Maurice Ravel Volume Two - Artur Pizarro - hi-fi +
Having enjoyed Pizarro's first outing with Ravel (Linn CKD 290) I already had some preconceptions regarding this disc. Let me make this clear: Pizarro plays Ravel! With my fascination for earlier 20th century French pianists, I was quite surprised but delighted to have enjoyed the first Ravel disc. This one includes some of my favourite Ravel piano works including La Tombeau, Pavanne and Valse Nobles. Pizarro's playing is simply exquisite from start to finish of this 75 minute outing. I've spent the better part of a day playing and replaying this disc and I can find absolutely nothing wrong here. I even found myself listening to some other artists play these works and I must admit to having changed some of my deeper-seated predispositions. Pizarro demonstrates admirable technique and displays some great insight into compositions that I felt I knew inside out. Ravel was a master painter with a really wide palette and this artist seems to have a real gift for offering the listener a rich, colourful and very satisfying experience from his outstanding playing. We are not short of Ravel discs but I would place this (and the first volume) the top of the list. A set of simply superb performances from beginning to end that gets my highest recommendation.