Ravel: Complete Works For Piano Duet / Thorson, Thurber

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For a great composer, Ravel wrote comparatively little, and the current vogue for his music (surely it has overtaken Tchaikovsky's in popularity?) throws up not only more and more recordings of familiar works, but also curiosities to satisfy the evidently insatiable appetites of collectors. For these the present issue offers an attractive addition to the Ravel shelf. The Introduction and Allegro in this form (with one piano taking the harp part of the original) is new to me, and the booklet note is ambiguous as to its provenance. However, it is well worth hearing and surprisingly satisfying in terms of piano sound, especially when played as well as it is here. Indeed, these performances from Denmark are all affectionate and notably intelligent and they are powerfully yet pleasingly recorded.

Ravel composed at the piano and transcribed much of his music for that medium, even producing the apparently impossible Boléro in this two-piano version, and a skilful and stylish keyboard presentation such as this tells us something valuable even about music that seems orchestral in conception.

Of course some of these pieces were in any case written first for piano; among them are Ma mère l'oye and the extraordinarily gamelan-like Entre cloches. The latter is an early work, like the attractive but less striking Sheherazade 'fairy overture'. The culmination of this set is a fine account of that terrifying masterpiece La valse. Recommended.

-- Gramophone [10/1988]
reviewing the original release of this album, Paula 51


Product Description:


  • Catalog Number: BRI94176


  • UPC: 842977041767


  • Label: Brilliant Classics


  • Composer: Maurice Ravel


  • Performer: Ingryd Thorson, Julien Thurber