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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Battle of the Bands: Faure's "Pavane"


        I realize that the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge of 2014 is now over, but I am posting on a Thursday for a very good reason.  It's the first of the month and time for another edition of the twice monthly feature The Battle of the Bands.   First conceived by Faraway Eyes at Far Away Series and joined by Stephen T. McCarthy at Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends, I've been also joining in the Battles on the 1st and 15th of each month to add my own twists on the musical mix.   Others join in now and then--you will find some of those blogs at the end of this post--and you are welcome to stage your own Battle as well--just let us know in the comments so we'll come visit your contest.

          Here's how it works:  You listen to the song versions we offer on our sites and for each battle you vote for your favorite version in the comments and let us know why you picked that version.  Winners of each Battle will be announced on each site sometime next week.  I'll announce mine on Friday May 9th. Fun, easy, and even a bit educational.   So let's get started:   

Pardon My French Composer

         In this Battle I'm taking a cue from Faraway Eyes.  On one of her more recent Battles she used a piece of classical music and I thought that went over rather well.   Since I have a number of classical pieces slated for upcoming contests I thought I'd use one of those for my first post A to Z Challenge match-up.  In its original arrangement it's a very soothing piece that might be just the thing for some of you after the fast-paced schedule of April.

        Though considered in the broad spectrum that is labeled "Classical Music", Gabriel Faure's work should be more accurately placed in the classifications of the music of the Romantic and Impressionistic Periods.  His music is a bridge of sorts between those two eras of music.  His earlier music was influenced by composers such as Chopin, Schumann, and Mozart.  Later his technique followed the modernistic trends as he transitioned into the Impressionism movement and fell under the influence of jazz.

        "Pavane" is the piece I've chosen for this Battle.  It's an incredibly beautiful passionate work.  He made a number of different arrangements and below I've linked to two of them for the purpose of reference for those who have time to listen to them.    The first is one for orchestra and choir while the second is arranged for solo piano in a recording taken directly from Faure's own performance of the piece.  Please don't use these for voting purposes in the Battle as they are only offered so you can hear how the piece was intended to sound.  You might want to let them play in the background while you do something else or you can scroll down to the actual contest.  

         Here are the links to "Pavane" as originally composed:

Pavane - Gabriel Fauré :  


Fauré plays Fauré Pavane, op 50


And Now the Battle:
       
Stan Getz   "Once (Pavane)"   1966

           The first Battle competitor is famous jazz saxophonist Stan Getz in a unique recording experiment using a top rate jazz ensemble with a chorus used to emulate an orchestral background.  The album "Voices" that this cut comes from is among the most mellow laid back collections of music that you can find.  It's the ideal album for romantic evenings or just quiet contemplative times alone.   Why someone decided to call this  featured tune "Once" is a mystery to me, but this is definitely Faure's "Pavane" smooth jazz style. 





Brian Auger & the Trinity  "Pavane"  (1969)

           Jazz rock keyboardist Brian Auger never made a big splash in the United States, but he has had a long respectable career and is highly regarded among critics and discriminating music fans everywhere.  His version of "Pavane" comes from one his best albums, the very eclectic Befour.   Like Getz's version this is jazzy, but in a very different way.




        And there you have it!  Did that pairing knock your socks off or what?  How do you choose between two outstanding versions like these?   But you must!  Please pick one of these two (and not the originals I linked at the beginning).

Now Vote!

        Which version do you prefer?   Tell us in the comments and let us know why you prefer this version.  Then visit the other Battle of the Band participants.

Here are some other bloggers who may or may not be participating in the Battle of the Bands:

         Faraway Series
         Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends
         Your Daily Dose
         DiscConnected

            Donna Hole

           Do you enjoy modernized versions of classical music?  Do you prefer mellow or supercharged?   Which of the two jazzed versions of "Pavane" do you like best?


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30 comments:

Nick Wilford said...

It was fun hearing this famous tune in different versions. Think I prefer the first though, it's nicer to my ears.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Second one has a definite 60's vibe to it. More uptempo though. I like that version best.

wangiwriter said...

It has to be Stan Getz. His is more relaxing; the other is too shrill.

Welcome to my world of verse. said...

I like Brian Auger better, it appealed to me way above the other version.
Yvonne.
PS SUPPOSE TO BE RELAXING BUT REMEMBERED YOUR BAND VOTE.

Misha Gericke said...

I actually prefer the original. :-P

But choosing between the two you want us choose between... I prefer Once.

Jo said...

I prefer Once too it is more mellow. The second one is OK but....

Arlee Bird said...

Nick-- Good to see you here voting! Yes, there is definitely a more soothing aspect to the Getz version.

Alex -- That's the version I would have guessed you would have picked.

Wang -- "Shrill" is an interesting way to describe it.

Yvonne -- Thank you for remembering and for supporting your fellow Brit.

Misha-- "Once" is closer to the original so I see why you'd prefer it.

Lee

Carole Anne Carr said...

Fascintating approach to composition. Though I do think it needs to be slow and thoughtful, given the title.

D.G. Hudson said...

Brian Auger gets my vote!

Mainly, it was the organ and the more upbeat tempo that sold me on Auger's version. I'm a jazz fan and I thought I'd pick Getz, but no. Getz is more laid back and I like that horn, but, I'm going with the second one.

Robin said...

Both versions of this song are nice. I would want to listen to one over the other depending on my mood or what I am doing. The first version is much smoother, more mellow, while the second is upbeat.

Since I have to pick one over the other I am going with "Once." I am more inclined to listen to smooth, mellow music. And I have now listened to this one twice and I liked it even more the second time around.

Chrys Fey said...

My vote goes to Stan Getz. I just love the feel of that version better.

farawayeyes said...

I did listen to both classical versions first (while paying my bills - it was a good thing too, very calming).

I really like Stan Getz and after his version I was pretty sure how I would vote, BUT I did listen to Brian Auger also.

After the first few notes of Brian Auger's version I'm thinking, NO, but since I was finishing up writing a few checks, I let it play out. I was pleasantly surprised.Tthat organ did lend a nice touch and I found that I did like it fairly well, BUT not enough to beat out Stan Getz.

Give my vote to 'Once'.

Great match!

Arlee Bird said...

Carole -- The intent was for it to be played slowly, but I think it works fairly well when speeded up and jazzed up a bit.

DG -- Auger plays a mean keyboard.

Robin -- Sometimes the Getz CD stays in my player for several days. It's good music to write by.

Chrys -- The Getz version does have a lot of "feel" to it.

Faraway -- I particularly like the bass lines in Auger's version. It's good jazz. But Getz gets your vote.

Lee

DiscConnected said...

This is a tough one Lee-I like both versions.

Even though Auger's version of the song has a definite "period" sound to me, I think I give that one the edge-a little more lively.

But there are times when the Getz version, more sedate, would win me over. If I voted later in the day, it may be a different answer.

Pretty close, but give it to the Trinity.

LC

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

HOKEY-SMOKE & HOO-WEE, LEE!
You weren't kidding the other day when you said you had a 'Battle Of The Bands' lined up that you thought would appeal to me.

Without question, this is my favorite 'BOTB' you've offered to date and, frankly, I can't imagine that you will ever top this one for me.

Stan Getz... man, that cat was so innovative within the Jazz genre, from his album 'Focus' to practically introducing America to Bossa-Nova due to his work with Gilberto to this album 'Voices' (which I was not familiar with). I am most definitely a Stan Getz fan.

But I'm an even bigger Brian Auger fan. When Auger's version (which I'd also not heard before) started, I thought that Getz was going to win this going away. BUT... then Auger's electric organ really kicked in at about the 1:27 mark, and suddenly I'm groovin' to it and thinking this is going to be one hell of a hard 'BOTB' to vote on.

And it WAS! I LOVED both versions, even though they were so remarkably different.

I own compact discs by both Getz and Auger, so when I say I'm a fan of them, I'm not exaggerating.

In the end though, I think I have to cast my vote for the STAN GETZ version, even though I thought the ending of it was a bit odd - it seemed to conclude rather abruptly to me.

I may even have to buy that 'Voices' album, because if the rest of it is anything similar to this recording, I am sure to love it and play it often.

Thanks for introducing me to new music by old favorites, Lee. This was a fantabulous 'BOTB' edition! Wow! You have really outdone yerself.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Arlee Bird said...

Larry -- I know what you're saying. I said something similar for McCarthy's match-up. I'm the same way about these two "Pavane" versions--my favorite could vary according to time and circumstance.

StMc -- I thought you would appreciate this pairing. And I agree that it's really tough to chose as Larry just said.

The Getz CD that I have with this on it is a two-fer on one disk release with the albums "Cool Velvet" with strings and "Voices". It's a fantastic album that often stays in my CD player on my desk for days and I'll just keep replaying it while I'm blogging or writing. It's such relaxing music to have playing while I work. I highly recommend this package. I got it through the Heritage Jazz Club, but I'd say the same disc is available elsewhere.

I guess my Auger albums must have been in the batches I sold recently since I haven't seen any of them here. I don't have Befour on CD but I very highly recommend this one to you--I'm sure you'd love it. Great stuff on this album..

Glad this Battle met your approval as I had you in mind with these artists and I thought you'd enjoy it. Now we'll see how the vote tallies up in the end.

Lee

Liza said...

I liked the second one better, probably because it was a bit more...lively?

storytreasury said...

I liked the first one better. It feels more jazzy, which is strange, because I don't like jaz that much.

The Desert Rocks & Intangible Hearts said...

Maybe I'm old fashioned but I like Stan Getz.

CWMartin said...

I have to agree that this is probably the two best songs you've paired up yet. Put me down as a "period piecer" and give it to the Trinity from note one.

Arlee Bird said...

Liza - It is more lively for sure.

Story -- It is a mellow jazz sound so it almost heads toward classical territory.

Desert -- Nothing old-fashioned about this version by Getz. In my book it's timeless.

CW --- It's great source material so it's kind of hard for a decent artist to go wrong with it. Auger is running neck and neck with Getz I think.

Lee

Stephanie Faris said...

I pick the second one--mostly because jazz always makes me want to hide!

Donna Hole said...

I do enjoy modernized versions of classical music - sometimes.

I really liked Stan Getz version though. Yeah, that horn makes a difference. Both were really good though, as I'm an infrequent fan of both classical and jazz.

......dhole

Sandy said...

I like classical, so enjoyed the first one until the voices started. lol The instrumental was nice.
Thanks for the challenge. I'm continuing a-z in May
Sandy at Traveling Suitcase

Michelle Stanley said...

Hello Arlee,your post is interesting, but unfortunately, the videos don't play well on my laptop.
I wanted to let you know that your time spent in organising the AtoZ challenge is appreciated. I am also following you on your blog. Michelle @ http://www.writer-way.blogspot.com

debi o'neille said...

When I listened to the first one, I was sure that would be my choice because it was so beautiful and relaxing. But then I listened to the second one, and that was equally beautiful. Decisions, decisions. I love them both – can't decide.
Best,
Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

Arlee Bird said...

Stephanie -- Don't hide from jazz! There's some wonderful music waiting to be heard by you.

Donna -- Stan Getz your vote.

Sandy -- Can't get enough A to Z, eh?

Michelle -- Thank you for the follow.

Debi -- I'm kind of the same way about the choice.

Lee


Susan Kane said...

I had to say that each appeal to me, dependent on my mood of the time. But generally, I would go for #2.

shirley dietz said...

This is fun too (like the a to z)and I'm ready to hear some new-to-me music. Liked them both but I'm voting for the Auger one. I'm a keyboardist and appreciate what he did with the song. It was driving and high energy with some interesting chords. (That being said I also could listen to the Getz version with no trouble.) I'm a new follower at www.shirleyjdietz.com

tombensoncreative.com said...

Hi Lee. I'm just dropping by to say thanks for all the hard work you put into the A to Z.
I'm just getting into my other writing projects now, but I'll be back for a proper visit later.