Marchand, James / French Piano Music
Album: French Piano Music   Collection:Classical
Artist:Marchand, James   Added:Jan 2004

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2004-05-03 Pull Date: 2004-07-05 Charts: Classical/Experimental
Week Ending: Jul 4 May 9
Airplays: 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. Jun 27, 2004: Waving at the Air
Poulenc-Mouvements Perpetuel
2. May 04, 2004: Cold Clammy Hand of Friendship
Saint-Saens-Six Etudes Pour

Album Review
Michael Rosen
Reviewed 2004-03-31
An hour of Impressionist French piano music. Marchand definitely plays with a lot of feeling, but performances were definitely a bit sloppy and a bit too sentimental for me at times. The 6 etudes (6-11) seemed to have little point on the album, and the Pavane was far from the best around. He’s definitely picked some pieces that are a bit off of the standard repertoire and so are worth listening to. Worth a try: 1,3,5,9,13,16
1-3) Three extremely quirky etude-ish pieces by Poulenc, all have a very dark haunting feeling despite having a lot of motion. First movement has a lot of mode-mixture and a quick tempo giving it a sort of manic feel. Second was slightly slower and more ponderous. The last was extremely energetic with a triumphant feeling at times. 4) Not to be confused with the Debussy Clair de Lune, this one by Faure was similarly lyrical and pensive, but slightly darker than the Debussy. The performance at times seems to lack definite direction and we don’t get a really clear sense of the overall arc of the piece. 5) Similar to the last cut, but the performance to me was more intimate and sweeter. The turbulent mixture of despair and hope that one expects of Faure. 6-11) Six short Saint-Saens etudes. None of them were exceptionally inspiring to me, and all the performances were definitely sloppy at times. The bourree (track 9) had some nice melodies and would be worth playing. 12) The Ravel Pavane…the piece is of course beautiful, but there must be better recordings out there. It seemed at times like he just wanted to get through it. He plows through some sections that are clearly in need of Rubato, and when he does try to play with the tempo, he comes off like Liberace. In honor of the piece, I’d give this one a miss. 13) Beautiful, lyrical piece by Ravel. Has many of the textures reminiscent of the string quartet to me. 14-16) Three short movements by Debussy. The toccata (track 16) is quite energetic and fun. 17) Another impressionistic piece by Debussy, quite inspired and replete with different textures and modalities.
-Mike, i.e. The Professor

Track Listing
1. Poulenc-Mouvements Perpetuel   9. Saint-Saens-Six Etudes Pour
2. Poulenc-Mouvements Perpetuel   10. Saint-Saens-Six Etudes Pour
3. Poulenc-Mouvements Perpetuel   11. Saint-Saens-Six Etudes Pour
4. Faure-Clair De Lune   12. Ravel-Pavane Pour Une Infant
5. Faure-First Barcarolle   13. Ravel-Jeaux D'eau
6. Saint-Saens-Six Etudes Pour   14. Debussy-Pour Le Piano
7. Saint-Saens-Six Etudes Pour   15. Debussy-Pour Le Piano
8. Saint-Saens-Six Etudes Pour   16. Debussy-Pour Le Piano
  17. Debussy-L'isle Joyeuse