Author Topic: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?  (Read 33369 times)

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Offline Peter Power Pop

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #120 on: October 24, 2017, 03:44:55 PM »
I actually like Faschingsschwank so I'll look him up next time I have a chance to listen to music! (also gotta finish my Smetana Quartet Beethovens lol) Honens is a good arty microlabel in general, there was a decent if slow Hammerklavier I heard recently on it by an Asian-American pianist whose name I don't remember now

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Offline Todd

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #121 on: October 24, 2017, 03:58:26 PM »
there was a decent if slow Hammerklavier I heard recently on it by an Asian-American pianist whose name I don't remember now


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Offline amw

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #122 on: October 24, 2017, 05:24:31 PM »
Yes thank you both. Good job.

Offline Omicron9

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #123 on: October 30, 2017, 04:41:48 AM »

I have this set, and Thibaudet's technique and sense of colour is amazing. His ultra-light style of playing, however, seems to me a hinderance in some of the "heavier" music (like Gaspard de la Nuit). Still, he plays the Miriors incredibly. Amazon has samples, so I think you could get a pretty good idea whether or not you like his style from those. :)

I have this Thibaudet set.  I can't say it's better/worse than any other version, but I can say that I love his playing on this.  The recording quality is also quite good.  Recommended!

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Online George

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #124 on: October 30, 2017, 04:45:22 AM »
I have this Thibaudet set.  I can't say it's better/worse than any other version, but I can say that I love his playing on this.  The recording quality is also quite good.  Recommended!

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His Satie set on Decca is also lovely.
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Parsifal

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #125 on: October 30, 2017, 08:36:43 AM »
If you consider Quebec as a french province colony wrongly usurpated by the british empire...   But then you may also be caught up in some heavy crossfire as a sizable minority (?) in Quebec would still like to gain its independence from Canada.

Corrected. :)
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 01:39:25 PM by Scarpia »

Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #126 on: October 31, 2017, 11:57:32 AM »
Is it




or




The Samson François set is another where most who have an opinion on this find it indispensable.

Monique Haas also recorded it all, another set with a phenomenal display of pianism coupled w the profoundest caliber of musicianship.

... and there is Vlado Perlemuter, whom, regardless if there is a complete set, or the quality (by age) of the recordings, I urgently recommend you to check out.



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Offline Todd

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #127 on: October 31, 2017, 01:32:04 PM »
The Samson François set is another where most who have an opinion on this find it indispensable.

Monique Haas also recorded it all, another set with a phenomenal display of pianism coupled w the profoundest caliber of musicianship.

... and there is Vlado Perlemuter, whom, regardless if there is a complete set, or the quality (by age) of the recordings, I urgently recommend you to check out.


The original thread is a decade old.  I've listened to all those and many more.  Chamayou is the king.  For now. 

Of the ones you mention, the Francois is far and away my favorite.  The EMI/Warner Francois big box is as indispensable as the Cortot big box, but in some ways even more satisfying.  Even when Francois was not on top form, he was compelling. 
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 01:46:08 PM by Todd »
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Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #128 on: November 06, 2017, 04:54:28 AM »

The original thread is a decade old.  I've listened to all those and many more.  Chamayou is the king.  For now. 

Of the ones you mention, the Francois is far and away my favorite.  The EMI/Warner Francois big box is as indispensable as the Cortot big box, but in some ways even more satisfying.  Even when Francois was not on top form, he was compelling.

Alrighty, then.  All that's left to be desired is more undiscovered Ravel piano solo works to be 'discovered' and then recorded!
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Offline Brian

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #129 on: November 06, 2017, 05:39:44 AM »
Alrighty, then.  All that's left to be desired is more undiscovered Ravel piano solo works to be 'discovered' and then recorded!
Wikipedia lists a juvenile work by a teenaged Ravel, variations on a theme from Grieg's Peer Gynt...wouldn't mind hearing that.

The "Daphnis" piano suite, recently recorded by Florian Uhlig, is mighty good.

Offline Florestan

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #130 on: November 06, 2017, 06:43:47 AM »
Wikipedia lists a juvenile work by a teenaged Ravel, variations on a theme from Grieg's Peer Gynt...wouldn't mind hearing that.

Neither would I, but has anyone recorded it? Better question: has it been published?
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Offline Brian

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #131 on: November 06, 2017, 09:16:17 AM »
Neither would I, but has anyone recorded it? Better question: has it been published?
No to both questions.

Offline Josquin13

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #132 on: November 16, 2017, 01:48:12 PM »
First, I should say that Ravel is one of my favorite composers, and I especially admire his solo piano music. So, I've heard a great many recordings over the years.  In my mind, I tend to separate the interpretations of French pianists from non-French pianists, as I find the French often bring a special Gallic sensibility, if you will, & distinctive piano touch to both Ravel & Debussy.  Although I must admit that, since I know so many recordings by French pianists, I'm also quite fascinated (& refreshed) to encounter non-French pianists playing Ravel with a remarkable imagination--such as Ivo Pogorelich, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, & Claudio Arrau in Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, for example (even if they're not very Gallic sounding).

Secondly, I would say that I've also found it a great benefit to hear pianists that knew and worked with Ravel, such as Jacques Fevrier, Robert & Gaby Casadesus, and Vlado Perlemuter (as well as present day pianists that studied with these friends of Ravel); along with Ravel's own piano rolls.

My favorite sets & individual recordings from the older French pianists include those by Jacques Fevrier (despite his advanced age at the time he recorded this music), Monique Haas (her earlier recordings are her most stunning), Madaleine de Valmalètte--whose Le Tombeau de Couperin has arguably never been surpassed, and Samson François, whose richly imaginative Miroirs remains one of the best I've ever heard. 

Among present day French pianists, I've most liked sets by Philippe Bianconi (a student of Gaby Casadesus), Jean-Yves Thibaudet (who, along with François is the only other pianist I've ever heard that understands the Jazz influence in Ravel's Prelude), Jacques Rouvier, Georges Pludermacher (a student of Fevrier), and to a slightly lesser degree, Jean-Phillipe Collard, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, & Anne Queffelec, who are also very fine.

In recent years, I've admired two sets--from Bertrand Chamayou & the German pianist Florian Uhlig, though I probably wouldn't jump to recommend either as a first or second choice, at least not in preference to those mentioned above (or to Alpers mentioned below).

(I'd also be keen to hear Michel Dalberto (a Perlemuter student) and Alain Planès (a Fevrier student) tackle this music at some point. Yes, I'm a little nuts about Ravel.)

Among non-French pianists, as mentioned, I've long admired the recordings of Gaspard de la Nuit by Pogorelich, Michelangeli, and Arrau.  I'm also currently engaged and hugely impressed by a recent Ravel set from pianist Hinrich Alpers, who's new to me and one of the most impressive pianists I've heard in a long time! It becomes immediately apparent from the first notes that Alpers has thought very deeply about this music, and has some real ideas about how Ravel should be played.  He also has a stunning technique.  My only hesitation in giving Alpers my highest recommendation is that the set is new to me, and I don't know as yet how it will wear on me over time: I confess I have a tendency to get overly excited when I discover a new pianist of real stature (and I'm presently having to restrain myself from declaring it the best set of the digital era!).  I simply need more time with it.

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #133 on: November 18, 2017, 07:18:41 AM »
Thank you for this very nice and thoughtful writeup, Josquin.  I have a much more limited collection than you do of Ravel Piano music.  However, for the one I have, I fully agree with your comments.

Offline king ubu

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #134 on: November 22, 2017, 02:11:10 PM »
Played the Ravel from Marcelle Meyer's big EMI box again yesterday and think it's excellent! Not as deeply into the music ao I could point out favourites for particular pieces though.
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Offline San Antone

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #135 on: November 22, 2017, 02:24:27 PM »
Played the Ravel from Marcelle Meyer's big EMI box again yesterday and think it's excellent! Not as deeply into the music ao I could point out favourites for particular pieces though.

I haven't heard her Ravel, just her Bach.  But it reminded me of a recording I've wondered about:



Anyone know it and would offer some comments?

Offline Josquin13

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #136 on: November 22, 2017, 03:01:05 PM »
You're welcome, Spineur.

I neglected to mention Marcelle Meyer and Yvonne Lefébure among the older French pianists (& Reine Gianoli), as I haven't heard their Ravel.  I'm curious--did they know Ravel personally?   I do know that Meyer was Erik Satie's favorite pianist, and as a young woman she worked on Debussy's Preludes with Debussy, so I would imagine her Ravel is worthwhile.

Offline San Antone

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #137 on: November 22, 2017, 03:46:25 PM »
That is a great set.  I also enjoy this one a lot.



I bought this when it first came out but haven't listened to it much.  I am now.  I generally like Hewitt's playing.

Offline Mookalafalas

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #138 on: November 24, 2017, 12:34:11 AM »
Played the Ravel from Marcelle Meyer's big EMI box again yesterday and think it's excellent! Not as deeply into the music ao I could point out favourites for particular pieces though.

I got a copy of the Meyer after reading your comments some months ago.  I agree with you completely.  She's really got something.  Will try her Ravel later.
It's all good...

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: What’s the best complete set of Ravel’s piano music?
« Reply #139 on: April 29, 2018, 07:20:20 PM »
I suppose I’ll add my two cents to this discussion which seemed to have ended last year...

Sets I Own:

Tharaud (Harmonia Mundi)
Queffélec (Virgin Classics)
Perlemuter (Nimbus)
Chamayou (Erato)
Muraro (Accord)
Ader (Fuga Libera)
Bavouzet (MD&G)
Thibaudet (Decca)
Osborne (Hyperion)

Of all of these sets, Tharaud and Queffélec are my favorites and for quite similar reasons. First, I don’t think either pianist plays this music ‘perfectly’ if there’s even such a word to begin with. I also think that both pianists can sometimes get a bit cerebral, but, and this what I love about both of them, they play the music without histrionics and needlessly flashy, showman-esque flair, which I personally can’t stand. A few nights ago, I listened to a piano roll of the composer himself play his Pavane pour une infante défunte and I was struck by how simple his approach was and how he didn’t allow himself to get in the way of the music. His approach reminded me of both Tharaud and Queffélec in that he was direct. Ravel is quite a difficult composer to get ‘right’ in that there seems to be a tightrope that’s constantly being walked. The more you give into your impulses, the more you lose focus and the whole musical fabric comes undone, but if you don’t give a bit of yourself to the music, then the outcome can be uninteresting. Also, the demands on the pianist are, at the turn of the phrase, being threatened. So it’s not an easy thing to bring this music to life in a way that checks every box a listener may have, but the afore mentioned pianists really get to the heart of this music and pull off this difficult balancing act remarkably well.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 04:30:28 AM by Mirror Image »
"Music should be able to invoke the natural emotions in all human beings. Music is not notes fixed on apiece of paper.” - Toru Takemitsu

 

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