06 Ravel Complete PianoRavel – Complete Works for Solo Piano Vol.1
Vincent Larderet
Avie Records AV2623 (avie-records.com)

On the last page of the booklet there is a beautifully captured sketch of Ravel by none other than our pianist at age 12! So we have a talented visual artist as well as a pianist and that’s just what we need for the world of Ravel. “Steinway Artist” Vincent Larderet’s playing, apart from superb technique, is beautifully lyrical and deeply inspired with “a rare melding of the intellectual and the visceral” (International Piano, UK).

Ravel has an amazing quantity of piano works and Larderet embarks here on a project to record them all in four volumes. This first contains Miroirs, Jeux d’eau, Valses nobles et sentimentales, Sonatine and Pavane pour une princesse défunte. 

One salient feature of French Impressionism is getting inspiration from the external world, in the case of Ravel from Nature, e.g. water in its many representations. This is the case for Jeu d’eau, which was also inspired by Liszt, his Fountains of the Villa d’Este. The multifaceted genius Ravel was also quite entranced with the dance form the Waltz, and here we are treated to a set of eight delightful Valses that are indeed Noble and Sentimental. One can sense here some elements germinating towards Ravel’s major orchestral composition La Valse

The final work is one of Ravel’s finest, Pavane pour une princesse défunte, a hauntingly beautiful melody that was also orchestrated by the composer. This fine collection bodes well for the future and we look forward to further volumes from this exceptional pianist.

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