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It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!
1 Considering this piece was written in 1905, it demonstrates how "fully-formed" Ravel was as a composer by age 30. And since it predates "Iberia" by a couple of years, it makes me wonder whether Albeniz knew of this piece and incorporated some of the unique pianistic pyrotechnics into his magnum opus. Or, vice versa -- whether Ravel was very familiar with Albeniz's compositions and sought to exemplify some of their most attractive features.
2 For my taste, Pisarenko's approach is well-nigh perfect -- virtually no pedal at all; rhythmically incisive; play "what's written" without any obvious interpretive interjections. Although in general I dislike lumping together Debussy and Ravel (because they had quite different, close to competing aesthetic visions), they both had the common feature of providing quite detailed and clear instructions in their piano scores. And Pisarenko's virtuosic "chops" are so high that he can shape every line amidst the prodigious technical demands and provide the unique Ravel "shimmer".
His concerto for two pianos is pure magic. The end of the first mov't sets the stage for the opening melody in the 2nd mov't and makes it seems almost inevitable. One of Poulenc's many moments of genius!
At uni I sang in an informal performance of the Gloria, and several years later accompanied it on piano for a church performance. Alas, the piano reduction cannot possibly do justice to Poulenc's ingenious orchestration.
I have also accompanied several of his songs. They deserve a place in any singer's repertoire.
I find Pisarenko's Ravel (also his Barque) quite faultless, that is: clean and virtuosic and stylish and all that it has to be. I like Lipatti more, and Richter and Gilels, they mess about more, but they have 'Soul', Ravel must have liked that.