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Ravel: Complete Piano Works Vol 2 / Artur Pizarro


Release Date: 10/01/2008 
Label:  Linn Records   Catalog #: 315   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Artur Pizarro
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



RAVEL Prélude. Menuet sur le nom d’Haydn . Sonatine. Menuet antique. Valse nobles et sentimentales. A la manière de . . . Borodine. A la manière de . . . Chabrier . Pavane. Le tombeau de Couperin Artur Pizarro (pn) LINN 315 (75:08)


Fanfare reviews rarely center on the acoustics of a given Read more recording, but there is a synergy here of music, interpretive style, and engineering that results in a uniquely beautiful release. That is not to say that this is going to be everyone’s Ravel. Pizarro has a uniquely poetic manner that can blur the edges of the music at times. This is an album of Ravel’s “homage” piano music; homages to older styles and composers. To my ears, Pizarro has the full measure of the composer’s delicious sensibility of meshing old and new esthetic values. He delivers the Classicism with crisp rhythms and a lucid sense for overall structure. At the same time, he finds the sensuality and gentle poetry that Ravel uses to shape his subjects. There may be a precious quality to his playing for some (other pianists make the music sound “bigger” by applying a wider dynamic range), but I find it wholly appropriate to the music. There is more than a little resemblance to the esthetic of the prewar recordings of Gieseking, although, alas, there is very little Ravel from that era.


Pizarro draws out a wonderful range of color and subtle phrasing in his playing, and it is a delight to hear it on this extraordinary sounding recording. Linn Records is an offshoot of one of the most prestigious music-gear manufacturers in the world. Linn’s audio products are very expensive and often idiosyncratic, but attract deep-felt admiration for their commitment to sheer musicality at the expense of standard commercial considerations in design (How many watts? How many buttons? How big?). Sorry to sound so much like a commercial (I expect no check in the mail), but this philosophy extends to their burgeoning CD catalog, too. On either my solid-state-based or tube system, this CD simply glows, in every respect. The subtlety of the timbral shadings is quite exquisite. The piano has always been one of the most difficult instruments to capture in recording, and here, you swim in the lovely sound.


It should go without saying that the technical aspects of a recording are a means to an end. The sound is wonderful, the playing is even more compelling, and ultimately, we have a group of magical works of art by a great master presented with great care and devotion. It is quite a package, and for me, an instant classic in the Ravel discography.


FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Prélude for Piano in A minor by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Artur Pizarro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
2.
Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Artur Pizarro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1909; France 
3.
Sonatine for Piano by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Artur Pizarro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1903-1905; France 
4.
Menuet antique by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Artur Pizarro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1895; France 
5.
Valses nobles et sentimentales by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Artur Pizarro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; France 
6.
A la manière de Borodine by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Artur Pizarro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
7.
A la manière de Chabrier by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Artur Pizarro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; France 
8.
Le tombeau de Couperin by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Artur Pizarro (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1917; orch. 191; France 

Sound Samples

Prelude
Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn
Sonatine: I. Modere
Sonatine: II. Mouvement de menuet
Sonatine: III. Anime
Menuet antique (version for piano)
Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for piano): I. Modere
Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for piano): II. Assez lent
Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for piano): III. Modere
Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for piano): IV. Assez anime
Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for piano): V. Presque lent
Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for piano): VI. Vif
Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for piano): VII. Moins vif
Valses nobles et sentimentales (version for piano): VIII. Epilogue: Lent
A la maniere de Borodine
A la maniere de Chabrier
Pavane pour une infante defunte (version for piano)
Le tombeau de Couperin (version for piano): I. Prelude
Le tombeau de Couperin (version for piano): II. Fugue
Le tombeau de Couperin (version for piano): III. Forlane
Le tombeau de Couperin (version for piano): IV. Rigaudon
Le tombeau de Couperin (version for piano): V. Menuet
Le tombeau de Couperin (version for piano): VI. Toccata

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