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Classical Music/DeBussey performance

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Question
Hi Chris

In Debussey Prelude No 1 Book 2(..Brouillards) bar 28 & 29 -Do I have to play these bars at the same tempo as the rest of the piece? I don't think I will ever be able to achieve this. Does this mean that I shouldn't attempt this piece or can I slow down a bit?
Thank you
Louisa Fairley

P.S. Bars 32 to 37 may also apply

Answer
Hello -

This is a wonderful piece and it's technically very demanding as we both know!  The measures you cited are really not in any strict time at all.  The listener doesn't actually "hear" the rhythm there, so if you need more time, take it by all means.  The shocks are the chords that follow, the sudden cessation of all movement and some notes frozen in time.  They are what count - Debussy's bold juxtapositions - and the audience is fascinated.  The rhythm is of little importance there.
Hope this is helpful!

Curtis

Classical Music

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Curtis Stotlar

Expertise

Piano performance of classical music

Experience

Performances in over thirty countries on four continents Teaching experience at Vassar College and the Conservatoire de Neuilly Currently Professor of Music at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

Education/Credentials
Eastman School of Music B.M Juilliard School M.S. Peabody Conservatory of Music Doctoral Program Student of Nadia Boulanger, Wilhelm Kempff, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

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