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Classical Music/Debussy Prelude Book 2 no. 1(Broulliards)


I have to perform Debussy's Prelude Book 2 no.1(Broulliards)for my diploma exam. Can you give me some advise on
what my objectives should be?
I have a computer generated midi disk that I play along with and have also listened to many recordings.
The notes are not difficult to learn and the rhythms are also not difficult.
It seems that it's the use of the pedal and "getting the foggy effect" is the problem! Am I right? How do I achieve this?
Everyone I approach seems to think it is a very difficult piece!
In my case I think "ignorance is bliss".
I hope you can help me.
Much Appreciated
Yours sincerely


The problem of pedalling in playing Debussy's piano works is actually easier than you might think.  The answer doesn't lie in the "foggy effect" although it sometimes sounds that way.
What you want here is the opportunity to combine ALL the notes of certain chords - and often they are huge - for something like a super chord.  When you omit some of the members of the chord, it will be reduced and that's not the sound you're looking for.  Be careful to extend past the seventh chords to ninth and even eleventh chords.  My advice to you is to form the chords first either in your head or on paper.  The sounds are sometimes electrifying but they will always make sense. An example of an eleventh chord would be C E G B D F with sharps and flats along the way.  That would be a C eleventh chord.  He didn't go up to thirteenth chords the way Ravel did. There might be an occasional "misplaced" note but if most of them conform
then you are on track.The minute most of the notes don't conform, then you have a pedal change.
HE WAS LOOKING FOR HUGE "ORCHESTRAL" EFFECTS.  Just try to avoid conflicting harmonies when they don't make sense to your ear.  The sound should be "amplified" but never really "foggy".
I hope this helps you and good luck on your exam!


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Curtis Stotlar


Piano performance of classical music


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

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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