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Clair de Lune - why not an exam piece?


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#16 Yet another muso

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Posted 15 July 2021 - 23:01

 


I wonder whether exam boards don't set really well-known pieces, with a long history of multiple famous recordings

 

Except, of course, that they do set well known pieces with a long history of multiple famous recordings. Finzi's bagatelles for clarinet have seldom left the clarinet syllabus, movements from Haydn's Trumpet concerto constantly appear in the trumpet syllabus - Brahms' Lullaby is there in the piano syllabus, and Chopin's Minute Waltz has been set for Grade 8, Fauré's Sicilienne is a favourite choice for  flautists, and so on. Just because Claire de Lune seems to have only once been set for a piano grade should not, I think, be taken as a precedent for assuming that well-known pieces are not set.
 

 

The difference is that the repertoire for piano is so vast compared to other instruments. So particularly for wind and brass high grades, the same classics tend to keep coming round as syllabuses are refreshed, while each new piano syllabus brings many pieces that haven't been featured for a long time, or which have never appeared before. It's a very general trend and individual pieces buck the trend, so new syllabuses on other instruments include new discoveries, just not as many as for piano. And on piano, the most over familiar pieces do appear from time to time, just not as often. 


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#17 Hildegard

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Posted 16 July 2021 - 06:39

And on piano, the most over familiar pieces do appear from time to time, just not as often. 

 

 

I certainly agree with that. It's the idea that  "exam boards don't set really well-known pieces" which I think is mistaken.


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#18 EllieD

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 10:29

I managed to cope with the background noise and listen to Debussy play this - not sure I would want to listen to any other version now! All those runs of semiquavers become a beautiful ripple ... anyway, I'll never be able to play it like this, but something to aspire to! I think it seems to have got slowed down too much over the years, compared with Debussy's version.

 

 

Clair de Lune - YouTube


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#19 fsharpminor

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 10:50

I managed to cope with the background noise and listen to Debussy play this - not sure I would want to listen to any other version now! All those runs of semiquavers become a beautiful ripple ... anyway, I'll never be able to play it like this, but something to aspire to! I think it seems to have got slowed down too much over the years, compared with Debussy's version.

 

 

Clair de Lune - YouTube

I agree most performances are too slow, needs to be rather 'con moto'


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#20 Nine and a Half Fingers

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Posted Yesterday, 10:43

I managed to cope with the background noise and listen to Debussy play this - not sure I would want to listen to any other version now! All those runs of semiquavers become a beautiful ripple ... anyway, I'll never be able to play it like this, but something to aspire to! I think it seems to have got slowed down too much over the years, compared with Debussy's version.

 

 

Clair de Lune - YouTube

 

Thanks for the link EllieD, When I listened  youtube offered me Lang Lang - nigh on twice the duration. According to wikipedia  "Clair de lune" was originally entitled "Promenade sentimentale" and reading the poem by Verlaine makes me think of the piece differently.

 

Interesting that some of the repeated chords over the deep bass notes (Tempo Rubato section) sound to me as if they are almost but not quite arpeggiated - anyone else hear that?


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