Searching for the lost chords
I’ve been meaning to find this music, the Fauré ballade for piano and orchestra, for nearly 18 years. It was in the score of Roland Petit’s “Proust” ballet, Les Intermittences du coeur that we did at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and I played the piano part in the orchestra. Whatever the musical equivalent of a bunhead is, that’s me – I learned it, performed it and loved it, but I hadn’t a clue what it was, and it was only in researching it for this blog this week that I finally found out that it was once a piano solo, and that Fauré then arranged it for piano and orchestra, and a few other things that tie it very interestingly to Proust (for more on this, see here).
Fauré ballade for piano and orchestra: what am I missing in the piano solo version?
I’ve put the countermelody in small notes, because I think you could easily lose the tune if you tried too hard to play these, and you want the main melody to sing out – so I’d treat them as optional, so help me God.
If you’re squeamish about cuts, look away and don’t play my version, because I’ve had to fillet out the bits that are in 8 bar phrases (click here for the full version at IMSLP). As cuts go, they’re not life-threatening, and they’re worth it to be able to play this for class. It’s a very clever orchestration – the orchestra creeps up on you gradually like a feeling, rather than being the water you swim in, and then suddenly it’s on top of you and like all feelings that creep up on you, it’s a bit scary.
I’m putting this in my “don’t care if it’s three or four” category, but a lot would depend on how fast or slowly you take it, as to whether you can get away with it every time. It would also kill it to be either too slow or too fast, or too many times, so pick your moment carefully,
I hope you like it: F# is such a woody key, apart from anything else (if you don’t know what I mean, see below).