Cantilène improvisée - Charles Tournemire, reconstructed Maurice Durufle
Edition by Master Music Publications, Inc
Recorded Live via Hauptwerk on St.Laurenkerk-Rotterdam sampleset
YouTube Live: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugRwsvXO970
The Cantilene the second of Charles Tournemire's Cinq Improvisations recorded in 1930, later reconstructed by Maurice Duruflé in 1958 from the phonographs.
As the piece is an improvisation (and also as much that it is new for me and still “settling” into it) it might be interpreted and played any number of ways. Having given a number of internet recordings a listen this week, this probably bears true. Tempo markings suggest circa 82-90 with several phrases “animato”. Here I’m taking a typically slower tempo and a fair degree of freedom, in part for the sentiment I get from the music, also the space (where after an initial recording I felt I couldn’t hear certain notes and phrasing). Too slow? I’ll let Contrabombard be the judge, and feedback welcome!
Overall, I have come to really enjoy and appreciate this piece, which I suspect is generally written off as “that other one” from the suite, if heard at all. It seems quintessentially French to me, with a simple motive (stated in the first measure) that is explores a number of ways, while also easy to listen to. It is very enjoyable to play and, as indicated above, could be done differently depending on mood and sentiment.
So definitely recommend finding a score of all the Cinq Improvisations (can be inexpensive) and certainly to take a look at this movement-