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Debussy Danses new ‘arrangement’

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  • #61575
    Alison
    Participant

    Has anyone read through the Fabrice Pierre 2006 edition ? Does it make reworking this piece easier ? I’ve been asked to play this in June, so it’s a bit late in the day to move from one edition to another because one gets so used to the visual layout – my Renie copy has tippex, circled enharmonics,hand changes and yet instances still remain where I would preferred to have kept the notation from Debussy’s original score or to read both hands on a single stave. I’m hoping that one day we might get electronic copies of these tricky works to allow one’s own edits. At least parts and score will agree as they certainly differ between Debussy’s score and Renie’s version; let’s hope it is published without pedal markings. The entire work: harp, score and string parts is 30 euros.

    #61576
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    I didn’t know that Fabrice Pierre had made his own edition. I wonder what he changed from the Renie edition. The original of course was written for the Chromatic harp. So Renie had to make some changes to make it playable on pedal harp. The worst section of the piece is the pedal nightmare in the second dance. I published an article on this several years ago in the AHS Journal, showing 3 versions of the pedal nightmare that Renie had made, and one made by Pierre Jamet, which is the one that works best. If you need a copy of that, email me privately and I’ll email it to you.

    #61577
    Alison
    Participant

    Thanks Carl, you sent those to me earlier !! I’ve been advised to stick to the part I know – so I will, but would still like to look over the new version and expect it to be better for others first time around.

    #61578

    I found a great enharmonic at rehearsal number 1. In the two bars after reh. #1, I use Fb instead of the E naturals, to avoid having my knuckle of my 4th finger hit the D in the right hand, at the end of the bar. Change it back to F natural in the 3rd bar. In the four bars starting at #1, you could take a four-note chord in the left hand on the second beat, thereby relieving the right hand of one of those crossovers per bar. At bar 81, I don’t do the E#’s. It’s much easier to change the F and D pedal only, and if you have to do the two A’s in a row, why not the two F’s? Salzedo came up with a great solution to the pedal nightmare in the animez section of the second Danse as well.

    #61579
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Elizabeth- I have to disagree with you on Salzedo’s solution to the pedal nightmare. He completely eliminates the left hand, and then eliminates critical notes in the right hand part(now divided between left and right hands) so that the diminished harmony is lost. The Jamet solution-which he may possibly have gotten from Renie- leaves out only one note in the sequence, and the pedals, while fast, are not difficult.

    #61580
    Alison
    Participant

    I see what you mean about forgoing E# at the end of Sacree, that’s another example where I wish Renie had left Debussy’s part untouched, in my view that she made the renowned Animez much more difficult to read and unplayable for the feet; Saul and Carl’s earlier thread on that is still in the archives …. http://www.harpcolumn.com/forums/teaching-the-harp/posts/33684 I’m no expert but once that passage is rewritten in sharps and naturals it’s viable, many players have cracked it and published versions can’t really have omissions. Although I recast & learnt the pedalling last time, being consistent at speed was precarious. Spend too much time on that and you neglect the rest of the piece !
    I’d really like a version which avoids double-take thinking about pedal and string choices whilst playing.
    Anyway death by Debussy doesn’t appeal, I’d rather get excited by his sound world – the rest of the piece is actually quite fun ! Whilst I procrastinate, talented students just get on and play this.

    #61581

    Hi, Carl! I will have to dig out your wonderful article on the Debussy. I learned it with the Salzedo solution, but I will print out Pierre Jamet’s and put it into my music to show to my students when they study this piece. I have performed this with orchestras and ensembles; I suppose their parts fill in the missing bits. Perhaps he felt that it was easier to get more of a forte sound by doing it that way. That’s why I love these forums. It is a great way to share information and get different ways to solve problems.

    #61582
    Alison
    Participant

    This is becoming academic now but what’s just occured to me is perhaps Fabrice Pierre’s version was for the Chromatic harp, because I remember reading in Camac’s Harp Seasons about Francette Bartholomee’s concert there in Paris.
    See bottom of page 3 in http://www.camac-harps.com/Harpseasons5.pdf
    I will find out shortly; the suspense is not killing me like the pedalling and I do not need the distraction. A helpful harpist/composer here has explained that the quintet version by Fabrice Pierre will indeed be different from Debussy’s original score for string orchestra because of course there are places where string parts are divided… so now we have a choice, string orchestra or pure quintet
    Apparently Debussy advises to blow your nose before retiring to bed to avoid snoring. (see that book “Remembering Debussy”.

    #61583
    Alison
    Participant

    Finally, I got my sneak preview on Friday and in my humble opinion would definitely recommend FP’s transcription of the harp part for newcomers to the work; it has ‘done the ironing’: reinstated notes that were confused by enharmonics, put figures together on the same stave, reset the dreaded Animez into naturals and sharps, and throughout the edition the layout & page turns remain the same in all except one place, so familiar to the eye.
    Only downside is the small format, the entire set is reduced to A4 which seems to be standard nowadays. Can’t recall if Latin pedal makings were there, annoyingly.
    Added to that, the banter which developed between myself and two others pouring over the small print was, well, hilarious really…. sharp, accented, critical, spot on timing, naturally.

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