Sunday, August 18 2019


Culture Vulture (9-12-2014)

Update: December, 10/2014 - 09:19

French concert pianist Celimene Daudet is a French concert pianist who has performed on prestigious European stages in France, Germany, Russia and England. She is well-known for her projects that combine piano with other performance arts, especially dancing. Her repertoire covers the history of piano music, from triumphal hymns to melancholy compositions.

On December 11, 12 and 13, Daudet will display her expressive and playful style through the compositions of Liszt, Chopin, Debussy and Franck at classical piano recitals in HCM City, Da Nang, and Ha Noi.

How did you become a pianist?

I started my studies in piano in the south of France at the age of 10. My parents listened to a lot of music at home, mainly opera, jazz and piano, from which my desire to learn the piano was born. From the first lessons, I was fascinated by this instrument and could not stop. The piano then became my confidence, my means of expression.

I followed a traditional curriculum, beginning from the Conservatory of Aix-en-Provence to the National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance of Lyon. I had the chance to meet extraordinary musicians who guided my path. I can say that I have become a pianist thanks to passion, practice and meetings with musicians.

What or who was your biggest influence?

As an artist I was nourished by different things and of course I was very marked by some musicians and some concerts. A concert of Richter's I attended when I was a child was one of them. But any time of life, encounter, landscape or philosophy may be inspirational and create an upheaval for an artist.

Could you talk about the classical piano recitals that you will give in Viet Nam?

I chose a stylistically varied programme, but the similarities between the works are that they reveal French music and the maturity of the composers. I chose Chopin's Barcarolle, a mature work with a very personal harmonic language. In this work, the romantic style approximates Debussy's "impressionistic" colours.

Liszt's Blessing of God in Solitude was inspired by a poem by Lamartine. It is a sublime and radiant work imbued with a sense of excitement. It is a work of maturity; at the end of his life, Liszt wrote many works of religious inspiration.

The preludes by Debussy, composed in 1912-13, represent the pinnacle of Debussy's style. They are enchanting evocations of nature, landscapes and atmosphere, and everyone can indulge their imagination listening to this fine music.

Finally, the chorale prelude and fugue of Franck is an intense and great work, inspired by the Germanic form by Bach. Franck was a Belgian naturalized-French composer, and his music evokes the mystical question of man plagued by existential questions.

Is classical music itself on the upswing, or it is still just a struggle amidst the giant wave of popular culture?

I think that classical music still has a special place in the heart of the public. Great composers through the centuries and masterpieces of classical music are timeless. What is certain is that it takes time to understand classical music, which is lost in our world today. Popular culture sometimes promotes channel surfing or hopping, and then gives the illusion of being more immediately appealing.

However, I do not like to compare popular culture with classical music. Classical music is also popular because it is part of our history and human culture. It is also universal. As a classical musician I remain open to any form of expression of popular culture, and I am sure that the crossing and collaboration are possible.

Do you have advice for someone who might feel intimidated by classical music?

My first advice would be: let yourself go and enjoy! Classical music does not require any special knowledge. It proposes to dream, to travel, and to experience different emotions. There is no single way to listen. Everyone can feel a concert in a very personal way.

It is difficult to recommend a particular composer: each work conveys emotions that are specific and reasonable in a different way in each of us. Again we must allow our instincts and have no psychological barriers to listen to this or that music. Just watch the children: they can dance and thrill to the sound of Mozart or Messiaen! They have no mental barrier, no priority, no fear. So I would say: find your soul and childish imagination when you listen to music! — VNS

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