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Hyperion Records

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Near St Tropez (1892) by Hubert de la Rochefoucauld
Galerie L'Ergasterre, Paris / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67341/2
Recording details: August 2001
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: April 2002
Total duration: 5 minutes 42 seconds

'Angela Hewitt plumbs Ravel's paradoxical qualities to perfection in this superb set. This magnificent survey … a treasure trove! Angela Hewitt joins Gieseking, Rogé, Thibaudet and Lortie among the most distinguished if entirely different Ravel cycles on record, and easily withstands comparison in such exalted company' (Gramophone)

'This newcomer from Hyperion is second to none and will now probably be a first choice for many collectors' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Hewitt’s is, unlike a number of other versions of Ravel’s œuvre, a highly worthwhile venture, full of stylish, intelligent playing' (International Record Review)

'Ravel trickles fluently through her fingers' (The Times)

'Hewitt reveals textural detail rarely heard in other performances … A thought-provoking set' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Delighful' (The Scotsman)

'unique qualities of tone, style, and conscientious craftsmanship' (Fanfare, USA)

'Hewitt’s control of tone colour is exemplary and the piano sound is warm and rounded … I recommend these discs to those wishing to acquaint themselves with some of Ravel’s lesser-known piano works as well as the more popular favourites' (Pianist)

'This is revelatory playing … Hewitt is never anything other than stimulating, probing, characterful and sensitive to both the individual nuance and broader perspective of each piece' (International Piano)

'she gets beneath the exotic surfaces of these pieces to expose their compelling musical structures' (Music Week)

'With these magnificent pieces, ranging from the well-known Gaspard de la Nuit to real curiosities, Hewitt proves her point: her colour range is vast, her touch compelling' (The Sunday Express)

'The restrained gestures, the delicate melodic ornaments, the harpsichord-like figurations, the subtle dance rhythms, the finely-balanced and beautifully engineered structures: Hewitt’s attention to such exquisite details is perfect' (MusicWeb International)

'Ravishingly beautiful and artistically satisfying … the whole is an offering not to be missed' (Musical Opinion)

'Hewitt’s finest work in this collection easily ranks with the catalog’s top contenders and deserves serious consideration' (ClassicsToday.com)

'ce qu’on observe d’abord en écoutant son intégrale Ravel, c’est son exactitude, sa précision, sa fidélité au texte' (Le Monde de la Musique, France)

'Revelatory playing that comprehensively challenges current perceived standards of Ravel keyboard interpretation to set alongside the greatest of the past masters … a landmark set that offers unbound opportunities to learn, discover and delight in' (Piano, Germany)

Jeux d'eau
composer
November 1901; first performed by Ricardo Viñes on 5 April 1902

Jeux d'eau  [5'42]

Other recordings available for download
Steven Osborne (piano)
Artur Pizarro (piano)
Eileen Joyce (piano)
Walter Gieseking (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Ravel marked himself out from most of his colleagues in his refusal to engage with Wagner—a great composer certainly, but dangerous as a model. Instead, he turned to Liszt, whom he regarded for one thing as a better orchestrator and, for another, as a piano composer on whom he could build. His Jeux d’eau, finished in November 1901 and premiered by Ricardo Viñes on 5 April the following year, obviously invites comparison with Liszt’s Les jeux d’eaux à la villa d’Este, and Ravel, asked how it should be played, answered ‘like Liszt, of course’. The epigraph, ‘Dieu fluvial riant de l’eau qui le chatouille’ (River god laughing at the water that tickles him), is taken from a poem by Henri de Régnier, who inscribed it on the earliest autograph of the piece: in fact the ‘Dieu’ of the quotation refers to the goddess Latona sitting naked on the back of a tortoise, as depicted on a fountain at Versailles. When the young pianist Henriette Faure played it to Ravel after the First World War, he complained: ‘Your fountains are sad ones.’ She repeated it, ‘thinking happy thoughts, so as to turn what I had previously thought was a meditation into a sparkling divertissement’. Ravel was content … and was quick to realize that he had found a new style of piano writing, to the point that he questioned the primacy in this area of Debussy, ‘who at the beginning of 1902 … had written only the three pieces Pour le piano [which], from the purely pianistic point of view, say nothing really new’.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2011


Other albums featuring this work
'Eileen Joyce – The complete Parlophone & Columbia solo recordings' (APR7502)
Eileen Joyce – The complete Parlophone & Columbia solo recordings
MP3 £16.49FLAC £16.49ALAC £16.49 APR7502  5CDs Download only  
'Ravel: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 1' (CKD290)
Ravel: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 1
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 CKD290  Download only  
'Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDA67731/2)
Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music
'Walter Gieseking – The complete Homocord recordings and other rarities' (APR6013)
Walter Gieseking – The complete Homocord recordings and other rarities
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99 APR6013  2CDs for the price of 1 — Download only  

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