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Rolande Falcinelli


giwro
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As many of you know, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the neglected composer, and have frequently sought out music that others ignore.

 

A few years ago, I tried to explore the music of Rolande Falcinelli, and most of what I looked at were miniatures that frankly didn't hold my attention. Recently, though, I found some scores of her larger-scale works, and have discovered therein a composer who was a worthy successor to the great French tradition. I recently purchased La Cathédrale de L'âme and Esquisses Symphoniques from Editions Delatour, complete with companion CDs upon which the composer plays the works. (with stunning virtuosity, BTW)

 

La Cathédrale de L'âme (the Cathedral of the Heart) is a 10-mvt suite, full of rich colors, registrations and harmonies, well worth learning. Esquisses Symphoniques is a set of 10 variations dedicated to the 1970-71 Organ class at the conservatiore, each piece utilises a theme created from the name of the student to which it is dedicated.

 

I've also purchased several other scores by Falcinelli, and will give my impressions of those as I have time to get to know the music better.

 

If you love the aesthetic of the French school, you owe it to yourself to get to know this music!

 

Cheers,

 

-G

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Not negelected everywhere! link to St Sulpice:

 

Samedi 27 octobre – 20h 30 (Saturday, 27 October at 8:30PM)

Récital d’orgue en Hommage à Rolande Falcinelli

Daniel Roth

Roth, Dupré, Falcinelli

 

This is good to hear!

 

I _do_ know that I rarely if ever see her works in programmes over here on THIS side of the pond. Do you folks recall hearing any of her music in GB?

 

Cheers,

 

-G

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Indeed, Rolande Falcinelli suffers from unjust neglect. It may be partly explained by her being organ professor at the Conservatoire during a critical time (1955-1986), when the whole "historically informed mouvement" took off, in particular at the organ, while her teaching stayed utterly faithful to the aesthetics of organ playing she herself had learned from her master, Marcel Dupré. Add to that a strong personality and a certain lack of diplomacy, and you'll figure that she ended up with many enemies.

 

I personally understand that people have resented her refusal as an organ teacher to take the musicological advances of the 1960s-70s into account (it must have been hard for pupils who enrolled in 1985, thus studying with Falcinelli in their first year and with Michel Chapuis in their second: the contrast couldn't have been greater!).

 

But I also try to draw a distinction between Falcinelli as a teacher, as a composer, as a performer, and last but not least as an improviser. It is a pity that some of her "enemies" do not seem to be capable of drawing such distinctions.

 

I heard her live only once, in 1983 (she played Dupré, her own Esquisses Symphoniques, and an improvised four part symphony), but I still remember it as if it was yesterday: thrilling!

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A few years ago, I tried to explore the music of Rolande Falcinelli, and most of what I looked at were miniatures that frankly didn't hold my attention. Recently, though, I found some scores of her larger-scale works, and have discovered therein a composer who was a worthy successor to the great French tradition. I recently purchased La Cathédrale de L'âme and Esquisses Symphoniques from Editions Delatour, complete with companion CDs upon which the composer plays the works. (with stunning virtuosity, BTW)

 

 

If you love the aesthetic of the French school, you owe it to yourself to get to know this music!

 

Cheers,

 

-G

-G

 

Thanks for this. You prompted me to dig out the little Falcinelli I have on the shelf. Cor Jesu Sacratissimum - (a chaconne) is quite good - though it looks (and sounds) like Dupre.

 

I agree about the miniatures - they often come across as bad Dupre (eg Cinq Chorals) . It's unfortunate that the one piece of her music that British organists are most likely to own is a very dense (texturally and harmonically) choral prelude (unbarred) which requires stretches of tenths and copious substitutions (in the same O&L volume as the Durufle Prelude a l'Introit). Rather better (though still complex) is her Prelude for Sacre-Coeur (on Adoro Te) in O&L 33 - though what its doing in a book entitled 'Neoclassic Organ' is a different question!

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-G

 

Thanks for this. You prompted me to dig out the little Falcinelli I have on the shelf. Cor Jesu Sacratissimum - (a chaconne) is quite good - though it looks (and sounds) like Dupre.

 

I agree about the miniatures - they often come across as bad Dupre (eg Cinq Chorals) . It's unfortunate that the one piece of her music that British organists are most likely to own is a very dense (texturally and harmonically) choral prelude (unbarred) which requires stretches of tenths and copious substitutions (in the same O&L volume as the Durufle Prelude a l'Introit). Rather better (though still complex) is her Prelude for Sacre-Coeur (on Adoro Te) in O&L 33 - though what its doing in a book entitled 'Neoclassic Organ' is a different question!

 

Let's see.... I have:

Cor Jesu Sacratissimum

Mathnavi

Litanies, Rondel et Fugue

Petit livre de Prières

La Cathédrale de L'âme

Esquisses Symphoniques

Méandres

Epure

Variations-Etudes sur une Berceuse

 

I've looked at several pieces in Petit livre de Prières (some are OK - some are more trouble than they're worth) Epure (veryarresting harmonies) and the Variations-Etudes (very inventive and colorful, albeit never surpassing about mf in volume.

 

I've got a few more pieces to order yet, and as I understand there are plans to release more of her works in the future. I should think there are about 3 hours or so available now, certainly a significant body of work that deserves further exploration.

 

Perhaps I'm drawn to this music because it does often resemble Dupré, and he is one of my favorite composers(!)

 

Cheers,

 

-G

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  • 7 months later...
Let's see.... I have:

Cor Jesu Sacratissimum

Mathnavi

Litanies, Rondel et Fugue

Petit livre de Prières

La Cathédrale de L'âme

Esquisses Symphoniques

Méandres

Epure

Variations-Etudes sur une Berceuse

 

Hi giwro,

 

You may also wish to check for Le Sermon sur la Montagne op.46, recently re-edited here. I absolutely love that work (and I don't think it has made it to a CD yet).

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Thanks for this...

 

I note that Rolande's daughter seems to have begun to edit and issue a number

of her mother's works... I'm pleased that is happening - it really is interesting music.

 

Out of the 74 opus numbers, it seems less than half are available, even fewer have been

recorded.

 

Cheers,

 

- G

 

 

Hi giwro,

 

You may also wish to check for Le Sermon sur la Montagne op.46, recently re-edited here. I absolutely love that work (and I don't think it has made it to a CD yet).

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