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Philippe Bianconi|Ravel: L'Œuvre pour piano

Ravel: L'Œuvre pour piano

Philippe Bianconi

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Ravel's piano works include some of the most popular keyboard pieces of the 20th century, so pianist Philippe Bianconi has plenty of competition for this double-album complete cycle. Of course, one advantage of the complete set is that it can include the less common pieces like Ravel's musical impressions of Borodin and Chabrier and the Menuet en Ut dièse mineur ("Minuet in C sharp minor"). These lesser-known works, mostly miniatures, fit Bianconi's style beautifully; he is a precise, concise player who brings out Ravel's considerable rhythmic subtlety. His Ravel performances tap into a long French tradition stretching back to Robert Casadesus and his wife, Gaby, who was one of Bianconi's teachers. Imbued with the French conservatory values of clarity and restraint, Bianconi sacrifices mood for clean execution. In Le Tombeau de Couperin, he is wonderful, one of the very best available, catching the ways Ravel stretches the Baroque rhythms in a really uncanny way. Many pianists can handle the technical challenges of Gaspard de la nuit these days, but few can seem as effortless while doing so. In music that depends more on extramusical references, such as the four-hand Ma mère l'Oye (recorded with Clément Lefebvre), some listeners may want a bit more color, while others will find Bianconi's approach bracing and fresh, with an evocative Miroirs. Sample several different works. Most listeners will agree that the La Dolce Volta label's sound, from the Grande Salle at the Metz Arsenal, is ideal for the music and the music-making here.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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Ravel: L'Œuvre pour piano

Philippe Bianconi

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1
Jeux d'eau, M. 30
00:05:13

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

2
Miroirs, M. 43: I. Noctuelles
00:04:47

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

3
Miroirs, M. 43: II. Oiseaux tristes
00:04:06

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

4
Miroirs, M. 43: III. Une barque sur l'océan
00:07:29

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

5
Miroirs, M. 43: IV. Alborada del gracioso
00:06:20

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

6
Miroirs, M. 43: V. La vallée des cloches
00:05:25

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist - Clytus Gottwald, Arranger

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

7
Menuet antique
00:06:07

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

8
Pavane pour une infante défunte, M. 19
00:05:59

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

9
Sonatine, M. 40: I. Modéré
00:04:05

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

10
Sonatine, M. 40: II. Mouvement de menuet
00:03:07

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

11
Sonatine, M. 40: III. Animé
00:04:04

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

12
Menuet en Ut Dièse, M. 42
00:01:04

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

13
Valses nobles et sentimentales, M. 61: I. Modéré, très franc
00:01:21

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

14
Valses nobles et sentimentales, M. 61: II. Assez lent, avec une expression intense
00:02:23

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

15
Valses nobles et sentimentales, M. 61: III. Modéré
00:01:22

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

16
Valses nobles et sentimentales, M. 61: IV. Assez animé
00:01:02

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

17
Valses nobles et sentimentales, M. 61: V. Presque lent, dans un sentiment intime
00:01:24

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

18
Valses nobles et sentimentales, M. 61: VI. Vif
00:00:40

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Paul Cassidy, Arranger - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

19
Valses nobles et sentimentales, M. 61: VII. Moins vif
00:02:38

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

20
Valses nobles et sentimentales, M. 61: VIII. Épilogue, lent
00:03:51

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

DISC 2

1
Sérénade grotesque
00:03:37

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

Gaspard de la Nuit, M. 55 (Maurice Ravel)

2
I. Ondine
00:06:36

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist - Alexandre Esperet, Arranger

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

3
II. Le Gibet
00:06:19

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist - Alexandre Esperet, Arranger

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

4
III. Scarbo
00:09:22

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist - Alexandre Esperet, Arranger

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

5
Menuet (sur le nom de Haydn), M. 58
00:01:50

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

6
À la manière de Borodine, M. 63/1
00:01:38

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

7
À la manière de Chabrier, M. 63/2
00:01:44

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

8
Prélude, M. 65
00:01:38

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

Tombeau de Couperin, M. 68 (Maurice Ravel)

9
I. Prélude
00:03:03

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

10
II. Fugue
00:03:33

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

11
III. Forlane
00:05:18

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

12
IV. Rigaudon
00:02:59

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

13
V. Menuet
00:04:25

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

14
VI. Toccata
00:03:58

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

15
Ma mère l'Oye, M. 60: I. Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant
00:01:32

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

16
Ma mère l'Oye, M. 60: II. Petit Poucet
00:02:43

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

17
Ma mère l'Oye, M. 60: III. Laideronnette, Impératrice des Pagodes
00:03:12

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

18
Ma mère l'Oye, M. 60: IV. Les Entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête
00:04:01

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

19
Ma mère l'Oye, M. 60: V. Le jardin férique
00:03:05

Maurice Ravel, Composer - Philippe Bianconi, Piano, MainArtist

2023 La Dolce Volta 2023 La Prima Volta

Album review

Ravel's piano works include some of the most popular keyboard pieces of the 20th century, so pianist Philippe Bianconi has plenty of competition for this double-album complete cycle. Of course, one advantage of the complete set is that it can include the less common pieces like Ravel's musical impressions of Borodin and Chabrier and the Menuet en Ut dièse mineur ("Minuet in C sharp minor"). These lesser-known works, mostly miniatures, fit Bianconi's style beautifully; he is a precise, concise player who brings out Ravel's considerable rhythmic subtlety. His Ravel performances tap into a long French tradition stretching back to Robert Casadesus and his wife, Gaby, who was one of Bianconi's teachers. Imbued with the French conservatory values of clarity and restraint, Bianconi sacrifices mood for clean execution. In Le Tombeau de Couperin, he is wonderful, one of the very best available, catching the ways Ravel stretches the Baroque rhythms in a really uncanny way. Many pianists can handle the technical challenges of Gaspard de la nuit these days, but few can seem as effortless while doing so. In music that depends more on extramusical references, such as the four-hand Ma mère l'Oye (recorded with Clément Lefebvre), some listeners may want a bit more color, while others will find Bianconi's approach bracing and fresh, with an evocative Miroirs. Sample several different works. Most listeners will agree that the La Dolce Volta label's sound, from the Grande Salle at the Metz Arsenal, is ideal for the music and the music-making here.
© James Manheim /TiVo

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