The Art of French Piano Music: Debussy, Ravel, Faure, Chabrier

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Overview

A Book of Revelations from this author, whose unique blend of cross-fertilizing talents as pianist, musicologist, editor, analyst and teacher have finally been simultaneously focussed on the repertoire he loves best. Howat's enviable combination of perception and application makes this book an absolute must-buy for anyone interested in French piano music.

This is a fascinating text, and one which presents a huge amount of commentary, analysis, stylistic study, performance advice and critical commentary in a single volume. This is a very fine book - one that will be referred to for many years to come, containing a vast range of important material on all sorts of aspects of some glorious repertoire.

Roy Howat has produced the book we all have been waiting for, a synthesis of his years of devotion to the subject, both as performer and scholar. Keen musical and pianistic insights are to be found on every page, and his presentation is elegant and riveting, whether he is discussing the details of Debussy's 'harmonic chemistry', rhythmic games in Ravel and Chabrier, or performance and editing problems in Faure. This book belongs on the shelf of every pianist and musicologist.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300145472
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 8/11/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Roy Howat is a concert pianist, scholar, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster. He lives in London and Paris and holds the position of Keyboard Research Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xiv

Part 1 The exactitude of musical 'Impressionism' 1

1 Painting in sound 3

2 Painting in musical structure (1): Debussy's Preludes 18

3 Painting in musical structure (2): Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit 29

4 Shapes and forms 38

5 'Reflets dans l'eau', Hokusai, Edgar Allan Poe and Leonardo of Pisa 51

Part 2 Musical roots and antecedents 61

6 Chopin's legacy 63

7 'Musique adorable': a la decouverte d'Emmanuel Chabrier 83

8 Debussy and the Orient 110

9 The Exotic via Russia and Spain 126

10 The Clavecinistes 145

11 Romanticism 159

Part 3 Fresh perspectives 173

12 Rhythmic games in Ravel 175

13 Rhythmic games in Chabrier 187

14 Repertoire discoveries 198

Part 4 At the keyboard 207

15 What do we interpret? 209

16 Editions and what they can't quite tell us 227

17 Rhythm, tempo, dance and humour 246

18 A fresh look at Gabriel Faure 263

19 Orchestral thinking and the pedals 279

20 Body language and the piano 294

21 The composer as pianist 309

Appendices 325

1 'Facilement, facilement': finding technical ease 327

2 Glosses on titles and musical allusions 334

3 Composers' surviving instruments and recordings 335

4 Brief summary of critical editions 340

5 Locations of musical manuscripts discussed 342

Notes 344

Bibliography 376

Index 388

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