Ravel: Piano Works, Vol. 1

Ravel: Piano Works, Vol. 1

by Francois-Joël Thiollier


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In comparison to his brilliant orchestral works, Maurice Ravel's solo piano pieces are often considered slighter amusements. Yet for all their lightness and brevity, these miniatures capture Ravel's urbane wit and refinement in ways that the large concert works cannot, and they find the composer in a more intimate and relaxed setting. The ebullient thumping of "La parade," the surprising leaps of the "Sérénade grotesque," and the peculiarly charming dissonances of the "Menuet antique" point to a lively, spontaneous imagination, and these fresh pieces evoke the spirit of improvisation. The "Pavane pour une infante défunte" is perhaps even more poignant in its piano form than in its famous orchestrated version, for its nostalgia seems more personal and immediate. "Jeux d'eau" and the "Prélude" are impressionistic and colorful; though the style might seem quaint, they are tastefully constructed masterworks on a small scale. Classically pristine and precise, the "Sonatine" is one of Ravel's most delightful gems, understated and unpretentious, but bright and intriguing in its polished facets. "Miroirs" is the most ambitious series, of which the "Alborada del gracioso" is widely performed as an independent vehicle for pianistic virtuosity. François-Joël Thiollier gives all these pieces finely nuanced and energetic readings, with great sensitivity to the music's character and shape.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/29/1994
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0730099568326
catalogNumber: 8550683
Rank: 93379


  1. La parade, for piano
  2. Pavane pour une infante défunte, for piano (or orchestra)
  3. Sérénade grotesque, for piano
  4. À la manière de. . . , for piano
  5. Menuet antique, for piano (or orchestra)
  6. Jeux d'eau, for piano
  7. Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn, for piano
  8. Prélude, for piano
  9. Sonatine for piano
  10. Miroirs, for piano (or orchestra)

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