For Ravel, the piano was an orchestra in a box, with the capacity for almost infinite variety of tone colour and rhythmic subtlety. As might be expected of a man with the strongest suspicions of performers’ egos (especially those of conductors), the piano was the fons et origo of his work, where (although not an outstandingly accomplished player himself) Ravel would invent and delimit, covering scores with precise indications of dynamics, tempo, phrasing and expression which the performer
ignores at his or her peril – but is more likely to observe than in the collective atmosphere of a large ensemble.
The piano is the scene of some of his earliest music (the Menuet grotesque), some of his most simply affecting (the Pavane pour une infante défunte), his most spine-chilling (Gaspard de la Nuit) and his most charming (Tombeau de Couperin, written in memory of friends who perished in the First World War). All of it is here, and in a chronological order that enables the listener to follow Ravel’s own creative journey.
Michelangelo Carbonara is among the most outstanding of young Italian pianists. This is his first recording for Brilliant Classics: he is renowned in the central Austro-German repertoire but also specialises in the music of Polish composers from Chopin to Lutoslawski.
- Recorded in 2007.
- Exclusive interview with Annarosa Taddei, the favourite Ravel player of Alfred Cortot, in which she speaks frankly and illuminatingly about this body of work and Cortot’s approach to it.
- Includes extensive booklet notes covering the in-depth context a brief analysis of each work.