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Hi,

For a friend, I'm asked to identify a pianist who has recorded the complete solo works of Ravel and is highly regarded for their interpretations of his music. Whom do you recommend?

Kindly don't give me a lecture about what an imperfect approach this is to purchasing recordings. I may agree with you, but I'm just the messenger.

Thank you.

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They have to be French of course. Quite a few to choose from.

My favorites are Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

Why is this an imperfect approach to purchasing recordings? I'm always right......... smirk


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Samson François. My piano teacher at uni was particularly fond of his Ravel, and certainly there is a lot to savor in his recording of the complete works. IMHO I haven't heard a better Ravel D major concerto.

He could be a bit unkempt at times (his Liszt A major is nowhere near as tidy as Richter), but he brings such a 'bon vivant' approach that one can't help getting swept up in the spontaneity of it all. He made his debut -do not recall where- with Prokofiev 5 (an interesting choice), and if it was anything like his recording, that must have been quite a concert. Alas, he had demons to deal with, and we lost him too soon.

Perlemuter is admired by many -and I wish I could play that well at his age- but I don't find much of interest. My local classical station occasionally plays recordings of Perlemuter.


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My favorite is also Jean-Yves Thibaudet. I love the tones he brings out.



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I prefer the set by Alexandre Tharaud. It is very fluid and expressive. But at the end choosing a version is quite personal so difficult to advise when one knows nothing of the person. There are a couple of other recordings besides the excellent ones already mentionned: JP Collard (poor recording quality) and Bertrand Chamoyou. Also an old set by Walter Gieseking but I prefer the newer versions.

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What I think is so amazing about Ravel is that, except for a handful of short and rarely played pieces, he wrote only eight works for solo piano (Pavane for a Dead Princess. Jeux d'eau, Miroirs, Sonatine, Le Tombeau de Couperin, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, Gaspard de la Nuit, La Valse) but they are each so masterful that his reputation as a composer of piano music is very high.

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Entremont.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
What I think is so amazing about Ravel is that, except for a handful of short and rarely played pieces, he wrote only eight works for solo piano (Pavane for a Dead Princess. Jeux d'eau, Miroirs, Sonatine, Le Tombeau de Couperin, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, Gaspard de la Nuit, La Valse) but they are each so masterful that his reputation as a composer of piano music is very high.


I think the Minuet Antique is played often enough to be included in that list, as well. Most of his piano works exist in orchestral versions as well, and it is not always certain which came first.


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What's everyone's opinion of Casadesus?

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Originally Posted by bennevis
They have to be French of course. Quite a few to choose from.

My favorites are Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

Why is this an imperfect approach to purchasing recordings? I'm always right......... smirk


I concur. I'd just mention that I also am very fond of Martha Argerich's interpretation of the Concerto in G, recorded with Abbado on DG.


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Originally Posted by PianoYos
What's everyone's opinion of Casadesus?


He was a great pianist. Wonderful Beethoven violin/piano sonatas full set with Zino Francescatti. His interpretation is typical french classic old school. Clear, well articulated. The recording is old though so sound quality is average but very well done. Modern versions emphasize better the harmonic complexity of these pieces but I think everyone should listen at least once for the architectural consistency and the classic style.

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A couple of pianists not yet mentioned -- Pascal Roge and Eric Himy. Both IMO have a great sense of French style.

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Originally Posted by PianoYos
What's everyone's opinion of Casadesus?

Unfortunately I've never heard his recordings of Ravel -- I'll have to look for them. But I think his Mozart performances may be the best ever recorded.

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Surely, Emil Gilels is part of the discussion, though not sure if he recorded the complete works. Also Walter Gieseking, who did record the complete works.


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I've enjoyed Bertrand Chamoyou aa mentioned above. My favorite in the concerto is Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli.

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1. Jean Yves Thibaudet
2. Alexandre Tharaud
3. Jean Phillipe Collard (I have his complete on LP's only, in wonderful EMI Angel sound)

Tharaud's "Una Barque sur la Ocean" is superb.
For non-French pianists, check out Angela Hewitt's traversal on Hyperion.


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Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
A couple of pianists not yet mentioned -- Pascal Roge and Eric Himy. Both IMO have a great sense of French style.


+1 for Pascal Roge.

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In the late 70s, I was lucky enough to hear Arturo Benedetti Michalangeli playing Gaspard de la Nuit live. It was so incredibly perfect and refined - I don't think I have experienced anything like this ever since.

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André Laplante!

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For me, it's a barely known, absolutely amazing pianist named Francois-Joel Thiollier who records for Naxos. Also recorded many of Debussy's piano work.

Last edited by Opus_Maximus; 07/23/19 02:58 AM.

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