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Alain: Suite


mrbouffant
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OK, so I'm learning this Suite at the moment and find it all a bit strange. The notes aren't that hard but I guess I'm failing to capture the spirit of it. Anyone else play it here who can offer some guidance? Yes, I know I should pay to go and get an organ lesson but I prefer to wait until I have most of it under the fingers....

 

Thanks!

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OK, so I'm learning this Suite at the moment and find it all a bit strange. The notes aren't that hard but I guess I'm failing to capture the spirit of it. Anyone else play it here who can offer some guidance? Yes, I know I should pay to go and get an organ lesson but I prefer to wait until I have most of it under the fingers....

 

Thanks!

 

I suggest you listen several times to a good recording.

Thomas Trotter's done a complete Alain (and had lessons from M-C before that!)

There are other versions, of course.

 

I wouldn't normally suggest one starts learning anything by listening to a recording by someone else, but this is

very unusual music and the 'weird' mood is something you want to understand if the printed score seems odd at first.

Neilsen's Commotio is another case where learning the dots slowly by yourself can be very depressing, but it all

makes sense once the whole picture can be heard.

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Best of luck with this. It's a tremendous piece - arguably even better than the Trois danses. It's also not at all easy; it's one of those pieces I took a look at and immediately filed back on the shelf in the "when I want a challenge" section! Of course I shall never get around to it.

 

I would also recommend listening to a recording, specifically Marie-Claire Alain's version from Saint-Christoph, Belfort, in the complete works on the Erato label. Wonderfully scintillating playing in the scherzo which really captures its fierce energy and drive - not everyone manages this.

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Best of luck with this. It's a tremendous piece - arguably even better than the Trois danses. It's also not at all easy; it's one of those pieces I took a look at and immediately filed back on the shelf in the "when I want a challenge" section! Of course I shall never get around to it.

 

I would also recommend listening to a recording, specifically Marie-Claire Alain's version from Saint-Christoph, Belfort, in the complete works on the Erato label. Wonderfully scintillating playing in the scherzo which really captures its fierce energy and drive - not everyone manages this.

Although I favour the Belfort recordings in many ways, I think Madame Alain's later recording of the Suite at Saint-Ferjeux, Besançon reveals the structure of the work more clearly. I wouldn't agree that Suite is better than the Trois danses, which never fail to send shivers down my spine.

JC

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