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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CKD315
Recording details: April 2008
St George's, Brandon Hill, United Kingdom
Produced by Philip Hobbs
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: October 2008
Total duration: 12 minutes 12 seconds

'Maurice Ravel's liquid keyboard music runs like cool, clean water through the expert hands of pianist Artur Pizarro. His refined sensitivity to this gossamer repertoire makes this, his second album of Ravel, a recording to treasure. He handles the first movement of the Sonatine in masterly fashion and displays a profound understanding of the nuances of Valse nobles et sentimentales, coupled here with Pavane pour une infante défunte. A quixotic reading of the always rewarding Le tombeau de Couperin completes a delightful selection' (The Observer)

'Pizarro opens this magical recital with two of Ravel's most heart-warming miniatures, the Prélude and Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn, which between them embrace some of Ravel's most poignant harmonies. This is music that should seduce simply by the sound it makes and Pizarro's supple, affectionate, detailed yet gracefully natural performances get right to the heart of the matter … the greatest challenge here is Le tombeau de Couperin, and here again Pizarro proves equal to the music's coruscating demands, imparting a seductive warmth to the 'Fugue' (always a tricky movement) and a hypnotically light-as-air quality to the 'Prélude' … for those who value above all the intoxicating allure of these treasurable pieces, Pizarro has no rivals' (International Record Review) » More

'Pizarro demonstrates admirable technique and displays some great insight into compositions that I felt I knew inside out. Ravel was a master painter with a really wide palette and this artist seems to have a real gift for offering the listener a rich, colourful and very satisfying experience from his outstanding playing. We are not short of Ravel discs but I would place this (and the first volume) the top of the list. A set of simply superb performances from beginning to end that gets my highest recommendation' (Hi-Fi Plus)

'Pizarro deutet „seinen“ Ravel komplex: Konzentriert und impulsiv, beherrscht und temperamentvoll, klangsinnig und hörend, strukturell und emotional erwärmt. Auch diese Wandlungsfähigkeit macht seine Interpretation so interessant' (Klassik.com, Germany) » More
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING

Sonatine
composer
begun for a 1904 competition in the Weekly Critical Review; completed and published in 1905

Modéré  [5'01]
Animé  [3'48]

Other recordings available for download
Angela Hewitt (piano)
Steven Osborne (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In 1904, Ravel entered an international competition for the first movement of a Sonatine for piano, sponsored by an Anglo-French magazine, the Weekly Critical Review. But with bankruptcy looming, the competition was cancelled and he was left as the sole entrant. Curiously, Ravel’s movement was longer than the specified 75 bars—usually he stuck to the rules of any game he chose to play. Then he decided to complete the Sonatine, and two other movements were finished by August 1905. At the first Paris performance given by Gabriel Grovlez on 31 March 1906, one critic voiced what was to become a perennial complaint about Ravel’s music, that it was well written and charming, but lacking in emotion. Against this, the opening interval of a descending fourth grew to be a ubiquitous Ravel fingerprint—at the end of his opera L’enfant et les sortilèges it is set to the word ‘maman’, according to many of Ravel’s friends the only person he ever truly loved. The emotion is there, but has to be sought. Only with the finale does sheer technique obtrude, Ravel instructing that it be played ‘without prudence or mercy’.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2011


Other albums featuring this work
'Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDA67341/2)
Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music
'Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDA67731/2)
Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music

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