Il vecchio castello
- "A medieval castle: a troubadour is singing in front of it."
- "Landscape of Périgueux", a French castle without a troubadour,
- "A Road in Italy", a cloister with a shadow of
a man, drawn in Italy
although these are not italian castles.
Ikuma Dan thinks that the "Landscape of Périgueux" impressed him with the closest image of the music.
Maurice Ravel used the alto saxophone to describe a troubadour singing. This piece is historically the second important repertoire for the saxophone after Bizet's "l'arlesienne". A lot of thanks to Ravel. As an amateur saxophone player I ask myself what picture I have imagined:
- When I push a heavy broken gate to the castle, the music begins with the introduction by cellos, contrabasses, and a fagot. I still stay outside the gate through which a cold light of the moon is casted. (My solo phrase should start soon but I would try to listen to a bassbaritone voice rather coming from behind the castle than from my instrument. I was really pleased during the performance on the stage when I was able to hear my sound reflected by the surroundings as if a troubadour were singing somewhere in the darkness for the audience.) I hesitate to enter the castle because I am afraid not to be on the precise rythm of 6/8 by the bass section, sitting beside the bassclarinettist away from the string bass section. I would be able to hear winds blowing in the garden of the castle (by the flute) and a soul crying (by the cor anglais). As the night becomes silent, I decrease the air to the instrument gradually until a piano-pianissimo long tone is reached without vibrato.
- It might to be wave sound from a seacoast instead of winds because the tempo is Siciliano.
- As a Japanese I may have another image of "the Moon above a Ruined Castle", a well known piece composed by R.Taki, but the castle cannot be Japanese. However You are able to see a family mark of the Shimazu, i.e. a circled symbol of "+" on the flag of the picture "The Castle of Chelnomor" and even some Chinese characters on the flag. This picture seems to show a very complicated design far from the image of the simple music. I would like to deny the possibility of this picture being the one.
- "A Road in Italy" is not a night scene. I conclude then that the French castle should be the real one, as Ikuma Dan reached the same conclusion by differnt ways.