Tuesday 6 January 2015

Possible concert idea: "Shuck and Play" with music by Breton composers?

There are other composers who wrote great Nocturnes too, you know.  Guy Ropartz (1864 - 1955) was a French composer who added three beautiful Nocturnes to the piano repertoire. His music can sometimes take after Cesar Franck and Vincent d'Indy, especially apparent in the first Nocturne; at other times, like in the second and third Nocturnes his music offers a palette of stunning harmonic colours and nuances that are unmistakably French.  

Though living well into the 1950s, his late-romantic language
was almost entirely unaffected by any avant-garde movements.  I have collected all the early and first editions of his piano works.  Here are Nocturnes Nos. 2 and 3 (No. 1 is on loan to a student) - notice the dedicatee of the 2nd Nocturne: it was written for Blanche Selva, one of the Golden Age women pianists!  

Incidentally, Ropartz came from one of my favourite regions of France, the land of oysters, Brittany.  That brings to mind a possibility of perhaps having an oyster-and-music evening? "Shuck and Play", anyone?

Ropartz was born in a very traditional Breton town called Guingamp.  I had visited Guingamp during one of my many trips to Brittany and I highly recommend a meal at Brasserie L'O.  

Association Guy Ropartz (no longer updated): http://guyropartz.chez-alice.fr/

Brasserie L'O: http://www.restaurant-brasserie-lo.com/

Guingamp, the town where Ropartz was born; "Gwengamp" is the Breton spelling.  

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