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Ravel: Piano Concertos Import

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Product details

  • Composer: Ravel
  • Audio CD (12 Sep 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Deutsche Gramm (Ims)
  • ASIN: B000001G9Q
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,462 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. 1. Allegramente - Martha Argerich, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
2. 2. Adagio assai - Martha Argerich, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
3. 3. Presto - Martha Argerich, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
4. Piano Concerto for the left hand in D - Michel Beroff, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado
5. Allegro moderato
6. Maestoso
7. 1. Prélude
8. 2. Forlane
9. 3. Menuet
10. 4. Rigaudon

Product Description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By And/Burro on 21 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love both of Ravel's Piano Concertos so this CD was a must buy for me. Both concertos are accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado and were recorded in the mid-1980s for DG. The Piano Concerto in G is played by the amazing Martha Argerich whose sensitive and deft touch makes for beautiful listening on this recording. She has recorded the Concerto in G before with Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic for DG in 1967 and I would say that recording is the more special, but not by much.
Ravel's other masterpiece, the Concerto for the Left Hand, is played by Michel Beroff, and he gives a towering performance of real strength and power.
Also on this cd are three other Ravel pieces which are just for orchestra and they are Fanfare, Menuet antique and Le Tombeau de Couperin. All are performed with great atmosphere by Claudio Abbado and the London Symphony Orchestra.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C. Nation on 12 Sep 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For some reason I have never fathomed, my mother played the concerto every evening for weeks after my father died: nothing else, no other music at all - just the concerto in G by Ravel.
So I know it quite well and it is a wonderful piece. From the opening whip-crack [literally] the first movement surges along with tremendous energy and angular rhythms, the piano stacatto and percussive, the strings swooping about behind it.
The slow movement has become a Classic-fm play-list fave, regrettably, but as long as you steer clear of Classic-fm, this [along with many other pieces] won't end up being reduced to Muzak for you. It was inevitable C-fm would chop this out of the concerto and dish it up with all the other "easy listening" stuff like "A Lark Ascending" and Barber's "Adagio". It is a supremely lyrical creation. In large part the theme is carried by the flute and then the oboe, the piano taking a step back and softly harmonising behind the wind instruments. Truly, it is a georgeous, rhapsodic, piece of music.
What C-fm don't give you is the crackle and fizz that follows, in the third movement. Back comes the dynamism, the torrent of notes from the piano, as percussive and galvanic as in the first movement. It's exhilarating, intense and bursting with energy.
I'm no arbiter of piano interpretation but Argerich's playing of this piece has retained the approval of the critics over the years, in the face of other recordings of this work. Wonderful Ravel, superbly played.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Salieri on 13 Aug 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having read the other 2 reviews of this CD, I can only add my own plaudits for Martha Argerich's superb performance of the G Major Concerto. This is a true partnership between her and the LSO under Claudio Abbado - each knows when to give place to the other. There are no "prima donnas" here! The opening movement is crisp and clear, and the elements of jazz, which feature a great deal in Ravel, are strong but do not dominate and are thus not intrusive: they blend with the classical mode of the work - however, surely the wonderful jazz-like descending scale which finishes the first movement is infectious, and how wonderfully do soloist and orchestra finish - one almost wants to applaud!

However, it is the slow movement that lingers most in the memory. The limpid waltz-like solo piano melody which opens it is sublime: when the orchestra steals in, the feeling is one of composure - of a group of people who totally blend with each other, and are completely relaxed in each others' company; it is surely a movement to be listened to again and again. The sudden explosion of the finale gives Argerich a chance to demonstrate some formidably fast playing but again all the details are there and Abbado gives as good as he gets! I would rate this as the greatest performance of the Concerto I have heard.

So exquisite is this performance, that I wanted to hear it followed by Argerich performing the D Major Concerto for the Left Hand: it may sound churlish to say that Michel Beroff does not quite manage to come up to her standard. However, this is a good performance - straight-forward, but I wanted just that bit more.

The fill-ins are welcome: the "Menuet Antique" started life as a Piano solo, and was later orchestrated by Ravel; likewise 4 movements of "Le Tombeau de Couperin"; both are very entertaining and make a subtle Impressionist answer to popular and not very memorable salon music.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr R TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Nov 2014
Format: Audio CD
This CD is recommended both for listeners unfamiliar with Ravel’s work as well as for those requiring definitive performances of the Piano Concerto for the Left Hand (composed in 1930) and the G-major Piano Concerto (1931). Three additional pieces are Le Tombeau de Couperin (1917), the early Menuet antique (1895, Ravel’s earliest regularly performed work), both of which were originally composed for the piano, and the miniature Fanfare for the ballet, ‘L’Éventail de Jeanne (1927).

The London Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Claudio Abbado, 1913-2014, and the soloists are Martha Argerich, b. 1941, [in the Piano Concerto, recorded in 1984] and Michel Béroff, b. 1960, [in the Left Hand Concerto from 1987, the year in which the three orchestral works were also recorded].

It is the two concertos and their performances that are the high spots of this disc. I do not think that Argerich is as temperamentally suited to this work as to, say, Chopin. Whilst she captures the syncopated character of the Allegramente and Presto, first and last movements, respectively and is accompanied subtly by the orchestra, her playing of the intervening Adagio assai is perhaps a little to dreamy.

Béroff, in contrast, plays the Left Hand Concerto superlatively. This work, one of a number, was commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein – brother of the philosopher – who had lost an arm in the Great War. Abbado and his orchestra are very attentive throughout, bringing out the delicacy of the orchestration. This is especially the case in the composer’s orchestral versions of his piano works, in the Le Tombeau de Couperin he cleverly used forces available in the 18th century – have there been better examples of this art?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Terrific Ravel disc 30 Dec 2011
By jt52 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This 1989 DG release contains two of Maurice Ravel's best works, the G-major Piano Concerto (1931) and the charming Le Tombeau de Couperin (1917), as well as the Left-hand Piano Concerto (1930), a short fanfare and the early Menuet antique (1895). The performances of the works are generally very good and the sound quality is excellent, so this can be recommended if you want to hear any of the long featured works.

The disc's highlight for me is an outstanding performance of the Piano Concerto in G with the great Argentine pianist Martha Argerich as soloist. The concerto consists of two brash, "jazzy" shorter outer movements nestled around a very tranquil meditative Adagio assai (track 2). Argerich, Claudio Abbado together with the London Symphony, play the music just perfectly - it scintillates when needed and settles to a warm, slumbering calm in the Adagio. I have heard many performances of this Concerto over the years and I continue to prefer this inspired rendition. The French pianist Michel Beroff is a smaller name than Argerich but he is well-known to fans of French music with some terrific interpretations of Impressionist music, so Abbado has made an apt choice in selecting him to play the Left-hand Piano Concerto. This concerto was written for Paul Wittgenstein, brother of the famed philosopher, who had lost his right arm in yet another of the tragedies of World War I. It is fairly short and in one movement, starting with a lower strings theme that will test the lower frequencies of your audio equipment. I think one particularly successful portion of the Beroff/Abbado take on the Concerto is the very soft section (rehearsal mark 27 if that helps) where a bassoon has a high melody with the piano coming in high in its range. Just lovely. For me, the performance with Robert Casadesus led by Eugene Ormandy is still the best (and fastest) overall interpretation, that is a historical recording with dated sound. The current release is a very good modern recording which I think you will enjoy.

One of the interesting things to track in early 20th-century music is how certain composers advanced farther and farther into musical modernism - and then pulled back. In 1913, Ravel finished the Three Poems of Stephen Mallarme for soprano and chamber orchestra that is about to break from a tonal center. Unlike certain of his peers, Ravel does not take the next step and followed the Mallarme songs with a charming, intentionally retrograde work commemorating his Baroque predecessor, Francois Couperin. This lovely piece began as a piano work and was then orchestrated, with an attractive result. Abbado leads a very good performance of the Tombeau de Couperin. Rounding out the program are a short fanfare and the Meneut antique, written when Ravel was 20, which is his earliest piece to be regularly played. This Menuet I think receives the weakest performance on the disc - more grace and lightness is needed from Abbado - but it is a short work that doesn't detract from the excellence of the general results.
15 of 23 people found the following review helpful
good but a mismatching 25 Sep 2000
By slightlykooky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Martha Agerich still commands attention with her top-heavy performances of the Ravel G major Piano Concerto. A sensitive performer, Agerich gets 2 thumbs up for her interpretations, albeit with some reservations. Her touch is more suited to the Romantic repertory (I'm thinking of her recording of Chopin Preludes), but doesn't shine as brightly with Ravel. She is an amazing performer, but I think this recording suffers in comparison to better paired performer/conductors. Abbado is a very capabable conductor, but one merely needs to hear the Zimerman and Boulez recording to realize the potential of Ravel's 2 piano concerti. Beroff, another pianist with chops, does admirable work, but again, check out Zimerman doing both of them with Boulez. That recording is like hearing magic: the sparks and fireworks of Ravel's orchestration under Boulez's lucid ears. The other 'plus' of THIS recording is that Abbado has also programmed three of Ravel's orchestrated piano pieces. Showcasing his talent as orchestrator of the century, Ravel orchestrated these pieces originally written for solo piano and one would listen to them none the wiser!
10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Extraordinary Performances and recording clarity 17 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Abbado as always is tops, so are Argerich, who in this recording is better than previously and Beroff who does justice to Ravel's perhaps best opus. Couperin would be satisfied with this fastidiously well timed performance of Ravel's hommage.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ravel's Piano Concerti 2 April 2013
By Mary Jemison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Absolutely thrilling performances of Ravel's lush, sensual music. A must for any serious classical music lover!
Arrived quickly and in excellent condition.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ravel- Piano Concertos 20 Jan 2013
By Wineyford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I absolutely love these recording. They are Ravel at his best. And the Piano Concerto for the Left Hand has a great story behind its writing. Highly recommended.
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