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Dupré And Notes Communes In Op 18 No 15


Fiffaro
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This is a question for the Dupré fans, and particularly for those fans that play the Finale from Les Vêpres de la Vierge.

 

In bar 34, as the arpeggio figure collides with the held a'' of the melody, there is a tie where I would normally expect notes communes to apply. Bar 46 is similar, but no tie is present here. Is this an engraving issue, or should I repeat the c'' in bar 46? (Bar 41 would appear to be missing a tie on the c''-sharp as this is so consistently present in the rest of the piece, so there is the possibility that in bar 46 the tie is missing by accident.)

 

Bar 32 seems to loose impact if the a'' is not repeated, even though my understanding of notes communes is that it would normally apply here. (Compare this bar with two bars later, bar 34, where the notes are tied, perhaps because the 16th note rhythm is not broken as the pedal line has a 16th note there.) Do others repeat this note?

 

I find that even with bars 29 and 31, for example, even though the melody is tied to the accompanying arpeggio, it sounds better to repeat the melody note as the arpeggio 'communes' with the melody.

 

Perhaps the solution is to keep the rhythm continuous, by not observing the notes communes tradition if the result is a break in the 16th note pattern. If the pedal part has a change on the otherwise tied 16th note in the manual part, then notes communes can be observed.

 

Thoughts and suggestion?

 

This might all become academic in a luxuriously reverberant acoustic, but in the drier acoustics that dominate the Australian soundscape, that will not be the case.

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I fear that I am quite unable to assist Signor Fiffaro in his quest for enlightenment in respect of the Dupre Finale from “Les Vêpres de la Vierge”, but I wish him a happy issue out of the affliction which currently besets him. I write as a supremely ignorant village church organist who has never encountered until now the term “Notes Communes” and I feel that I should know what it means. I am prepared to accept that I am almost certainly the only member of the forum who is not familiar with the phrase - indeed, I’m sure that all members of our local Organists Association constantly speak of nothing else.

 

Can you enlighten me, please? Don’t all rush at once.

 

David Harrison

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Guest Cynic
I fear that I am quite unable to assist Signor Fiffaro in his quest for enlightenment in respect of the Dupre Finale from “Les Vêpres de la Vierge”, but I wish him a happy issue out of the affliction which currently besets him. I write as a supremely ignorant village church organist who has never encountered until now the term “Notes Communes” and I feel that I should know what it means. I am prepared to accept that I am almost certainly the only member of the forum who is not familiar with the phrase - indeed, I’m sure that all members of our local Organists Association constantly speak of nothing else.

 

Can you enlighten me, please? Don’t all rush at once.

 

David Harrison

 

 

When different voice parts cross or meet there is bound to be a question about what to do when two parts use the same exact note - whether to repeat it or ignore the second one when it comes. On the piano there is no problem, because the first note is already dying away so playing it again may even be useful. The most effective method on the organ, I believe, is to play the note again but with the tiniest of breaks between it and the 'held' note - just a 'cigarette paper' of a gap between them. This enables the subconscious ear to follow the moving line while allowing the 'held' note to appear still held.

 

I don't know the work that Fiffaro asks about, but as a rule of thumb, I think this is worth trying.

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Thank you, Cynic, for your exposition. I have come across this sort of problem before and have attempted solutions along the lines recommended; I just hadn’t stumbled upon the expression itself.

 

David Harrison

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Not repeating a note when another part also plays that note became an enshrined part of the French romantic tradition. On this forum, in the thread "Slurs In Transports De Joie" this has been referred to previously.

 

http://www.mander-organs.com/discussion/in...ic=2046&hl=

 

In this piece, it is very clear that Messiaen expected the note to be held, and carefully noted slurs to this end. As ACC mentioned in this thread, Tournemire and Dupré taught that if a note is repeated within the voice, the first note value is halved, but if it is repeated because another voice is also given the note, then it is held. There is a question about how early in the French romantic movement that this applies. When I learned Franck's Three Chorales, back in the last century, notes communes was a given for his music, too.

 

 

Thank you, themythes, for your kind wishes, and Cynic for your input.

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