Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 53

Thread: Which Ravel Piano Concerto Do You Prefer?

  1. #31
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    1,810
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    While both are masterpieces and "must hears" for anyone even slightly interested in Ravel's music (and I have been a lot more than slightly interested for nearly my entire life), if I had to rank them (and I don't), I'd give the edge to the Concerto for the left hand, because it is so utterly unique and stands so far apart in conception and execution from anything else I know of in the standard piano repertoire.

    Edit: I have to add that this concept of deciding which is better by determining which has the better bassoon part has a certain basic appeal.
    Last edited by fluteman; Jun-01-2020 at 02:02.

  2. #32
    Senior Member Orfeo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    Posts
    2,072
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    Concerto for the Left Hand. The slow, subterranean mutterings in the beginning that inexorably grow and rise toward the surface, then finally break through into a paean of fierce, almost manic assertion. This is the Ravel of La Valse, the Daybreak Music of Daphnis, the climax of Bolero--a different Ravel than the "Swiss watchmaker" of perhaps some other of his works. Plus I find there is not a false note, a wrong note, anywhere in the concerto.

    I also dearly love the G-major concerto. Ravel was, for me, an amazingly successful composer.
    I have to ditto that. The beginning of that wonderful concerto is especially arresting.
    David A. Hollingsworth (dholling)

    ~All good art is about something deeper than it admits.
    Roger Ebert

  3. Likes Strange Magic liked this post
  4. #33
    Senior Member MrMeatScience's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Oxford
    Posts
    161
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    As much as I love the slow movement of the G major (maybe my favorite thing Ravel ever wrote), I think that I enjoy the Left Hand Concerto more as a whole. I've been itching to play that contrabassoon solo for years, but have never had the opportunity.
    Last edited by MrMeatScience; Jun-02-2020 at 02:00. Reason: spelling

  5. Likes Strange Magic, Knorf, brunumb liked this post
  6. #34
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    2,882
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorf View Post
    I played the combined parts in the 3rd movement, because the 2nd wasn't up for it given the rehearsal time we had.
    Yes, I always play both parts....tried it once with the parts divvied up as written, but rehearsal was a mess, the 2nd player kept flubbing it, coming in late, etc....best to play both parts, jump in and go, straight thru......

  7. Likes arpeggio, Knorf liked this post
  8. #35
    Senior Member arpeggio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Burke, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    3,361
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I hate the pros. I can not do any of those bassoon parts

    I do have the contra part for the Left Hand. I can play that.

    I like them both. I do not understand why we need to prefer one over the other.
    Last edited by arpeggio; Jun-02-2020 at 17:41.
    It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious. And I am a very ingenious fellow

  9. #36
    Senior Member consuono's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Posts
    537
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    While both are masterpieces and "must hears" for anyone even slightly interested in Ravel's music (and I have been a lot more than slightly interested for nearly my entire life), if I had to rank them (and I don't), I'd give the edge to the Concerto for the left hand, because it is so utterly unique and stands so far apart in conception and execution from anything else I know of in the standard piano repertoire.
    ...
    I actually admire them both. One "sentimental" factor the Left Hand concerto has going for it is that it was written for a pianist who had lost his right arm. So yes, it's highly unusual.

  10. Likes fluteman liked this post
  11. #37
    Senior Member SONNET CLV's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Paradise, Montana ... on
    Posts
    2,751
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Though I likely have listened to the second movement of the Two-handed Concerto more often than I've listened to the Left-handed Concerto complete through, I've listened to the Left-handed Concerto straight through more often than I've listened to the Two-handed concerto from beginning to end. I don't know what that means, but I suspect that if you held a contrabassoon up to my hear and threatened to blow into it if I didn't make a choice, I'd go with the Left-handed Concerto.

    I have always wondered what Ravel would have produced had he written a Right-handed Concerto to go with his Left-handed Concerto and his Two-handed Concerto.

    In any case, I suppose that if I were a concert pianist, I would much prefer the Two-handed Concerto. It seems the kind of work one could practice while doing other important things, like: eating a sandwich, drinking a beer, writing a letter, painting … or maybe practicing a Right-handed Concerto at the same time!

  12. #38
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    15,200
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by consuono View Post
    I actually admire them both. One "sentimental" factor the Left Hand concerto has going for it is that it was written for a pianist who had lost his right arm. So yes, it's highly unusual.
    The left hand concerto was commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein, a concert pianist who had lost his right arm in the First World War. The relationship between him and the composer was anything but smooth. Although at first Wittgenstein did not take to its jazz-influenced rhythms and harmonies, he grew to like the piece. When Ravel first heard Wittgenstein play the concerto at a private concert in the French embassy in Vienna, he was furious. 'He heard lines taken from the orchestral part and added to the solo, harmonies changed, parts added, bars cut and at the end a newly created series of great swirling arpeggios in the final cadenza. The composer was beside himself with indignation and disbelief.' Later Wittgenstein agreed to perform the concerto as written, and the two men patched up their differences, 'but the whole episode left a bitter taste in both their mouths'.
    Wittgenstein also commissioned other left hand works by Prokofiev and Britten among others

  13. Likes fluteman liked this post
  14. #39
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Nova Caesarea
    Posts
    5,064
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The Wittgenstein Brothers were always troublemakers--constantly arguing with somebody.

  15. Likes Eclectic Al, fluteman liked this post
  16. #40
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    1,810
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    The left hand concerto was commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein, a concert pianist who had lost his right arm in the First World War. The relationship between him and the composer was anything but smooth. Although at first Wittgenstein did not take to its jazz-influenced rhythms and harmonies, he grew to like the piece. When Ravel first heard Wittgenstein play the concerto at a private concert in the French embassy in Vienna, he was furious. 'He heard lines taken from the orchestral part and added to the solo, harmonies changed, parts added, bars cut and at the end a newly created series of great swirling arpeggios in the final cadenza. The composer was beside himself with indignation and disbelief.' Later Wittgenstein agreed to perform the concerto as written, and the two men patched up their differences, 'but the whole episode left a bitter taste in both their mouths'.
    Wittgenstein also commissioned other left hand works by Prokofiev and Britten among others
    Ravel, like Debussy, apparently did not appreciate performers taking liberties with his scores. The funny thing is, their music, especially their music for piano, often has a free, improvisational feel to it without any actual improvisation by the soloist.

  17. Likes Knorf liked this post
  18. #41
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    772
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Is someone keeping track of the votes? It would be interesting to see what the result of this poll is.

  19. #42
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    348
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Left hand for me. Just because it seems more original.
    If the G major concerto didn't exist we would have lost a lovely piano concerto.
    If the left hand concerto didn't exist we would have lost something more unique.
    Love both, though.

  20. Likes Strange Magic, fluteman liked this post
  21. #43
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    348
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    By the way, on the G major, I have recordings by Argerich, Michelangeli and Roge to hand. Anyone got any preferences on this?
    I only have the Roge performance of the left hand concerto, although I prefer it. Does that say something about recording preferences?

  22. #44
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    348
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Oh, I'm just listening to the slow movement of the G major concerto, and it is one of the loveliest things in 20th century music.
    But I still think that the left hand concerto is my favourite concerto, in part because so much of Ravel's piano music is among the loveliest things in 20th century music. Most underrated 20th century composer?

  23. #45
    Senior Member Knorf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    1,381
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Here's a recording I absolutely adore of the Ravel Concertos (plus the Debussy Fantaisie which I love, and some Massanet solo piano music which made no impression). Like many recent recordings, it's not mentioned as often as it deserves. It's absolutely competitive with the usual favorites, such as Argerich/Abbado.


  24. Likes Eclectic Al, fluteman liked this post
Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •