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Debussy: L'isle joyeuse (Read 11635 times)

Offline pianisten1989

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Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
« on: March 01, 2011, 01:39:29 PM »
Any comments are welcome! :)

EDIT: This is an old piece, which I started playing again like a month ago. I'm planning to enter a competition in June. The pieces I post in the forum is my program :)

piano sheet music of L'isle joyeuse


Offline ladypianist

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 06:07:51 PM »
Hello: Just two things on what I would like to see.  First is mechanical. Your trills need work. Second. your little note you posted told us nothing really.  How long have you studied this? How has your progress been?  Where do you want to go with it? Why did you choose it? Give us some background and then our comments might be more pertinent. When one of my students would present a piece to me they must always paint a picture with words before they began. 

Having said that , I enjoy your playing very much and look forward to each one of your new posts.

Lady Pianist
After a lifetime of learning, there is still more that I do not know , than I know.

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 08:55:11 AM »
Ok, I've edited, and added a few things.
I don't remember why I started to playing it though, I guess my teachers told me to, but now I quite like the piece.

Offline becky8898

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 08:13:22 PM »
Hi: i dont know really anything much about this piece except I like it. Kind of dreamy  - creepy - mysterious and I felt all of these things from your playing , just not quite all the time. I cant really explain it, but the atmosphere of the piece was there then it wasnt and then it was there again.  I liked your loud better than your soft.  On the other hand this is just the kind of piece that scares me to death right now.  So very fragile , so very exposed.  No place to hide if something goes wrong.  Im sure that wasnt much help , but maybe a little. 

cheers, Becky

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #4 on: March 03, 2011, 01:39:10 PM »
I kind of understand what you mean... To my defence, I think this is one of those pieces that does best on an actual stage, with the adrenaline and everything, and not in my living room. But thx for listening :)

Offline emill

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 12:21:48 PM »
personally I think this piece and the way you play it deserves a "bump"
and more comments than just from becky8898 .... ladypianist or emill. ;D
member on behalf of my son, Lorenzo

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #6 on: March 25, 2011, 06:50:15 PM »
Haha, thank you! Fun when old recordnings get up to the top :P

Offline nanabush

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 05:28:02 AM »
I thought it was really good; my laptop speakers suck, so I can't really say much about the dynamics.  It seemed solid, as in you have good control over it.  Maybe if it's an old piece, go back through the score in the parts you like the best, and see if there's anything else you can add (like a second draft on an essay haha)
Interested in discussing:

-Prokofiev Toccata
-Scriabin Sonata 2

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #8 on: March 28, 2011, 01:23:12 PM »
Thank you! I will post a new 'Final recording' soon :)

Offline invictious

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #9 on: March 28, 2011, 02:32:18 PM »
Just finished listening to your performance. Couple of notes, although to be taken with a grain of salt since I actually haven't played this piece. I absolutely love this piece though. I will set myself to work on it soon.

I love your control over the tone and dynamics throughout the piece, though at some spots I would utilise the pedal just a tad more. You play the piece full of colour though.

From bars 28 to 51, I think you could inject some adrenaline there! Listen to Horowitz's rendition, which I think is one of the best things on earth. Also, I think that you could exaggerate the anime parts a bit more to provide more contrast.

I like your build-up to the final tres anime though.

Good job! I will certainly be seeking advice from you on how to learn this piece in due course!
Bach - Partita No.2
Scriabin - Etude 8/12
Debussy - L'isle Joyeuse
Liszt - Un Sospiro

Goal:
Prokofiev - Toccata

>LISTEN<

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #10 on: March 28, 2011, 05:28:43 PM »
Thx for your comment, made me really happy! I'll be glad to help you with it! :)

I like Horowitz, but he doesn't do a thing Debussy is writing. The place you mentioned has got one long legato slur, and Horowitz plays it basically staccato (I'm actually not very big fan of his recording of this piece. I don't like it at all...) and you can do that when you're Horowitz, but not when you are a student.

Though, I agree about the animé-parts :)

Thx for commenting

Offline rachfan

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #11 on: March 28, 2011, 08:20:25 PM »
Hi pianisten,

This piece has been on my "to do" list, but with my other projects I've yet to play it.  So I'm not as comfortable commenting, even though I'm familiar with the piece.  And, I realize it's a difficult repertoire piece to play.

In general, I believe you're completely on the right track in matters of interpretation and execution. This is a very interesting piece, because it's one of the few that Debussy composed in between his late romantic period works and his impressionistic pieces.  Thus, "L'Isle joyeuse" contains elements of both musical styles, and I think that's a reason why the piece is ever so successful.  As you probably know, it was inspired by the painting of the great artist Watteau, "Departure for the Isle of Cythere". So it contains, joy, anticipation, holiday spirit and some romantic imagery of being outbound at sea.

You make fine contrasts in your dynamics and bring much expressiveness to your playing, as well as being attentive to the early impressionistic elements in the piece, especially the pedaling.  There are a few moments when your playing seems a little tentative, but that's to be expected in relearning a piece--which once again makes it a work in progress as you experiment and  reformulate some approaches.  My sense is that with some additional practice and smoothing, you'll get this up to concert pitch to make it fully convincing.  Just continue with your practice regimen, as you're doing fine.  

The piano you used to record is a bit clangy and probably needs some voicing.  To mitigate it somewhat, in the heavier sections, make sure you're applying relaxed arm weight closer to the keys for more richness of tone rather than forcing loud dynamics.  If it's a school piano, also try recording next time with the lid on the shorter singer stick rather than the full lid prop.

Keep up the good work!        

P.S. You can ignore Piano Lady and Becky above who were discovered to be fakes.  It's too bad we all had to waste our time responding to them.  :(

David
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 07:27:15 AM »
Thx for your comment.. Though, I don't really understand it. Do you like my interpretation, or what? :P

Yeah, I know... I was about to comment something like "It would be nice if some real person also commented", but Emill commented before I had time.

And the instrument is a 100-ish yo Blüthner grand. I got it repaired a year ago, but then I haven't got the money to tune it more than once or twice. But you're right, the voicing isn't the best. From a2 to b4, it's really difficult to make it sing.

Offline rachfan

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #13 on: April 01, 2011, 03:35:21 AM »
Hi pianisten,

Yes, I do like your interpretation a great deal.  It reflects the imagery of the occasion well, it's got a nice sweep to it, and sounds quite convincing. With your final touches, it will be a beautiful rendition I'm sure.  You show here that you possess the artistry to put this piece across to an audience.

David
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline iratior

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #14 on: May 18, 2011, 12:52:42 AM »
I put a lot of effort into learning L'isle joyeuse, and when my Parkinson's meds are working, can still do a rendition recognizable as the same.  I note the following: 1.  I think it's best for the timing of the introductory measures to be strict.  2.  I wouldn't make the tempo at measure 7 and thereafter too lively.  3.  Thanks for making me notice, at the end of measure 14, that I don't have to keep things up to speed (which makes them very difficult).  4.  At measure 25, I think the B-minor 6/4 chords in the right hand have loudness overdone.  The directions only say mezzo forte, after all.  5.  Why anyone would follow Debussy's instructions for hand-crossing at measure 36 is beyond me.  Is the idea supposed to be that the triplets are easier to do with the right hand?  But I'm left-handed, so they're actually just as easy for me with my left hand!  I would tell Debussy that fast triplets for the left hand have been around since the last movement of Mozart K. 576, so everyone should be used to them!  6.  At measure 67 and thereafter, why aren't you doing the quintuplets in strict time?  Doing the triplets in extremely strict time gives this section of the piece a nice sleepy feeling.  7. The chords at measure 97-98 sounded funny, are you sure you read them right?  8.  Thanks for pointing out the 8va at measures 141 and 143.  9.  Rather than roll the tenth chords beginning at measure 196, I cheat and do the upper notes with my right hand.

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #15 on: May 18, 2011, 05:58:42 AM »
Thank you for your response!
However, I don't agree with what you're saying:
1. It says quasi una cadenza, a fermata on the half note and end of slurs before next half note. I don't know about your taste, but I prefer to do what the composer wrote.
2. It's the island of joy! Not the island of 20 old people watching tv. And it says moderato, not andante or adagio. My tempo is far from fast.
3. Well, it says retenu, sooo...
4. No. It says mf and cresc. Though, it might be the recording. I don't play it that loud. But it's still mf+cresc.
5. Because Debussy wrote so. I don't know about you, but I am no bigger genius than debussy.
6. Because debussy wrote Molto moderato.
7. Yes, I'm sure. What edition do you have?!
8. No probs.
9. Well, as I said, I want to do as Debussy wrote.

Offline iratior

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #16 on: May 18, 2011, 09:42:05 AM »
Well, I certainly see that you don't give ground very easily!  Now that you point out the fermata at the beginning of the piece, I see your point of not needing to keep strict time during the quasi una cadenza.  I like it best with the length of the fermata minimized, though.  And in my sixth comment, I see that I wrote "triplets" when I meant to write "quintuplets".  Incidentally, Debussy should have written them with only one flag joining the notes, not two (though admittedly, two looks prettier).  I still think they are more effective when done in strict time.  On the issue of doing things as Debussy wrote, in this specific instance, I don't see how playing with crossed hands is inevitably going to make things sound different from, and better than, hands in the usual position.  My experience has been that, if I am having problems getting something to work, it is often because I am not doing things the easiest way, and somehow my fingers know it, and rebel.  And the idea of cheating by doing the upper notes of the tenth chords with my right hand seems to me to be closer to, not further from, doing as Debussy wrote.  What Debussy wrote was, in effect, to do the tenth chords with one hand and with all the notes simultaneous, small-handed people be damned.  I think it's more important that things sound more as Debussy intended;  whether things look the way Debussy intended is of secondary importance.

Offline pianisten1989

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #17 on: May 18, 2011, 09:53:27 AM »
And I don't think the fermata makes any sense if you take it away, so I'll keep it.
You should give him a call and say that he was wrong in writing this. I mean, what has he done recently?
And, as I said, Debussy wrote Molto Rubato. How is that "Strict in time"? No offence, but i think debussy was a greater genius than you.

You can do whatever you want, but I don't like to change what the composer wrote. If it's something that is possible. Some large chords and similar things are hard to get right for me (I don't have very big hands) but to cross hands is very possible.

Again, Debussy wrote it and I don't think he wrote is just by accident.

Offline iratior

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Re: Debussy: L'isle joyeuse
«Reply #18 on: May 18, 2011, 01:41:58 PM »
Well on some matters I do know more than Debussy.  I know my fingers and hands better than he does.  HIs specialty was music, not other people's hands.