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
MP3 £8.00FLAC £10.00ALAC £10.00 CKD290  Download only  
'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
'Stephen Hough's French Album' (CDA67890)
Stephen Hough's French Album
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
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Details for CKD290 track 7
Oiseaux tristes
Artists
ISRC
GB-ASH-07-29007
Duration
4'27
Recording date
29 September 2006
Recording venue
Teatro São Luíz, Lisbon, Portugal
Recording producer
Philip Hobbs
Recording engineer
Philip Hobbs
Hyperion usage
  1. Ravel: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 1 (CKD290)
    Disc 1 Track 7
    Release date: February 2007
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