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Vingt Pièces pour piano op. 58 (Benjamin Godard)




1. Valse villageoise – 2. Ballade – 3. Rococo – 4. Scherzetto – 5. Vieux Conte en style moderne – 6. Petit Canon – 7. Confidence – 8. Pantins – 9. Près de la mer – 10. Do, do, l’enfant do – 11. Les Patineurs – 12. Romance sans paroles – 13. Bagatelle – 14. Prélude – 15. Improvisation – 16. Courante – 17. À la Chopin – 18. Variations sur un air écossais – 19. Feuillet d’album – 20. Dig Ding don


The album of twenty piano pieces op.58 was intended for teaching purposes, as is attested by the dedication of many of its numbers to pupils of the composer; it was published by Leduc around 1887. These pages reflecting Godard’s pedagogical activity – he taught at the Paris Conservatoire and gave private lessons – are presented as aids to achieving an overall grasp of music, from the digital skills required for technical mastery of the instrument to familiarity with musical tradition thanks to the frequentation of earlier models (Bach, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann). Although they are of varying standards of difficulty – the very easy ‘Village waltz’ (no.1) stands apart from the more virtuosic ‘By the seaside’ (no. 4), ‘Courante’ in the style of Bach (no.16) or ‘Variations on a Scottish air’ (no.18) – and intended for players of various levels, these pieces bespeak a constant concern to develop the musical qualities of students. The compositions based on well-known tunes borrowed from the popular heritage of children’s songs (the lullaby ‘Do, do, l’enfant do’, no.10) show particularly clearly the care Godard took over harmonisation, constantly inventive and very refined. The writing also reveals how he strove to give learning the instrument a ludic aspect – the music amusingly imitates the sound of bells (no.20) or the movement of ‘The skaters’ (no.11). The eclecticism of the historical, cultural and stylistic references gives this album a remarkably individual profile within the pedagogical literature of the time.

    Person - 1
  • GODARD, Benjamin (1849-1895)
  • Themes - 2
  • Piano – La « pièce de genre » pianistique
  • Piano – Fin-de-siècle Romantic Piano Music