Debussy, Claude:Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

Posted In: Repertoire

  • Participant
    MusikFind1 on #187839

    I spoke with a harpist who asked for clarification in Harp 1 of Afternoon of a Faun:
    <question : Harp 1 Reh. 7 measure 10 C last note?
    Reh. 7 measure 12 E-flat last note?
    A conductor.

    The Kalmus reprint score of the Fromont/Jobert publication is being corrected so that C is played both times. The Nieweg/Kalmus harp part has the C both times.
    Questions and opinions are welcome. Cfn.

    Publisher Info.: Holograph manuscript, n.d.(ca.1891-94). (Original Particelle)
    Copyright: Public Domain Misc. Notes:
    Particelle of the complete work held in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, on six pages of 28-stave pre-lined music paper. The music is written in black ink with additional entries in red ink. It is assumed that this is the manuscript Debussy referred to when writing out the autograph score. This manuscript was given to Gabrielle Dupont in 1899 by the composer, then passing from Dupont to the pianist Alfred Cortot.

    Page 4 has a C on beat 2 last note. Measures 11 and 12 have only the melody with the harmony staves being blank. This would assume to the engraver to copy the previous two measures, 9 and 10.

    First edition (corrected proof)
    First edition (corrected copy)
    Publisher Info.:Paris: E. Fromont/ Jobert, n.d.[1895]. Plate E. 1091 F.
    Copyright: Public Domain
    Misc. Notes: Color scans. This file is part of the Sibley Mirroring Project.
    1. 2e épreuve (2nd proof), with pencil corrections in the composer’s hand.
    2. Printed copy of first edition, with composer’s penciled corrections dated 3 July 1895.,_Claude%29

    HARP 1 in score:
    Reh 7 measure 10 beat 2 last note is C, First edition score (corrected proof) and in the Paris: E. Fromont/ Jobert, 1895. Plate E. 1119 F./ old Kalmus reprint.
    Reh. 7 measure 12 beat 2 last note is E-flat. First edition score (corrected proof) and in the Paris: E. Fromont/Jobert, 1895. Plate E. 1119 F./old Kalmus reprint. [Debussy did not mark this correction]
    All other parts have the same notes in all other instruments in both measures.

    The same notation is found in the First edition (reprint)
    Publisher Info.:Paris: E. Fromont/Jobert, 1895. Plate E. 1091 F.
    Reprinted: New York: Dover Publications, 1981.
    Copyright: Public Domain

    Publisher Info.:Paris: E. Fromont/Jobert, 1895. Plate E. 1119 F.
    Reprinted: New York: Edwin F. Kalmus, n.d.(after 1951).
    Copyright: Public Domain
    Reprint: Boca Raton; Edwin F. Kalmus, score ©1989 edited Nieweg.
    Score has C in measure 10 and E-flat in measure 12 [Change the E-flat to C].

    For 2 Pianos (Debussy)
    First edition (reprint)
    Publisher Info.:Paris: E. Fromont, 1895. Plate E. 1094 F.
    Reprinted: Mineola: Dover Publications, 1992.
    Copyright: Public Domain
    Has C in measure 10 and C in measure 12.

    Other sources to consult:
    Consult the Complete (critical ed.) – Study score or Full score , Douglas Woodfull-Harris, editor Bärenreiter, so we can see what notes he used?

    A critical edition of the score with historical and analytical essays, and including the composer’s own metronome marks, is published by Norton.

    Breitkopf edition by Fr. Reinisch;
    Kalmus edition by Clinton F. Nieweg;
    Peters ed. M. Pommer.
    Durand, 1986, Édition critique des œuvres complètes, I/8 for 2 pianos and 4 hands.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #187882

    Have you revised the Nocturnes as well?

    MusikFind1 on #187889

    Comments about the Nocturnes in a new thread.

    Alison on #250688

    I noticed for the first time that the second harp’s glissandos between rehearsal marks [9] and [10] are showing B# and Bb at the same time, never seen that before so I’d probably use the B#. Upon closer examination the original manuscript in imslp confirms that is indeed the case, a slip by Debussy asking for 8 pedal settings !! He helpfully wrote into the 2nd harp’s line instructions to set pedals shown in the printed part at [9] and indeed that can been seen in his original score at (8).élude_à_l’après-midi_d’un_faune.pdf

    carl-swanson on #250693

    You might be interested to know how this piece was received during Debussy’s lifetime. It was detested by the critics! They universally hated it. They would pay backhanded praise to the exquisite colors that Debussy got from the orchestra, but felt that that was just surface beauty, and that there was no form or depth to the piece. One critic said that the piece could easily be cut in half, since the second half was just more of the first.

    The orchestra players who performed it initially weren’t much better. The first time the Berlin Philharmonic performed the piece, the players were openly laughing during the performance, and purposely playing out of tune. They had never heard nor played anything so idiotic in their lives.

    It was the general concert-going public who took to it, almost immediately. They simply liked the way it sounded, and it soon became the most performed of all of Debussy’s compositions. But throughout his short life, the critics had nothing good to say about any of his music.

    It was no better after he died. The week following his death, all of the newspapers spared a tiny amount of space to reflect on his accomplishments. One of his critics said “Debussy drank from his glass, which wasn’t large, but was made from thin crystal in which reflections, uncertain and changing colors, played out.”

    My my my…how things have changed!!!

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by carl-swanson.
    Alison on #250695

    Thank you Carl. I am certainly interested and that is what I had always understood. I was introducing the work to a student majoring in ballet who’s never played glissandi on the pedal harp before. One of my books here “Debussy Remembered” relates the premier in 1894 as a complete triumph, the account is by the violinist Gustav Doret who conducted it for Debussy. A later account in the same volume records that Debussy wasn’t very happy with Nijinsky’s ballet interpretation of it and indeed I do find that to be an odd piece.
    (.. and I first caught up with you in person at the Ballet in Boston !)
    I also have a newer book by David J Code, which has more detail of Debussy’s reaction to the choreography of the ‘Prelude’ and of Jeux in those particular Ballet Russe productions plus the history of Stravinsky and Ravel’s ballets around that time.

    balfour-knight on #250723

    This is still one of my favorite pieces! Debussy was not the only composer who wasn’t totally appreciated during his lifetime, that seems to be the norm, unfortunately. I am thankful that enough musicians and audiences eventually recognized Debussy’s genius!

    Have a great day, harp friends,

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #250749

    I thought it would be very helpful to see the excerpt in question as an attachment, just those bars. So, I have made a little excerpt to show what is meant.

    You must be logged in to view attached files.
Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.