Friday, September 11, 2009

Ravel Complete solo piano music - Angela Hewitt 2CD (flac)









Ravel Complete solo piano music - Angela Hewitt 2CD (flac)
Piano | Eac, flac, cue | log, cover | 2 CD, 368 MB
May 14, 2002 | Hyperion | RapidShare



Taking a break from her vast Bach cycle for Hyperion Records, Angela Hewitt puts her mind and fingers to the very different musical challanges of Maurice Ravel and the 19th-century French romantic-modern style. Well, all here is not completely divergent from Bach's music as Ravel's "Le Tombeau de Couperin" is a "Bach or Couperin-like suite" containing a prelude, fugue, menuet and toccata - but, of course, not sounding anything like either of the Baroque masters! Regardless of the composer in question, Angela Hewitt is known for delving deep into a composer's life and music to emerge with the purest, most representative essence of each work. Accordingly, her readings in general stay true to the score and intent of the composer and are a good reference point with minimal "outside influences." Accordingly, her Ravel conceptions here are very idiomatic to the man and his era.

Having "one foot in classicism, another in Romanticm and yet another in Modernism," Ravel's music fascinates with its combination of clarity of form, evocative harmonies, gentle nuances and curiously shifting tonalities. Angela Hewitt's finesseful style is well suited to Ravel's often delicate, imagery-rich music with her lovely phrasing, feathery touch, and ability to achieve the beautiful tonal colorations so characteristic of French music of this period. As often stated about French music, "It is always meant to be beautiful," and Angela Hewitt sure can create beauty in this music. Ravel's dreamy, cascading pieces (Sonatine, Jeaux D'eau, Ondine and Miroirs) are conveyed with the lightest of texture, nuanced lyricism and feminine touch that can make Ravel sound so enchanting. Never a harsh note is heard. This pianist especially excels in drawing out the poignancy of Ravel's more introspective works like the Pavane or Menuet d'Haydn. In these, her line is heart-felt and beautiful. Yet, Hewitt can create a strong sense of drama and intrigue when needed in works like the early Serenade Grotesque or the highly intelligent Valses Nobles. Her Alborada (Miroirs) is hot and spicy - a fine tribute to Ravel's Spanish-Basque roots. Equally delectable are her crystalline chromatic textures and exacting rhythms in pieces like the Prelude, Forlane and the Chabrieresque Rigaudon of "Le Tombeau." Hewitt really brings out the best in Ravel's most curious and fascinating music.

As many know, one of Ravel's most significant and famous piano works is 'Gaspard de la nuit' which is something of a top pianist's 'right-of-passage' due to the immense virtuosity required. Probably the most riviting performance of "le Gaspard" was by Martha Argerich in a live concert (EMI). Some say you have not lived until you've heard Argerich's performance which is one of her most exciting on record. Contrastingly, Hewitt's approach the this daunting piece is one of more subtlety and precision of passage work, shunning sheer bravura. This is most notable in the last movement, Scarbo (an eerie being from the literary work who haughts at night). In this movement, Martha Argerich gives us a Scarbo that is indeed fully terrifying with her quicksilver virtuosity that haughts its victim more through sheer power (created through speed and volume). In contrast, Hewitt's Scarbo is more subtle and insideous - created from nuances of shading/tempo/dynamic. Both evoke an ominous atmosphere but in a different way. Certainly Hewitt's Scarbo is more 'tame' - but perhaps more stealthy and cunning than Argerich's overtly sinister Scarbo. Hewitt brings a real crystal-clarity to this third movement; but for some, it may lack drama and "punch" - but all do compared to Argerich's electrifying reading. But, to Hewitt's favor is the Sonatine where her delicate and ethereal playing far surpasses Argerich's hyper-paced reading which never quite finds the gentle emotional center (a common critique of Martha's readings).

This is a very fresh, inspiring set that critics have taken note. This 2001 set received very high marks from both Gramophone and Penguin who herald Hewitt as having achieved status among the great pianists recording Ravel. Pretty good for a so-called "Bach specialist." The more I listen to Angela Hewitt's talent, the more I appreciate this pianist's esprit, range of repertoire and ability to create tonal beauty in anything she sets her hands to on the piano. The sound quality is excellent (rich and full) as are the 14 pages (!) of SUPERB program notes (which include the full text of literary work, "le Gaspard de la Nuit"). These are some of the finest notes written and were immensely helpful to understand more fully this programmic piece as well as the context and history of all works. Ravel's fascinating piano music was a very pleasing revelation to me this year, and I consider this two-CD set one of the treasures in my collection - as I do pretty much all of Hewitt's ever-growing and superb-quality discography. if you like this set, you should check out Hewitt's 2006 release of Chabrier piano music which is equally fascinating.--Amazon

CD Content

# Menuet antique, for piano (or orchestra)
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

# Pavane pour une infante défunte, for piano (or orchestra)
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

# Sonatine for piano
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

# Valses (8) nobles et sentimentales, for piano (or orchestra)
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

# Le tombeau de Couperin, for piano
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

# Sérénade grotesque, for piano
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

# Jeux d'eau, for piano
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

# Gaspard de la nuit, for piano
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

# Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn, for piano
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

# Prélude, for piano
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

# À la manière de. . . , for piano
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

# Miroirs, for piano (or orchestra)
Composed by Maurice Ravel
with Angela Hewitt

9 comments:

  1. WinRAR reports Track 9 on CD 1 and Track 14 on CD 2 as corrupt.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tried downloading Part 1 and 4 again, used a different unpacking utility (WinRAR, 7zip). I'm sorry... :-(

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Sandflyer, did you try the WinRar repair tool? I had over 300 downloads in 1 day with no complaints...Ohh I remember your name from Alio modo's site. I am sure you know what you are doing. It is midnight now at my part of the world and I will post part 1 and 4 first thing tomorrow morning. Pls watch the comments of this post as I will post the links here at comments. Otto

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you in advance, Otto. Yes, I did try repairing, to no avail... I'm taking the RAR files home and will give it another try there (as if maybe my home computer will do a better job ;-)
    Don't hurry - tomorrow's Saturday, so sleep in. For now, I can listen to the music without these two tracks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Sandflyer, yes the tracks are corrupted and regretfully I must tell you that my version is corrupted to :-(( ,so no sense in reupping them. I ordered the cd and will repost asap.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Aha! Sorry to hear that. Thanks for thr trouble, no hurry.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Maybe I'm stupid but have searched everywhere for link but cannot find it - please help?

    joshualine@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for this - the Tombeau is one of my favorite works ever. (No problems with the files, got them just fine.)

    Joshua: click on the top picture.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tracks 8-9-10 from CD 2 are missing.
    Could you please re-up them?
    Thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete

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