The Grieg And Schumann Piano Concertos: With Orchestral Reduction For Second Piano (Dover Music For
The Grieg And Schumann Piano Concertos: With Orchestral Reduction For Second Piano (Dover Music For ->>> https://blltly.com/2t2CDV
Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France's premier music college, the Paris Conservatoire; he was not well regarded by its conservative establishment, whose biased treatment of him caused a scandal. After leaving the conservatoire, Ravel found his own way as a composer, developing a style of great clarity and incorporating elements of modernism, baroque, neoclassicism and, in his later works, jazz. He liked to experiment with musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro (1928), in which repetition takes the place of development. Renowned for his abilities in orchestration, Ravel made some orchestral arrangements of other composers' piano music, of which his 1922 version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is the best known.
A slow and painstaking worker, Ravel composed fewer pieces than many of his contemporaries. Among his works to enter the repertoire are pieces for piano, chamber music, two piano concertos, ballet music, two operas and eight song cycles; he wrote no symphonies or church music. Many of his works exist in two versions: first, a piano score and later an orchestration. Some of his piano music, such as Gaspard de la nuit (1908), is exceptionally difficult to play, and his complex orchestral works such as Daphnis et Chloé (1912) require skilful balance in performance.
When he was seven, Ravel started piano lessons with Henri Ghys, a friend of Emmanuel Chabrier; five years later, in 1887, he began studying harmony, counterpoint and composition with Charles-René, a pupil of Léo Delibes. Without being anything of a child prodigy, he was a highly musical boy. Charles-René found that Ravel's conception of music was natural to him "and not, as in the case of so many others, the result of effort". Ravel's earliest known compositions date from this period: variations on a chorale by Schumann, variations on a theme by Grieg and a single movement of a piano sonata. They survive only in fragmentary form.
In 1891 Ravel progressed to the classes of Charles-Wilfrid de Bériot, for piano, and Émile Pessard, for harmony. He made solid, unspectacular progress, with particular encouragement from Bériot but, in the words of the musicologist Barbara L. Kelly, he "was only teachable on his own terms". His later teacher Gabriel Fauré understood this, but it was not generally acceptable to the conservative faculty of the Conservatoire of the 1890s. Ravel was expelled in 1895, having won no more prizes.[n 3] His earliest works to survive in full are from these student days: Sérénade grotesque, for piano, and "Ballade de la Reine morte d'aimer",[n 4] a mélodie setting a poem by Roland de Marès (both 1893).
The Société Nationale de Musique, founded in 1871 to promote the music of rising French composers, had been dominated since the mid-1880s by a conservative faction led by Vincent d'Indy. Ravel, together with several other former pupils of Fauré, set up a new, modernist organisation, the Société Musicale Indépendente, with Fauré as its president.[n 17] The new society's inaugural concert took place on 20 April 1910; the seven items on the programme included premieres of Fauré's song cycle La chanson d'Ève, Debussy's piano suite D'un cahier d'esquisses, Zoltán Kodály's Six pièces pour piano and the original piano duet version of Ravel's Ma mère l'Oye. The performers included Fauré, Florent Schmitt, Ernest Bloch, Pierre Monteux and, in the Debussy work, Ravel. Kelly considers it a sign of Ravel's new influence that the society featured Satie's music in a concert in January 1911.
In 1912 Ravel had three ballets premiered. The first, to the orchestrated and expanded version of Ma mère l'Oye, opened at the Théâtre des Arts in January. The reviews were excellent: the Mercure de France called the score "absolutely ravishing, a masterwork in miniature". The music rapidly entered the concert repertoire; it was played at the Queen's Hall, London, within weeks of the Paris premiere, and was repeated at the Proms later in the same year. The Times praised "the enchantment of the work ... the effect of mirage, by which something quite real seems to float on nothing". New York audiences heard the work in the same year. Ravel's second ballet of 1912 was Adélaïde ou le langage des fleurs, danced to the score of Valses nobles et sentimentales, which opened at the Châtelet in April. Daphnis et Chloé opened at the same theatre in June. This was his largest-scale orchestral work, and took him immense trouble and several years to complete.
Marcel Marnat's catalogue of Ravel's complete works lists eighty-five works, including many incomplete or abandoned. Though that total is small in comparison with the output of his major contemporaries,[n 31] it is nevertheless inflated by Ravel's frequent practice of writing works for piano and later rewriting them as independent pieces for orchestra. The performable body of works numbers about sixty; slightly more than half are instrumental. Ravel's music includes pieces for piano, chamber music, two piano concerti, ballet music, opera and song cycles. He wrote no symphonies or church works.
Ravel made orchestral versions of piano works by Schumann, Chabrier, Debussy and Mussorgsky's piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition. Orchestral versions of the last by Mikhail Tushmalov, Sir Henry Wood and Leo Funtek predated Ravel's 1922 version, and many more have been made since, but Ravel's remains the best known. Kelly remarks on its "dazzling array of instrumental colour", and a contemporary reviewer commented on how, in dealing with another composer's music, Ravel had produced an orchestral sound wholly unlike his own.
Most of Ravel's piano music is extremely difficult to play, and presents pianists with a balance of technical and artistic challenges.[n 32] Writing of the piano music the critic Andrew Clark commented in 2013, "A successful Ravel interpretation is a finely balanced thing. It involves subtle musicianship, a feeling for pianistic colour and the sort of lightly worn virtuosity that masks the advanced technical challenges he makes in Alborada del gracioso ... and the two outer movements of Gaspard de la nuit. Too much temperament, and the music loses its classical shape; too little, and it sounds pale." This balance caused a breach between the composer and Viñes, who said that if he observed the nuances and speeds Ravel stipulated in Gaspard de la nuit, "Le gibet" would "bore the audience to death". Some pianists continue to attract criticism for over-interpreting Ravel's piano writing.[n 33]
Ravel's interpretations of some of his piano works were captured on piano roll between 1914 and 1928, although some rolls supposedly played by him may have been made under his supervision by Robert Casadesus, a better pianist. Transfers of the rolls have been released on compact disc. In 1913 there was a gramophone recording of Jeux d'eau played by Mark Hambourg, and by the early 1920s there were discs featuring the Pavane pour une infante défunte and Ondine, and movements from the String Quartet, Le tombeau de Couperin and Ma mère l'Oye. Ravel was among the first composers who recognised the potential of recording to bring their music to a wider public,[n 34] and throughout the 1920s there was a steady stream of recordings of his works, some of which featured the composer as pianist or conductor. A 1932 recording of the G major Piano Concerto was advertised as "Conducted by the composer", although he had in fact supervised the sessions while a more proficient conductor took the baton. Recordings for which Ravel actually was the conductor included a Boléro in 1930, and a sound film of a 1933 performance of the D major concerto with Wittgenstein as soloist.
Early keyboard concertos were written by, among others, C.P.E. Bach, J.C. Bach, Soler, Wagenseil, Schobert, Johann Baptist Wanhal and Haydn. Earlier still, in the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto by J.S. Bach, the keyboard part is elevated to the most prominent position among the instruments. These works, with their alternation of orchestral tuttis and passages for solo display, in turn, owe their structure to the tradition of Baroque operatic arias, from which the first movements of Mozart's piano concertos inherited their basic ritornello form.
Nine months after No. 8, however, Mozart produced one of his early masterpieces, the "Jenamy" (formerly "Jeunehomme") concerto, No. 9, K. 271. This work shows a decisive advance in the organisation of the first movement, as well as demonstrating some irregular features, such as the dramatic interruption of the orchestral opening by the piano after only one-and-a-half bars. The final concerto Mozart wrote before the end of his Salzburg period was the well-known Concerto No. 10, K. 365 for two pianos: the presence of the second piano disturbs the "normal" structure of piano-orchestra interaction.
These three concertos are all rather different from one another and are relatively intimate works despite the mock grandeur of the last one: indeed, arrangements exist for them for piano plus string quartet that lose little. The Piano Concerto No. 12, K. 414 in A major, the second of the series, is particularly fine: it is often described as "Tyrolean", and stands some comparison with the later A major concerto, K. 488. The last of these three, No. 13, K. 415, is an ambitious, perhaps even overambitious work, that introduces the first, military theme in a canon in an impressive orchestral opening: many consider the last movement the best. Like K. 414, it is paralleled by a later concerto in the same key, No. 21, K. 467. 2b1af7f3a8