A Bastille Day Celebration With French Composers

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Host David Dubal presents an all-French program ahead of Bastille Day. Although the program begins with the Baroque era’s Jean-Philippe Rameau and the Romanticism of Charles-Valentin Alkan, it turns quickly to the golden age of French piano music that began in the late 19th century. Paris at that time was the worldwide center of the arts and music flourished there. This was the time of composers such as Gabriel Faure, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, who helped forge a distinctly French musical identity and whose works for the instrument remain some of the most important pieces in the repertoire.

Dubal doesn't just play the greatest hits of French piano music. This week’s program includes part of a lesser-known concerto by Reynaldo Hahn, a quiet lullaby by Emmanuel Chabrier and an etude for the left hand by Camille Saint-Saens. And Dubal performs a sentimental little valse by Erik Satie called “Je Te Veux.”

Program details:

Jean-Philippe Rameau: Les Sauvages

Charles-Valentin Alkan: Sonatine Op. 61, first movement

Gabriel Faure: Impromptu No. 5, op. 102 

Reynaldo Hahn: Piano Concerto "Dance," second movement

Erik Satie: Je te Veux

Darius Milhaud: Scaramouche

Camille Saint-Saens: Prelude from Six Etudes for the Left Hand

Alexis Emmanuel Chabrier: Melancolie

Francis Poulenc: Finale of Concerto for Two Pianos

Francis Poulenc: Presto in B flat

Claude Debussy: Prelude no. 12

Maurice Ravel: Concerto in G Finale

Comments [4]

winnifred lamptey from new york city

I am sorry I missed this programme; I wish there was a way to listen to past programmes on this station. I have always been partial to French composers, especially Faure, Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Durufle, Saint-Saens, Chabrier along with one or two others. I think they're simply brilliant.

I write to express my gratitude to WQXR for having brought this precious, delightful programme back. It means a lot to me, as I'm quite sure it does to many others. I have learnt a lot from Mr. Dubal's presentations, and hope that this programme remains on the air for as long as Mr. Dubal is able to present it. It is golden.

I would urge the station to work out a way to introduce a "Listen Again" means on the website. It would be of great help to those of us who have commitments which take us away from the radio/computer/phone for much of the day.

Thank you / Winnifred, New York

Jul. 25 2013 04:20 PM
Silversalty from Brooklyn

Credit where credit is due:

Jean-Philippe Rameau: Les Sauvages - Robert Casadesus

Charles-Valentin Alkan: Sonatine Op.61 1st mvmnt - Ronald Smith

Gabriel Faure: Impromptu No.5 Op.102 - Paul Crossley

Reynaldo Hahn: Piano Concerto 'Dance' 2nd mvmnt - Magda Tagliaferro

Erik Satie: Je te Veux - David Dubal

Darius Milhaud: Scaramouche - Lyubov Bruk and Mark Taimanov

Camille Saint-Saens: Prelude from Six Etudes for the Left Hand Op.135 No.1 - João Carlos Martins

Alexis Emmanuel Chabrier: 10 Pieces Picturesque 'Melancolie' - Georges Rabol

Francis Poulenc: Finale of Concerto for Two Pianos - Francis Poulenc and Jacques Fevrier, Georges Prêtre cond (Orchestre du Conservatoire de Paris)

Francis Poulenc: Presto in B flat major - Vladimir Horowitz

Claude Debussy: Prelude No.12, Feux d'artifice 'Fireworks' - Friedrich Gulda

Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major, Presto Finale - Martha Argerich, Claudio Abbado cond (Berlin Philharmonic)

Jul. 13 2013 02:42 PM
Silversalty from Brooklyn

Listening to the descriptions of these composers, French and German, it's surprising that those two peoples have been the basis of so few wars. :P

Though this thematic approach to piano music is interesting, I do miss the comparative performance aspect. Not being so learned in music I often miss the points being presented. An example was the live Greene Space opening where Dubal had a player play fragments of Brahms and Beethoven. I didn't 'see' the major difference. But later, listening to what I called Brahms' "tone prose" with the almost total lack of repeats and remembering Gould's playing of Liszt's transcriptions of Beethoven's symphonies, with each movement being basically a single riff repeated over and over (Dadada Duh being the quintessential example) it was easy to 'see' the stark differences.

Direct, one after the other, interpretations of the same piano pieces allows for an easier understanding of technique and artistic achievement of both the player and composer. At least for me it does.

Jul. 13 2013 12:48 PM
AF from Nassau County, Long Island, NY

Terrific program!! Really enjoying it!!

This new Thursday evening series of David Dubal on piano music seems to be focussing on the piano literature and the composers--I really like that! "Exporing Piano Music" with David Dubal--great!! Also glad the program is repeated Sunday evening.

Thanks WQXR for bringing this program to us!

Jul. 11 2013 07:33 PM

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