French pianist Romain Descharmes attended the Conservatoire régional du Grand Nancy, where he studied piano and won a gold medal at age 14. At 18, he relocated to Paris and studied with Jacques Rouvier, Christian Ivaldi, Jean Koerner, Bruno Rigutto, and Anne Grappotte. He also participated in the master classes of Idil Biret, John O'Conor, Dimitri Bashkirov, and Oxana Yablonskaya. In 2006, Descharmes won first prize in the Dublin International Piano Competition, and embarked on a series of recitals that took him to New York, London, Yokohama, Tokyo, and Paris. A breakthrough performance with the Orchestre de Paris in 2012 brought Descharmes critical attention. He has appeared as a soloist with many orchestras in France, Sweden, and Canada, and given recitals in the U.K., Germany, Serbia, Turkey, India, and Mexico, as well as performing for radio broadcasts. He is also actively involved with chamber music, and has performed with Henri Demarquette, Roland Daugareil, François Salque, Sarah Nemtanu, Deborah Nemtanu, Lise Berthaud, Pierre Fouchenneret, Laurent Korcia, the Court-Circuit Ensemble, and the Ebène Quartet. He performs regularly with Stéphane Logerot, Jean-Marc Phillips Varjabédian, François Desforges, and Jean-Luc Manca, who together form the chamber ensemble Quai n°5, and with whom he has recorded two albums on Decca. Descharmes also performs as a member of Trio Talweg. Descharmes and Fouchenneret also recorded the complete sonatas for violin and piano of Beethoven for Aparte, and Descharmes has recorded Ravel's piano music for Audite, and Saint-Saëns' piano concertos for Naxos. ~ Blair Sanderson
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Classique - Released April 24, 2009 | Audite
It is the contention of pianist Romain Descharmes that Ravel was no hazy Impressionist creating gaudy and gauzy music, but a clear-eyed Modernist creating hard-edged, sharp-cornered works, and Descharmes makes his case as persuasively as possible. With his brilliant technique, crisp attack, and complete control, Descharmes illuminates every aspect of the four works here: Valses nobles et sentimentales, Gaspard de la nuit, Sonatine, and La valse. Not only does Descharmes miss nary a note, but his performances let every note sound in ideal balance with the whole. The results are undeniably exciting; Scarbo from Gaspard is flat-out thrilling, while La valse comes close to inciting a riot in its final bars. Listeners who fondly recall the more modulated and subtle recordings of Walter Gieseking and Robert Casadesus may not appreciate Descharmes' take on Ravel, but even they would be hard pressed not to enjoy his blistering account of La valse. Played on an extra-bright Kawai piano and recorded in extremely vivid super audio, the sound is stunningly immediate.
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