Jeffrey LaDeur, Pianist


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Debussy Centennial Program 2018

DEBUSSY Etudes Book I
CHOPIN Fantasy op.49
CHOPIN Trois Nouvelles Etudes
DEBUSSY Etudes Book II

“Musicien Français”
François Couperin was writing evocative, satirical, and sensual character pieces decades before Bach incorporated their style into the ‘absolute music’ of his French suites and other works. Given Couperin’s generative role in French style, it is no surprise that Debussy would turn to him for inspiration in his last major work for the piano: the Études of 1915. They represent a final blooming of invention, transparency, and form, and a return to simplicity. What is more, they are overtly patriotic, as evidenced by Debussy’s preface, claiming Rameau and Couperin as “…our admirable clavencinistes…”. Yet, the Études are dedicated to Frédéric Chopin, a composer whom Debussy adored and who was adopted by the French, but not a native son. It is difficult to believe that the matter of the dedication, whether Couperin or Chopin, was essentially an arbitrary one left in the hands of his publisher, Durand. Debussy was a composer who excoriated copyists for the slightest error and threw tantrums if fonts were not printed exactly per his request… The answer lies in the hidden language of musical cryptogram. Both Couperin and Chopin bear the same initials- F.C. The pitches represented by their names are omnipresent in structurally important moments of the Études, and it is only fitting that Debussy’s initials make frequent appearances in their midst.
There was a practical motivation for the composition of these pieces that helps explain their dedication as well; war time prevented many musical editions from crossing French borders, and Debussy was employed to edit the piano music of Chopin, thus creating an autonomous French version. It was during this revisiting of Chopin’s music that he composed the Études, not only an homage to Chopin and Couperin, but an imaginary landscape where the great masters of the past, and presumably Debussy himself, could be united through French music. Debussy describes Pour Les Agréments, the last to be composed and the most quintessentially French as “..a barcarolle, on a somewhat Italian sea.” In the true spirit of Couperin and Chopin, it is indeed a meeting of great minds, truly goûts réunis.

Program Offerings 2019-2020
Jeffrey LaDeur, piano
Program I
12th Ordre in E François Couperin (1668-1733)
Les juméles
La Galante
La Coribante
La Vauvré
La Fileuse
La Boulonoise

Prélude, Aria et Final César Franck (1822-1890)
I. Allegro moderato e maestoso
II. Lento
III. Allegro molto ed agitato


Four Scherzi Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
in B minor op.20
in B-flat minor op.31
in C-sharp minor op.39
in E major op.54

Program Offerings 2019-2020
Jeffrey LaDeur, piano
Program II
Prélude in C-sharp minor op.45 Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)

Sonata No.2 in B-flat minor op.35
I. Grave-doppio movimento
II. Scherzo
III. Marche funèbre
IV. Finale: Presto

Allegro de Concert in A major op.46

Etudes op.25
I. A-flat major; Allegro sostenuto
II. F minor; Presto
III. F major; Allegro
IV. A minor; Agitato
V. E minor; Vivace
VI. G-sharp minor; Allegro
VII. C-sharp minor; Lento
VIII. D-flat major; Vivace
IX. G-flat major; Allegro assai
X. B minor; Allegro con fuoco
XI. A minor; Lento- Allegro con brio
XII. C minor; Allegro molto con fuoco

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