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Thread: Maurice Ravel

  1. #26
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Are you talking about the Ravel Edition Box on Decca from 2012?
    Yeah. I just remembered I also have the Louis Lortie 2 disc Ravel piano set. The version in the box is by Jean Thibaudet.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Tag team match: Pelléas & Mélisande vs. Daphnis & Chloë!
    I know Daphnis MUCH better, but there is very little I would take over it. My Debussy Pelléas chops are admittedly not that sharp. Not only one of Ravel's masterpieces, but one of the greatest pieces written in the 20th century imo.
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarThrower View Post
    Yeah. I just remembered I also have the Louis Lortie 2 disc Ravel piano set. The version in the box is by Jean Thibaudet.
    Yes, correct. Kudos on owning that set! I don't have that set but I do own the Thibaudet set alone, which is really quite outstanding (I bought it before the Decca box was released). Another great solo piano set that I can highly recommend is Angela Hewitt's (on Hyperion). She is renowned for her Bach keyboard works, but her Ravel set is magnifique! It always amazes me how different interpretations of this music can have such a profound effect on the listener, even something that I have heard a gazillion times such as Pavane pour une infante défunte; who takes it slightly more staccato, slight variances in tempi, etc make such a big difference.
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  4. #29
    I used to be a big Ravel fan, but not quite so much anymore. My tastes have shifted much more toward the atonal and polytonal.

    Of course "Daphnis and Chloe" still holds up quite well for me. It could be the earliest piece of classical music that I still like. I also enjoy his piano concerto every once in a while.

    I hate, and have always hated "Bolero". Ravel himself was hardly a fan.

    A 15 minute crescendo, with the same 2 themes repeated 8 times each. What's not to dislike?
    And if there were a god, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Russell

  5. #30
    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    This is from a 17 CD box I picked up for under 20 dollars.



    https://www.amazon.com/Marcelle-Meye.../dp/B00PD476SM

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarThrower View Post
    This is from a 17 CD box I picked up for under 20 dollars.
    I went straight for her Gaspard ii. Le Gibet......wonderful interpretation. The more haunting this movement is played, the better imo. That pedal tone throughout is magical. And he (Ravel) superimposes these chords over the top of this, creating a colorful cascade of moods and pictures. Genius movement. Thanks Reid, I will explore more of her set.
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  7. #32
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    I bought the Meyer set when I was on a baroque keyboard kick, but it's filled with loads of wonderful music.

  8. #33
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    R-2544998-1289756189.jpeg.jpg

    Reid, have you ever heard this disc? My Desert island Le Tombeau (orchestrated) and Ma Mer L'oye (suite). Unfortunately its not the full ballet of Ma Mere, but what is there is not to be beat from all of the recordings that I've heard and own (which is a shitload). The big crescendo in iii. Menuet (on Le Tombeau) is total goosebumps, the best on record. It seems like its difficult to find these days, even Amazon doesn't have any used copies anymore and its definitely OOP. I got it from BMG way back in the day and glad I did.
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by StarThrower View Post
    I bought the Meyer set when I was on a baroque keyboard kick, but it's filled with loads of wonderful music.
    Sweet. Didn't know you binged on that.
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  10. #35
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Ma Mer L'oye (suite).
    Heard Esa-Pekka Salonen conduct this last year, on a program with the (complete) Firebird. Stravinsky and Ravel--along with Mahler, pretty much my Holy Trinitron.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Heard Esa-Pekka Salonen conduct this last year, on a program with the (complete) Firebird. Stravinsky and Ravel--along with Mahler, pretty much my Holy Trinitron.
    Wow! I'm right there with 'ya on that lot. What Mahler did they perform? Was it the LA Phil?

    PS - If you add Ives and Sibelius, then that is basically mine. Although you can add a pinch of Shostakovich and Ligeti too.
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    R-2544998-1289756189.jpeg.jpg

    Reid, have you ever heard this disc? My Desert island Le Tombeau (orchestrated) and Ma Mer L'oye (suite). Unfortunately its not the full ballet of Ma Mere, but what is there is not to be beat from all of the recordings that I've heard and own (which is a shitload). The big crescendo in iii. Menuet (on Le Tombeau) is total goosebumps, the best on record. It seems like its difficult to find these days, even Amazon doesn't have any used copies anymore and its definitely OOP. I got it from BMG way back in the day and glad I did.
    I enjoyed the CD excerpts you uploaded.

  13. #38
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Wow! I'm right there with 'ya on that lot. What Mahler did they perform? Was it the LA Phil?
    He was guest-conducting the San Francisco Symphony. No Mahler on that gig; I was just saying that those are the Big Three that come to mind first when I list my favorites.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    Sweet. Didn't know you binged on that.
    I didn't for very long. I'm not really a baroque music listener. I like the expressiveness of modern music. I did end up with some nice Glenn Gould CD sets in the process.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Debussy is the master, but Ravel is the more adventurous apprentice.
    Good analysis! I'm of the same opinion!

    The two classical pieces I remember I liked at a very early age (pre-school) are Beethoven's fifth and Bolero. I believe I share that with many! Many years later, learning Syrinx on the flute, I got hooked on Debussy - I still am. Debussy and Ravel have remained on my top 5 list (the other three are interchangeable )

    Talking Le tombeau de Couperin, one of my favourite compositions, I fell for it while listening to a CD where it was played quite slowly, with a serene feel to it - however I lost the specific CD. When I tried other recordings (didn't find the same version I lost), I was terrified by the sped up tempo that most recordings have - and I can't cope... I think that particular love for a particular piece depends so much on connecting with the interpretation - tempo, dynamics, phrasing. Specifically with those "impressionist" works, the interpretation is so crucial.
    Last edited by hFx; 08-14-2018 at 05:36 PM.
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by hFx View Post
    Good analysis! I'm of the same opinion!

    The two classical pieces I remember I liked at a very early age (pre-school) are Beethoven's fifth and Bolero. I believe I share that with many! Many years later, learning Syrinx on the flute, I got hooked on Debussy - I still am. Debussy and Ravel have remained on my top 5 list (the other three are interchangeable )

    Talking Le tombeau de Couperin, one of my favourite compositions, I fell for it while listening to a CD where it was played quite slowly, with a serene feel to it - however I lost the specific CD. When I tried other recordings (didn't find the same version I lost), I was terrified by the sped up tempo that most recordings have - and I can't cope... I think that particular love for a particular piece depends so much on connecting with the interpretation - tempo, dynamics, phrasing. Specifically with those "impressionist" works, the interpretation is so crucial.
    So glad to see some Ravel fans, even if we number in the 5's or 6's

    Hey, Uncle Frank lists him as a influence in the Freak Out! liner notes, and that did have an impact on me being such an FZ freak - if Zappa loved Varese, Bartok, Stravinsky, Webern, and Ravel, then in my mind those cats had to be worth checking out. When I found out he covered "Bolero" in 1988, I was thrilled, and it was just around the time when I heard Ravel for the first time - when I heard The Best Band album for the first time.

    hFx - I totally agree with what you are saying about tempi, mood, phrasing in this music....those aspects have such a profound impact on both Debussy and Ravel. It's the classical music "curse" of having to buy multiple versions of the same piece in order to find "the one". Non-classical fans have some difficulty wrapping their heads on occasion around this concept of searching out multiple versions. Sort of O/T but while I remember - if you guys love Debussy's Preludes (I and II), then I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Paul Jacob's recording on Nonesuch. It is an incredible performance and the sonics are equally as good. It's my go-to of that piece, and I feel like I will never need to find another version, even with Aimard, Michaelangeli, Pollini as competitors, although there is a newer recording with Marc-Andre Hamelin that has become my number two.

    hFx - Back to Le Tombeau - I am right with you in regards to this being one of my favorite pieces of music, period. I remember driving around the Burgundy region in 2004 on our honeymoon through the winding country vineyard roads playing Le Tombeau on repeat mode - it still brings me back. I am going to post the entire orcheswtrated version here, and I want your impression (well, all of you actually) on this particular version. It was recorded in 1994 by Sir Neville Marriner/Academy of St Martin of The Fields on the German label Hänssler Classic. It's my desert island orchestral version, total bliss and perfection in every which way. I own many, many versions but this is the one I would choose if I had to whittle it down to just one choice. Please let me know what you think, especially of the gorgeous Menuet movement. I'll post on the next one down here.
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  17. #42
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    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  18. #43
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    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  19. #44
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    A taste of the Paul Jacob's remarkable Preludes recording.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    A few points about this piece:

    1) How amazing is the part written for just the left hand?

    2) I love the range of the piano part since it favors the lower half of the keyboard

    3) How great is the very beginning of the piece with that nasty contrabassoon or whatever the fuck it is?

    4) I am normally not a huge fan of concertos, but I absolutely love both of the piano concertos since he incorporates the keyboard so well - its not just a wankfest yet rather beautifully balanced pieces that are as equally as much about the composition itself as the solo written material

    5) I like Ravel
    Funny I just watched a BBC Proms concert with the National Youth Orchestra playing the Piano Concerto for Left Hand on Sunday evening via vpn. I think my favourite piece by Ravel is his almost throwaway piece Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet. He wrote this as an exercise in chamber orchestration and lost the score for years. It is simply exquisite.


    On Bolero - what's not to like???? It is an absolute masterpiece of orchestration where the melody is passed around the orchestra as the tension rises and the harmonies become more bizarre - a result of Ravel's studying some techniques of Stravinsky. A pure masterpiece.

  21. #46
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    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  22. #47
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    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jake View Post
    On Bolero - what's not to like???? It is an absolute masterpiece of orchestration where the melody is passed around the orchestra as the tension rises and the harmonies become more bizarre - a result of Ravel's studying some techniques of Stravinsky. A pure masterpiece.
    During the crescendo at it's premiere a woman purportedly stood up and shouted "Au fou! Au fou!"

    The madman! The madman!

    (I heard something like this during The Ancient at MSG in February 1974. Steve Howe kept on playing.)

    When Ravel was told of the reaction he said "That woman, she understands."

    I guess otherwise the premiere of the piece went reasonably well.
    Last edited by Frankh; 08-15-2018 at 04:30 AM.
    Perhaps finding the happy medium is harder than we know.

  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post


    A taste of the Paul Jacob's remarkable Preludes recording.
    Preludes is ridiculously good. I have the Claudio Arrau interpretation, which I adore, but I think I will delve into Jacobs' soon enough. It sounds like 20% slower than the Chilean one, but really interesting.

    But Frank, you need to spend some time with Pelleas et Melisande. In my opinion there lies Debussy's most beautiful music. No words to describe it.

    Maybe it's time to return to some "classical" music myself. I've been away for decades, for no particular reason. Maybe I am afraid that if I return, it will be the end to my prog days.

  25. #50
    Member hFx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I want your impression (well, all of you actually) on this particular version. It was recorded in 1994 by Sir Neville Marriner/Academy of St Martin of The Fields on the German label Hänssler Classic. It's my desert island orchestral version, total bliss and perfection in every which way. I own many, many versions but this is the one I would choose if I had to whittle it down to just one choice. Please let me know what you think, especially of the gorgeous Menuet movement. I'll post on the next one down here.
    A very musical performance and beautiful recording. Again I have my preference cemented to that lost CD - can't even remember the label. The interpretations are slightly different. Most noteworthy are that the "feel" in the first two parts are interchanged. On "my" recording the Prelude is 10-15% slower and serene, similar to the feel of the Forlane in the Marriner/ASIF-recording. Yet again "my" Forlane is light and almost bouncy - just like the Prelude is when played by Marriner/ASIF

    However, the Menuet are quite similar as far as I remember. Maybe I would actually prefer Marriner/ASIF as the performances feel more (rightfully) solemn and soulful, albeit a bit oh the slow side. The final Rigaudon is also similar between the two versions.

    I do wish I could get my hands and ears over that particular CD once again.
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