Hyperion Records

Miroirs
composer
1905; first performed by Ricardo Viñes on 6 January 1906

Recordings
'Ravel: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 1' (CKD290)
Ravel: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 1
CKD290  Download only  
'Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDA67341/2)
Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music
Buy by post £20.00 CDA67341/2  2CDs  
'Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music' (CDA67731/2)
Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music
Buy by post £20.00 CDA67731/2  2CDs  
'Stephen Hough's French Album' (CDA67890)
Stephen Hough's French Album
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67890 
Details
Movement 1: Noctuelles
Movement 2: Oiseaux tristes
Movement 3: Une barque sur l'océan
Movement 4: Alborada del gracioso
Movement 5: La vallée des cloches

Miroirs
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In the five pieces entitled Miroirs, written in 1905, Ravel’s compositional technique is clearly at work, but less patently than in the earlier works. The fast appoggiaturas in ‘Noctuelles’ and the sudden spurts of crescendo paint a picture of night moths flitting in the darkness, while the birds of ‘Oiseaux tristes’ utter their short–long call ‘in a very dark forest during the hottest hours of summer’. With ‘Une barque sur l’océan’ we emerge into the daylight. Here is a water piece that escapes the constraints of Jeux d’eau, or at least gives the impression of doing so, riding on a surge of arpeggios from start to finish. Ravel explained that the character of the clown (gracioso) in ‘Alborada del gracioso’ was humorous, but with an edge to him—less well meaning than Beaumarchais’s Figaro—and no doubt the drier tone and lighter action of the Erard pianos Ravel favoured would have accentuated the sharpness of the arpeggiated ‘guitar’ chords and repeated notes. ‘La vallée des cloches’ is the only one of the five pieces that reflects a particular reality, the sound of midday bells in Paris. Ravel demanded that each bell should have its own timbre, ‘within a pianissimo which he could, in some mysterious way, produce without it sounding feeble’. When Viñes gave the first performance of the set on 6 January 1906, ‘Alborada’ was encored.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2011

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDA67731/2 disc 1 track 9
Une barque sur l'océan
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-11-73109
Duration
7'39
Recording date
14 September 2010
Recording venue
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
David Hinitt
Hyperion usage
  1. Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music (CDA67731/2)
    Disc 1 Track 9
    Release date: March 2011
    2CDs
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