Thursday, March 12, 2009

My new friend from France

There is this pianist I have gotten to be blog buddies with. He has a beautiful name, Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont.

Pierre-Arnaud is French!

The other day the excellent Monsieur Dablemont did a post on the Five Most Difficult Piano Pieces. He mentioned Ravel's "Gaspard de la Nuit." And I wrote to him -- not to shock anyone, but I wrote about Leonard Pennario, how Pennario did a historic recording of "Gaspard de la Nuit" but how I always got the idea that Pennario took even more pride in being the first pianist to tackle Ravel's solo-piano arrangement of "La Valse." I wondered if "La Valse" was not perhaps more difficult.

Which, I have no idea, because I have never tackled either of those pieces. That is for sure!

I love asking a question like this, posting it on someone's blog. It is like the old comic strip B.C., pictured above, where the cave man carves his question on a stone tablet and tosses it into the ocean and awaits his answer.

Today I checked back to see if my new friend Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont had answered my question. He had! It was just like in "B.C." He wrote:

Mary, la valse IS difficult! I did not list it because I think it’s less difficult than Gaspard de la Nuit and I only wanted pieces originally for piano.
Thanks for reading! And you already know I am enjoying your blog ;-)

Monsieur Dablemont, merci beaucoup!

Here is a picture of mon ami Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont.

Is this Internet age not wonderful?

You throw an opinion out there, and erudite people, like Prof. G yesterday, take it seriously and weigh in. You can communicate with pianists from another continent. We can all share opinions with each other, about arcane matters.

No piano fan is an island! We just sometimes feel as if we are.

Here is a hotly contested -- as you can see by the comments -- version of Ravel's solo-piano "La Valse" by a kid entering a competition.

Here is "Ondine," the first part of "Gaspard de la Nuit," played by Robert Casadesus.

And here, my friends, is the blog of Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont.

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