Related Reviews
StereoMojo
"This is a very clever bit of pianism."
more >>
MusicWeb International
"...warm, gleaming and intimate."
more >>
hi-fi +
5 Stars
"We are not short of Ravel discs but I would place this (and the first volume) the top of the list."
more >>
Listener
"dignified and delicate"
more >>
Atlanta Audio Society
"...a beautifully focused tone...perfection"
more >>
Opus Musica
"...sencillamente perfecto..."
more >>
HMV Choice
5 Stars
Lovingly sculpted Ravel played on an instrument with a difference...
more >>
Klassik.com
4 Stars
"Konzentriert und impulsiv, beherrscht und temperamentvoll, klangsinnig und hörend, strukturell und emotional erwärmt."
more >>
The List
4 Stars
"Pizarro's playing suits Ravel to perfection."
more >>
Sunday Herald
5 Stars
"These are masterful performances..."
more >>
MusicOMH
"It is beautiful music played lovingly..."
more >>
International Record Review
"Pizarro has no rivals."
more >>
BBC Online
"This is a deeply pleasurable disc, and one I believe Ravel would have approved of."
more >>
The Scotsman
4 Stars
"Pizarro brings to the table a bold ingenuity and freshness..."
more >>
AudioVideoHD
4½ Stars
"Magnífico."
more >>
The Times
"...prances and winks with light-fingered panache."
more >>
Politiken
5 Stars
Artur Pizarro er en mild løve, der fortaber sig i strålende klangverdener - til stor glæde for lytterne.
more >>
Musical Pointers
"There is a quality of attention to detail and focus which grips the attention..."
more >>
Financial Times
"[Pizarro] shows there is a dreamily seductive side to Ravel."
more >>
Metro
"...just heavenly."
more >>
SA-CD.net
5 Stars
"A delight from beginning to end..."
more >>
The Observer
"a recording to treasure"
more >>

Maurice Ravel Volume Two - Artur Pizarro - Audiophile Audition


15 October 2008
Audiophile Audition
John Sunier
5 Stars

It has taken more than a year for Linn to release the second and concluding volume of the complete Ravel piano music by Pizarro, but it's worth the wait.  Reproduced in just two channels there seems to my ears a bit too much reverberation, but in the five-channel surround mode Pizarro's Bluthner concert grand sounds just about right - and free from the ear-drilling treble end of Steinways.  Linn's engineers put quite a low level on the center channel. The sonics don't detract from the precise, chiseled sound of much of Ravel's music - his take on impressionism was quite different from Debussy's, but it worked just as well - almost more magically.

The works in this volume aren't as oriented to the water element as in the first.  The two major pieces are the Noble and Sentimental Waltzes and The Tomb of Couperin - the latter perhaps more familiar to most listeners in its orchestral version.  The delightful waltzes are harmonically complex and seem to be working up to the composer's later growling gem La Valse. The eighth and final waltz is the longest, and brings back most of the previous waltzes as an epilogue.  Three movements in the middle of The Tomb of Couperin are dance forms, the first being the Forlane. This was an obscure dance of the 17th and 18th centuries in Venice which Ravel had substituted for a planned tango, which had been felt by the Pope to be too lascivious (the work was being performed at the Vatican).  The clarity and balance of this six-movement suite make it - in either this piano original or the chamber orchestra version - one of the great classics of Neoclassical style.


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Artur PizarroArtur Pizarro
The Complete Works of Ravel Vol. 2The Complete Works of Ravel Vol. 2