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Point Pelée

Classical • 2020 • Alternative Title: Prep for Maurice Ravel

Point Pelée

2.49 USD

PDF, 219.3 Kb ID: SM-000510481 Upload date: 21 Jul 2020
Scored for
Type of score
For a single performer
G major
Nicole DiPaolo
The audio is from a Sibelius-generated preview. Our piano is awaiting some needed servicing after being moved here, but when that happens (or I get a spare moment at the studio) I'll get a good recording in!

From my forthcoming collection of intermediate and late-intermediate piano compositions in Impressionist styles, this is an homage to Maurice Ravel's piano writing as shown in his "toccata-style" movements, like the finale of the Sonatine or the toccata from Le tombeau de Couperin. This piece can be combined with "Le jardin des papillons" and "Le jardin englouti" to form a three-movement suite that roughly corresponds to the Sonatine.

It introduces techniques that Ravel frequently uses but that less-than-advanced students rarely encounter in repertoire at their level: sometimes-awkward hand and arm crossings, extended tertian chords (9th/11th/13th voicings), pentatonic scales, and some modal writing, to name a few, while still maintaining a clarity of voicing that students will find in Ravel's own music. All of these can be disorienting to students encountering Ravel's music for the first time, so students will benefit from Ravel-preparatory repertoire, like this piece, that introduces these techniques.

Since most currently published collections of Impressionist-style pedagogical repertoire focus on Claude Debussy's language, this piece is a welcome addition to the student piano literature and will help bridge the gaps between standard teaching repertoire and pieces like Ravel's Sonatine, while also exposing students to a new, rich, and inviting tonal language that will inspire them to seek out more of Ravel's compositions.

On a more personal level, this piece was inspired by Point Pelée National Park, in Ontario, Canada, a frequent roosting spot for monarch butterflies making the long migration trip from Canada to southern Mexico. In this piece I tried to capture the flutters of the roosting monarchs' wings as they'd settle into the trees at night and venture out across Lake Erie after they'd had a chance to rest up. You can find more information on the park here:
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