difficult on nearly every level, his "Catalogue d'oiseaux" (1956-58), a set of 13 virtuosic pieces bearing the names of specific birds and intended to use his transcription of those birds in their habitat, is a wonderful work to get to know, and perform if you have the chops. He also wrote an extended single movement solo piano work ("La fauvette des jardins") in 1970, running 30+ minutes, in the same genre as the Catalogue.

As andhow04 has pointed out "Petites esquisses d'oiseaux" are much shorter and less complex than the previous mentioned works, while still maintaining a lot of their style and essence. Because of this I highly recommend to anyone who might just be hearing this style of Messiaen's music (birdsong began to enter his music little by little beginning with "Vingt regards" and eventually became all-consuming by the mid-50's) for the first time to get to know these pieces and begin to acquire an intimate feeling of how deeply Messiaen was devoted to ornithology and love of birds in general before exploring the more extended works. It is completely unique music, and starting with the less demanding works could very well help the initiate come to love the music of the birds.

Finally, I want to offer andhow04 my praise for wonderful performances of "Petites esquisses d'oiseaux". Smaller they may be, but learning the very unique technique of this music is still demanding, and a fine performance these definitely are. Bravo! And thanks so much for posting them.

Lontano

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...and she disappeared from view while playing the Agatha Christie Fugue...
andhow04
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« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2010, 08:11:11 PM »

No, the tempo is perfect.  I don't think even Yvonne Loriod could have done much better!  This has become a must for me to learn these, in my first year of retirement! They're much more accessible then the catalogue des oiseaux.  Both for the performer and the listener.


that's way too nice!  you wouldn't say that if you heard  Cry Wink
i think you should definitely learnthese, they are fun to play because every bar is something different.

actually i heard yvonne loriod recorded these but i cant find it anywhere, on amazon, itunes, wherever.  anybody know where you can fin dthis?
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andhow04
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2010, 12:53:36 AM »

I discovered the music of Messiaen in the mid-1970's and met both the composer and his wife twice: once in 1978 when Ms Loriod performed the complete "Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus" (entirely from memory!) and again at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (NYC) the following year when there was a celebration and performance over several days of his complete organ works (to date, obviously). While I can't perform his music, I spent many years studying/learning his entire oeuvre. While there are a number of works I couldn't recommend to anyone but a true die-hard (particularly works of his later years) I must say that getting to know all his solo piano music has been a wonderful experience.

While difficult on nearly every level, his "Catalogue d'oiseaux" (1956-58), a set of 13 virtuosic pieces bearing the names of specific birds and intended to use his transcription of those birds in their habitat, is a wonderful work to get to know, and perform if you have the chops. He also wrote an extended single movement solo piano work ("La fauvette des jardins") in 1970, running 30+ minutes, in the same genre as the Catalogue.

As andhow04 has pointed out "Petites esquisses d'oiseaux" are much shorter and less complex than the previous mentioned works, while still maintaining a lot of their style and essence. Because of this I highly recommend to anyone who might just be hearing this style of Messiaen's music (birdsong began to enter his music little by little beginning with "Vingt regards" and eventually became all-consuming by the mid-50's) for the first time to get to know these pieces and begin to acquire an intimate feeling of how deeply Messiaen was devoted to ornithology and love of birds in general before exploring the more extended works. It is completely unique music, and starting with the less demanding works could very well help the initiate come to love the music of the birds.

Finally, I want to offer andhow04 my praise for wonderful performances of "Petites esquisses d'oiseaux". Smaller they may be, but learning the very unique technique of this music is still demanding, and a fine performance these definitely are. Bravo! And thanks so much for posting them.

Lontano



what a great post!  thanks so much for all that information.  i have never sat down and truly learned pieces from the catalog, but plan to do so, esp. bookVII "La traquet riuer" and also book VI "L'allouette Lulu."

altho the petites esquisses don't have as much detail "written" in by which i mean the times of days, other animals, etc. , they create such a strong picture, and they are based so amazingly in th sonority of the piano. i love love love them!  it is an amazing feeling, to string together a musical thought out of all those different ideas!
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birba
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2010, 07:25:57 AM »

Glad to read about someone else's enthusiasm for Messiaen!
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furtwaengler
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« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2010, 08:14:15 AM »

^Agreed! Messiaen has been a force in my musical life. At one time I was going to study with Peter Hill, and though it didn't happen, he gave me his complete Messiaen recordings which are nice to have around when La fauvette des jardins and Catalogue d'oiseaux are mentioned.
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andhow04
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« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2010, 03:11:40 PM »

^Agreed! Messiaen has been a force in my musical life. At one time I was going to study with Peter Hill, and though it didn't happen, he gave me his complete Messiaen recordings which are nice to have around when La fauvette des jardins and Catalogue d'oiseaux are mentioned.

thats interesting!  where were you, that you could have studied with him?  although i read his messiaen book i dont own it, i should buy
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darcx
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« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2010, 06:31:24 PM »

Wow, I love the music. I've only been playing piano for ~2 years, and I haven't really expanded on my classical literature quite yet. I love the use of dissonance and such, and the music in general is very good. And your playing was great, too. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
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andhow04
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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2011, 03:30:15 PM »

hi everyone.  i was fnially able to get video from this concert, i uploaded the clips of these messiaen pieces.  they are above, with the sound clips . youtube is so slow uploading!

anyways, enjoy:
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=37807.msg427955#msg427955
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