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Track(s) taken from CDA67341/2

Menuet antique

1895; published in 1898; first performed by Ricardo Viñes on 18 April 1898

Angela Hewitt (piano)
Recording details: August 2001
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Ludger Böckenhoff
Engineered by Ludger Böckenhoff
Release date: April 2002
Total duration: 6 minutes 29 seconds

Cover artwork: Near St Tropez (1892) by Hubert de la Rochefoucauld
Galerie L'Ergasterre, Paris / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Steven Osborne (piano)
Artur Pizarro (piano)


'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' (Classics Today)

'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)
The spirit of Chabrier lies behind the central section of the Menuet antique of 1895, the first of Ravel’s works to be published (in 1898). The piece’s ‘antiquity’ comes out in the flattened leading notes of cadences. Altogether more modern, and Ravelian, are the harmonic scrunches, beginning with the very first chord, that lend impetus to the imitative lines which follow. Rhythmically too, Ravel plays games with the minuet form, often grouping his phrases in twos rather than threes.

The first public performance of the Menuet was given on 18 April 1898 by a pianist and friend who was to prove an invaluable champion of Ravel’s music for most of the next decade. Ricardo Viñes, a Spaniard who had become a friend of Ravel at the Conservatoire, was a brilliant pianist with an exceptional range of keyboard colours (according to one acquaintance, ‘an express bar of delights’).

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2011

Chabrier se cache derrière la partie centrale du Menuet antique de 1895, la première œuvre de Ravel publiée (en 1898). «L’antiquité» de ce morceau transparaît dans les appogiatures bémolisées des cadences. Les crissements harmoniques sont beaucoup plus modernes et tout à fait ravéliens, à commencer par le tout premier accord, qui donne de l’élan aux lignes imitatives suivantes. En outre, sur le plan rythmique, Ravel joue un petit jeu avec la forme menuet, groupant souvent ses phrases par deux plutôt que par trois.

La première exécution publique du Menuet a été donnée le 18 avril 1898 par un pianiste et ami qui allait s’avérer être un champion inestimable de la musique de Ravel pendant la majeure partie de la décennie suivante. Ricardo Viñes, un Espagnol qui s’était lié d’amitié avec Ravel au Conservatoire, était un pianiste brillant doté d’un éventail exceptionnel de couleurs pianistiques (selon un ami, «un express-bar de délices»).

extrait des notes rédigées par Roger Nichols © 2011
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Chabrier steht hinter dem zentralen Teil des Menuet antique von 1895, Ravels erstem veröffentlichten Werk (1898). Der „antike“ Aspekt des Stücks äußert sich in den erniedrigten Leittönen der Kadenzen. Insgesamt moderner, und ravelscher, sind die knirschenden Harmonien, die mit dem allerersten Akkord beginnen und den folgenden imitativen Linien Antrieb verleihen. Auch was den Rhythmus anbelangt, spielt Ravel mit der Menuett-Form und ordnet seine Phrasen oft in Zweier- anstatt in Dreiergruppen an.

Die erste öffentliche Aufführung des Menuet wurde am 18. April 1898 von einem Pianisten und Freund gegeben, der sich in der folgenden Dekade als unschätzbarer Verfechter der Musik Ravels entpuppen sollte. Der Spanier Ricardo Viñes, der sich am Conservatoire mit Ravel angefreundet hatte, war ein brillanter Pianist, der über eine außergewöhnliche Palette an Klangfarben verfügte („eine Express-Bar der Köstlichkeiten“, wie ein Bekannter es ausdrückte).

aus dem Begleittext von Roger Nichols © 2011
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Ravel: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 2
Studio Master: CKD315Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music
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