CLASSICAL PIANISTS

INTERPRETATION

PIANO CONCERTO

MASTERCLASS

CONTACT US

ABOUT US


WOMEN PIANISTS

THE LEFT HAND

FOUR HANDS

ACCOMPANISTS

IS IT MUSIC

INDULGE ME

HOME PAGE


COMPOSERS PLAY

CLASSICAL COMPOSERS

CHAMBER MUSIC

GUEST PAGES

LINKS

PRIVACY




MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937)
French pianist and composer



Maurice Ravel had said of a performance of his music by Toscanini, “I don’t ask for my music to be interpreted, but only that it should be played.” This is an apt description of his own performance style which could be clipped, almost abrupt at times, eschewing sentimentality and romanticism.

I think it critically important for all performers of Maurice Ravel's music to listen carefully to his own recordings and to those of pianists who had the opportunity to hear his playing and benefit from his guidance. (I refer here most specifically to Marguerite Long's performance of the slow movement of the G major concerto.) The tendency has so often been to perform this music, because of the melodious nature of so much of it, as if it were the culmination of French romanticism. It is not. His is a very modern music and its freshness must not be smothered in a rich and syrupy sauce. 

Compare performances of both the piano and orchestral versions of Maurice Ravel's Pavane with his own and I think you will see what I mean. A pavane is a stately dance. In Ravel's performance, the steps of this dance can be heard clearly. And do take a look at the music in which much that is clearly indicated in the score is almost entirely lost to the ear in the orchestra version. 

The authenticity of the recording of "Le Gibet" is disputed. it has been attributed to Robert Casadesus.  It does not sound to me like Ravel's playing based on the few piano  rolls I have heard, but I do not know and so I include it for others to decide.



 from Miroirs


2 "Oiseaux tristes" (1912 piano roll)




2 "Oiseaux tristes" (1922  Duo-Art piano roll)




5 "La vallée des cloches"




Sonatine

i Modéré
ii Movement de menuet

1913 Welte Mignon piano roll




Valses nobles et sentimentales

1913 Welte Mignon piano roll




"Pavane pour une infante défunte"

1922 piano roll




2 "Le Gibet" from Gaspard de la nuit










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



Follow these links to our main subject categories

[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • XML RSS
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Add to My MSN
  • Subscribe with Bloglines