From Baroque to XX Century in France
Year of composition: 1724, 1905, 1914-17
Two different ways of interpreting the Baroque genius, in XX Century France
French music has known its greatest peaks in the Baroque period and in the first years of XX Century. Jean-Philippe Rameau was one of the most emblematic representatives of French Baroque. That’s especially him that the new France of Debussy and Ravel was considering, when looking at the past.
Calls across time
In this program, Baroque and XX Century communicate. After the famous E minor Suite of Rameau, Debussy’s Hommage à Rameau almost seems an epitaph. Here the Baroque composer sounds like a far memory in the first notes, which are played without pedal. Debussy remains himself, he transforms Rameau’s material into something new. He writes an almost modal melody and he turns it into the basis for a new esatonal harmony.
In Tombeau de Couperin, Ravel’s homage to Baroque starts with toccatas and menuettos, without abandoning the brightness and the rhythm of the past. Ravel entitled his Suite to Couperin, but in fact, he is referring to all the French tradition, including Rameau. Each piece of this Suite is dedicated to Ravel’s friends, who died during World War I.
A due homage
Stefano Greco studied for long time with Aldo Ciccolini. With this unforgettable pianist, who was an unsurpassed interpreter of French music, Stefano Greco could grow as an artist, especially on this repertoire. In this program, the homages that Debussy and Ravel give to Rameau become like an excuse for Stefano Greco to give homage to his teacher.
Rameau: E minor Suite
Debussy: Hommage à Rameau
Ravel: Tombeau de Couperin
Duration: 50 minutesDownload the pdf