Maurice Ravel

Alice Ader - Maurice Ravel: Complete Piano Works (2012) 2CD [Re-Up]

Alice Ader - Maurice Ravel: Complete Piano Works (2012) 2CD
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 458 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 329 Mb | Scans ~ 129 Mb
Genre: Classical | Label: Fuga Libera | # Fug592 | Time: 02:23:44

Alice Ader’s first Debussy disc (Erato) won all the awards in the specialist press on its release twenty years ago and is still regarded as an unequalled benchmark. Now this unconventional pianist at last unveils her recording of the complete Ravel piano works. And what better moment could there be than Debussy Year to present these two hours or so of music in dialogue, en Miroirs as it were, with the œuvre of ‘Claude de France’? Ravel, the hot-blooded Swiss watchmaker, the discreet Lisztian, the mediocre pianist who made such extreme demands on his colleagues, the man of so many sublime paradoxes, deserves only the finest interpreters: those who take the time to explore his deepest recesses. Alice Ader, light-years away from the flashy gestures often encountered in this music, takes us to the very heart of one of the most secretive composers of his time.
Arcanto Quartett - Claude Debussy, Henri Dutilleux, Maurice Ravel: String Quartets (2010)

Arcanto Quartett - Claude Debussy, Henri Dutilleux, Maurice Ravel: Quatuors À Cordes (2010)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 310 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 174 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical, Chamber | Label: Harmonia Mundi | # HMC 902067 | Time: 01:11:17

In addition to the traditional pairing of the Debussy and Ravel string quartets, the Arcanto Quartett performs Henri Dutilleux's Ainsi la Nuit (1971-1976), a grouping that is becoming increasingly popular on recordings. These are absolutely secure, thoughtful, self-effacing readings of the Debussy and the Ravel. While the quartet doesn't bring particular new revelations to the pieces, the members play with nuanced sensitivity and impeccable musicianship. The haunted quiet they achieve in the first part of the third movement of the Debussy is especially impressive, as is the clarity of their sense of direction and unity in the final movement, the most difficult of the four to pull off. Similarly in the Ravel, the contrast between the serenity of the third movement and the raw athleticism of the fourth is attention-grabbing and invigorating.
Boston SO, Charles Munch - Claude Debussy & Maurice Ravel: Orchestral Works (1962/2006) Japanese Blu-Spec CD, 2009

Claude Debussy: Prélude À L'Après-Midi D'Un Faune; Nocturnes; Printemps
Maurice Ravel: La Valse; Boléro
Boston Symphony Orchestra; Charles Munch, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 297 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 149 Mb | Scans ~ 52 Mb
Genre: Classical | Label: BMG Japan | # BVCC 20008 | Time: 01:05:26

There could be no better introduction to the sound of the Boston Symphony, in the repertoire in which it became most famous, than this French collection with Charles Munch. Sometimes wild and unpredictable in concert performances, Munch's conducting here is both visceral yet elegant, full of mystery when called for and unbridled in its passion at other times. 1962 Recordings.
Monique Haas plays Claude Debussy & Maurice Ravel (2007) 6CD Box Set

Monique Haas plays Claude Debussy & Maurice Ravel (2007) 6CD Box Set
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 1.54 Gb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 965 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Erato/Warner Classics | # 2564 69967-2 | Time: 07:11:32

French pianist Monique Haas recorded the piano works of Debussy and Ravel twice, once in the late '50s and early '60s for Deutsche Grammophon and again in the late '60s and early '70s for Erato. The later recordings are released here in this six disc set from Warner Classics. As on the earlier set, Haas' performances are elegantly stylish, technically impeccable, consummately musical, and quintessentially French. Pick any piece by either composer at random, and you'll see. Try her bright but sensual Suite Bergamasque with its ravishing Clair de lune or her brilliant and visionary Études with their astounding concluding Pour les accords. Or try her recklessly virtuosic Gaspard de la nuit with its frightening Scarbo or her sweetly swaying Valses nobles et sentimentales with its heartrending Épilogue. There are only two meaningful differences between Haas' recordings: in the earlier performance, she is more passionate and impetuous while in the later performances she is more measured and thoughtful.
Pierre Boulez conducts Maurice Ravel & Albert Roussel (2009) 4CD Box Set [Re-Up]

Pierre Boulez conducts Maurice Ravel & Albert Roussel (2009) 4CD Box Set
BBC Symphony Orchestra; The Cleveland Orchestra; Ensemble Intercontemporain
New York Philharmonic; Philippe Entremont (piano); Harold Gomberg (oboe)
Jessye Norman (soprano); Jill Gomez (soprano); José van Dam (baritone)

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 1.14 Gb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 665 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Sony Classical | # 88697562292 | Time: 04:48:51

A milestone of music making, this 4 CD boxed set collects Maurice Ravel’s lush orchestral oeuvre in a collection of defining performances conducted by Pierre Boulez. A vivid testament to the ineffable incalculable role a conductor fills in any interpretation, ‘Pierre Boulez Conducts Ravel’ includes many of Ravel’s best known compositions along with the valuable addition of less recorded and long out of print gems such as Jessye Norman’s luminous Chansons Madécasses with members of Ensemble InterContemporaín and the Piano Concerto in D major for the Left Hand, played thrillingly here by Phillipe Entremont with an inspired lights out Cleveland Orchestra. Boulez’s prowess with the music of Ravel takes many forms, robust, muscular, capable of great tenderness, inquisitive, insouciant, and this collection of almost 5 hours of music allows one to immerse completely within the rich motherlode of genius that was Maurice Ravel. Includes informative 28-page booklet.
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink - Maurice Ravel: Orchestral Music (1993) 2CD

Maurice Ravel: Orchestral Music (1993) 2CD
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Bernard Haitink, conductor

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 617 Mb | Scans ~ 57 Mb | Time: 02:21:11
Genre: Classical | Label: Philips Classics | # 438 745-2

Bernard Haitink's classically clear and direct approach combines élan, elasticity and, where appropriate, tremendous rhythmic punch – his readings of Boléro and La valse are volatile, yet thrillingly disciplined to the last. He brings a natural compulsion to the languorous eroticism of Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2, while his idiomatic handling of the earliest (and slightest) of these works, the Menuet antique and familiar Pavane pour une infante défunte, is equally beguiling. Haitink's painstaking attention to fine orchestral detail adds refined distinction to his Valses nobles et sentimentales and crystalline delicacy to both Le tombeau de Couperin and the more elusive Ma mère l'oye. There are few more vibrantly evocative, or palpably exciting versions of the Rapsodie espagnole and Alborada del gracioso. Don't be in the least surprised, however, if the phenomenal sound quality prompts an incredulous second glance at the recording dates quoted in the booklet!
Steven Osborne - Maurice Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music (2011) 2CDs

Steven Osborne - Maurice Ravel: The Complete Solo Piano Music (2011) 2CDs
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 358 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 328 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical | Label: Hyperion | # CDA 67731-2 | Time: 02:22:53

A complete survey of Ravel’s piano music is an especially challenging prospect for any pianist. It is not merely that this sublime music frequently demands exceptional, post-Lisztian virtuosity. Beyond such dexterity is the fact that, as Steven Osborne observes in this recording’s booklet, the composer’s fear of repeating himself ensure that the lessons from one work can rarely be transferred to the next. This is not merely the aesthetic change from the nightmarish imagery of Gaspard de la nuit to the elegant neo-classicism of Le tombeau de Couperin. Ravel essentially re-imagined how to write for the piano with each significant work. Osborne is more than up to the task. The contrasting fireworks of the ‘Toccata’ from Le tombeau and ‘Alborada del gracioso’ (Miroirs) are despatched with relish, the piano exploding with power in the latter after a disarmingly impish opening. The Sonatine has a refined insouciance, while the love bestowed upon each note is clear. Then there are the numerous moments of sustained control, such as the shimmering opening pages of Gaspard. Sometimes changes of spirit occur effortlessly within a piece. Having been a model of clarity in the ‘Prelude’ from Le tombeau, Osborne treats the codetta not as a brisk flourish, but as if this particular vision of the 18th century is dissolving beneath his fingers.
Vladimir & Vovka Ashkenazy - Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel: Music for Two Pianos (2009) [Re-Up]

Vladimir & Vovka Ashkenazy - Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel: Music for Two Pianos (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 213 Mb | Scans included | Time: 01:06:01
Genre: Classical | Label: Decca | # 478 1090 DH

With this disc, Vladimir Ashkenazy, celebrated for his readings of Rachmaninoff and Chopin, and his son, Vovka, take on music by Debussy and Ravel for two pianos, and the results, utterly unlike virtually anything Ashkenazy père has ever recorded before, make it a real winner. From the electric excitement of the opening En blanc et noir, through the hazy mysteries of Jeux, and the luminous colors of the Rapsodie espagnole, to the inexorable hysteria of La Valse, Ashkenazy père and fils turn in performances that match the music for poise, drive, and technical brilliance. Some might find their sonorities a bit hard-edged at points – should the opening of En blanc et noir and the close of La Valse really be hit so strongly? – but the results are so consistently thrilling that most listeners are likely to be swept away. Recorded in close but clear and vivid digital sound, this disc may not be for every Debussy and Ravel fan, but it should certainly appeal to fans of Ashkenazy.
Joshua Bell, Jeremy Denk - French Impressions: Camille Saint-Saens, Cesar Franck, Maurice Ravel (2012) [Re-Up]

Joshua Bell, Jeremy Denk - French Impressions (2012)
Camille Saint-Saëns, Cesar Franck, Maurice Ravel

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 286 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 163 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Sony Classical | # 88697891822 | Time: 01:07:19

Unusually the liner note deserves a mention ahead of the music: the fine pianist Jeremy Denk, half of this regular duo, manages to encapsulate the elusiveness of French romantic music with such insight in a few sharp sentences, his words almost shape the way we listen to this superbly played disc. Saint-Saëns' wistful and emotional Sonata No 1 and Ravel's bluesy, ironic sonata have a whipped, airy quality. Joshua Bell plays with fire and finesse, with Denk a powerful ally. Franck's dark-light violin sonata, mysterious, ardent and far more than the sum of its parts when played as majestically as here, forms the centrepiece of this seriously beguiling disc.
Lilya Zilberstein - Claude Debussy: Pour le Piano, Estampes; Maurice Ravel: Miroirs, Sonatine, Jeux d'eau (1994) [Re-Up]

Lilya Zilberstein - Claude Debussy: Pour le Piano; Estampes
Maurice Ravel: Miroirs; Sonatine; Jeux d'eau (1994)

EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 215 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 189 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Deutsche Grammophon | # 439 927-2 | Time: 01:13:55

Lilya Zilberstein has already taken on some of the virtuoso pillars of the repertoire for DG—Brahms's Paganini Variations, the Mussorgsky Pictures, Rachmaninov's Third Concerto and so it is fascinating to hear her in music of a more subtle evocation and delicacy. And although her Debussy and Ravel are hardly consistent or to the manner born, they are rarely less than individual or distinguished. Like other Russian pianists before her she places greater emphasis on the music's sensuous and expressive warmth than on its formal clarity. Her response to say, ''Le soiree dans Grenade'' (from Estampes) is richly coloured and inflected (a reminder, perhaps, of Falla's awe of Debussy's Hispanicism) and in ''Jardins sous la pluie'' her virtuosity evokes a coldly drenched and windswept garden its flowers momentarily bejewelled by passing sunlight. She is also highly successful in the more objective patterning of Pour le piano, making the opening Prelude's fortissimo chording and shooting-star glissandos resonate with unusual power.