Hyperion Records

Tzigane 'Rapsodie de concert'
composer
1924; begun in 1922 after the composer heard Hungarian gyspy music played Jelly d'Arányi, who gave the first performance in London in April 1924

Recordings
'Ravel: Complete music for violin & piano' (CDA67820)
Ravel: Complete music for violin & piano
Details
Track 8 on CDA67820 [9'56]

Tzigane 'Rapsodie de concert'
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At the end of June 1922 Ravel went to London with the pianist Robert Casadesus and his wife Gaby to make some recordings for the Aeolian company. He was also able to hear the first British performance of his Duo for violin and cello in which the violinist was the Hungarian Jelly d’Arányi. Afterwards, he got d’Arányi to play him some gypsy folk music and, according to Gaby: ‘D’Arányi, being Hungarian, didn’t need to be asked twice and played passionately for at least two hours without stopping. She was sensational and Ravel was mad with joy … very shortly afterwards Tzigane was born.’ D’Arányi gave the first performance in April 1924 in London. The piece adopts the slow/fast (lassú/friss) form of the csárdás, the slow section being for violin alone. In imitating the gypsy style—harmonics, trills, glissandos, appoggiaturas, hesitations and passages in high positions on the lower strings—Ravel may have left something of himself behind, but as pastiche it is undeniably brilliant, drawing some of its ideas from Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies and Paganini’s Caprices. When d’Arányi was rehearsing for a performance with orchestra in Paris that November, she is said to have introduced what she called a ‘glissando with trills’. Ravel supposedly confided to a friend, ‘I don’t know what she’s doing, but I like it.’

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2011

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