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Thread: Ravel Piano Works?

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    Senior Member StlukesguildOhio's Avatar
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    Default Ravel Piano Works?

    While I have several recordings of most of Ravel's music... including a number of his piano concertos (Samson François & Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli being absolutely essential) I must admit to having no recordings of Ravel's complete solo piano works beyond those by Walter Gieseking. I am now looking for a more contemporary recording. I quite admire Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's recordings of Debussy's piano fare... and I quite like what I am hearing as I currently listen on Spotify to Alexandre Tharaud.

    Anyone have any recordings beyond these they especially admire/recommend?

    Last edited by StlukesguildOhio; Nov-21-2016 at 02:49.
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    I enjoy Jean-Yves Thibaudet's recordings of Ravel's Miroirs and Gaspard. His style of playing is precise and elegant. I feel that his restrained approach works well for Ravel's music.

    If you're interested in hearing a more romantic interpretation of Ravel, then you might prefer Martha Argerich. She brings a great deal of passion and fire to her performances of Ravel, especially in the G Major piano concerto.

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    Senior Member Chronochromie's Avatar
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    Vlado Perlemuter and Gwendolyn Mok are the ones I usually listen to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettina View Post
    I enjoy Jean-Yves Thibaudet's recordings of Ravel's Miroirs and Gaspard. His style of playing is precise and elegant. I feel that his restrained approach works well for Ravel's music.

    If you're interested in hearing a more romantic interpretation of Ravel, then you might prefer Martha Argerich. She brings a great deal of passion and fire to her performances of Ravel, especially in the G Major piano concerto.
    Ahhh! The G Major Concerto. One of my all time favorite slow movements!
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    The concertos played by Krystian Zimerman/ Boulez.
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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    The concertos played by Krystian Zimerman/ Boulez.
    I agree with these being essential recordings of the concertos, as well as the ones mentioned in the OP. For the solo piano music my favorite complete set is the one by Pascal Roge.

    I really like Pierre-Laurent Aimard's Ravel but he has not recorded all of the solo piano pieces to my knowledge. His Miroirs is on the Decca Ravel Complete Edition.
    Last edited by tdc; Nov-21-2016 at 21:20.

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    I have the Louis Lortie set on Chandos. Great sound and solid playing. I also have the Ravel Edition on Decca which features Jean-Yves Thibaudet. I like his Satie playing too. There's a 6 CD set that sell for around 15 dollars.
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I have the Louis Lortie set on Chandos. Great sound and solid playing. I also have the Ravel Edition on Decca which features Jean-Yves Thibaudet. I like his Satie playing too. There's a 6 CD set that sell for around 15 dollars.
    I recently transferred from Rogé to Lortie, partly because I prefer his playing and also because it's more complete. His Miroirs is sublime, though the way he plays the prelude from Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin really bothers me. Feels far too robotic in some places. The rest is fantastic, however.

    For Gaspard I always pop over to Grosvenor's CD despite it not containing his complete works.

    I really wish Bavouzet's recording of his complete works was on Spotify. I've only ever heard good things about it but sadly it isn't on there so I have to settle for Lortie.
    Last edited by Medtnaculus; Nov-22-2016 at 01:42.

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    The Gaspard by Pogorelich is the most trilling for me.
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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medtnaculus View Post
    I recently transferred from Rogé to Lortie, partly because I prefer his playing and also because it's more complete. His Miroirs is sublime, though the way he plays the prelude from Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin really bothers me. Feels far too robotic in some places. The rest is fantastic, however.
    I don't know about robotic? He uses a more pronounced staccato phrasing in places, but he tempers it with a liberal use of dynamics. Everybody plays differently. And after listening to umpteen versions on YouTube, I can say that Lortie has one of the better piano sounds, and his timing is impeccable. Other pianists were recorded poorly, or fluctuate in tempo too much.

    Edit: Listening to Bavouzet now. He sounds great! His superb technique and touch makes it sound effortless. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3-8Boz7iSM
    Last edited by starthrower; Nov-22-2016 at 17:48.
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    Mok plays on an Erard, an old type of concert piano that Liszt and Ravel preferred for its clarity and characterfulness. Probably worth checking out, though the inadequate recording and playback tech in our use make the differences perhaps less than remarkable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I don't know about robotic? He uses a more pronounced staccato phrasing in places, but he tempers it with a liberal use of dynamics. Everybody plays differently. And after listening to umpteen versions on YouTube, I can say that Lortie has one of the better piano sounds, and his timing is impeccable. Other pianists were recorded poorly, or fluctuate in tempo too much.

    Edit: Listening to Bavouzet now. He sounds great! His superb technique and touch makes it sound effortless. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3-8Boz7iSM
    I like Lortie's Ravel just fine, the Bavouzet you posted is the first I've heard of his Ravel and I like it. I'm listening to Alexandre Tharaud's Ravel now, and it also seems pretty darn good. The Thibaudet Ravel on the Decca set is the one that sounds odd to me rhythmically, I haven't been able to get into it. Argerich sounds pretty good playing some things like Jeux D'eau, but she doesn't seem to nail the rhythmic subtleties in general to my ears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronochromie View Post
    Vlado Perlemuter and Gwendolyn Mok are the ones I usually listen to.
    I haven't listened to much of Mok's Ravel, chordalrock's comment is interesting but on youtube I couldn't hear much difference in terms of the actual piano sound and not really a big deal but noticed she was using the sheet music while playing Miroirs.

    I will have to try to find a better recording.

    As far as Perlemuter - older sounding recordings, but excellent playing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF2QSx25DLQ

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    Marcelle Meyer. Paul Crossley.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdc View Post
    I haven't listened to much of Mok's Ravel, chordalrock's comment is interesting but on youtube I couldn't hear much difference in terms of the actual piano sound and not really a big deal but noticed she was using the sheet music while playing Miroirs.

    I will have to try to find a better recording.

    As far as Perlemuter - older sounding recordings, but excellent playing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF2QSx25DLQ
    He also made a more recent one in 1979.

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