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Ravel: Piano Concertos
 
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Ravel: Piano Concertos

Jean-Philippe Collard/Lorin Maazel
28 Nov. 2005 | Format: MP3

£9.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
Song Title Artist
Time
Popularity  
30
1
8:10
30
2
10:16
30
3
3:58
30
4
19:03
30
5
6:22
30
6
5:26
30
7
11:05

Product details

  • Original Release Date: 27 July 2001
  • Release Date: 27 July 2001
  • Label: Mixed Repertoire
  • Copyright: 1986 EMI Records Ltd.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:04:20
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001JA0YRY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 247,887 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 7 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD
This disc, recorded in 1979 and 1980, and then remastered in 1986 is especially notable for the two concertos. Those received rapturous reviews when the recordings first appeared and it has been in my collection ever since in various editions, both LP and CD. I also owned the two record set of the solo piano music but, although well played, this set was sonically inferior having been cut at a very low level and having somewhat wooden piano sound. Regrettably on a musical basis, it did not stay in my collection for those reasons.

The current remastering of the concertos brings the two concertos even more vividly to life and the generally faster tempi and sharply defined rhythms in both the piano and orchestral parts are simply thrilling. This is not the same sort of performance as the famous one by Michelangeli for instance and comparisons with that are not applicable for that is superb too, but from a different perspective.

The three solo piano pieces are as musically satisfying as before and have also benefited from the remastering but it is quite clear that the concertos are a fundamentally far better recorded product. Consequently the concertos are the only items that are played on this disc as there are so many other versions of the solo piano pieces that can be found in my collection, all as satisfying musically and in significantly better sound.

It seems to me that the main reason for buying this disc is for the concertos and so the remaining items are not a major factor in deciding whether or not to buy this disc. The concertos are of such quality that the consideration of additional items and their quality is not of over-riding importance.
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Format: Audio CD
These late analogue recordings (1979) exhibit good balance between piano and orchestra, but both could be a bit more up-front in the aural picture. That's my only reservation, though. Collard and Maazel are very much in synch here, and the orchestral textures are very well realized. In particular, the slow movement of the G-major has the lovely dialogue between piano and cor anglais beautifully balanced and eloquently played, and Collard's grave and steady solo opening (3+ minutes) of the movement establishes the feeling perfectly. The concluding presto movement is dashed off with great spirit. The Concerto for Left Hand is a darker work, and Maazel and Collard establish perfectly the dark mood and the piano's sombre but firm resistance to it, both in the first section and later, when the similar dynamic is set up. Both concertos belong to 1931-32, but it is the left-hand one that seems to catch reminiscences of World War 1 (it was written for Paul Wittgenstein, who lost an arm in the conflict) and perhaps anticipations of the conflict to come. There are late cadenza-like passages that call for real virtuosity for a pianist playing with one hand, and Collard is up to the challenge.

The "fillers" are piano solo accounts of Ravel's "Pavane" and "Jeux D'eau," and a two-piano version of "La Valse," with Michel Beroff at the second piano. The solos are played with unostentatious beauty, but in "La Valse," I had the sense, at least via my headphones, that one piano was more upfront than the other. The playing was fine, though. To sum up -- there are many fine recordings of this music. I'm partial to Lortie, with better sound, on Chandos, but I've read that Thibaudet is also worth hearing. This is worth hearing too, though.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Scriabinmahler TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Dec. 2008
Format: Audio CD
J.P.Collard's rendition of Ravel's Piano Concerto can stand test of time alongside Michelangeli's acclaimed account (Rachmaninov & Ravel - Piano Concertos). His interpretation is straightforward and self-effacing, letting the music speak for itself, yet the power and incomparable elan in his playing lift the music on a different plane. The slow movement is most beautifully played in just right tempo, without overcooked rubatos and with exquisite tonal subtlety. The orchestra matches the pianist's prowess and intensity, providing full grandeur and boisterousness. Concerto for the left hand is equally outstanding and beats most of his rivals.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pike VINE VOICE on 10 Jun. 2010
Format: Audio CD
The Collard-Maazel recording of the Ravel piano concertos stands, in my opinion, head and shoulders above any other performance. Collard has total mastery of the music, making every note count, whilst Maazel does a superb job in making sure that the orchestra doesn't lag behind. The result is a triumph.

With a clear, well-balanced sound, this is a perfect recording in every way. Curiously, after being released in vinyl in the early 1980s, it didn't appear on CD for a long time; perhaps because Collard isn't a household name compared to some of his peers. I'm glad that this has now been rectified and with some bonus solo piano pieces, this is a must for all Ravelians.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Masterful Performances of Essential Ravel 1 Feb. 2003
By Charles Loffredo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Winner of the 1980 Gramophone Award for best concerto, this recording richly deserves the honor. Collard plays the two concerti with virtuostic magnificence, imbuing them with the alternating buoyant jollity and emotional sensitivity required of these idiosyncratic pieces. The adagio of the Concerto in G is particularly arresting in its delicate luminescence. The balance of the disk is comprised of familiar solo piano works, gorgeously rendered, including the four-hand version of La Valse (fascinating if you only know the orchestral). The analog sound quality of the concerti is lush and vibrant, whereas the solo pieces are a bit dry by modern standards. Considering the budget price tag, this is a winning recording.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Solid Ravel Recital 24 Mar. 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
EMI has a talent for combining recordings of the past in such a way that they offer a broader range of a composer's output than that gleaned from buying multiple CDs by varying artists. In this wonderful recording we are allowed to taste the piano music of Ravel as he composed works for solo piano, two pianos, and works for piano and orchestra. The programming aspects of this disc are as rewarding as the very fine performances to which we are introduced.

Opening the 'recital' are the two piano concerti recorded in 1979 with Jean-Philippe Collard as soloist with Lorin Maazel conducting the Orchestra National de France. Collard finds all the jazz motivations of the G major concerto entirely within his grasp along his limpid, straightforward, very French ease with the Adagio assai. The Piano Concerto of Left Hand finds Collard up to the dazzling demands of the piece yet once again equally comfortable in the languid melodies it spins.

Two solo piano works recorded in 1980 - the well-known and elegant 'Pavane pour une infante défunte' and the less often played 'Jeux d'eau' - receive perfect readings by Collard. Then to top off the recital Collard is joined by Michel Beroff for 'La valse, poème choréographique for 2 pianos' in a performance that rivals Ravel's own orchestration of the work for the mood and recreation of the great waltzes of the Austrian court.

The album is wholly satisfying and affordable and should be at the top of the list for those who want echt French readings of Ravel! Grady Harp, March 06
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Fourth Star Lost in the Piano Box... 16 Sept. 2008
By C. Pontus T. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Continue reviewing the Ravel Concertos--arguably the greatest twin pair of concertos in the repertoire--I move on from the sleepy Thibaudet/Dutoit (Jean-Yves Thibaudet - Ravel: Piano Concertos, etc.) to clearly more energetically charged territory. Even if Dutoit commonly finds a great deal of the generous myriad of details and atmosphere in Ravel's refined orchestral textures, he is rather much outplayed in this instance by Maazel. The same holds true for Thibaudet vs Collard, where the latter gets so much more out of the music--superior articulation, greater level of energy and a lot more fun--not to speak of the eternal beauty of the G major second movement (yes, Collard almost make you cry!)

The present disc was highly celebrated by the likes of Gramophone, conquering the 1980 Concerto Award. There is no doubt these performances have their merits. One has to give the Gramophone reviewers that the best Ravel Concerto twin couplings were still to come (Zimerman and Lortie). Having said that, the 1968 Argerich G major and 1978 Gavrilov D major were on the market (my personal killer combination, by the way) and clearly score over Collard/Maazel in all aspect except being coupled on the same disc. (Interesting to note is that Gavrilov in fact received the Gramophone Concerto Award two years earlier.)

This disc indeed is rather close to the four-star category. Ultimately, the utterly weird sound reproduction tips the scales into the lower category. Weird indeed my trying to describe it may ring, but it actually sounds as though the piano was recorded partly separated from the orchestra--as if in a box or perhaps a nearby undersized room. This problem turns even more serious in the one- and two-piano fillers that sadly are more or less sonically ruined--indeed a pity as they are pianistically quite excellent. As a matter of fact, EMI's Salle Wagram recordings generally end up a level or two below its Abbey Road dittos--this disc just supplies further evidence to this fact.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Elegant, very French Ravel at a bargain price--plus a Gramophone winner 10 Jun. 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Jean-Philippe Collard's recording career was largely with French labels (French EMI, Pathe-Marconi), and unitl now I'd never heard him. This budget reissue is highlighted by performances of the two Ravel piano concertos that won a Gramophone Award in 1980. One can hear why: Collard is to the manner born, never resorting to excess, prefectly blending into Ravel's jazzy-soigne idiom for the G major. But he has plenty of power for the Left-Hand Concerto, the more difficult work to bring off, and his reading is totally convincing. In both works he's aided by Maazel, who seems to be at his best in French music.

I am less enthusiastic about the two solo works, both done in a strightforward, rather faceless way where what you want is lots of panache and personality from the painist. The CD ends with a two-piano arrangement of La Valse, with Michel Beroff presumably on second piaano. It's rare to hear this arrangement, and since the other works have been recorded brilliantly many times, this brilliant, percussive performance may tilt some buyers in favor of a purchase. Beware EMI's clangy osund, though.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Arguably the most exciting performances of the concertos 7 Aug. 2013
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This disc, recorded in 1979 and 1980, and then remastered in 1986 is especially notable for the two concertos. Those received rapturous reviews when the recordings first appeared and it has been in my collection ever since in various editions, both LP and CD. I also owned the two record set of the solo piano music but, although well played, this set was sonically inferior having been cut at a very low level and having somewhat wooden piano sound. Regrettably on a musical basis, it did not stay in my collection for those reasons.

The current remastering of the concertos brings the two concertos even more vividly to life and the generally faster tempi and sharply defined rhythms in both the piano and orchestral parts are simply thrilling. This is not the same sort of performance as the famous one by Michelangeli for instance and comparisons with that are not applicable for that is superb too, but from a different perspective.

The three solo piano pieces are as musically satisfying as before and have also benefited from the remastering but it is quite clear that the concertos are a fundamentally far better recorded product. Consequently the concertos are the only items that are played on this disc as there are so many other versions of the solo piano pieces that can be found in my collection, all as satisfying musically and in significantly better sound.

It seems to me that the main reason for buying this disc is for the concertos and so the remaining items are not a major factor in deciding whether or not to buy this disc. The concertos are of such quality that the consideration of additional items and their quality is not of over-riding importance. I note that, for some reviewers, the solo items are considered as of a similar quality so I have to stress that my own response is therefore a personal one coloured by knowing that there are other options options that seem markedly preferable.

I would suggest that the concerto performances and recording on this disc still deserve to be considered as strong possibilities for purchase regardless of the remaining items. They are among the very best ever recorded and have the advantage of being paired together on the same disc - not all Ravel concerto performances are so coupled. For those who warm to the remainder of the disc more than myself, the attractions are simply amplified.
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