This CD is absolutely amazing. On get to hear the actual composer on the piano just as if he were in your living room. The sound is intimate, not the kind you would get from a concert hall or a recording studio. It feel real. It also provides the real intent of the composer in the interpretation of his own music. Quite refreshing, and sometimes quite different from we are used to hear from modern pianists for the same pieces.
I simply love it and recommend it to anybody!
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The one to have.....March 26 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This Pierian CD was obviously created with love and affection, with a detailed booklet that convincingly explains that the recordings here are the only ones actually by Ravel, whatever other labels may claim. Ravel did supervise and give approbation to several other recordings of his music by other musicians. The Pierian Recording Society is a non-profit organization "devoted to the preservation of historic performances and obscure repertoire". They did a first-rate job. The only studio recording on the CD is Bolero, recorded in 1930 for Polydor. Even though Ravel commented that ".....I had written a piece lasting seventeen minutes.....", his recording takes 16:04. Albert Wolff rehearsed the Lamoureux Orchestra with Ravel running back and forth from and to the control room, and then stepped up to the podium for the actual recording we hear. The restoration is quite remarkable for it's clarity. All the other works on the CD were done on piano rolls for Welte-Mignon and Duo-Art, and so sound like modern recordings. For Welte-Mignon in 1913, there are Valses nobles et sentimales (13:21, per my CD timer) and 2 movements from Sonatine (Modere - 3:37 & Mouvement de menuet - 2:36). He didn't do the third movement of Sonatine, the writer of the booklet, Arbie Orenstein, opining that Ravel likely didn't feel his playing prowess was up to the task. Then for Duo-Art in 1922 he did Oiseaux tristes (4:06) and Pavane pour une Infante defunte (5:37). From 1928 comes La Vallee des cloches (5:53). It's amazing how those piano rolls were able to capture so many nuances. At the time of this writing (March 2014), this CD is available new from various Amazon retailers for reasonable prices.