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Maurice Ravel Volume Two - Artur Pizarro - MusicOMH


07 November 2008
MusicOMH
Stephen Crowe

Volume two of Pizarro's Complete piano works of Ravel contains some gorgeous well-known music and some gorgeous lesser-known music.

Artur Pizarro is in full control of his piano, and has what could be called impeccable taste, but having the idea that Ravel's music is a picture of restraint, he doesn't really take it in any new or arresting directions. The music itself is pure and refined, and so too is the playing, but it doesn't come across as a distinctive interpretation.

In the Valses nobles et sentimentales, where there are shades of Scriabin's mystery and moments of Prokofiev's aggression, Pizarro is forced to play in a more daring way, and rises to the challenge albeit without sounding as though he's living and breathing the pieces.

Maybe the missing ingredient is just a live audience- a rapt atmosphere and a figurative tightrope for him to walk could add that element of unpredictability.

The problem, or the difficulty in playing all of Ravel's music is finding a style that suits all of his capricious moods. He can be surprisingly aloof or openly plaintive, so it can be hard to provide a one-size-fits-all voice.

If every piece is treated entirely individually, the CD wouldn't hang very well together, so perhaps Pizarro's steady approach is a tactical one. It is beautiful music played lovingly, but there remains a missing magic intensity.

 


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The Complete Works of Ravel Vol. 2The Complete Works of Ravel Vol. 2