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Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO] (Read 8522 times)

Offline orangesodaking

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Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
« on: November 22, 2010, 03:38:37 AM »
Yes, it's a bit overplayed, but oh well.

...Wait, scratch that. It's Alkan. It's DEFINITELY not overplayed.

But it seems to be one of his most played works, along with the Op. 22 Nocturne. Probably because it's so accessible. But I want to learn the rest of Op. 65 (I've almost learned No. 3, the Canon. I may finish it and put it up here soon.)

Hope you enjoy! I learned it just earlier today, so I will probably rerecord in a couple weeks with an actual video, memorized and all (I was using the music still in this recording). And there's one small audio slip in the end, but I hope it doesn't distract you.



piano sheet music of Barcarolle


Offline furtwaengler

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #1 on: November 22, 2010, 05:10:26 AM »
Whether it's overplayed or not, I don't know...I've actually never heard of this Barcarolle. I'm not deeply fond of Alkan as you clearly are from your posts and recordings, though I do every so often explore certain fascinations. He does prove himself a noble, clever, ingenious romantic dreamer balancing huge visionary musical (and of course technical) flights with the most intimate and surprising moments...such is this piece. Very simple magic dust, as if out of a fairy tale. You handle it with a golden touch, and I'm rather glad you shared it with us.
Don't let anyone know where you tie your goat.

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #2 on: November 22, 2010, 05:56:28 AM »
Thank you for your comment, and thanks for listening! And I don't care if people don't love his music... Some people don't like Schumann's music, or other main composer's music. You've investigated it and made your opinions, and that's fair enough.

And when I said overplayed, I meant that if you search YouTube for Alkan, you'll probably find more Barcarolles Op. 65/6 and Nocturnes Op. 22 than the other pieces. At least, I have, so that's why I had said that.

No matter what, I think this little piece makes a good encore or piece to play for a non-classical audience. It's not too long, it's simple, yet beautiful and everyone (classical or non-classical listener) can relate to its beauty.

Offline furtwaengler

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #3 on: November 22, 2010, 07:08:39 AM »
I did not mean any harm by mentioning my fondness for Alkan's world. I really gain from your enthusiasm, and aside from that I was hoping to get across in the above response a recognition of his strengths. I'll tell you in truth I've had quite a bit of fun in recent weeks with the Symphony, an extraordinary piece, and the Concerto for solo piano, which has a truly special slow movement. I have difficulty balancing the very good material of the first movement with its structure, but rather than blaming him, I think this is the performers challenge in every case (and I'm thankful for John Ogdon)!

Ah well...The Barcarolle is great! It's a happy addition to my life. :)
Don't let anyone know where you tie your goat.

Offline scottmcc

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #4 on: November 22, 2010, 10:56:51 AM »
as usual, your playing is quite nice, and I applaud your continued efforts to promote Alkan's works.  By Alkan's standards, this is "easy" repertoire!  You've presented it quite nicely and allowed the gentle character to show throughout. 

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #5 on: November 22, 2010, 12:58:07 PM »
I did not mean any harm by mentioning my fondness for Alkan's world. I really gain from your enthusiasm, and aside from that I was hoping to get across in the above response a recognition of his strengths. I'll tell you in truth I've had quite a bit of fun in recent weeks with the Symphony, an extraordinary piece, and the Concerto for solo piano, which has a truly special slow movement. I have difficulty balancing the very good material of the first movement with its structure, but rather than blaming him, I think this is the performers challenge in every case (and I'm thankful for John Ogdon)!

Ah well...The Barcarolle is great! It's a happy addition to my life. :)

Sorry if it sounded that way.

My favorite movement of the Concerto is the slow movement, and I've been practicing the first movement of the Symphony here and there (but I'm too busy to devote any more time to it... That's why I'm investigating the "easy" pieces!) :)

A man named Mark Starr made a literal transcription (unlike Karl Klindworth's) of the Concerto for solo piano, and also unlike Klindworth, he did all three movements! Oh, how I would LOVE to hear someone play it some time! It really needs to be recorded... I think if it's a literal orchestration, it will sound (even) better.

Scottmcc: Thank you!

Offline bbush

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #6 on: February 01, 2011, 12:42:07 PM »
And I add my thanks!  Your shared playing of this piece encouraged me to download it and play through it.  Also, your performance answered my outstanding question about how (or if) to pedal through the staccoto repeated notes.

As Herr Furtwangler mentioned, this little piece of "magic dust" really can surprise and, of course, transport.     
Romantic aficionado, generally; Alkan lover, specifically.

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 01:17:48 AM »
No matter how "hard" or "easy" it is, it's a great little piece of music, and although there aren't many notes and many repetition, it's amazing how deep one can really dig and how large of a world there really is to explore in it.

Yes, you're right, use the pedal but don't blur the harmonies. The pedaling is pretty straightforward.

Every person I've played this piece for said it was a very good and beautiful, haunting work. I believe this piece is one of Alkan's best compositions, even though it's "simplistic" and sight-readable.

The Op. 22 Nocturne in B Major is another piece that does this for me. I'm finding now that my favorite works by Alkan are his more lyrical pieces instead of the higher-energy virtuosic ones!

Offline bbush

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #8 on: February 04, 2011, 06:52:37 PM »
I played this through for my piano teacher (just started taking piano lessons, after years and years of messing around and LARGE gaps of time not playing at all) and she was delighted.   Makes me think I can get her to help me get through some of Alkan's etudes, i.e., parts of the Symphonie that are currently out of my reach.
Romantic aficionado, generally; Alkan lover, specifically.

Offline orangesodaking

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #9 on: February 08, 2011, 10:38:53 PM »
I played this through for my piano teacher (just started taking piano lessons, after years and years of messing around and LARGE gaps of time not playing at all) and she was delighted.   Makes me think I can get her to help me get through some of Alkan's etudes, i.e., parts of the Symphonie that are currently out of my reach.

Hmm... The Symphonie is probably on par with the big Romantic sonatas, like Chopin, Schumann, or Liszt. At least, that's what Marc-Andre Hamelin says. It's not in my reach yet either.  :-\

Although, I'm finding more and more that my favorite Alkan pieces are the slow ones. My teacher is letting me learn the B Major Nocturne, and it's a miniature masterpiece!  :D I still practice this Barcarolle, because it's a perfect piece to play for any occasion. I look at the Canon Op 65/3 sometimes, and would like to eventually have that piece memorized, under my fingers well, and able to do good things musically with it.

Offline yvesdelyr

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Do you like Alkan ? or do you not ?
«Reply #10 on: March 11, 2012, 02:45:28 AM »
The comments about "I don't like Alkan" or "some people don't like Schumann" remind me of a wonderful anecdote my friend Marian Rybicki once told me about Reynaldo Hahn...
After a very posh private piano recital in a Paris salon, the hostess - the nouveau riche type who tend to see classical music as much more social than artistic - waltzed towards R.H. and bored him with a string of inept remarks to all of which he politely answered, ever the perfect gentleman. Then she leaned closer to his ear and said :
- but, Maître... I have one terrible problem...
- What problem, Madam ?
- I don't like Mozart.
The Master didn't say anything so she got really worried and insisted :
- do you think it's terribly important ?
He gave  her a reassuring smile, patted her arm and whispered :
- Oh, Madam, don't you worry, it is OF NO IMPORTANCE whatsoever.
And off she went, thoroughly relieved.

Offline starstruck5

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #11 on: March 11, 2012, 04:49:02 PM »
This piece looks deceptively easy -but it is hard to play it artistically. I think it needs to be played much more slowly than most people actually do -else it becomes quite trite -I think you could play it even more slowly -but you play it well. Thanks for uploading.
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Offline cbreemer

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #12 on: March 11, 2012, 09:27:10 PM »
Very well played, especially considering you've only just learned it. Musically, too. Though I can't help thinking it would have been much nicer still had you allowed yourself some more time with the piece before setting it down. But ok, you will re-record it soon so that will probably be even better. The sound on this is a bit distant and swimmy, but it sounds a nice instrument you have.

Offline pbryld

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #13 on: September 23, 2012, 09:50:49 AM »
Nice playing.

Why is this piece grade 8+ though??
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Offline cabbynum

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Re: Alkan "Barcarolle" from Op. 65 [VIDEO]
«Reply #14 on: November 29, 2013, 08:52:43 AM »
Sorry if it sounded that way.

My favorite movement of the Concerto is the slow movement, and I've been practicing the first movement of the Symphony here and there (but I'm too busy to devote any more time to it... That's why I'm investigating the "easy" pieces!) :)

A man named Mark Starr made a literal transcription (unlike Karl Klindworth's) of the Concerto for solo piano, and also unlike Klindworth, he did all three movements! Oh, how I would LOVE to hear someone play it some time! It really needs to be recorded... I think if it's a literal orchestration, it will sound (even) better.

Scottmcc: Thank you!

That sounds really interesting! Do you have a link to any of the transcription .
I've been on and off with working on alkan. My favorite one to play by him is op.35 no.5, I would love to learn the op.39 no.11 but it doesn't satisfy any of the audition requirements for schools. Other than being an etude and some schools want the etude seperste. I'd prefer not to have such a monsterous piece be my etude hah!

Very well played by the way.
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Liszt Sonata B minor
Dante Sonata
Vallee d'Obermann
Invocation