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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 20, 2008, 08:46:41 PM

Title: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 20, 2008, 08:46:41 PM
P.S. someone should start a Ravel thread on the Composer Discussion board!

Hadn't realized it until Guido mentioned it elsewhere on the board but apparently there isn't a Ravel thread!

Seems unfair to one of the greats so here it is.


Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on October 21, 2008, 04:09:49 AM
In celebration of this inuagural thread, I'll listen to the Sonata for Vn & Vc!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 21, 2008, 05:58:35 AM
Childish to still have such things, perhaps, but Ravel is probably my favourite composer, along with Janacek. (und Chopin ist auch dabei). (und Brahms). As with Janacek threads, I find it hard to put into a couple of succinct paragraphs what his music means to me, so I'll probably step into this thread more if and when it gets going.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brewski on October 21, 2008, 06:14:52 AM
No Ravel thread?   :o  Well, thanks, donwyn, for correcting such a massive omission.  I am a huge Ravel fan, as well, ever since at a very early age I heard Rapsodie espagnole by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra--loved it immediately and never looked back.  Too many favorites to list, but I am probably one of the few who still like hearing Boléro played by a great orchestra (e.g., Cleveland did it a few years ago), as a textbook example of brilliant orchestration.  And just in the last couple of years I have discovered L'enfant et les sortilèges--what a score that is.

Like Luke, I find there is way too much on which to comment, and look forward to others' remarks on Ravel's work.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Maciek on October 21, 2008, 06:17:27 AM
Some of the songs with piano were a recent, sumptuous discovery for me.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 21, 2008, 06:27:42 AM
Oh, yes, little hidden treasures like the Noel des jouets, or the Deux epigrammes de Clement Marot, or above all the Histoires naturelles - Ravel at his very best. But the core of Ravel songs, for me - in fact, the core of his output - are the two sets of songs with accompaniment by chamber groups: the Mallarme set and the Madagascan one. I understand why Ravel for most people means Bolero and Daphnis - but its these pieces, Gaspard and Miroirs, the later chamber music (piano trio, duo sonata, violin sonata), the two concerti, and L'enfant et les sortileges, which I think are the pinnacle of his music. Though he's one of those composers who has scarcely a duff note, so it's hard to find a work I'm not madly in love with.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: jowcol on October 21, 2008, 01:51:21 PM
Maurice is worthy of more than this response-- but I have him in high esteem. 

Daphnis et Chloe-- I know the ending of the ballet gets the most attention, but the opening ten minutes of the ballet floors me.  I remember chilling to this on repeat after a 100 mile bike ride on a 90 degree day. 


Miroirs:  I LOVE this-- it ranks with the Debussy Preludes in my book, and some of my favorite solo piano music.  Valley of the Bells is amazing, and there is something so hauntingly random about Oiseaux tristes that I can't get it out of my head.

Gaspard de la nuit.  Strangely enough, the outer movements don't do it for me-- it's insanely complex, and a lot to like, but I've not heard a version that clicked with me.  The middle movement (Le Gibet) is completely transcendental-- that insistent drone kills me.  I had that on a walkman, and listened to it a few minutes before visiting my first Buddhist temple in Thailand, and now I can't get that piece out of my head when I'm in Asia.  ALso, after a VERY stressfull day, I'll turn out the lights and listen to Le Gibet in the dark.

Funny, on Bolero I went from liking it, to hating and scorning it, to loving it.  You just need to remember what he said-- it's 17 minutes of orchestration, not music.  There is a Zen thing to it.

Piano Concerto for the Left Hand is one of my favorite PC's period.  So heavy and brooding.  I must admit his other one leaves me cold. But the Left Hand PC knocks me dead.

I really like Mother Goose-- both for two pianos and orchestrated.   I have a version for two pianos and percussion that also has Rhapsodie Espangol I really like a lot-- although I can't seem to remember the label it was on.

I like the String Quartet in F Major- and I'm not big on String Quartets.

Yeah-- his orchestration of Pictures will always be a fave of mine.  I don't care if he turned it into a French sounding work (as Stokowski said...)


That's the Reader's Digest version.....
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Guido on October 21, 2008, 04:52:33 PM
When does Ravel's music arrive at maturity? Sometime around the turn of the century? It's a rather small output in general, but as Luke says nothing duff (like all my favourite composers!). I would really like to get a very complete view of Ravel - having loved the piano trio, violin/cello sonata, the few piano works that I own and the two concertos for a long time, and now being introduced by Luke to the Mallarme set and the Madagascan set of songs makes me want to explore all the rest. The later violin sonata, Tzigane, and other songs, and complete piano music, seems the obvious place to turn. Haven't even heard of L'enfant et les sortileges or Histoires naturelles.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on October 21, 2008, 05:06:24 PM
. . . Haven't even heard of L'enfant et les sortileges or Histoires naturelles.

Nor me  :-[
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 21, 2008, 10:31:46 PM
Histoires I can understand, but L'enfant?  :o :o One of the major operas of the 20th century?  :o
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 21, 2008, 10:38:44 PM
Remedy the situation immediately - you're missing an experience you will dig deeply  8) 8) And whilst you're at it, get hold of Ravel's other one-acter, the superb L'heure espagnole. It's top quality Ravel, no less a piece than L'enfant but only a little less 'out there' in conception. I'd recommend Ansermet for both operas. Good taste has made me steer clear of the Previn recordings with the horrible Disney-animation style covers.  0:)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 21, 2008, 10:46:20 PM
I'd add, btw, that these two intimate, charming, amusing and touching operas (they're probably exquisite too, but I don't think we're allowed to say that anymore), taken together, contain practically everything that is most echt-Ravel - the stunning orchestration and use of unusual instruments; the gift for bullseye pastiche; the humour and the gift for musical bon-mots; all the finest melodic Ravelisms; the catharsis (boy, oh boy, but the ending of L'enfant is one of the most moving things in opera); the obsession with automata and clockwork, with toys and beautiful objects; and, above all, with the childlike, with innocence and its loss
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 21, 2008, 11:01:10 PM
Histoires naturelles, FWIW, are much smaller works - a song cycle setting texts about birds and small animals. The fisherman recounts his evening encounter with a kingfisher in crystalline wonder, the peacock struts proudly to the dots of a French overture etc., etc. The poems and Ravel's settings, are mildly revolutionary (the songs did in fact cause a bit of a stir) because of the colloquial language and, in the case of the music, in the equally colloquial ellisions which Ravel asks for. But above all, this is mature, complex, confident, skilled, funny-touching Ravel at his best.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 21, 2008, 11:14:41 PM
BTW, Guido, this disc contains a great deal of the chamber music you wanted to hear, and in great performances:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WMRIeJD9L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

The two violin sonatas, early and late, and the duo sonata with cello, Tzigane (with lutheal-piano as Ravel desired in this recording - it sounds cool; he also uses it in L'enfant IIRC), and a number of smaller, 'exquisite' miniatures - Berceuse, Kaddish, Vocalise...

Add to this the piano trio, the quartet and the Introduction and Allegro and you have all the chamber music you could wish for! A combination of the above disc and the two below discs ought to keep anyone happy:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BB0jqnbbL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HRAK9M08L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 21, 2008, 11:25:33 PM
Depending on your personal definitions, you could add the two songs sets with chamber ensemble to this list, too. This is the disc from which I sent you these cycles:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41SVPQEACJL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

This Naxos twofer for the songs is pretty good and comprehensive too:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51kVbbGGOcL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on October 22, 2008, 04:05:11 AM
Thanks for all your suggestions here, Luke! (Well, and all your suggestions elsewhere, too;  didn't mean that as a delimiter . . . .)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on October 22, 2008, 04:05:44 AM
Suggestions, dare I say it, befitting a . . . genius.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Guido on October 22, 2008, 04:16:22 AM
Ordered the Naxos Ravel songs set, and the Chiu piano recording... Ansermet's recordings of the operas seem to be very expensive so I think a trip to the Pendlebury is in order!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 22, 2008, 05:36:46 AM
Suggestions, dare I say it, befitting a . . . genius.

You too, of course.  :-*
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Maciek on October 22, 2008, 05:38:55 AM
Ah, just wait till he gets here... ;D
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Maciek on October 22, 2008, 05:39:24 AM
(But what if Karl meant Ravel?) ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 22, 2008, 05:41:23 AM
He can't have done. You know full well - on the highest authority, in fact - that Karl and I only think there have ever been two musical genii, namely us.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Maciek on October 22, 2008, 05:43:36 AM
* slaps forehead *
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on October 22, 2008, 05:46:10 AM
Fascinating discussion on the notation of harmonics must perforce ensue  8)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Maciek on October 22, 2008, 05:47:40 AM
Now THAT has almost brought me to tears!
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 22, 2008, 05:49:28 AM
Fascinating discussion on the notation of harmonics must perforce ensue  8)

Personally, you know that I've always thought Ravel got this wrong.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 22, 2008, 05:50:06 AM
(Oh dear, no one else reading this will have any idea what we're on about.)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: pjme on October 22, 2008, 06:26:20 AM
In december the NOB ( Belgian National orchestra) will do Daphnis et Chloé -complete ( with chorus & windmachine...) - coupled with Stravinsky's concerto for piano & winds and Lekeu's adagio for strings. Good!
Jan Michiels is soloist, Stefan Blunier conductor.

P.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on October 22, 2008, 07:57:24 AM
In december the NOB ( Belgian National orchestra) will do Daphnis et Chloé -complete ( with chorus & windmachine...) - coupled with Stravinsky's concerto for piano & winds and Lekeu's adagio for strings. Good!
Jan Michiels is soloist, Stefan Blunier conductor.

P.

Terrific program!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: drogulus on October 22, 2008, 02:17:28 PM


     This is a good set with Martinon/Orchestra de Paris, from 1974. There's also a 3 CD EMI set that includes the complete Daphnis et Chloé along with everything on this one.

     (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61WK30UxDnL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)

     This was originally a Vox box, now it's a 24/96 DAD from Classic Records, and it's my favorite Ravel recording.

     (http://www.classicrecords.com/covers/DAD1025sm.jpg)

     
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: pjme on October 22, 2008, 02:28:19 PM
 :) And in January the Limburg SO program l'Enfant et les sortilèges!!!! Propably they will play it in Rotterdam and Maastricht. Let's hope they use the Luthéal....

P.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Maciek on October 22, 2008, 02:52:20 PM
That will be a concert perfomance, I understand? I'd really love to see it live! Does anyone know if there's a DVD recording?

I have some of Skrowaczewski's Ravel, but not all of it. I think I will have to change that.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 22, 2008, 09:44:51 PM
I haven't had time to post much lately but would like to say Luke is right on the money with his advice - except, of course, for his dislike for those saucy Chuck Jones covers, which I love:


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41EBC4F5M1L._SS500_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41YH1HTCK8L._SS500_.jpg)

 ;D

I will admit, though, the performances themselves give ground when matched with, say, Maazel or Ansermet.

The Maazel might be a more cost-effective way to pick up these wonderful works vs. the more expensive (and top-notch) Ansermet and are in the front ranks as far as interpretation. Also they are really well recorded which might make a difference to some.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DBC4W7ZTL._SS500_.jpg)


Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 22, 2008, 10:50:14 PM
I haven't had time to post much lately but would like to say Luke is right on the money with his advice - except, of course, for his dislike for those saucy Chuck Jones covers, which I love:

Sorry to be all po-faced!  ;D But those covers are really a million miles away from the tenderness of both these works, and at the same time suggest that both pieces are really just parodistic, manic extravaganzas. When Wagner operas undergo the cartoon treatment, we know it's a parody, the bombast and hubris of Wagner reduced by a carrot-munching bunny - Wagner remains unaffected. But when Ravel's quirky and bizarre operas, free of both bombast and hubris, undergo it the implication is that their quirkiness and bizarreness put them somehow on a similar aesthetic plane to the cartoons. There would be no problem with operas which were on this plane - it's not an inferior one - but the Ravel operas are most emphatically not there. In its own way, the end of L'enfant is as profound and moving as the end of the Ring or Tristan (much more so, to my ears, I must say).
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on October 23, 2008, 03:04:14 AM
Anyway, Luke, any of us might as easily have confused Le style Chuck Jones for Disney . . . L'enfant there looks like either the Aristocats or Lady & the Tramp, and tge duetting grandfather clocks for L'heure could be from the Disney feature Cinderella . . . .

 ;D
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 23, 2008, 03:24:26 AM
Indeed! It's the 'enfant' one which is particularly 'wrong' - L'heure espagnole is a farce (though the only funny farce I know, with terrifically witty orchstral and vocal characterization), and the illustration isn't that inappropriate I suppose. But l'enfant is pure magic...
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 23, 2008, 06:51:33 AM
But when Ravel's quirky and bizarre operas, free of both bombast and hubris, undergo it the implication is that their quirkiness and bizarreness put them somehow on a similar aesthetic plane to the cartoons.

Interestingly enough, it appears that to André Previn it's the cartoons which rise to level of the operas!

Here's an extract from the liner notes:

"I've had the privilege of watching [Chuck Jones] sketch and draw, and it has given me the same sort of pleasure that I get from listening to the most illustrious virtuosos in the field of music."

Quite a statement! So I assume it was Previn's idea for the cover art.

I wonder if DG sought a padded room for Previn after that. ;D


Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 23, 2008, 06:53:53 AM
I've always had my suspicions about Previn!  ;D
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Kullervo on October 23, 2008, 07:07:40 AM
Is this a good recording?

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/69/24/f2bce03ae7a0774e50a6b110.L.jpg)

All of the works on the disc are unknown to me apart from Debussy's violin sonata and the sonate en trio.

I wish someone would release a complete set of Ravel's chamber music so this would be easier.  :-\
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on October 23, 2008, 07:09:56 AM
Is this a good recording?

I think it's pretty good;  that is the recording of the Sonata for Vn & Vc and the Piano Trio that I have loaded onto my Sansa Fuze . . . .
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Kullervo on October 23, 2008, 07:11:40 AM
I think it's pretty good;  that is the recording of the Sonata for Vn & Vc and the Piano Trio that I have loaded onto my Sansa Fuze . . . .

I've just noticed you reviewed this very disc. :D
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 23, 2008, 07:14:20 AM
I don't know it (unless some of the recordings are the same as on the disc I recommended above). But I'd hazard that it is. It looks like it includes the chamber-accompanied songs which are just a must-have. I might try it myself, actually, even though I think I must have everything on it a few times over! Ravel is worth it  :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on October 23, 2008, 07:14:57 AM
Yes, some duplication in Ravel can't be bad!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: lukeottevanger on October 23, 2008, 07:17:33 AM
Indeed! And in fact, on the advice read above I've just ordered myself Maazel's Enfant, even though I'm perfectly happy with Ansermet.

Looking at the details, I think half of the Nash disc is made up of the same recordings as on the disc I already have. I adore the chamber-accompanied songs, but I have several sets already, so I'll pass on this for now whilst remaining interested!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: greg on October 24, 2008, 03:39:54 PM
I just turned on the TV and heard something awesome!
At first guess, I thought it was some mid-20th century French composer, like Poulenc or something. Then I though, "Maybe...... it could be Prokofiev. Maybe a ballet I've never heard before, like the Stone Flower." Then, about 10 seconds before it was over and revealed to me, i guessed Ravel's La Valse (i doubt i've even heard it before).  8)

Seriously, incredible music!  :o
They showed a ballet of tons of people ballroom dancing....... now, as much as I despise dancing, this was actually cool dancing to cool music. I mean, if it were played at a high school prom (in my dreams lol) I would've actually went and danced with someone! It's that good.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Drasko on November 20, 2008, 09:41:00 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41OZbNpbjkL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Pavane pour une infante defunte
Lucien Thévet (http://www.hornsociety.org/content/view/92/lang,en/), horn
Orchestre du Theatre des Champs-Elysees
Pedro de Freitas Branco
28.04.1953, Paris
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/7/24/2018019/Maurice%20Ravel%20-%20Pavane%20pour%20une%20infante%20defunte.mp3[/mp3]

I believe you can hear Thévet's glimmering horn vibrato also on Cluytens' Ravel recordings with l'Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire on French EMI (Rouge et Noir) but they sure don't make them like that anymore.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Drasko on November 20, 2008, 11:20:43 AM
.......but they sure don't make them like that anymore.

...nor before, apparently...

Pavane pour une infante défunte
Orchestre Symphonique du Gramophon
Piero Coppola
1928-1932 (unfortunately don't know the name of principal horn)
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/7/24/2018019/W871-Coppola-RAVEL-Pavane.mp3[/mp3]

Transfer is by Mr.Reysen, posted on rmcr. Those interested in more of Piero Coppola's recordings from this period, including La Mer and Le Tombeau de Couperin, can download them from here (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.music.classical.recordings/browse_thread/thread/5b65e7327113c804/bc2a1eb777af8c16?lnk=gst&q=coppola#bc2a1eb777af8c16).
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: mn dave on November 20, 2008, 11:30:28 AM
Thanks, Drasko. If I remember, I'm going to check these out when I get home. That piece strikes me as unique and I enjoy it quite a bit.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on November 20, 2008, 11:36:56 AM
I just turned on the TV and heard something awesome!
At first guess, I thought it was some mid-20th century French composer, like Poulenc or something. Then I though, "Maybe...... it could be Prokofiev. Maybe a ballet I've never heard before, like the Stone Flower." Then, about 10 seconds before it was over and revealed to me, i guessed Ravel's La Valse (i doubt i've even heard it before).  8)

Seriously, incredible music!  :o
They showed a ballet of tons of people ballroom dancing....... now, as much as I despise dancing, this was actually cool dancing to cool music. I mean, if it were played at a high school prom (in my dreams lol) I would've actually went and danced with someone! It's that good.

I love La valse.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Herman on November 20, 2008, 12:30:33 PM
I just turned on the TV and heard something awesome!
At first guess, I thought it was some mid-20th century French composer, like Poulenc or something. Then I though, "Maybe...... it could be Prokofiev. Maybe a ballet I've never heard before, like the Stone Flower." Then, about 10 seconds before it was over and revealed to me, i guessed Ravel's La Valse (i doubt i've even heard it before).  8)

Seriously, incredible music!  :o
They showed a ballet of tons of people ballroom dancing....... now, as much as I despise dancing, this was actually cool dancing to cool music. I mean, if it were played at a high school prom (in my dreams lol) I would've actually went and danced with someone! It's that good.

Probably you were looking at the Balanchine ballet.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: The new erato on November 20, 2008, 10:16:29 PM
I've enjoyed these two a lot recently (even though they are not all-Ravel discs):

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/4716142.jpg)

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/4636782.jpg)

(I find the Chopin sonata on this last disc to be quite unusual, don't yet know if I hate it or love it).
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 28, 2008, 08:52:44 PM
Drasko's comments are never designed to arouse interest (like mine ;D), but to inform and point to subtle artistic qualities. Which is why I appreciate the time he takes to direct our attention to some specific recordings. IOW, when he says Freitas Branco's Ravel is special, you better believe it. This is one of the most individual and downright unique orchestral recordings of anything I know. Nobody who thinks  he/she *knows* Alborada del gracioso, Pavane or Bolero will ever think the same after hearing those recordings. BRO has that EMI Rarissimes 2-disc set available for cheap right now.

For the money you get some rather unique Falla and Turina too.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Drasko on November 29, 2008, 10:03:34 AM
 ;D ;)

The point I was possibly trying to make is that playing styles whose loss we sometimes lament (Russian, French, Czech) never were set in stone in the first place, and kept evolving and changing through generations of musicians. I believe we can hear that in those two recordings of Ravel's Pavane I posted. Unfortunate thing is that these days those styles seem to evolve into far too much uniformity across the globe.

As for Freitas Branco disc, yes I agree, the Ravel selection is essential, including above posted Pavane (my personal favorite) and that near mythical rendering of 18 and a half minute, rock steady tempo Bolero with more than piquant contributions from various soloists, Only thing keeping it from being true benchmark is somewhat limited dynamic range due to mono recording.
Turina selection sounds great to me, but I have nothing to compare it with, Falla's El Amor Brujo is a good one as well, though competition there is pretty fierce. Definitely recommendable disc.   

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 29, 2008, 04:54:10 PM
I guess orchestral playing undergoes evolution like many other living entities. Influential players/teachers are the driving force behind those evolutionary stages, and these stages take the form of a time 'plateau' during which an ensemble's sound acquires a distinct personality. In some rare cases orchestra  members (like the WP) see themselves as guardians of the tradition and make sure there is no evolution. 

In the case of the french orchestras, this personality is most apparent in the wind and brass playing. The Bolero features extended solos for them and they have a field day displaying those 'french' characteristics.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: yoyoman_hey on November 29, 2008, 05:25:36 PM
Sorry for sidetracking the discussion here, but I just wanted to express my admiration for Ravel's solo piano work. I've only recently started listening some pieces, but Le Tombeau de Couperin and the piano version of Pavane Pour une Infante Defunte have been especially captivating. I've been hoping to delve into Mirroirs and Gaspard de la nuit, and if they're anything as engrossing as the two works I have heard so far, then I'm in for a real treat!

-Justin
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 29, 2008, 05:41:44 PM
Jeux d'eau has always been a favourite.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: yoyoman_hey on November 29, 2008, 05:48:17 PM
Great, thanks for the reccomendation!

I think I have a recording of that piece; I think I'll check it out now.

Besides Debussy, is there any other composer with a similar style? I know that the two of them are often grouped together as 'impressionists', but I'd be curious to hear more from a lesser known composer. Perhaps someone influenced by Ravel?

-Justin
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lethevich on November 30, 2008, 01:04:28 AM
Besides Debussy, is there any other composer with a similar style? I know that the two of them are often grouped together as 'impressionists', but I'd be curious to hear more from a lesser known composer. Perhaps someone influenced by Ravel?

A question that seems to be asked a lot, but is never satisfactorily answered :( The nearest I can think of is Gershwin, on the piano side of things. Delius is often lumped into this group by people, but I find his work far more romantic and less crystallised than either Debussy or Ravel. Messiaen's early music has influences from these two composers.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lilas Pastia on November 30, 2008, 07:46:46 PM
Aspects of Ravel and Debussy can indeed be found in Gershwin and Delius. Chamber music is more elusive than orchestra or piano, but listen to their string quartets Debussy and Ravel, that is!).

There are also many stylistic kinships with other early 20th Century compositions. Vaughan-Williams studied with Ravel (who was his junior by 3 years  :o). I don't think anybody studied with Debussy, but many composers were influenced by him.

I think it's better to become thoroughly acquainted with these two before branching out here and there. The journey will be even more rewarding. I know that Debussy is viewed as the more important and influential of the two composers, but I find Ravel more rewarding and far-reaching.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Kullervo on November 30, 2008, 07:53:00 PM
Frank Bridge's early music has something of Debussy about it (shades of late Scriabin in his music after WWI).
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Diletante on December 01, 2008, 10:55:48 AM
I haven't heard much from Ravel (but I DEFINITELY will), but he holds a special place in my heart because every piece of his that I've heard I dislike at first, but I love it when I hear it for the second or third time.

The first time I heard La Valse was in an arrangement for two pianos played by Martha Argerich (whose playing I really like) and Nelson Freire. I didn't like it, to me it sounded like a bunch of noise. Then I downloaded a CD (mainly because it had the Boléro in it), listened to the orchestral version of it and loved it!

I checked out the Piano Concerto for the Left Hand merely out of curiosity, in a youtube video (which has sadly been taken down since), played by Leon Fleisher. Again, it seemed to me like a bunch of noise. Some weeks later, I heard it again (in the same video), and strangely this time I liked it! Now I love it!

I then checked out the Piano Concerto in G. I really didn't like it the first time I heard it. The jazzy tunes just weren't working for me. I stayed away from it for a good while. Some weeks later I carefully listened to it again and it has actually grown on me a lot and it's my current favorite piece.

That's it for me now. I'll surely check out some of the stuff that have been recommended in this thread. But I may not like them the first time I hear them.  ;)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: yoyoman_hey on December 02, 2008, 04:48:36 PM
Lethe, I'm not too familiar with Delius, but as far as Gershwin goes, I do see a certain resemblence between Ravel and he, but Ravel just seems to have that distinctive French... je ne sais quoi upper-hand  :D But I am definately a fan of Gersh's symphonic works.

Corey, Haven't heard anything by Frank Bridge before, I'll have to keep his name in mind, thanks.


Tanuki, I'm afraid I can't relate to your second or third hearing approach, but I'm glad that little Basque has burrowed a way into your brain! I can't help but love pretty much everything Ravel has written, especially the piano concerti; those jazz undercurrents are utterly infectious.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Pierre on December 07, 2008, 08:57:56 AM
Great, thanks for the reccomendation!

I think I have a recording of that piece; I think I'll check it out now.

Besides Debussy, is there any other composer with a similar style? I know that the two of them are often grouped together as 'impressionists', but I'd be curious to hear more from a lesser known composer. Perhaps someone influenced by Ravel?

-Justin

Another composer who it seems to me - on brief acquaintance - has a similarly poignant style is John Ireland. Certainly I love the songs recorded by Roderick Williams on Naxos, and there's also a series of his piano music available on the same label.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: haydnguy on April 01, 2009, 10:47:07 AM
I bought the Ravel 3-fer of Orchestral works shown below and really like it but I'm wondering if anyone may have a recommendation or two of his Piano Works..... Thanks.....  :)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51JRgYov6HL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lilas Pastia on January 30, 2010, 09:53:56 PM
One of my favourite Ravel works is La Valse. One of the most sophisticated musical pastiches. I've heard it in many, many versions, and t seem sto me the work keeps reinventing itself. No version is like another, and I keep raising an eyebrow at this or that detail. Latest I heard is Pierre Monteux with the LSO (last available on a Philips disc). Monteux is usually a very straightforward, no-nonsense conductor. But, man ! Here he transforms the harps into whores  :o. Maybe it's been done before, in which case it's a tribute to the work's freshness, or else he's on to something.

The contemporaneous Ma Mère l'Oye is excellent. It epitomizes what Monteux is most famous for: transparence of textures, lucidity of expression and a firm but never rigid grip on rythm, with no dawdling. A Monteux performance moves and flashes.

Other La Valse favourites include Martinon, Boulez (NYPO), and Dutoit (Decca).
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: jowcol on February 01, 2010, 06:09:46 AM
The Piano Concerto for left Hand is the bomb.  I adore it.  It may be too dark and brooding for some.

I have (I forget the artist) an arrangement of Mother Goose for two pianos and percussion that is exquisite.   Definitely a classic.

Mirroirs for Piano is one of the greatest collections of piano works I've every heard-- it belongs on the same shelf as Debussy's Preludes.

Although the full length Daphnis et Chloe gets a bit long for me in the middle, the first ten minutes is astonishing, and the ending, or course is a classic.


And Ravel's String Quartet sounds more like Debussy than Debussy's String quartet! go figure.

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on February 01, 2010, 06:30:28 AM
The Piano Concerto for left Hand is the bomb.  I adore it.  It may be too dark and brooding for some.

Wonderful piece; Pierre-Laurent Aimard just played it in Boston this past weekend.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on November 02, 2010, 06:54:39 AM
My plea - don't forget the piano music, the songs, the chamber works. They are as fine as the orchestral music and as effective in every way. The Naxos twofer of all the songs (bar the Mallarme settings which are so superb) is surprisingly good. And a judicious combination of two or three discs (such as that I gave in the Ravel chamber thread) can get you great readings of all the chamber music quite easily - the BAT/Quartetto Italiano/Grumiaux disc of the Trio, the Quartet and the late violin sonata, and Chantal Juillet's disc of all the violin sonatas (including the violin/cello one), and the other violin works cover everything except the seductive mini harp concerto, the Introduction and Allegro (Nash Ensemble great for that...), and will leave you smiling...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BB0jqnbbL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WMRIeJD9L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61geqLo3R1L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

there's another Nash Ensemble disc with some of the same works plus the two sets of songs with chamber accompaniment (the Madagascan ones and the Mallarme ones). These are terribly neglected, given that they are some of Ravel's finest, most interesting, most beautifuol and most touching pieces, and that disc is a nice way to get hold of them...
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on November 02, 2010, 06:55:05 AM
Samson Francois in the concertos is not perfect but he's something you must hear; the concertos themselves are absolutely unmissable pieces. The G major has that utterly sublime slow movement that melts the stoniest heart, but the left hand concerto is, all round, maybe the most sweepingly powerful score, a demonic and sarcastic score starting in the deepest depths of the orchestra, moving through moments of heartbreaking tenderness, towards hallucinatory jazzy central portion, and an astonishing breakdown/cadenza/coda to conclude.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on November 02, 2010, 06:58:04 AM
. . . I absolutely adore Sibelius, but for every hard-won moment of granitic splendour or every surgingly overwhelming point of formal balance (oh, the 1st-2nd movement transition in the 5th symphony is running throuhg my head now!!!) that I derive from him and his large canvasses Ravel with his intricately detailed scores gives me countless moments of delight, bar after bar after bar of them. The hidden depths of his music move me deeply, he makes me gasp in astonishment, and makes me think. Technically speaking Ravel had one of the most complete equipments of any composer - as an orchestrator, as everyone says, but as a deeply individual harmonist and as a moulder of large forms too, for instance - and as a result he was able to compose like a wizard, repeatedly making sounds that no one else could make. One could say the same of Strauss...but, for me, Strauss's magic too often fails to work, he lacks Ravel's lightness and deftness and his humility too, I think - the humility that makes an airily-scored delicate work like Ma mere l'oye possible. All just IMO, just the way I hear things, and really to underscore that Ravel ranks so very, very high for me, not to denigrate the other two, who I love deeply also.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on November 02, 2010, 07:01:18 AM
Well, and dadgummit, here's the Ravel Recordings (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17465.0.html) thread.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Scarpia on November 02, 2010, 08:15:06 AM
Well, and dadgummit, here's the Ravel Recordings (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17465.0.html) thread.

Don't go there.  When people discuss recordings by a composer, it just proves that no one is interested in that composer, at least when it comes to Sibelius (according to our Ravel advocates).   0:)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Maciek on November 03, 2010, 05:12:52 AM
Don't go there.  When people discuss recordings by a composer, it just proves that no one is interested in that composer, at least when it comes to Sibelius (according to our Ravel advocates).   0:)


Well, with that post you have undermined your line of reasoning. Since it clearly shows that posting in a composer's thread is not necessarily an endorsement of that composer's profundity/greatness/whatever. ::)

(And Elgar's Hillside is still longer than Snowshoed Sibelius! >:D)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on November 03, 2010, 05:15:07 AM
(And Elgar's Hillside is still longer than Snowshoed Sibelius! >:D)

(* chortle *)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 04, 2010, 01:09:43 AM
So I finally got around to listening to some Ravel as mentioned in the listening thread, and I tried to take some of the positive comments about him into account. Here's the disc (listening to disc 2).
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KUlblMxxL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

La Valse - This is a great piece - wonderful music. No arguments here! It's better than I remembered it being.
Pavane pour une infante defunte - I was happy to see this end. It's inoffensive, but I'll be hitting 'skip' next time I hear this disc.  I'll compare to the piano - perhaps that will work better for this piece.
Le tombeau de Couperin - A mixed bag. Prelude is super outstanding (perhaps a bit fast here). I've heard this elsewhere, and so I know it can work both ways.  Forlane - how can the brilliance of the Prelude be followed by such lousy music. It doesn't seem to go anywhere either (and it goes on for so long). All the enthusiasm generated by the Prelude just went out the window. Perhaps I am missing something, but the second part rubs me the wrong the way. Menuet was a welcome relief. It doesn't seem to do much, but at least it produces a beautiful sound. Rigaudon was ok.
Valses nobles et sentimentales This is split intro four tracks, meaning each contains 2 items. Modere - nice. Assez lent - overly dissonant to start, seems like a few effects, but then lovely, haunting melody emerges. Goes better from there.  Next four sounded like a continuation of the second item (of 8), which I guess is good, but no strong reaction. More excitement in 7 (moins vif) and some beautiful fading solitude in 8 (last 30-60 seconds was pretty wonderful). This piece didn't irritate me, but I don't find myself interested to hear it often. There doesn't appear to be anything lurking under the surface, though it has some beautiful moments here and there.
Menuet antique - short piece. Nice one.
Fanfare for collaborative ballet L'eventail de Jeanne - Pretty awful. Blessedly short.
Daphnis et Chloe, Suite No. 2 - I was rather looking forward to this one having never gotten this far in the disc (in fact, I don't think I'd ever heard the fanfare either). And wow, what a gorgeous opening to the Lever du jour. It makes your heart jump. Oh and some heavenly sound here. I am uplifted - oh! And voices too. Very moving indeed. Stunning music this and a hotline to your innermost being. And then a move to the Pantomime. And a minute in, the 'who-eee' sound! Some lovely flute playing here - simple, but effective.   And then on to the Danse generale we go. Started picking things up here (actually starts at the end of Pantomime). The Danse is pretty good as well. This is a piece I will come back to and now I need to look for a recording with the whole thing! I gather that this, the second suite, is the 'third part' of the complete piece?

So as I said, overall mixed. I liked La valse and I will look for a complete Daphnis and Chloe. But I will probably skip the rest for a while.

I think i dislike this one effect in Ravel, when he does this 'who-eee' sound (like in Der Freischutz after they say Sameal's name - that is what it reminds me of). It sounds good every now and then, but it sounds like a gimmick listening to several pieces in a row - it gets repetitive.

I found myself suffering fatgue from his music as the disc went on as well - a certain sameness of sound. That is, if I had listened to each piece separately, I wouldn't have noticed it. But because I listened to them all back to back (which I have never done before actually), they almost seemed to meld together. I can't think of any other composer that generates this reaction, so I suppose it could be seen as both a positice or negative.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Scarpia on November 21, 2010, 10:57:17 AM
Listened to La Valse today, Anermet's recording with the Suisse Romande.  I have it in a big "Ansermet edition."  I'm not sure if it is currently in print.  (It's a stereo version, there is probably a mono version out there too.)   I had listened to La Valse a little while ago, Dutoit's recording and the difference is stunning.

The difference is most evident in the dramatic conclusion, where Ravel plays with tempo changes, rhythmic syncopation and dynamics to whip the valse theme to a dramatic conclusion.  Perhaps some of the most brilliant music of the 20th century.  Dutoit's recording is an impressive display of orchestral virtuosity.  The dynamics (particularly those crescendos in the last few bars before the strings interrupt in unison) are executed to the hilt, with very wide dynamic range, and the rhythm has a lot of snap.   In Ansermet's recording the dynamic contrasts are not nearly as wide, there is more flexibility in the rhythm.   To sum up, Dutoit shows off his orchestras technical ability to a greater extent but Ansermet shows off Ravel's music to a much greater extent.  So much of the musical detail that is lost behind those huge dynamic explosions in Dutiot's recording bloom in Ansermet's.   When I listened to Dutiot last week I was very pleased, but no I see how much I was missing.  Wow!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Sergeant Rock on November 21, 2010, 12:27:07 PM
Listened to La Valse today, Anermet's recording with the Suisse Romande.  I have it in a big "Ansermet edition."  I'm not sure if it is currently in print.  (It's a stereo version, there is probably a mono version out there too.)   I had listened to La Valse a little while ago, Dutoit's recording and the difference is stunning.

The difference is most evident in the dramatic conclusion, where Ravel plays with tempo changes, rhythmic syncopation and dynamics to whip the valse theme to a dramatic conclusion.  Perhaps some of the most brilliant music of the 20th century.  Dutoit's recording is an impressive display of orchestral virtuosity.  The dynamics (particularly those crescendos in the last few bars before the strings interrupt in unison) are executed to the hilt, with very wide dynamic range, and the rhythm has a lot of snap.   In Ansermet's recording the dynamic contrasts are not nearly as wide, there is more flexibility in the rhythm.   To sum up, Dutoit shows off his orchestras technical ability to a greater extent but Ansermet shows off Ravel's music to a much greater extent.  So much of the musical detail that is lost behind those huge dynamic explosions in Dutiot's recording bloom in Ansermet's.   When I listened to Dutiot last week I was very pleased, but no I see how much I was missing.  Wow!

Nice comparative review. I have both recordings but haven't listened to either in quite some time. I'll give them a spin soon.

Sarge
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Scarpia on November 21, 2010, 01:08:12 PM
Nice comparative review. I have both recordings but haven't listened to either in quite some time. I'll give them a spin soon.

Sarge

Thanks.  I'll be curious to hear your impressions.

Just listened to Ansermet's recording of Valses nobles et sentimentalis.  Ravel's bon-bons can have startlingly dissonant harmonies if you listen carefully and Ansermet brings them out.  There are parts, however, where I get the unmistakable impression that Ansermet's OSR is not playing entirely in tune.  I guess that is part of the French "style" of orchestral playing.   :P

(I can hear Ansermet in my head, speaking to the principal oboe.  "That c# was entirely in tune!  Maybe you'd rather play for the Chicago symphony,  monsieur!" )
 
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on January 20, 2011, 05:02:40 PM
Our fellow GMG member Brian has reminded me today of Ravel's sensational opera L'Enfant et les sortileges. What a work this is! I would be curious what others think about this opera? If my member serves me correctly, I remember listening to it once and being completely taken by it and it's quite unusual for me to like an opera, but this one just works for me.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Luke on January 20, 2011, 09:09:29 PM
Well, when we had our little period of Ravel focus a few weeks ago, I think I made my opinion on this opera clear - eg

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17453.msg461868.html#msg461868
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17442.msg461465.html#msg461465
(some weird statements about the piece on that thread, page 5!)

Another fun little exchange about the piece recently, starting:
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17718.msg478607.html#msg478607
and then finishing with a retraction here
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17718.msg478626.html#msg478626
 ;D

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on January 20, 2011, 09:43:27 PM
Well, when we had our little period of Ravel focus a few weeks ago, I think I made my opinion on this opera clear - eg

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17453.msg461868.html#msg461868 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17453.msg461868.html#msg461868)
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17442.msg461465.html#msg461465 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17442.msg461465.html#msg461465)
(some weird statements about the piece on that thread, page 5!)

Another fun little exchange about the piece recently, starting:
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17718.msg478607.html#msg478607 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17718.msg478607.html#msg478607)
and then finishing with a retraction here
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17718.msg478626.html#msg478626 (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,17718.msg478626.html#msg478626)
 ;D


I remember reading these posts, Luke. I completely forgot about that Ravel vs thread. Good to know you enjoy this opera and that you've explored Ravel's output to find the hidden gems. L'Enfant et les sortileges may end being my favorite Ravel work too. :D I just need to spend more time with it and hopefully these two recordings I bought will reveal some hidden details that I didn't quite pick up on in the Dutoit that I own.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brewski on January 21, 2011, 07:52:49 AM
One of Lorin Maazel's strengths is L'enfant (his recording is widely admired), and I was lucky to hear him do the piece twice during his time with the New York Philharmonic.  Here (http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2006/Jul-Dec06/maazel0610.htm) is my review of the first one, in 2006.

It is a terrific score, with Ravel's great color instincts shown at their best.  I hope to see it fully staged at some point.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on January 21, 2011, 07:21:33 PM
One of Lorin Maazel's strengths is L'enfant (his recording is widely admired), and I was lucky to hear him do the piece twice during his time with the New York Philharmonic.  Here (http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2006/Jul-Dec06/maazel0610.htm) is my review of the first one, in 2006.

It is a terrific score, with Ravel's great color instincts shown at their best.  I hope to see it fully staged at some point.

--Bruce


Yes, Bruce, Maazel's performance is on my wish list. It's too bad the recording I want is out-of-print. Maybe I can track one down in the used market.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on March 13, 2011, 06:40:37 PM
Have been listening to this one tonight, got it off iTunes the other day ... good stuff.



I've been considering this recording. How is Aimard's piano playing on this recording? I've read mixed feelings regarding the performances.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on March 14, 2011, 02:07:26 PM
Aimard is an amazing player .. and the performances are very good.

Yes, Aimard is a great player. Thanks for the comments.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: jowcol on March 18, 2011, 04:48:51 AM
FWIW-- I went on a binge last week where, for at least 3 days, all I could listen to was the Piano Concerto for Left Hand.

In some cases, I tend not to like concerti as much because it seems the focus is on giving the soloist a workout rather than making a musical statement.  (Yes there are many exceptions, thank God).  But was I love about the Concerto for Left Hand is that I keep forgetting it's a concerto, which means to me that it's done its job.

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: karlhenning on March 18, 2011, 04:52:16 AM
FWIW-- I went on a binge last week where, for at least 3 days, all I could listen to was the Piano Concerto for Left Hand.

Hast read this?—

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on May 25, 2011, 05:13:13 PM
For those who like pictures, I found a neat little gallery a few minutes ago: http://www.last.fm/music/Maurice+Ravel/+images?page=1 (http://www.last.fm/music/Maurice+Ravel/+images?page=1)

Many of these pictures I've seen, but there are a few rarities in there that surprised me.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: snyprrr on May 25, 2011, 08:13:08 PM
I've been on a Piano Trio binge lately, and, of the Classic Repertoire, especially the farther you get from Mozart and Schubert, I am finding that I like Ravel's very much more then, say, Faure's, or even Brahms. The very first notes speak of something familiar to the 20th Century: tonal, yet not in the received style, more popular sounding,... cool.

There does seem to be an Urban Sophistication here, but I can not think of who to compare to,... except Satie? Or,... I'm thinking Roy Harris/Copland? I don't know, I'm just saying that as far as the typical Classic Repertoire goes, Ravel 'hits' on a sound that... well, I'm sure you could explain it better, haha! ;) It's French, it's posh,...

All I have is the VoxBox. I can't possible ask for recommends, seeing that there must be many many good recordings. I was thinking of the soundtrack to 'A Heart in Winter', with the Duo and Violin Sonata. Then there's the Florestan and Fontenay in competing Deb/Rav/Faur sets.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on May 25, 2011, 08:21:02 PM
I've been on a Piano Trio binge lately, and, of the Classic Repertoire, especially the farther you get from Mozart and Schubert, I am finding that I like Ravel's very much more then, say, Faure's, or even Brahms. The very first notes speak of something familiar to the 20th Century: tonal, yet not in the received style, more popular sounding,... cool.

There does seem to be an Urban Sophistication here, but I can not think of who to compare to,... except Satie? Or,... I'm thinking Roy Harris/Copland? I don't know, I'm just saying that as far as the typical Classic Repertoire goes, Ravel 'hits' on a sound that... well, I'm sure you could explain it better, haha! ;) It's French, it's posh,...

All I have is the VoxBox. I can't possible ask for recommends, seeing that there must be many many good recordings. I was thinking of the soundtrack to 'A Heart in Winter', with the Duo and Violin Sonata. Then there's the Florestan and Fontenay in competing Deb/Rav/Faur sets.

The best versions of Ravel's Piano Trio that I've heard are with the Nash Ensemble (Virgin Classics) and Florestan Trio (Hyperion). I don't really see how these performances could be bettered.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on March 18, 2012, 04:50:24 AM
Maurice Ravel is my favourite french composer, along with Debussy and Berlioz. :)
His music, neither totally impressionist nor modernist, is very innovative and original, absolutely lyrical and poetical; it's incredibly rich of beauty and power, with a huge orchestral brilliance, very expressive, but it's at the same time full of great harmonies and intricate modulations, often showing an amazing virtuosity, very refined and technically perfect.
Daphnis et Chloè is my favourite Ravel's composition, absolutely impressive and thrilling, but I also love other orchestral works of him, like Le Tombeau de Couperin, Valse nobles et sentimentales, La Valse (but these are just few), and of course Ravel's piano music (like Gaspard de la nuit).
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: madaboutmahler on March 18, 2012, 04:57:50 AM
Maurice Ravel is my favourite french composers, along with Debussy and Berlioz. :)
His music, neither totally impressionist nor modernist, is very innovative and original, absolutely lyrical and poetical; it's incredibly rich of beauty and power, with a huge orchestral brilliance, very expressive, but it's at the same time full of great harmonies and intricate modulations, often showing an amazing virtuosity, very refined and technically perfect.
Daphnis et Chloè is my favourite Ravel's composition, absolutely impressive and thrilling, but I also love other orchestral works of him, like Le Tombeau de Couperin, Gaspard de la nuit, La Valse (but these are just few), and of course Ravel's piano music.

One of my absolute favourite composers too, Ilaria. Absolutely brilliant, beautiful, spectacular music. Daphnis et Chloe is certainly one of my favourite pieces of all time. I think, in this piece in particular, and of course in many others (L'Enfant being another great example), Ravel demonstrates how he is one of the absolute greatest masters of the orchestra. Such brilliance!  :)

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on March 18, 2012, 06:07:48 AM
One of my absolute favourite composers too, Ilaria. Absolutely brilliant, beautiful, spectacular music. Daphnis et Chloe is certainly one of my favourite pieces of all time. I think, in this piece in particular, and of course in many others (L'Enfant being another great example), Ravel demonstrates how he is one of the absolute greatest masters of the orchestra. Such brilliance!  :)

Yes, Ravel was able to show up the expressive possibilities of the instruments in a very beautiful way, and with a great precision; sure, L'Enfant is a clear example of his great skills of orchestrator, it's an absolutely brilliant and poetical work. Both Maazel and Previn made excellent recordings of it. :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: madaboutmahler on March 18, 2012, 06:09:06 AM
Yes, Ravel was able to show up the expressive possibilities of the instruments in a very beautiful way, and with a great precision; sure, L'Enfant is a clear example of his great skills of orchestrator, it's an absolutely brilliant and poetical work. Both Maazel and Previn made excellent recordings of it. :)

I really like Rattle's performance of it too! :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on March 18, 2012, 06:26:06 AM
I really like Rattle's performance of it too! :)

Agreed, Rattle's recording is very good :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on March 18, 2012, 07:02:16 AM
Maurice Ravel is my favourite french composer, along with Debussy and Berlioz. :)
His music, neither totally impressionist nor modernist, is very innovative and original, absolutely lyrical and poetical; it's incredibly rich of beauty and power, with a huge orchestral brilliance, very expressive, but it's at the same time full of great harmonies and intricate modulations, often showing an amazing virtuosity, very refined and technically perfect.
Daphnis et Chloè is my favourite Ravel's composition, absolutely impressive and thrilling, but I also love other orchestral works of him, like Le Tombeau de Couperin, Valse nobles et sentimentales, La Valse (but these are just few), and of course Ravel's piano music (like Gaspard de la nuit).

Agreed on all points. I own 26 recordings of the complete ballet of Daphnis et Chloe. I haven't heard all of them, but this is a work that continues through each passing year impress each time I hear it. Brilliant orchestration, melodies, harmonies, and rhythms. It's work that is in my top 10 favorite works of all-time. Other Ravel works I love: both piano concerti, Sheherazade, Piano Trio, L'enfant et les sortileges, Ma Mère l'oye, Valses nobles et sentimentales, among others.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on March 18, 2012, 07:44:21 AM
Agreed on all points. I own 26 recordings of the complete ballet of Daphnis et Chloe. I haven't heard all of them, but this is a work that continues through each passing year impress each time I hear it. Brilliant orchestration, melodies, harmonies, and rhythms. It's work that is in my top 10 favorite works of all-time. Other Ravel works I love: both piano concerti, Sheherazade, Piano Trio, L'enfant et les sortileges, Ma Mère l'oye, Valses nobles et sentimentales, among others.

Daphnis et Chloecan be certainly one of my favourite pieces of all time as well. :) I also adore the other works you mentioned.
Wow, 26 recordings!? What is the best one you've ever heard so far? The Boulez version, with BPO, is absolutely a masterpiece: perfect tempo, great harmony, excellent phrasing, beauty and power; I think another amazing performance is the Abbado, wonderful.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: snyprrr on March 18, 2012, 08:31:50 AM
Listened to the PC (Thibaudet(sic)),... finding it very urbane, very much a 'night on the town' with lots of glittering lights; but I also heard the rows of fields of the countryside. I especially like the slow movement, which has an almost detached view of beauty, never getting too emotional, but still giving a sublime picture of controlled passion.

Two PCs that 'feel' the same...um, two I like a little better, because I find them a little more melodic, are Poulenc's, and Martinu's Sinfonietta Giocosa. They seem a little more Mozartean to me, more to be pleased by.

The Left Hand Concerto is quite different, though not as 'black' as I would have hoped for. What is the creepiest PC? (Baudelaire, Poe-ish?)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on March 18, 2012, 10:49:08 AM
And I can't think of a more lyrical & beguiling String Quartet than the one Ravel wrote!

That is certainly one of my favourites in the whole quartet literature.
Other favourites from Ravel: the piano trio, violin sonata, and the piano music.
The piano concertos and Daphnis I've heard only once or twice, I should get recordings... (probably that Boulez DG 2-fer and PCs with Zimerman or Aimard - suggestions are most welcome)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Luke on March 18, 2012, 02:42:36 PM
Two PCs that 'feel' the same...um, two I like a little better, because I find them a little more melodic, are Poulenc's, and Martinu's Sinfonietta Giocosa. They seem a little more Mozartean to me, more to be pleased by.
Given that the Adagio of the Concerto in G was directy modelled on a Mozart Adagio, I'd award this crown (as many others!) to Ravel.

Melody is in the ear of the beholder, btw, and of course, but fwiw I can't think of many works more thoroughly melodic than these two masterpieces of Ravel's. More than this, - the melodic content and structure of both concerti packs an unusual and formidable moral/formal punch. Think of the weight of meaning with which the various types of melodic material in the left hand concerto are invested - the sarabande material, sometimes grotesque, sometimes poetic, sometimes overpowering; the jazz material, banal, obsessive, driven; the brief islands of more subjective material, allowed to grow for a moment and then submit... Or think of the structural weight put upon the long unfolding and repetition of that exquisite tune in the aforementioned Adagio - the power of its eventual return, for all its gentleness! - or the tight control exercised over the amount of expression implicit in the melodic mterial of the first movement of that concerto - Ravel allows melodies their head, then reins them in when they get too swooningly Rachmaninovian (there's a passage he cut around the cadneza when it got a bit too excited, for that reaosn)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on March 18, 2012, 06:16:32 PM
Daphnis et Chloecan be certainly one of my favourite pieces of all time as well. :) I also adore the other works you mentioned.
Wow, 26 recordings!? What is the best one you've ever heard so far? The Boulez version, with BPO, is absolutely a masterpiece: perfect tempo, great harmony, excellent phrasing, beauty and power; I think another amazing performance is the Abbado, wonderful.

Yep, 26 recordings. :) My favorites, or shall we say my top 5, are as follows:

1. Dutoit
2. Martinon
3. Boulez/DG (he's recorded the complete ballet twice)
4. Monteux
5. Tortelier
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on March 19, 2012, 06:17:34 AM
Yep, 26 recordings. :) My favorites, or shall we say my top 5, are as follows:

1. Dutoit
2. Martinon
3. Boulez/DG (he's recorded the complete ballet twice)
4. Monteux
5. Tortelier

I listened to many parts of Dutoit's version on youtube, I agree it's very impressive.....so harminc, so haunting! I've never heard the Martinon, but I suppose it must be very good as well, Martinon is an excellent interpreter of French music.
Boulez recorded Daphnis et Chloe with the Berliner Philharmoniker once, what orchestra was the other one?
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on March 19, 2012, 06:54:11 AM
I listened to many parts of Dutoit's version on youtube, I agree it's very impressive.....so harminc, so haunting! I've never heard the Martinon, but I suppose it must be very good as well, Martinon is an excellent interpreter of French music.
Boulez recorded Daphnis et Chloe with the Berliner Philharmoniker once, what orchestra was the other one?

Martinon's performance is certainly top-drawer. The earlier Boulez recording of Daphnis was with the NY Philharmonic.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on March 19, 2012, 06:58:33 AM
Martinon's performance is certainly top-drawer. The earlier Boulez recording of Daphnis was with the NY Philharmonic.

Sounds very good. :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: DieNacht on June 11, 2012, 11:34:42 PM
(http://www.lpcorner.com/img/p/3/9/7/1/3971-thickbox.jpg)

After an initial hearing, I´m slightly disappointed by this. Am going to listen more to Abbey Simon / Ravel Piano Works , though.

Had thought that it would probably replace one of my other sets, Helffer´s, but it is true what a lonely reviewer wrote on amazon: it´s like Simon has the pedal down in most of the pieces, resulting in long series of nice, pearl-like sequences of notes, but a lot of nuances and not at least the darker or more dramatic aspects of the works are often lost.

So far I like Helffer much better, for instance in the lovely "Miroirs", which illustrate the point clearly.

In "Gaspard de la Nuit", Simon has some interesting things to say, such as the long, elegiac central movement, but overall I´m not that impressed with it either.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on June 12, 2012, 01:56:19 PM
I strongly recommend this:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0000C4EXA.01.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: bumtz on June 15, 2012, 03:45:36 PM
Anybody's familiar with this recording of the piano trio?

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 16, 2012, 08:47:00 PM
Anybody's familiar with this recording of the piano trio?



It's been talked about more than a few times on this board. It's a fine recording. Buy with confidence!



Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on July 07, 2012, 04:52:52 AM
So I've been listening to Ozawa's Ravel series on DG with the BSO and I'm very impressed. These must be quite underrated performances as nobody hardly mentions them. They may end up being some of my favorites. The playing is just outstanding and Ozawa brings out so many textures that so often seem to get lost. In closing, a series I will return to again.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on July 15, 2012, 10:25:52 AM
About my recent purchase:


Listened to the whole cd two days ago, the recordings included are absolutely brilliant, I enjoyed them very much! ;D L'enfant et les sortilèges is a masterpiece of orchestration, very suggestive, magical and powerful, which completely shows Ravel's great skill of making the most of all the musical possibilities of the instruments. Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker beautifully interpreted the work, their performance is amazing; the singers made an excellent job too, such fine voices.
Ma Mère l'Oye is even better to admire the wonderful sound of the Berliner; the orchestral playing is so expressive, atmospheric in that piece, absolutely delightful. Again, an awesome interpretation.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Luke on July 15, 2012, 11:16:20 AM
Have to disagree - alongside three or four others, Ravel is my favourite composer, pretty much; every note he wrote means an enormous amount to me, and of all those notes, the ones making up L'enfant go to form what is IMO probably his greatest work. Its wit, charm, humanity, its classically Ravelian implications of vast depths of feeling beneath the brittle, superly pastiching surfaces, all this unfailingly brings tears to my eyes - and no other piece does that to me, none at all. All of which means nothing in itself, obviously - that's just me. But I think if a person such as me, who has many recordings of this piece, finds that all of them have this devestatng effect on me except Rattle's, then maybe that does indicate something. Rattle seems too safe and too charmless, and lacking in magic and innocence' he leaves me unmoved and indeed slightly put-off in this piece, which he ought to have been made for. But yes, just IMO of course.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brian on July 15, 2012, 11:25:57 AM
this unfailingly brings tears to my eyes - and no other piece does that to me, none at all.
I'm not so sure about that. ;)

I have the Naxos L'enfant; is there one reading especially that you'd save from a burning building, so to speak?
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Luke on July 15, 2012, 11:40:19 AM
Ah, but the other one, the one you're thinking of....well, it helps if I'm hearing it live ;)

Whereas with the Ravel, it's almost enough just to think about it.

As for the burning building scenario - for me it is Ansermet. The twofer with both operas, in fact. That's one that I can't imagine ever being topped, even if the sound isn't as sparkly as Rattle gets (it sounds fine to my dull ears, mind you)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on July 15, 2012, 12:54:10 PM
Have to disagree - alongside three or four others, Ravel is my favourite composer, pretty much; every note he wrote means an enormous amount to me, and of all those notes, the ones making up L'enfant go to form what is IMO probably his greatest work. Its wit, charm, humanity, its classically Ravelian implications of vast depths of feeling beneath the brittle, superly pastiching surfaces, all this unfailingly brings tears to my eyes - and no other piece does that to me, none at all. All of which means nothing in itself, obviously - that's just me. But I think if a person such as me, who has many recordings of this piece, finds that all of them have this devestatng effect on me except Rattle's, then maybe that does indicate something. Rattle seems too safe and too charmless, and lacking in magic and innocence' he leaves me unmoved and indeed slightly put-off in this piece, which he ought to have been made for. But yes, just IMO of course.

No problem, I understand. I didn't have that impression listening to Rattle's performance, which on the contrary I found enchanting, magical and evocative. But of course, I'm not as familiar with L'enfant as you can be, I've got just two recordings of that Ravel's work so far.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 15, 2012, 07:40:51 PM
Have to disagree - alongside three or four others, Ravel is my favourite composer, pretty much; every note he wrote means an enormous amount to me, and of all those notes, the ones making up L'enfant go to form what is IMO probably his greatest work.

That's quite a statement! I also love L'enfant, owning four recordings of the work including the Ansermet. But I can't say as I've felt as moved by the work as, say, some of the greatest of the keyboard works, the string quartet, the PC's....or even Kaddisch!

But if there's gold to be had that's eluded me in the past I'd sure like to be in on it. I'll give the Ansermet a whirl soon....


Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on July 22, 2012, 05:15:58 AM
Finished the first disc. ;D

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2003/Dec03/Ravel_piano_MDG60411902.jpg)

I enjoyed it very very much, Bavouzet's interpretations are absolutely outstanding; such a wonderful, impressive techinique he has, very elegant and with a splendid touch! The performances of Jeux d'eau, Sonatine and Miroirs are the best I've heard so far, absolutely beautiful and brilliant; about Gaspard de la nuit instead, although the Bavouzet is great, I continue to prefer the Ashkenazy.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on September 01, 2012, 05:06:32 AM
Yesterday I listened to Ravel's song cycle Sheherazade, such great, marvelous music, very suggestive and hauntingly beautiful! I really loved the floating, powerfully expressive melodies merged together in the composition, what a colourful and involving atmosphere the orchestra and the voice create! Same speech for the Violin Sonata, which I listened to some time ago (Mintz/Bronfman), an absolutely brilliant, thrilling work! ;D
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on September 20, 2012, 06:34:12 PM
New release coming. Looks promising:



Chung is turning into quite the Ravel interpreter. I loved his Daphnis et Chloe recording and his performance of Ma Mere L'Oye.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on September 21, 2012, 05:03:43 AM
New release coming. Looks promising:



Chung is turning into quite the Ravel interpreter. I loved his Daphnis et Chloe recording and his performance of Ma Mere L'Oye.

Sounds very good. :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on September 21, 2012, 05:23:14 AM
Sounds very good. :)
Do you have it, or do you mean that it's promising?
Certainly makes me drool, Muraro is one heck of a pianist, and Chung is no slouch, either.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on September 21, 2012, 05:32:45 AM
Do you have it, or do you mean that it's promising?
Certainly makes me drool, Muraro is one heck of a pianist, and Chung is no slouch, either.

The second one.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on September 25, 2012, 03:14:16 PM
Perfect performance of Ravel's Forlane from Le Tombeau de Couperin by Arthur Rubinstein:

http://www.youtube.com/v/F0RA8lBOLGc
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brian on February 13, 2013, 08:57:26 PM
Moving a discussion from "Purchases Today":

Man, it's really boggling my imagination that there are people who could strongly dislike Ravel's La valse. Heck, even my high school Texas blonde ex-girlfriend who didn't know anything about classical music really liked La valse when I lent it to her. She said while listening she imagined being in an enchanted forest that gradually turns nightmarish and scary, with unknowable beasts behind the trees. [She also once had a hard time sleeping and tried the last "Nacht" from Eine Alpensinfonie, then the next day said "hey I thought this would help me sleep but it creeped me out!" ;D ]

I view La valse as a sort of fever-dream, a sweaty hallucinated world where all the colors are a little too bright and the images are a little too in-focus and the dance is spinning a little too quickly. Well and the ending is a thrill.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 13, 2013, 09:11:57 PM
It's possible to dislike anything if a person doesn't show any emotional/intellectual connection. La Valse isn't a 'terrible' work, but it has never been a favorite and least likely to be in the future as there's nothing about it to me that is redeeming or even memorable. The orchestration, as always with Ravel, is superb, but like R. Strauss' music, this isn't enough for me to keep listening. There always has to be something more. Ravel is one of my favorite composers but there's still some of his orchestral music that leaves me cold and La Valse falls into that category.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 14, 2013, 05:33:51 AM
Moving a discussion from "Purchases Today":

Man, it's really boggling my imagination that there are people who could strongly dislike Ravel's La valse. Heck, even my high school Texas blonde ex-girlfriend who didn't know anything about classical music really liked La valse when I lent it to her. She said while listening she imagined being in an enchanted forest that gradually turns nightmarish and scary, with unknowable beasts behind the trees. [She also once had a hard time sleeping and tried the last "Nacht" from Eine Alpensinfonie, then the next day said "hey I thought this would help me sleep but it creeped me out!" ;D ]

I view La valse as a sort of fever-dream, a sweaty hallucinated world where all the colors are a little too bright and the images are a little too in-focus and the dance is spinning a little too quickly. Well and the ending is a thrill.

A most evocative description, Brian, nicely done! La valse is unquestionable first-rate, and likely Ravel's finest purely orchestral score.

We've discussed elsewhere that a piece of great music will bear multiple meanings, and that once a composer releases a work out onto the wide world, it will accrue some meaning beyond his own intent . . . there is this fascinating remark which the composer made in one of his letters:


Quote from: Ravel
While some discover an attempt at parody, indeed caricature, others categorically see a tragic allusion in it - the end of the Second Empire, the situation in Vienna after the war, etc.... This dance may seem tragic, like any other emotion... pushed to the extreme. But one should only see in it what the music expresses: an ascending progression of sonority, to which the stage comes along to add light and movement.

In either light, a magnificent piece!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brewski on March 07, 2013, 11:09:53 AM
A most evocative description, Brian, nicely done! La valse is unquestionable first-rate, and likely Ravel's finest purely orchestral score.

We've discussed elsewhere that a piece of great music will bear multiple meanings, and that once a composer releases a work out onto the wide world, it will accrue some meaning beyond his own intent . . . there is this fascinating remark which the composer made in one of his letters:


In either light, a magnificent piece!

Today is...Ravel's birthday!

Totally agree about La valse - one of his greatest. And like Brian's "fever-dream" comment. I'm thinking about my first encounter with it, decades ago, with the Dallas Symphony and Donald Johanos conducting. I'd never heard anything like it.

--Bruce

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: MishaK on March 07, 2013, 12:39:19 PM
[She also once had a hard time sleeping and tried the last "Nacht" from Eine Alpensinfonie, then the next day said "hey I thought this would help me sleep but it creeped me out!" ;D ]

Well it does end with some creepy bass rummaging and that unresolved chord at the end.  ;)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Parsifal on May 30, 2013, 09:48:17 PM
The more I explore this set the more I love it.



Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Lisztianwagner on May 31, 2013, 05:21:14 AM
I have got that set too, I agree it's beautiful!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brian on July 09, 2013, 05:40:11 AM
Saw this on MusicWeb today (in the Magnus Lindberg review):

"Lindberg’s [piano concerto] follows the same kind of progress as the Ravel [concerto for the left hand] - from an opening in Stygian depths of darkness to an affirmative conclusion."

Does anyone think of the left-hand concerto as having an "affirmative conclusion"?
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: snyprrr on July 09, 2013, 07:22:08 AM
I was thinking of having the rock band play Bolero, but as I was listening, unless one were to play it with a 'Kashmir' feel, I don't see this being viable. I know Zappa did it, buuut...
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 09, 2013, 08:21:47 AM
I was thinking of having the rock band play Bolero, but as I was listening, unless one were to play it with a 'Kashmir' feel, I don't see this being viable. I know Zappa did it, buuut...

. . . quite abbreviated, of course. That said, a spirited and inventive arrangement.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: kyjo on September 27, 2013, 03:10:37 PM
Due out soon from Hanssler Classic:



Deneve, who proved himself to be a conductor of the highest caliber in his Roussel series for Naxos, should be right at home in Ravel, I would think!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brian on September 27, 2013, 03:18:30 PM
Due out soon from Hanssler Classic:



Deneve, who proved himself to be a conductor of the highest caliber in his Roussel series for Naxos, should be right at home in Ravel, I would think!

I saw his 'La valse' live with the LPO. Even by the usual very high standards for live 'La valse' performances (it's hard to kill and almost always a ton of fun), his might be the best I've been in the hall for.

This should definitely eclipse the ongoing Ravel series by [from most interesting to least] Krivine (Zig Zag), Slatkin (Naxos), and Rizzi (Tacet).
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: kyjo on September 27, 2013, 03:21:27 PM
I saw his 'La valse' live with the LPO. Even by the usual very high standards for live 'La valse' performances (it's hard to kill and almost always a ton of fun), his might be the best I've been in the hall for.

This should definitely eclipse the ongoing Ravel series by [from most interesting to least] Krivine (Zig Zag), Slatkin (Naxos), and Rizzi (Tacet).

Good to hear, Brian!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2013, 04:56:52 PM
Due out soon from Hanssler Classic:



Deneve, who proved himself to be a conductor of the highest caliber in his Roussel series for Naxos, should be right at home in Ravel, I would think!

I wish he would finish his Roussel series! I mean I know he doesn't record for Naxos now, but there are still many stones he left unturned in Roussel's oeuvre. One work that is in dire need of a modern recording is the sublime Evocations.

I can't say I'm completely onboard with this new Ravel series as I already have too many favorites in this repertoire already.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: kyjo on September 27, 2013, 05:04:08 PM
I wish he would finish his Roussel series! I mean I know he doesn't record for Naxos now, but there are still many stones he left unturned in Roussel's oeuvre. One work that is in dire need of a modern recording is the sublime Evocations.

I can't say I'm completely onboard with this new Ravel series as I already have too many favorites in this repertoire already.

I feel you, John. Dutoit and Martinon have yet to be surpassed in Ravel. Deneve doesn't record for Naxos anymore? ??? That's a real shame. :( Roussel isn't the only composer who needs Deneve's attention. He would do very well in Koechlin, I would think, as well as in other lesser-known French impressionists such as Jean Cras.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2013, 05:08:24 PM
I feel you, John. Dutoit and Martinon have yet to be surpassed in Ravel. Deneve doesn't record for Naxos anymore? ??? That's a real shame. :( Roussel isn't the only composer who needs Deneve's attention. He would do very well in Koechlin, I would think, as well as in other lesser-known French impressionists such as Jean Cras.

My understanding is that since he took the Stuttgart RSO position they do all their recording with Hanssler. Yes! Deneve needs to record some Koechlin! ASAP!!!! But seriously, Roussel's Evocations NEEDS a modern performance now!!! This is an incredible piece of music. I'd like to hear Deneve conduct some F. Martin, Milhaud, Ibert, and Schmitt as well.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: kyjo on October 04, 2013, 11:53:35 AM
Don't know how good the performances will be, but Slatkin's second installment in his Ravel series for Naxos includes an interesting rarity: Marius Constant's orchestration of Gaspard de la nuit:

(http://cdn.naxos.com/SharedFiles/images/cds/others/8.572888.gif)

http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.572888

Since I'm a sucker for orchestrations of Ravel's and Debussy's piano works, chances are I'll be picking this up. I'm just not sure Slatkin and French music sounds like a great mixture. :-\
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 04, 2013, 12:37:21 PM
I feel you, John. Dutoit and Martinon have yet to be surpassed in Ravel.

I dunno...let's pause and think about that for a second. I don't think it's possible to narrow the list of great Ravelians down to only two conductors. Not when there are the likes of these out there:

Monteux
Cluytens
Ansermet
Haitink (w/ the Boston SO)
Chailly
Koussevitzky

Probably plenty more I haven't heard (Munch is popular, too).

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brian on October 04, 2013, 01:51:04 PM
And Boulez!

Since I'm a sucker for orchestrations of Ravel's and Debussy's piano works, chances are I'll be picking this up. I'm just not sure Slatkin and French music sounds like a great mixture. :-\

Sadly you're right. My impression was that the problem was less with Slatkin, actually, than with the acoustic (rather dull) and the orchestra, which no longer sounds especially French or distinctive. He could achieve similar results with any other C-list ensemble; contrast with the Luxembourg PO, which in Krivine's ongoing series (and a lot of Timpani CDs) really preserves the Martinon-style "French" orchestral sound.

I will be an eager listener for the Gaspard, nonetheless. Not an orchestration I can remember hearing.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on October 04, 2013, 02:01:17 PM
Abbado too!
And Boulez!

Sadly you're right. My impression was that the problem was less with Slatkin, actually, than with the acoustic (rather dull) and the orchestra, which no longer sounds especially French or distinctive. He could achieve similar results with any other C-list ensemble; contrast with the Luxembourg PO, which in Krivine's ongoing series (and a lot of Timpani CDs) really preserves the Martinon-style "French" orchestral sound.

I will be an eager listener for the Gaspard, nonetheless. Not an orchestration I can remember hearing.
I have no warm feelings toward the arrangement.
http://www.youtube.com/v/UZ7qgB4yqZI
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 04, 2013, 02:06:57 PM
Probably plenty more I haven't heard (Munch is popular, too).

Boulez. (Edit: I see Brian beat me to the punch.) Celibidache (his Ravel and Debussy are awesome).



Sarge
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on October 04, 2013, 03:08:12 PM
Can always count on GMG to fill in the gaps! ;D



Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Madiel on October 13, 2013, 11:21:50 PM
So, I'm doing this thing that I do, listening to a composer's work (or the portions of it that I have) in a chronological fashion... and I'm doing it with Ravel.

And I realise now that there's a big chunk of time where the works he was doing for the Prix de Rome are a major part of his output, in terms of quantity. What I'm curious about is... what are they like in terms of quality? Are they any good?  I know the judges often didn't think so but I've also seen suggestions that at least some of them weren't really Ravel's best work anyway.

There are 3 cantatas - Myrrha, Alcyone and Alyssa - and also 5 choral works he did for the first round in each of his 5 attempts. I know the latter have been recorded on Naxos at least, and I also know there's at least one recording of the cantatas by Michel Plasson.

I'm interested in anyone's thoughts on the works, and if there are alternative recordings then recommendations for recordings too.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brian on October 15, 2013, 02:50:23 PM
orfeo, inspired by your post, I found an old Marco Polo disc with the five short (3-5 minutes each) choral works he wrote for the Prix de Rome (the non-cantatas). They're all drop-dead gorgeous: not innovative, maybe, but warm and welcoming and richly scored. Comfortable. Don't expect mature concerto-writing Ravel, but don't expect third-rate student work by any means. The definition of "guilty pleasure that shouldn't be a guilty pleasure." The performances are fine, but I have a hankering to hear a newer recording in better sound.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on October 15, 2013, 02:51:56 PM
So, I'm doing this thing that I do, listening to a composer's work (or the portions of it that I have) in a chronological fashion... and I'm doing it with Ravel.

And I realise now that there's a big chunk of time where the works he was doing for the Prix de Rome are a major part of his output, in terms of quantity. What I'm curious about is... what are they like in terms of quality? Are they any good?  I know the judges often didn't think so but I've also seen suggestions that at least some of them weren't really Ravel's best work anyway.

There are 3 cantatas - Myrrha, Alcyone and Alyssa - and also 5 choral works he did for the first round in each of his 5 attempts. I know the latter have been recorded on Naxos at least, and I also know there's at least one recording of the cantatas by Michel Plasson.

I'm interested in anyone's thoughts on the works, and if there are alternative recordings then recommendations for recordings too.
I have managed to avoid listening to this for far too long. Now playing the Plasson disc with the three cantatas. (EMI, licensed by UMG for the Ravel box back when EMI still existed)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 16, 2013, 09:00:20 AM
orfeo, inspired by your post, I found an old Marco Polo disc with the five short (3-5 minutes each) choral works he wrote for the Prix de Rome (the non-cantatas). They're all drop-dead gorgeous: not innovative, maybe, but warm and welcoming and richly scored. Comfortable. Don't expect mature concerto-writing Ravel, but don't expect third-rate student work by any means. The definition of "guilty pleasure that shouldn't be a guilty pleasure." The performances are fine, but I have a hankering to hear a newer recording in better sound.

Any info on either CD, Brian?
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Madiel on October 28, 2013, 04:42:36 AM
I listened to Miroirs today.  My spreadsheet tells me it's exactly 4 years since the last time I listened to it in full.  That's far too long for a work I consider a landmark in the piano literature.

Pascal Roge is the pianist, by the way.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brian on October 28, 2013, 09:17:51 AM
Any info on either CD, Brian?
Oops!
The Marco Polo CD with the short choral works is called "Cantatas for the Prix de Rome" and also has a big piece by Caplet and a small one by Debussy. Here it is! I'm not sure if there are any alternative recordings. They aren't in the Ravel Complete Edition box set.

Amazon has CD-R and MP3, or get the original CD by ordering from Marketplace. It's not at Berkshire, sadly.

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Pessoa on November 13, 2013, 11:00:27 AM
"Ravel", by Jean Echenoz, a beautiful evocation. Not a biography nor an essay.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Pessoa on November 17, 2013, 03:04:01 AM
I own the whole of Ravel´s output in different single cds, some of them in different versions. Of late, I´m considering to get hold of a complete edition box or, if better quality, option, one for chamber music and one for orchestra for instance. Any ideas?
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on November 17, 2013, 03:27:07 AM
I own the whole of Ravel´s output in different single cds, some of them in different versions. Of late, I´m considering to get hold of a complete edition box or, if better quality, option, one for chamber music and one for orchestra for instance. Any ideas?

Doesn't get any better than this:


Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Pessoa on November 20, 2013, 05:21:24 AM
Doesn't get any better than this:


Thanks. Surprising. I thought there would be a larger range around to choose from.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Pessoa on November 26, 2013, 02:26:37 AM
Have you heard Muraro´s recording of the piano concertos? I haven´t. I´d be thankful to read any comments.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: EigenUser on February 23, 2014, 09:02:39 AM
I think my favorite piece by Ravel is Bolero.




 :D Just kidding.

I do like it, though, but it's far from Ravel's best work. Most people here probably know that he pretty much thought that it was a stupid piece and that he was confused on why people liked it so much. Good music to listen to while running on the elliptical machine. I'm also aware that this is popular to listen to during other, errr, how shall I say, activities...  :-X

As for my favorites from Ravel, I'd say pretty much ALL of his work! Especially "Miroirs", "Le Tombeau de Couperin", "String Quartet", "Daphnis and Chloe", and "LA VALSE"! I also love the G major piano concerto, although I find the slow movement to be a bit dull (twice as long as it needs to be, I think). I don't think it's his best slow music.

P.S. What is Ravel doing all the way on page 7?!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Ken B on February 23, 2014, 09:13:47 AM
I have the Martinon, Dutoit, and Plasson, as well as what comes in mega boxes. They just looked like the best fit for Ravel. Dutoit gets the edge I think over Martinon.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 23, 2014, 09:35:32 AM
I think my favorite piece by Ravel is Bolero.




 :D Just kidding.

I do like it, though, but it's far from Ravel's best work. Most people here probably know that he pretty much thought that it was a stupid piece and that he was confused on why people liked it so much. Good music to listen to while running on the elliptical machine. I'm also aware that this is popular to listen to during other, errr, how shall I say, activities...  :-X

As for my favorites from Ravel, I'd say pretty much ALL of his work! Especially "Miroirs", "Le Tombeau de Couperin", "String Quartet", "Daphnis and Chloe", and "LA VALSE"! I also love the G major piano concerto, although I find the slow movement to be a bit dull (twice as long as it needs to be, I think). I don't think it's his best slow music.

P.S. What is Ravel doing all the way on page 7?!

No love for L'enfant et les sortileges, Ma mere l'oye, Piano Trio, the song cycle Sheherazade, or Piano Concerto for the left-hand?
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 23, 2014, 09:41:05 AM
BTW, I LOVE the slow movement to Piano Concerto in G. Such crystalline beauty with aching piano cascades that feel like little drops of ice cold water.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: NJ Joe on February 23, 2014, 09:59:40 AM
I dunno...let's pause and think about that for a second. I don't think it's possible to narrow the list of great Ravelians down to only two conductors. Not when there are the likes of these out there:

Monteux
Cluytens
Ansermet
Haitink (w/ the Boston SO)
Chailly
Koussevitzky

Probably plenty more I haven't heard (Munch is popular, too).

I just ordered 3 used cd's of Haitink conducting Ravel with the BSO.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 23, 2014, 10:17:29 AM
I have the Martinon, Dutoit, and Plasson, as well as what comes in mega boxes. They just looked like the best fit for Ravel. Dutoit gets the edge I think over Martinon.

I think Martinon and Dutoit are two fine Ravelians. I do not like Dutoit's too swift tempi used in Le tombeau du Couperin, though. So he gets a negative mark here. I still think Dutoit's Daphnis et Chloe is the best committed to disc. I also think favorably of the Roge PC performances. I think Ozawa is a highly underrated Ravelian. I've been revisiting his BSO performances on DG and they're quite good.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on February 23, 2014, 10:26:18 AM
BTW, I LOVE the slow movement to Piano Concerto in G. Such crystalline beauty with aching piano cascades that feel like little drops of ice cold water.
No love for L'enfant et les sortileges, Ma mere l'oye, Piano Trio, the song cycle Sheherazade, or Piano Concerto for the left-hand?
+1 to both. L'enfant, Ma mere, Piano Trio, Violin Sonata, Sonata for Violin & Cello, Miroirs, Gaspard, the PCs, La Valse, Schéhérazade, Le Tombeau de Couperin, and the songs - Mallarmé songs, Chansons madécasses, Histoires naturelles, Cinq Mélodies populaires grecques, Deux melodies hébraïques, Vocalise-etude (en forme de Habanera), Chants populaires - deserve more attention!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: EigenUser on February 23, 2014, 11:52:59 AM
No love for L'enfant et les sortileges, Ma mere l'oye, Piano Trio, the song cycle Sheherazade, or Piano Concerto for the left-hand?
I am ashamed to admit that I've never heard the left hand concerto  :-[ . I'm fixing that now as I write this. It sounds more "Ravel" than the G major; much darker. Really wonderfully orchestrated, but I'm not surprised in the least considering who we're dealing with, here.

What is wrong with me (other than not having heard the left hand concerto, I mean)?! How could I forget "Ma Mere L'Oye"? That was my first piece of Ravel's that I really connected to. I played it in my university's orchestra. Our conductor chose to play the "Introduction" and "Danse du Rouet" from the ballet along with the original five. The "Danse du Rouet" was so much fun to play and it was probably one of the few times I was jealous of the 2nd violin section (I was in the 1st violin section) because they got to play this section with glissandos all over the place. It always made me smile.

I've listened to the "Piano Trio" and I enjoyed it, but often I don't listen to much chamber music or solo piano music. I almost always enjoy large orchestras best; just a personal preference of mine. I also don't usually like song cycles or singing/opera much, either, hence why I didn't mention "Scheherazade" or "L'enfant et les Sortileges"

I think "La Valse" is one of the most terrifying pieces composed, even compared to Le sacre and mandarin. The latter two are definitely horrifying, but they start out in a dark place so you know what you're in for. "La Valse", on the other hand, retains a certain elegance until that buildup before the huge gong crash at around 1.5-2 minutes from the end. The sections before this are shadowy, but still relatively graceful. After the gong, the strings have wailing glissandos, the brass section has menacing chromatic scales, and there's even a section where Ravel "pulls the carpet from your feet" so to speak by removing the first beat of the 3/4 bar.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 23, 2014, 12:42:29 PM
I am ashamed to admit that I've never heard the left hand concerto  :-[ . I'm fixing that now as I write this. It sounds more "Ravel" than the G major; much darker. Really wonderfully orchestrated, but I'm not surprised in the least considering who we're dealing with, here.

What is wrong with me (other than not having heard the left hand concerto, I mean)?! How could I forget "Ma Mere L'Oye"? That was my first piece of Ravel's that I really connected to. I played it in my university's orchestra. Our conductor chose to play the "Introduction" and "Danse du Rouet" from the ballet along with the original five. The "Danse du Rouet" was so much fun to play and it was probably one of the few times I was jealous of the 2nd violin section (I was in the 1st violin section) because they got to play this section with glissandos all over the place. It always made me smile.

I've listened to the "Piano Trio" and I enjoyed it, but often I don't listen to much chamber music or solo piano music. I almost always enjoy large orchestras best; just a personal preference of mine. I also don't usually like song cycles or singing/opera much, either, hence why I didn't mention "Scheherazade" or "L'enfant et les Sortileges"

I think "La Valse" is one of the most terrifying pieces composed, even compared to Le sacre and mandarin. The latter two are definitely horrifying, but they start out in a dark place so you know what you're in for. "La Valse", on the other hand, retains a certain elegance until that buildup before the huge gong crash at around 1.5-2 minutes from the end. The sections before this are shadowy, but still relatively graceful. After the gong, the strings have wailing glissandos, the brass section has menacing chromatic scales, and there's even a section where Ravel "pulls the carpet from your feet" so to speak by removing the first beat of the 3/4 bar.

You don't care much Sheherazade, L'enfant et les sortileges, or the Piano Trio? It's okay we can still be friends. :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Madiel on February 23, 2014, 01:37:06 PM
I'm reading Nichols' biography of Ravel at the moment. While it does have its irritating qualities (why do writers in English like to show off their French and then not translate?!?), one thing it's done is make me reevaluate my usual dislike of orchestrations of piano pieces - especially piano pieces as brilliant as Ravel's.

So many discs of 'orchestral' Ravel are in fact filled with works conceived for piano, so it's been a bit of an issue for me.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on February 23, 2014, 02:01:37 PM
I'm reading Nichols' biography of Ravel at the moment. ...one thing it's done is make me reevaluate my usual dislike of orchestrations of piano pieces - especially piano pieces as brilliant as Ravel's.

So many discs of 'orchestral' Ravel are in fact filled with works conceived for piano, so it's been a bit of an issue for me.

I haven't had any trouble with either versions of the music he arranged for orchestra, Ravel clearly knew what he was doing, unlike the person who orchestrated Gaspard de la nuit. If it would work, surely Ravel would have done it himself. The different versions show different facets of the music and I wouldn't want to choose in the case of any of the pieces one version over another, although perhaps I would rather have just the piano versions if I was made to choose at gunpoint..
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: EigenUser on February 23, 2014, 02:59:13 PM
I haven't had any trouble with either versions of the music he arranged for orchestra, Ravel clearly knew what he was doing, unlike the person who orchestrated Gaspard de la nuit. If it would work, surely Ravel would have done it himself. The different versions show different facets of the music and I wouldn't want to choose in the case of any of the pieces one version over another, although perhaps I would rather have just the piano versions if I was made to choose at gunpoint..
I really like the "Barque" orchestration even though Ravel recalled it from his list of works. I think that the "waves" are created more effectively on a larger scale than the piano has.

I like Constant's orchestration of "Gaspard de la Nuit", but I have no doubt that Ravel could have done much better. Constant almost makes it sound like a film score. I don't really mind because I love the piece regardless, but it isn't nearly as good as it could have been. On the other hand, the Kocsis orchestration of the fiendishly-difficult toccata from "Le Tombeau de Couperin" is really quite amazing:
http://www.youtube.com/v/q0GevBsIJNA

I love the horn rips (at the end), the wind machine, and the "church" bells (I assume they are tubular bells). It makes you wonder why Ravel didn't do this in the first place, though Kocsis uses a much larger orchestra than Ravel did in his orchestration of the four movements. I also have his orchestration of the fugue, but I was a little bit let down by this.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on February 23, 2014, 03:11:57 PM
I really like the "Barque" orchestration even though Ravel recalled it from his list of works. I think that the "waves" are created more effectively on a larger scale than the piano has.

I like Constant's orchestration of "Gaspard de la Nuit", but I have no doubt that Ravel could have done much better. Constant almost makes it sound like a film score. I don't really mind because I love the piece regardless, but it isn't nearly as good as it could have been. On the other hand, the Kocsis orchestration of the fiendishly-difficult toccata from "Le Tombeau de Couperin" is really quite amazing:

I love the horn rips (at the end), the wind machine, and the "church" bells (I assume they are tubular bells). It makes you wonder why Ravel didn't do this in the first place, though Kocsis uses a much larger orchestra than Ravel did in his orchestration of the four movements. I also have his orchestration of the fugue, but I was a little bit let down by this.
The Barque orchestration is fine indeed, albeit I do prefer the solo piano version (e.g. Roger Muraro's recording)

Thanks for posting that Kocsis orchestration, it's marvelous!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: EigenUser on February 23, 2014, 03:39:58 PM
The Barque orchestration is fine indeed, albeit I do prefer the solo piano version (e.g. Roger Muraro's recording)

Thanks for posting that Kocsis orchestration, it's marvelous!
Glad you liked it! It's from this album:

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 23, 2014, 03:42:41 PM
It makes you wonder why Ravel didn't do this in the first place, though Kocsis uses a much larger orchestra than Ravel did in his orchestration of the four movements. I also have his orchestration of the fugue, but I was a little bit let down by this.

I'm not impressed with an orchestration that's so extravagant and over-the-top that it cuts into the purpose of a piece. Ravel's orchestration is exactly what he had in mind and I think he was successful with it's paired down forces. It gives the work a delicacy that matches the music's intent which was to honor his friends that died during WWI. I couldn't imagine this work being orchestrated any other way. But that's just my two cents.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on February 23, 2014, 04:20:33 PM
I'm not impressed with an orchestration that's so extravagant and over-the-top that it cuts into the purpose of a piece. Ravel's orchestration is exactly what he had in mind and I think he was successful with it's paired down forces. It gives the work a delicacy that matches the music's intent which was to honor his friends that died during WWI. I couldn't imagine this work being orchestrated any other way. But that's just my two cents.
A good point; smaller forces would probably work better.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: EigenUser on February 23, 2014, 06:52:35 PM
I'm not impressed with an orchestration that's so extravagant and over-the-top that it cuts into the purpose of a piece. Ravel's orchestration is exactly what he had in mind and I think he was successful with it's paired down forces. It gives the work a delicacy that matches the music's intent which was to honor his friends that died during WWI. I couldn't imagine this work being orchestrated any other way. But that's just my two cents.
This is true, though I still enjoy it greatly. I've always felt the toccata to be out of place in the piano suite, even though some of the themes (loosely) seem to come from the rigadon and prelude. Not that it is at all a lesser movement; just that it has a different "feel". Perhaps this is why he decided not to include it, though that still doesn't explain the fugue's omission.

Then again, we're talking about Ravel. Who the hell am I to complain?  :)

I will say this: as someone who is trying to learn the suite on piano, it is very very discouraging that the toccata is there because I have no chance of learning it in this lifetime. I'm working on the prelude and forlane for fun (even though I'm not very good at the piano) and it's annoying that I won't be able to learn the whole suite.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 23, 2014, 07:11:23 PM
This is true, though I still enjoy it greatly. I've always felt the toccata to be out of place in the piano suite, even though some of the themes (loosely) seem to come from the rigadon and prelude. Not that it is at all a lesser movement; just that it has a different "feel". Perhaps this is why he decided not to include it, though that still doesn't explain the fugue's omission.

Then again, we're talking about Ravel. Who the hell am I to complain?  :)

I will say this: as someone who is trying to learn the suite on piano, it is very very discouraging that the toccata is there because I have no chance of learning it in this lifetime. I'm working on the prelude and forlane for fun (even though I'm not very good at the piano) and it's annoying that I won't be able to learn the whole suite.

Ravel was a perfectionist through and through. He constantly revised and, in the process, would scrap ideas left and right, but what survived is never less than inspired. We're fortunate to have what we have available to us. Hell, we're lucky to have anything from Durufle, Falla, and Dukas for that matter! :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: EigenUser on February 23, 2014, 09:42:03 PM
Ravel was a perfectionist through and through. He constantly revised and, in the process, would scrap ideas left and right, but what survived is never less than inspired. We're fortunate to have what we have available to us. Hell, we're lucky to have anything from Durufle, Falla, and Dukas for that matter! :)
Yes, I've read a couple of biographies and I recall a quote from him saying something like "I am not a great composer. Great composers work with quantity as well as quality." (paraphrased) and generally talking about how he had drained every ounce of creativity from himself, so to speak.

One more Ravel piece that I totally forgot to mention is "Introduction and Allegro" for harp, flute, clarinet, and string quartet. It doesn't even sound like chamber music. It is so richly orchestrated that it almost sounds like a full orchestra playing at several times throughout the work. I have a background music playlist that I play while studying, reading, etc. By chance, Ligeti's "Melodien" (the only Ligeti on that playlist, haha) happened to precede the Ravel I&A and the transition is beautiful. The violin harmonics at the end of "Melodien" fade away -- then suddenly Ravel's lyrical flute/clarinet melody emerges. I can hardly listen to "Melodien" now without hearing both together!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 23, 2014, 09:58:23 PM
Yes, I've read a couple of biographies and I recall a quote from him saying something like "I am not a great composer. Great composers work with quantity as well as quality." (paraphrased) and generally talking about how he had drained every ounce of creativity from himself, so to speak.

One more Ravel piece that I totally forgot to mention is "Introduction and Allegro" for harp, flute, clarinet, and string quartet. It doesn't even sound like chamber music. It is so richly orchestrated that it almost sounds like a full orchestra playing at several times throughout the work. I have a background music playlist that I play while studying, reading, etc. By chance, Ligeti's "Melodien" (the only Ligeti on that playlist, haha) happened to precede the Ravel I&A and the transition is beautiful. The violin harmonics at the end of "Melodien" fade away -- then suddenly Ravel's lyrical flute/clarinet melody emerges. I can hardly listen to "Melodien" now without hearing both together!

Yes, I agree that Introduction & Allegro is a remarkable work. I had forgotten to mention this one myself. That palette for the work is, indeed, a full one, so it's no wonder why it sounds closer to an orchestral work than one for chamber. I used to be a lot like you in that I didn't care much for chamber music, but it seems that this genre has started to get closer and closer to my heart. I'm beginning to love orchestral and chamber music equally. That's a pretty cool idea about having Ligeti's Melodien come before Ravel's Introduction & Allegro on a playlist. I think I might try that one day. 8)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on February 24, 2014, 10:03:31 AM
I just ordered 3 used cd's of Haitink conducting Ravel with the BSO.

Awesome. I hope they work out. :)


Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Pessoa on February 25, 2014, 03:31:55 AM
Everything is beautiful. Some of it is magical: enfant, the piano concerts, ma mere, daphnis...

I agree with MI on Ozawa, probably because his were the first recordings I had of Ma mere and Le tombeau.
Title: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Geo Dude on June 30, 2014, 09:24:25 PM
It's good to see the Bavouzet set getting so much love in this thread. :)

Can anyone recommend a recording of L'enfant... that includes a libretto?
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on June 30, 2014, 10:21:44 PM
It's good to see the Bavouzet set getting so much love in this thread. :)

Can anyone recommend a recording of L'enfant... that includes a libretto?
The Maazel recording here. I don't know whether the separate issue has the libretto, though I would think it has. Ansermet's recording is very fine too, but again I don't know if it comes with the libretto..

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Geo Dude on July 01, 2014, 06:26:40 AM
The Maazel recording here. I don't know whether the separate issue has the libretto, though I would think it has. Ansermet's recording is very fine too, but again I don't know if it comes with the libretto..



The box set contains a damn libretto?  That has to be the first and last time such a thing will happen!


EDIT: Can anyone confirm for certain whether that two disc re-release contains a libretto?  Once bitten, twice shy...
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 01, 2014, 08:36:42 AM
The Maazel recording here.

+1 Although mine is the original DG issue (on CD that is). I would think the double disc "Originals" reissue would have librettos, although that's solely based on another "Originals" reissue I have of a Handel opera which does include a libretto.


Quote
Ansermet's recording is very fine too, but again I don't know if it comes with the libretto..

I like Ansermet, too. I would probably choose Maazel in a grunge match but they're both solid sets. (My Ansermet is a French import and has a French-only libretto :().


Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on July 01, 2014, 08:45:01 AM
The box set contains a damn libretto?  That has to be the first and last time such a thing will happen!
Librettos to both of the operas, and a 6 pages long essay, too.  8)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Moonfish on April 04, 2015, 10:47:28 AM
*bump* [8 months!!!]

Listened to a couple of Ravel pieces championed by Ansermet and the OSR forces. Very dreamy and delicate throughout. I wonder if I would be able to distinguish Ravel from Debussy in a blind test?  I must admit that I have not experienced the actual ballets apart from reading about them (a synopsis). I have been avoiding much of Ravel, Debussy and Stravinsky and now I am wondering why? Ansermet seems like a great gateway into this dreamy tonal world!

Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé                Les Choeurs de la Radio Romande Lausanne/L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ansermet

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91XcbB9qe9L._SL1500_.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/812yl1fQD1L._SL1500_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/A1ejBR-8OXL._SL1500_.jpg)

Ravel: Ma mère l'oye               L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ansermet

(http://cdn.discogs.com/TVs45i50nxHEdte_RzF-gvjKWv0=/fit-in/600x600/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(96)/discogs-images/R-5226561-1388239234-6895.jpeg.jpg)(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/812yl1fQD1L._SL1500_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81e0LZ1cKgL._SL1500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on April 04, 2015, 06:59:27 PM
Peter, perhaps you just weren't 'ready' for Ravel, Debussy, or Stravinsky? Of course, these were composers I took to very quickly and Ravel has remained in my top 5 for years. Do give Ravel's PCs and chamber works a listen at some point. Definitely some of my favorite music of any composer.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: EigenUser on April 05, 2015, 02:26:57 AM
Do give Ravel's PCs and chamber works a listen at some point. Definitely some of my favorite music of any composer.
Yes! Not to mention the solo piano works. (I'm listening to Gaspard de la Nuit right now!). Ravel (along with Bartok) is easily my favorite solo piano composer.

My favorite work by Ravel, though, is his Introduction and Allegro. It is like a miniature harp concerto accompanied by flute, clarinet, and string quartet. I'd give it a listen while you're at it -- it's only 10 minutes long.

Everyone (myself included) seems to pair Debussy and Ravel. If you really think about it, though, they aren't all that similar (aside from their SQs, which do sound similar). A qualitative (and probably superficial) rule of thumb I go by is that Ravel tends to be "flashier". A more quantitative (or, at least more technical) rule of thumb I go by is that Ravel tends to be more concerned with classical forms. It's hard (and often a bad idea) to make generalizations about composers, but I would say that Debussy looks forward through a romantic lens whereas Ravel looks backward through a modern lens.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on April 05, 2015, 05:23:02 AM
Yes! Not to mention the solo piano works. (I'm listening to Gaspard de la Nuit right now!). Ravel (along with Bartok) is easily my favorite solo piano composer.

My favorite work by Ravel, though, is his Introduction and Allegro. It is like a miniature harp concerto accompanied by flute, clarinet, and string quartet. I'd give it a listen while you're at it -- it's only 10 minutes long.

Everyone (myself included) seems to pair Debussy and Ravel. If you really think about it, though, they aren't all that similar (aside from their SQs, which do sound similar). A qualitative (and probably superficial) rule of thumb I go by is that Ravel tends to be "flashier". A more quantitative (or, at least more technical) rule of thumb I go by is that Ravel tends to be more concerned with classical forms. It's hard (and often a bad idea) to make generalizations about composers, but I would say that Debussy looks forward through a romantic lens whereas Ravel looks backward through a modern lens.

There's not a work by Ravel that I haven't heard except for his Prix de Rome works. Introduction and Allegro is a beautiful work. Yes, I never understood the constant pairing with Debussy either. Both composers couldn't be more different.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Rons_talking on April 08, 2015, 01:09:06 AM


Everyone (myself included) seems to pair Debussy and Ravel. If you really think about it, though, they aren't all that similar (aside from their SQs, which do sound similar). A qualitative (and probably superficial) rule of thumb I go by is that Ravel tends to be "flashier". A more quantitative (or, at least more technical) rule of thumb I go by is that Ravel tends to be more concerned with classical forms. It's hard (and often a bad idea) to make generalizations about composers, but I would say that Debussy looks forward through a romantic lens whereas Ravel looks backward through a modern lens.
[/quote]


Composer Ned Rorem wrote an interesting passage where he compares composers who use short melodies and build upon them (Beethoven, Stravinsky) with those who write longer melodies (Mozart, Mahler). His list is extensive and in the case of Debussey/Ravel, the former uses shorter, additive themes while Ravel writes longer, "complete" themes. While I haven't made this comparison with all their works it sounds about right.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 24, 2015, 03:16:55 PM
Well, let's bring it here, lads! :)

I'll bet euros to éclairs that Luke would argue effectively against that  :)

A wise bet ;)

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9583.msg239591.html#msg239591


Yes, Luke's advocacy for both of Ravel's operas hasn't been lost on little ol' me. In fact, I'm the one who took the heat the first time I posted a pic of those Previn recordings with the Chuck Jones covers. And, so, here we are again...serves me right for invoking the ghost of Chuck Jones! ;D ;D

Anyway, man, it seems like only yesterday that Luke and I had our last discussion regarding this very topic (only *ahem* "incidentally" touching on the Chuck Jones covers ;D. See earlier in the thread). That's when I learned of Luke's intense admiration for L'Enfant, with L'Heure apparently hard on its heels.

Fair enough. I hope to never stand in the way of a man and his likes/dislikes when it comes to entertainment. Doesn't seem to serve any meaningful purpose (apparently not everyone agrees with this, however). Of course I've been known to get itchy to speak out occasionally when something I read on this board jolts me like a brick to the head (and it takes a lot with my hard head).   

One such brick: a provocative statement whereby L'Enfant is hoisted as hors concours in Ravel's output, with L'Heure number two.   

*BRICK*!!

Well, a brick for me, anyway. ;D Not for Luke!

Looking back I'd never have guessed that it was seven years ago that I first got whacked by that brick. Not that I haven't recovered! But more than anything else that day has never left my memory, since there isn't a single thing I dislike more than being left in the wake by those folks with a discerning enough nose to sniff out something worthwhile and I can't. 

But, unfortunately, just following someone else's lead doesn't always generate results. So that kinda leaves a person (like me) to using their (my) own nose in certain situations. And this is one such situation...unfortunately. I'd love it if the switch could be turned on for me in Ravel's operas but so far I can only generate a qualified "decent" when it comes to the question of what they mean to me.

Not that I haven't tried. And tried. And tried. And to be honest, to invoke yet another ghost from GMG's past, our own long, lost Nigel Wilkinson - Mr. Opera Lover himself - actually had no use for these two operas at all! And that's putting it charitably! ;D (Yes, this is burned in my memory as well). (I've searched but can't as of yet locate his posts). Not that this is of any real substance in the current context but I only rehash it to illustrate that, as with a great many works of art, opinions can and do run the gamut. So, simply put, some adore these operas, some loathe them. I'm in the middle. So far.

Discuss? :)


 
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on June 24, 2015, 07:51:54 PM
Don't feel bad, DD. I like L'enfant et les sortileges, but don't care much for 'the other one' (aka L'heure espagnole). :) We can't all enjoy the same things and if we occasionally run into someone else who likes the same work, then that's great of course, but it's not the end of the world because someone dislikes something that we like. Too often people seem to take someone's dislike to heart (I have been guilty of this in the past), but I don't worry about this much anymore. If something moves me, then that should be all that matters.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on October 20, 2015, 12:28:08 AM
Larderet's Ravel is essential - mostly because it has the world premiere recording of a mature, major Ravel piano work. Why nobody had ever before recorded Ravel's transcription of three movements from Daphnis, when it's very-nearly-but-not-quite on the same level as Stravinsky's three movements from Petrushka, is a total mystery. It's 20 minutes long, you hardly ever miss the sound of the orchestra, and Larderet plays with great enthusiasm.

Wow! I'm sure I've heard of this before - and that Larderet album art looks familiar.
Here it is on YT, apparently played by Claire-Marie Le Guay. And also the Larderet arrangement's recording.

(You say transcription, as does IMSLP, but taking into account that the solo piano score was published first, I am inclined to believe that the ballet is the transcription. The Larderet appears to be an arrangement of some sort, though.)

https://www.youtube.com/v/Un0ZW4TWw5I  https://www.youtube.com/v/r415pQYOHok
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Jaakko Keskinen on November 03, 2015, 06:55:55 AM
PC for the left hand is really beautiful. Listening to it right now. The opening crescendo reminds me of Debussy.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 03, 2015, 06:59:50 AM
It is exquisite!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brian on November 04, 2015, 08:40:19 AM
PC for the left hand is really beautiful. Listening to it right now. The opening crescendo reminds me of Debussy.
A year or two ago somebody created a poll asking what everyone's favorite solo cadenza was, and the first 2-3 replies were Ravel's PC for the left hand.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on November 04, 2015, 08:50:05 AM
A year or two ago somebody created a poll asking what everyone's favorite solo cadenza was, and the first 2-3 replies were Ravel's PC for the left hand.
a) that somebody was you
b) first of those is your own OP
c) the second is my reply

Ilaria, Luke, and John joined the choir, too. (Matthew and Mark were busy, I assume)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Brian on November 04, 2015, 09:37:10 AM
a) that somebody was you
c) first of those is your own OP
*slightly embarrassed*
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Uhor on January 29, 2016, 05:57:06 PM
Ravel's attention to the minuscule, transparency, present construction, texture!, is a noble standard to welcome back.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Rons_talking on February 01, 2016, 02:29:51 PM
A year or two ago somebody created a poll asking what everyone's favorite solo cadenza was, and the first 2-3 replies were Ravel's PC for the left hand.


I agree 100%. Many of Ravel's works can yield me dimishing returns, brilliant as they are, but there's something about the LH Concerto that sticks. Also, his SQ (imo) is unique in the genre for its lyricism.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: vandermolen on February 21, 2016, 01:22:17 AM
Been listening to Ansermet's Decca recording of 'Ma mere l'oye'. It is from 1951 but it is an excellent performance. The very opening notes brought to mind Vaughan Williams's 'A Pastoral Sumphony'. I think that Ravel had a great influence on the English composer who studied with him in his 30s (VW). Vaughan Williams said that Ravel taught him how to orchestrate in colour rather than line. Anyway Ansermet's 'Mother Goose Suite' is charming and I find the end moving. I love the story about Ravel (from here I think) that although he composed one of the greatest musical depictions of dawn in 'Daphnis and Chloe' (also on the double Ansermet Decca set) he never got out of bed before 11.00am.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Luke on February 21, 2016, 03:55:45 PM
Ravel's sleep patterns were quite mixed up, I think. I'm not sure how accurate this is, but when I visited his marvellous house at Montfort l'Amaury I was told that he sometimes ended up sleeping late or into the day due to nocturnal insomnia  - but that in his bedroom he had special shutters made with star-shaped holes cut into them so he could still deceive himself into thinking it was night... which doesn't really make sense, if you think about it. That was how the guide explained those shutters, anyway - but what they also demonstrate, as does so much else in that house, and of course so much in his music, is Ravel's love of the artificial, his preference for a screen from reality. 
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 21, 2016, 04:53:54 PM
Ravel's sleep patterns were quite mixed up, I think. I'm not sure how accurate this is, but when I visited his marvellous house at Montfort l'Amaury I was told that he sometimes ended up sleeping late or into the day due to nocturnal insomnia  - but that in his bedroom he had special shutters made with star-shaped holes cut into them so he could still deceive himself into thinking it was night... which doesn't really make sense, if you think about it. That was how the guide explained those shutters, anyway - but what they also demonstrate, as does so much else in that house, and of course so much in his music, is Ravel's love of the artificial, his preference for a screen from reality.

Utterly fascinating anecdote, Luke. Thanks for sharing. My own thoughts: when Ravel removes the artificial, or the mask(s), if you will, we really get a glimpse of the man's beating heart IMHO and it never fails to move me deeply.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Luke on February 21, 2016, 06:17:26 PM
Completely agree, and those mask-slipping moments you describe move me very deeply too. In fact I think that more than anything else they are the reason Ravel is so very special to me.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 21, 2016, 08:14:37 PM
Completely agree, and those mask-slipping moments you describe move me very deeply too. In fact I think that more than anything else they are the reason Ravel is so very special to me.

+1

You took the words right out of my mouth. :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: vandermolen on February 21, 2016, 10:09:57 PM
Ravel's sleep patterns were quite mixed up, I think. I'm not sure how accurate this is, but when I visited his marvellous house at Montfort l'Amaury I was told that he sometimes ended up sleeping late or into the day due to nocturnal insomnia  - but that in his bedroom he had special shutters made with star-shaped holes cut into them so he could still deceive himself into thinking it was night... which doesn't really make sense, if you think about it. That was how the guide explained those shutters, anyway - but what they also demonstrate, as does so much else in that house, and of course so much in his music, is Ravel's love of the artificial, his preference for a screen from reality.
Yes. Fascinating - thanks.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: vandermolen on February 21, 2016, 10:11:17 PM
Utterly fascinating anecdote, Luke. Thanks for sharing. My own thoughts: when Ravel removes the artificial, or the mask(s), if you will, we really get a glimpse of the man's beating heart IMHO and it never fails to move me deeply.
+1
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 22, 2016, 09:08:49 PM
Thinking of Luke's post about Ravel's home, I found this interesting video:

https://www.youtube.com/v/oFxySK-GePM
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 22, 2016, 09:26:07 PM
Another little tour of Ravel's home:

https://www.youtube.com/v/BBLXNf84_AQ
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 23, 2016, 07:26:03 AM
I'm debating on which Ravel complete solo piano works set to buy as I already own Bavouzet. Here are the ones I have my eyes on at the moment:

(https://images.jet.com/md5/9dcd8253812e57fecf3309a7084890b6.1500) (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dAVcDirN_Q8/UGdPVSX6x_I/AAAAAAAAP-Q/Cgs-r6gnyH4/s1600/front.jpg)

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/150dpi/034571173412.png) (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/150dpi/034571177311.png)

Any feedback on any of these sets would be greatly appreciated. I'm not a diehard fan of solo piano music, but I do really enjoy Ravel's (and Debussy's).
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 23, 2016, 07:30:10 AM
I don't know any of these. I can say I like Lortie's Liszt very much.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: ritter on February 23, 2016, 07:32:30 AM
I'm debating on which Ravel complete solo piano works set to buy as I already own Bavouzet. Here are the ones I have my eyes on at the moment:

(https://images.jet.com/md5/9dcd8253812e57fecf3309a7084890b6.1500) (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dAVcDirN_Q8/UGdPVSX6x_I/AAAAAAAAP-Q/Cgs-r6gnyH4/s1600/front.jpg)

(http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/150dpi/034571173412.png) (http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/jpegs/150dpi/034571177311.png)

Any feedback on any of these sets would be greatly appreciated. I'm not a diehard fan of solo piano music, but I do really enjoy Ravel's (and Debussy's).
The name is Perlemuter, Vlado Perlemuter...preferably the later cycle on Nimbus than the Vox IMHO (even if the Vox has both piano concertos conducted by no less a legend than Jascha Horenstein--but in subpar sound IIRC).




Cheers,
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Madiel on February 24, 2016, 01:06:21 AM
Can't help much I'm afraid. I have Pascal Roge.

All I can tell you is that when there was a blind listening test on Gaspard, Steven Osborne did very well (and I personally rated him highly on the two movements I was involved in rating). Both Tharaud and Perlemuter got knocked out during the first round (on 'Ondine'). The notes I have suggest that Lortie and Hewitt weren't contestants. Roge wasn't either.

Also, have you noticed that GMG'ers are getting rather excited about a new set by Bertrand Chamayou?
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 24, 2016, 03:23:34 PM
Thanks for the feedback all, but I went ahead and bought Osborne's set as 1. I'm quite familiar with his pianism and 2. I decided that I wanted a non-Frenchman for my second, and probably last, cycle of Ravel's solo piano music just to hear a different approach.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 24, 2016, 03:24:45 PM
Also, have you noticed that GMG'ers are getting rather excited about a new set by Bertrand Chamayou?

Yes, I've noticed indeed and Karlo (North Star) has been bugging the living daylights out me about that set, which apparently he heard for free via Dutch Radio? Pretty cool. 8)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Madiel on August 29, 2016, 11:29:46 PM
Some of you may have noticed I've been having a chronological Ravel excursion. Sadly doesn't take all that long, he really didn't write a huge amount...

But I came in here to observe that the two chamber works I didn't already know - the Introduction and Allegro, and the Sonata for Violin and Cello, are both knockouts. Wow. I definitely need to get both of these in my collection soon.

I'm liking a lot of the songs as well, and even the 1st opera (haven't got to the 2nd yet).  I may well like opera when it's that short.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: vandermolen on February 17, 2017, 11:35:41 AM
Great anecdote about Ravel on 'This Week's Composer' on BBC Radio 3 today. At the Paris premiere of 'Bolero' a woman jumped up, pointed at Ravel and said 'He's mad!' When told about this Ravel gently smiled and said 'she truly understands the work'.
 Love it.  :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: San Antone on February 17, 2017, 11:50:05 AM
Some of the songs with piano were a recent, sumptuous discovery for me.

This comment from 2008 inspired me to listen to this collection.

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/naxos/large/5028421947433.main.jpg)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 17, 2017, 07:47:44 PM
Great anecdote about Ravel on 'This Week's Composer' on BBC Radio 3 today. At the Paris premiere of 'Bolero' a woman jumped up, pointed at Ravel and said 'He's mad!' When told about this Ravel gently smiled and said 'she truly understands the work'.
 Love it.  :)

Hah! :P
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: vandermolen on February 18, 2017, 01:09:52 AM
Hah! :P

Also talking about Bolero he said that he'd composed a work 'which contains no music'.  ;)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Madiel on February 18, 2017, 03:15:11 PM
This comment from 2008 inspired me to listen to this collection.

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/naxos/large/5028421947433.main.jpg)

I've sort of got my eye on that one, there's also some other versions of the songs I'm considering. I don't think enough attention gets paid to the songs of either Ravel or Debussy.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: San Antone on February 18, 2017, 04:32:58 PM
I've sort of got my eye on that one, there's also some other versions of the songs I'm considering. I don't think enough attention gets paid to the songs of either Ravel or Debussy.

I had the earlier 2-CD set on EMI (https://www.amazon.com/Ravel-M%C3%A9lodies-Maurice/dp/B000006DEL) but heard good things about this one and wanted something newer.  If Ravel is for you, and you don't already have much of this repertoire in your collection I think it is a safe buy.  The EMI set is also very good.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on March 07, 2017, 09:51:52 AM
Happy 142nd Birthday to Ravel!

I've been celebrating by listening to Chamayou's recordings of Sonatine, Le tombeau de Couperin and other pieces, and now Cecilia Bartoli & Myung-whun Chung's (piano) Deux Mélodies hébraïques from the Decca complete Ravel. . . well, actually I was listening to all that before I noticed it was his birthday. ;)

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: relm1 on March 09, 2017, 06:04:16 PM
What is your favorite recording of Daphnis et Chloe?  There are so many great performances but what is the greatest?  I love James Levine/Boston Symphony.  The new BIS recording with the Rottterdam Philharmonic/Yannick Nezet-Seguin is also perfection.  Any others?
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on March 09, 2017, 07:40:34 PM
What is your favorite recording of Daphnis et Chloe?  There are so many great performances but what is the greatest?  I love James Levine/Boston Symphony.  The new BIS recording with the Rottterdam Philharmonic/Yannick Nezet-Seguin is also perfection.  Any others?

I straddle between three favorites: Dutoit/MSO (Decca), Martinon/Orchestre de Paris (EMI), and Boulez/Berliners (DG).
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 29, 2017, 03:59:18 PM
i  just recently discovered the Piano Concerto for Left Hand. What a mind-blowingly work, pitting the left hand of the piano against a very large orchestra. I swear if you don't know the work and just listen to it you will never know it is for the left hand alone. The contrabasson solo at the beginning sounds like it is from some primordial bowel of the earth and not from a musical instrument.

Anyway I rather like this performance here. Miss Wang's steely left fingers displaying some pyrotechnics !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbEtk1kdYx4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbEtk1kdYx4)

My favorite however is this classic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sxpi0zybzA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sxpi0zybzA)

(And how is it that Ravel only has 12 pages in this thread?)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: SymphonicAddict on May 29, 2017, 05:22:27 PM
i  just recently discovered the Piano Concerto for Left Hand. What a mind-blowingly work, pitting the left hand of the piano against a very large orchestra. I swear if you don't know the work and just listen to it you will never know it is for the left hand alone. The contrabasson solo at the beginning sounds like it is from some primordial bowel of the earth and not from a musical instrument.

Anyway I rather like this performance here. Miss Wang's steely left fingers displaying some pyrotechnics !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbEtk1kdYx4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbEtk1kdYx4)

My favorite however is this classic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sxpi0zybzA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sxpi0zybzA)

(And how is it that Ravel only has 12 pages in this thread?)

Definitely I can't disagree with you, that is one of the Ravel's jewels, it's really a magic piece. The beginning it's somewhat dark, almost tenebrous, I'd say the fittest beginning for such terrific concerto.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Spineur on May 29, 2017, 05:37:10 PM
Yes both Samson François and Yuja Wang performances are awe inspiring.  This CD of Yuja Wang is in my opinion her best: her Ravel style is surprizingly accurate.

TD: Sherazade, a rarely performed Ravel work comes in two flavors: an orchestral overture and a song cycle with chamber orchestra.  If you have a chance to listen to this song cycle it is a knockout.

Ravel has composed many fantastic melodies.  The chansons Madécasses is probably his best known cycle.  I recently came accross his hebraic melodies (in Yiddish !)  his Kaddish.  Quite amazing pieces.
And finally, he composed the darkest melodie I ever heard: Un grand sommeil noir, a Paul Verlaine poem
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on May 29, 2017, 06:33:01 PM
Yes both Samson François and Yuja Wang performances are awe inspiring.  This CD of Yuja Wang is in my opinion her best: her Ravel style is surprizingly accurate.

TD: Sherazade, a rarely performed Ravel work comes in two flavors: an orchestral overture and a song cycle with chamber orchestra.  If you have a chance to listen to this song cycle it is a knockout.

Ravel has composed many fantastic melodies.  The chansons Madécasses is probably his best known cycle.  I recently came accross his hebraic melodies (in Yiddish !)  his Kaddish.  Quite amazing pieces.
And finally, he composed the darkest melodie I ever heard: Un grand sommeil noir, a Paul Verlaine poem

I can only nod my head in agreement here, although I’ll add that the Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé is, perhaps IMHO, his greatest song cycle.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Madiel on May 29, 2017, 06:42:26 PM
The two Scheherazades are totally different works, aren't they? No musical material in common was my understanding.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Spineur on May 30, 2017, 04:36:24 AM
The two Scheherazades are totally different works, aren't they? No musical material in common was my understanding.
Nope !  The first Scheherazade did not meet the success Ravel expected for it.  So four years later he reworked the piece in a song cycle with chamber orchestra.  I did a quick comparison between the two and they do indeed sound pretty different, but the second version was directly inspired by the first.  On thursday I will attend a concert where Felicity Lott will perform this work.  I will report in due time.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Madiel on May 30, 2017, 04:44:40 AM
Nope !  The first Scheherazade did not meet the success Ravel expected for it.  So four years later he reworked the piece in a song cycle with chamber orchestra.  I did a quick comparison between the two and they do indeed sound pretty different, but the second version was directly inspired by the first.  On thursday I will attend a concert where Felicity Lott will perform this work.  I will report in due time.

Well, Wikipedia says the connection is a matter of debate, with only one similar opening theme, and Roger Nichols' book flatly says twice that the song cycle is "entirely unrelated to the early Overture" despite some people saying that it is.

So I'd be curious to know your sources for saying that it is an actual reworking or that one was inspired by the other (as opposed to both being inspired by an interest in the character).
Title: Stravinsky Has Ruined Ravel for Me
Post by: snyprrr on June 19, 2017, 09:23:51 AM
I "just can't" with Ravel anymore. Listening to him after IS just makes me shrug my shoulders. :( Of course, I still love the PT, SQ, and Duo (vln+vnc), and 'Mirrors', and 'Gaspard', but that's about it,... The I+A too,... just the really really purist works with the least amount of exotic flavoures... all the Spanish stuff, and 'Bolero',... eh,... I just can't...

it's like 'Freebird' to me now :laugh:
Title: Re: Stravinsky Has Ruined Ravel for Me
Post by: vandermolen on June 19, 2017, 12:22:40 PM
I "just can't" with Ravel anymore. Listening to him after IS just makes me shrug my shoulders. :( Of course, I still love the PT, SQ, and Duo (vln+vnc), and 'Mirrors', and 'Gaspard', but that's about it,... The I+A too,... just the really really purist works with the least amount of exotic flavoures... all the Spanish stuff, and 'Bolero',... eh,... I just can't...

it's like 'Freebird' to me now :laugh:

Just took me half an hour to work out who and what 'IS' and 'PT' are  ::).

Kind of agree with you but probably to do with over-familiarity with his music. I'm also a great admirer of Gaspard. I also like the ubiquitous 'Bolero'  :o :o :o plus the PCs and Daphnis.
Title: Re: Stravinsky Has Ruined Ravel for Me
Post by: snyprrr on June 19, 2017, 05:26:40 PM
Just took me half an hour to work out who and what 'IS' and 'PT' are  ::).

ginko is your friend ;) :D

Well, it was the 2 Piano Concertos that let me down this time. The Left-Hand has always been my favored, but this time, only the excellent introduction held me, all the way up until the piano entrance, then I was like... eh :-[. It just wasn't as Poeish as I had in my head- but, the introduction is sublime,- I'll have to try others (I have Thibaudet and Fleisher?). I've never liked the PC, and this time it felt really Uptown, high class nightclub of 1937, really smooth and luxurious- uptown and languid but not overtly jazzy, but yes,- still, I was feeling it was kind of fake feeling, too hip, and it definitely isn't what I was looking for (Milhaud and Martinu being somewhat less chic, and more enjoyable).

But, yea, it's like 'Freebird', lol.
Title: Re: Stravinsky Has Ruined Ravel for Me
Post by: aleazk on June 19, 2017, 06:33:30 PM
... still, I was feeling it was kind of fake feeling, too hip, and it definitely isn't what I was looking for...

“Has it ever occurred to them,” he asked of his detractors, “that one may be artificial by nature?”

 :)

http://www.studio-hollywood.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/maurice_ravel.pdf

To me that fake feeling typical of Ravel is precisely what I like. There he shows that it's much more complex... He's not trying to just being chic and somewhat failing at it (i.e., the result is not completely convincing from a musical point of view)... that actual feel is put there to disrupt... to show that very same superficiality... a frail soul inside, when outside it's all superficial, vacous... makes you feel even more alienated... but you are part of them... and sometimes you even enjoy it!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Crudblud on June 19, 2017, 09:18:56 PM
Composition is the act of shaping the primal force of sound into a desired form, reducing it to a handful of configurations of a small set of its constituent parts; there is very little natural about it when a composer is through with it beyond the way the sound of the music itself moves through the air, but we have even built special rooms and devices for the purposes of controlling that too. The notion that Ravel's music is "artificial" while that of some other composer is not is completely baffling to me.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: aleazk on June 19, 2017, 09:49:36 PM
It's just a vague metaphor. Based on Ravel's reaction and the usual discussion about this subject, I more or less tried to make more explicit what the detractors may be thinking when they use this metaphor and what is my perception of the aspect alluded by it.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Crudblud on June 19, 2017, 09:55:54 PM
It's just a vague metaphor. Based on Ravel's reaction and the usual discussion about this subject, I more or less tried to make more explicit what the detractors may be thinking when they use this metaphor and what is my perception of the aspect alluded by it.
I was making a general point, which is why I didn't quote anyone.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: aleazk on June 19, 2017, 10:02:48 PM
I know. I was just answering your general point by using material from my previous comment. I was just lazy to make it more neutral sounding, sorry about that.
Title: Re: Stravinsky Has Ruined Ravel for Me
Post by: vandermolen on June 19, 2017, 11:05:49 PM
ginko is your friend ;) :D

Well, it was the 2 Piano Concertos that let me down this time. The Left-Hand has always been my favored, but this time, only the excellent introduction held me, all the way up until the piano entrance, then I was like... eh :-[. It just wasn't as Poeish as I had in my head- but, the introduction is sublime,- I'll have to try others (I have Thibaudet and Fleisher?). I've never liked the PC, and this time it felt really Uptown, high class nightclub of 1937, really smooth and luxurious- uptown and languid but not overtly jazzy, but yes,- still, I was feeling it was kind of fake feeling, too hip, and it definitely isn't what I was looking for (Milhaud and Martinu being somewhat less chic, and more enjoyable).

But, yea, it's like 'Freebird', lol.
I agree that the introduction to the LHPC (payback time  8)) is my favourite bit in either PC.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Crudblud on June 20, 2017, 02:11:13 AM
I know. I was just answering your general point by using material from my previous comment. I was just lazy to make it more neutral sounding, sorry about that.

No need to apologise. Kind of odd that this is our first exchange in... a year at least?
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: aleazk on June 20, 2017, 07:34:03 PM
No need to apologise. Kind of odd that this is our first exchange in... a year at least?

Ha, yeah, a bit awkward.

Maybe more time. I have not been very much in the forums these last years since they have been difficult times for me.

Nice to see you again, though!
Title: Re: Stravinsky Has Ruined Ravel for Me
Post by: snyprrr on June 21, 2017, 06:23:44 AM
Yeah, well I will ruin Ravel for you if you don't ***** *****  because you'll ***** ***** back to the Xenakis thread this instant!

I'm counting to ten and if you don't move  >:(

1.........

2........

'MURICA, WOOOO!!!! Pass me over the table some biscuits!! :D ;D

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Robert101 on June 21, 2017, 07:15:59 AM
i  just recently discovered the Piano Concerto for Left Hand. What a mind-blowingly work, pitting the left hand of the piano against a very large orchestra. I swear if you don't know the work and just listen to it you will never know it is for the left hand alone. The contrabasson solo at the beginning sounds like it is from some primordial bowel of the earth and not from a musical instrument.

Anyway I rather like this performance here. Miss Wang's steely left fingers displaying some pyrotechnics !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbEtk1kdYx4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbEtk1kdYx4)

My favorite however is this classic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sxpi0zybzA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sxpi0zybzA)

(And how is it that Ravel only has 12 pages in this thread?)


I agree. It's Ravel at his most direct, urgent self. Yet his bittersweet harmonies and orchestrational brilliance still shine through. I'll take the first 5 minutes of that work over almost anything.
Title: Re: Stravinsky Has Ruined Ravel for Me
Post by: snyprrr on July 03, 2017, 07:28:44 AM
This Alien is contemplating a mass invasion of Snyprrr land. Our race will take all your Stravinsky CDs off you and deport you back to HOME (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,839.msg1072722.html#new)  ;)

"Signal rhythms coming from Andromeda Prime, Captain. Hailing frequencies open..."


"aww, shizzle"


"Captain, we're being forced to listen to 'Maggot Brain' via the Mothership Connection. Permission to load lactating HiggsBosom cannon!"
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: North Star on August 11, 2017, 01:17:50 AM
I concur, he's my favorite post-baroque composer at the moment for some reason.
You have truly seen the light!
Title: Serious Question About Ravel's Violin Sonata: Blues
Post by: snyprrr on November 29, 2017, 09:01:48 PM
I really have some stylistic issues with Ravel's... Masterpiece. On one hand, it's as refined and cosmopolitan and...hip as anything from the last forty years, but I also feel that Ravel is trying to hard, or maybe the technology wasn't in place yet for better notation, or...

or maybe it's genius.

SO, HERE'S MY QUESTION: In the 'Blues' middle movement, there is a section where the violin plays these jaunty chords, and the piano just doesn't seem to be in the same... tempo,... or,... but,... I've listened to a couple of reliable sources, and I guess it's in the score, though I can't read it very well.

What's going on here? It's sounds terrible to me...
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 11, 2018, 08:18:12 AM
Quite a wonderful mini-documentary:

https://www.youtube.com/v/oFxySK-GePM
Title: Re: Serious Question About Ravel's Violin Sonata: Blues
Post by: Maestro267 on February 11, 2018, 08:21:51 AM
I really have some stylistic issues with Ravel's... Masterpiece. On one hand, it's as refined and cosmopolitan and...hip as anything from the last forty years, but I also feel that Ravel is trying to hard, or maybe the technology wasn't in place yet for better notation, or...

or maybe it's genius.

SO, HERE'S MY QUESTION: In the 'Blues' middle movement, there is a section where the violin plays these jaunty chords, and the piano just doesn't seem to be in the same... tempo,... or,... but,... I've listened to a couple of reliable sources, and I guess it's in the score, though I can't read it very well.

What's going on here? It's sounds terrible to me...

I didn't know Daphnis et Chloé had a "Blues" middle movement...and I'm sure it doesn't call for a piano.
Title: Re: Serious Question About Ravel's Violin Sonata: Blues
Post by: Mirror Image on February 11, 2018, 08:53:17 AM
I really have some stylistic issues with Ravel's... Masterpiece. On one hand, it's as refined and cosmopolitan and...hip as anything from the last forty years, but I also feel that Ravel is trying to hard, or maybe the technology wasn't in place yet for better notation, or...

or maybe it's genius.

SO, HERE'S MY QUESTION: In the 'Blues' middle movement, there is a section where the violin plays these jaunty chords, and the piano just doesn't seem to be in the same... tempo,... or,... but,... I've listened to a couple of reliable sources, and I guess it's in the score, though I can't read it very well.

What's going on here? It's sounds terrible to me...

Well, the Violin Sonata isn’t Ravel’s only masterpiece. To make the assertion that it is doesn’t seem like a fair judgment on your part. What about works like the String Quartet, Miroirs, Gaspard de la nuit, the Piano Trio, Le tombeau de Couperin, Jeux d’eau, L'enfant et les sortilèges, Chansons madécasses, the piano concerti, Daphnis et Chloé, or Shéhérazade? These works certainly more than hold up to the idea of a ‘masterpiece’.

Oh and there’s nothing wrong with the Violin Sonata or the way it was constructed. That’s just your ears failing to make a connection.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on February 12, 2018, 02:20:29 PM
Quite a wonderful mini-documentary:

https://www.youtube.com/v/oFxySK-GePM

Has anyone seen this? It’s great!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on March 06, 2018, 09:28:05 PM
Happy Birthday, Monsieur Ravel!

[Ravel playing his piano arrangement of ‘Happy Birthday’ with ravishing harmonies.]
(https://culturebox.francetvinfo.fr/sites/default/files/styles/article_view_full_main_image/public/assets/images/2014/09/ravel.jpg?itok=CaIvrkWu)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Draško on March 28, 2018, 05:00:42 AM
https://www.youtube.com/v/RHZPg7PnNRQ

A video of Samson François talking about Ravel's music and playing Toccata from Le Tombeau de Couperin.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 28, 2018, 05:12:29 AM
I like him better and better:  he christened his lorry Adélaïde.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: milk on May 23, 2018, 03:08:19 PM
I found this super depressing but also fascinating:
This week, we're throwing it back to an old favorite: a story about obsession, creativity, and a strange symmetry between a biologist and a composer that revolves around one famously repetitive piece of music.

Anne Adams was a brilliant biologist. But when her son Alex was in a bad car accident, she decided to stay home to help him recover. And then, rather suddenly, she decided to quit science altogether and become a full-time artist. After that, her husband Robert Adams tells us, she just painted and painted and painted. First houses and buildings, then a series of paintings involving strawberries, and then ... "Bolero."

At some point, Anne became obsessed with Maurice Ravel's famous composition and decided to put an elaborate visual rendition of the song to canvas. She called it "Unraveling Bolero." But at the time, she had no idea that both she and Ravel would themselves unravel shortly after their experiences with this odd piece of music. Arbie Orenstein tells us what happened to Ravel after he wrote "Bolero," and neurologist Bruce Miller helps us understand how, for both Anne and Ravel, "Bolero" might have been the first symptom of a deadly disease.

https://player.fm/series/radiolab-from-wnyc/unraveling-bolero (https://player.fm/series/radiolab-from-wnyc/unraveling-bolero)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Baron Scarpia on May 23, 2018, 03:27:06 PM
I heard the same podcast this week. The comparison with the biologist is new, but speculations about the Bolero and dementia have surfaced before.

https://www.nature.com/news/2002/020122/full/news020121-1.html

One thing that seems to contradict the idea is the fact that the Piano Concerto for the left hand was written years after Bolero and isn't at all repetitive.

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on May 23, 2018, 06:12:28 PM
The story about Ravel suffering from dementia while writing Boléro is BS and, quite frankly, unfounded. The composer even joked about Boléro before saying "I've written only one masterpiece—Boléro. Unfortunately, there’s no music in it.” :P This doesn’t seem like someone who suffers from dementia to me. He knew exactly what he was doing.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: milk on May 23, 2018, 06:23:35 PM
The story about Ravel suffering from dementia while writing Boléro is BS and, quite frankly, unfounded. The composer even joked about Boléro before saying "I've written only one masterpiece—Boléro. Unfortunately, there’s no music in it.” :P This doesn’t seem like someone who suffers from dementia to me. He knew exactly what he was doing.

This podcast claims that when Bolero premiered, someone in the audience yelled, “he’s crazy!” True or not, I burst out laughing from that. That’s pretty funny.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on May 23, 2018, 07:00:38 PM

This podcast claims that when Bolero premiered, someone in the audience yelled, “he’s crazy!” True or not, I burst out laughing from that. That’s pretty funny.

I’m sure it delighted the composer. :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: milk on May 23, 2018, 07:47:10 PM
I’m sure it delighted the composer. :)
Probably no one laughed at the time. Sound like a Seinfeld episode now.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Baron Scarpia on May 23, 2018, 08:50:47 PM
The story about Ravel suffering from dementia while writing Boléro is BS and, quite frankly, unfounded. The composer even joked about Boléro before saying "I've written only one masterpiece—Boléro. Unfortunately, there’s no music in it.” :P This doesn’t seem like someone who suffers from dementia to me. He knew exactly what he was doing.

Early signs of dementia were noted as early as 1927, including aphasia, memory lapses (losing his place when performing familiar music), deterioration of writing. Even years later, when he was almost entirely disabled, he was said to have maintained his personality and self-awareness. No one could (or would) say that the Bolero was a symptom of dementia, but the idea that a neurological disorder could influence him to go in a different artistic direction is not without support. One symptom of frontotemporal dementia is that sufferers tend to be drawn to repetition.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Mirror Image on May 24, 2018, 04:47:37 AM
Early signs of dementia were noted as early as 1927, including aphasia, memory lapses (losing his place when performing familiar music), deterioration of writing. Even years later, when he was almost entirely disabled, he was said to have maintained his personality and self-awareness. No one could (or would) say that the Bolero was a symptom of dementia, but the idea that a neurological disorder could influence him to go in a different artistic direction is not without support. One symptom of frontotemporal dementia is that sufferers tend to be drawn to repetition.

I don’t doubt that Ravel suffered from a neurological disorder, but I doubt this had any effect on Ravel's writing of Boléro as he wrote both piano concerti after Boléro. That’s what I was doubting. Also, after writing Boléro, there was the song cycle Don Quichotte à Dulcinée, which, again, shows no signs of someone suffering from a neurological disorder even though he very much was at this point (1933).
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: aleazk on May 24, 2018, 09:52:31 PM
I'm reading Roger Nichols' "Ravel", which is a very detailed biography of the composer. Just check this, it's priceless (about the pieces on the Mallarmé poems):



Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Madiel on May 25, 2018, 04:02:10 AM
I’m sure it delighted the composer. :)

It did.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: kyjo on June 04, 2018, 06:49:06 AM
Just found out I'll be playing the Piano Trio (on cello) at a chamber music festival I'm attending this summer! I'm quite thrilled to have the opportunity to really get inside one of my very favorite chamber works, to say the least. :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Baron Scarpia on June 04, 2018, 12:42:37 PM
Just found out I'll be playing the Piano Trio (on cello) at a chamber music festival I'm attending this summer! I'm quite thrilled to have the opportunity to really get inside one of my very favorite chamber works, to say the least. :)

The Piano trio is truly one of Ravel's magical creations.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: aleazk on June 05, 2018, 02:24:20 AM
Just found out I'll be playing the Piano Trio (on cello) at a chamber music festival I'm attending this summer! I'm quite thrilled to have the opportunity to really get inside one of my very favorite chamber works, to say the least. :)

Wow, you have my admiration if you can play such a virtuoso piece, and one of my favorites as well. Good luck!  :)
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: kyjo on June 05, 2018, 04:56:15 AM
Wow, you have my admiration if you can play such a virtuoso piece, and one of my favorites as well. Good luck!  :)

Thanks - I shall attempt! ;D It will be a challenge, no doubt! Now to begin practicing...
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Leo K. on September 04, 2018, 10:30:37 AM
Becoming a huge Ravel fan the last month. My entry was hearing the Daphne et Chloé from a live recording of Clemons Krauss. Absolutely out of this world music!
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 04, 2018, 08:49:53 PM
Becoming a huge Ravel fan the last month. My entry was hearing the Daphne et Chloé from a live recording of Clemons Krauss. Absolutely out of this world music!

Daphnis et Chloé is a benchmark in the 20th century music IMHO. Have you ever tried the Dutoit/O.S.M.? For many it's arguably the greatest recording of it.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on September 05, 2018, 05:52:33 AM
Becoming a huge Ravel fan the last month. My entry was hearing the Daphne et Chloé from a live recording of Clemons Krauss. Absolutely out of this world music!

Ironically, I find Daphne to be my least favorite work by Ravel. After I listen to it I typically have to listen to something else by Ravel to remind myself that I actually like Ravel. Lately it is the chamber music, particularly the Piano Trio and String Quartet, that resonates most with me. And, of course, the solo piano music. I also like the Bolero more than I can justify.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: ritter on September 05, 2018, 06:09:52 AM
Ironically, I find Daphne to be my least favorite work by Ravel. After I listen to it I typically have to listen to something else by Ravel to remind myself that I actually like Ravel. Lately it is the chamber music, particularly the Piano Trio and String Quartet, that resonates most with me. And, of course, the solo piano music. I also like the Bolero more than I can justify.
Very similar feelings in my case. It’s not that I dislike Daphnis, but rather that I greatly prefer many other of Ravel’s work’s...
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Daverz on September 05, 2018, 06:59:51 AM
Count me as an unabashed Daphnis lover.  Some favored recordings:

(don't let "Gramophone's choice" scare you away)

(and not earlier digital issues of this)



Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on September 05, 2018, 07:17:25 AM
Count me as an unabashed Daphnis lover.  Some favored recordings:

(don't let "Gramophone's choice" scare you away)

(and not earlier digital issues of this)

You find something wrong with the earlier digital master of Monteux's recording. I recall the audio as being just fine.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Daverz on September 05, 2018, 01:01:30 PM
You find something wrong with the earlier digital master of Monteux's recording. I recall the audio as being just fine.

Yes, but not as good as the Originals issue.  It made the difference for me.
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on September 05, 2018, 03:22:34 PM
Count me as an unabashed Daphnis lover.

Definitely! Not sure what the others are on about.

Quote

(and not earlier digital issues of this)

I have the first CD issue pictured below. It's a "straight" transfer, no modern remastering. The sound is stunning: rich and full, with plenty of warmth. Have you heard this issue, Dave, and do you have opinions on potential differences? I ask mainly because I have long-standing misgivings about what the "majors" consider "an improvement" in sound quality with these blanket remasterings. Often the strings come out sounding shrill, brittle, and unnatural to me, and what tradeoff in "clarity" (yep, in quotes) there might be doesn't make up for the deficiencies elsewhere. (Obviously it comes down to whether or not a recording is well engineered to begin with, but that's a topic for another time).

 

(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UWknD9AIVaY/WlRiyi8CbkI/AAAAAAAAMfQ/eUJcaVk7zB85uC17oG_ezHsUA1DDpP5cQCLcBGAs/s1600/cover.jpg)

Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Daverz on September 05, 2018, 07:21:25 PM
Definitely! Not sure what the others are on about.

I have the first CD issue pictured below. It's a "straight" transfer, no modern remastering. The sound is stunning: rich and full, with plenty of warmth. Have you heard this issue, Dave, and do you have opinions on potential differences? I ask mainly because I have long-standing misgivings about what the "majors" consider "an improvement" in sound quality with these blanket remasterings. Often the strings come out sounding shrill, brittle, and unnatural to me, and what tradeoff in "clarity" (yep, in quotes) there might be doesn't make up for the deficiencies elsewhere. (Obviously it comes down to whether or not a recording is well engineered to begin with, but that's a topic for another time).

 

(https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UWknD9AIVaY/WlRiyi8CbkI/AAAAAAAAMfQ/eUJcaVk7zB85uC17oG_ezHsUA1DDpP5cQCLcBGAs/s1600/cover.jpg)

I shouldn't have said "all previous transfers".  My comments apply to The Classic Sound issue.

Dave
Title: Re: Ravel's Rotunda
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on September 06, 2018, 07:01:02 AM
I shouldn't have said "all previous transfers".  My comments apply to The Classic Sound issue.

Dave

That's the one I have, the older "Historic" issue. Whether a newer master is an improvement or not varies from release to release, I find. I'm a big fan of Monteux, but the piece strikes me as too long. The second seems to contain all the stuff I like.