Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Louis Lortie and Ravel

My favorite composer for the piano has always been Maurice Ravel, and my favorite interpreter of his works for that instrument is the Canadian pianist Louis Lortie. His two-disc set on the Chandos label, a tour through the complete piano ourvre, is a must own. Lortie's wild tonal range on his instrument--he can, as Ravel would have it, careen quickly between stentorian and isolated to plush and vivid to puckish and amusingly self-satisfied--is on par with his whiz-bang technical excellence and sophisticated ear. His reading of Gaspard de la Nuit is one of the most devastating I've ever heard, especially the electric dwindling of the second movement, the calm before the frantic tocatta of the final section (executed with startling ease). But where he is at his most heart-rending (and yet somehow most removed) is his light-handed rendering of Pavane for a Dead Princess. Priceless. I would have a hard time choosing between this set and (believe it or not) Boulez's Bolero. If you own one Ravel CD own those two.

It's been a sad couple of days for personal reasons, and this music has served as an effective bulwark...


Blogger R J Keefe said...

Thanks for the tip. I'm still quaking to Angela Hewitt's set; hearing her Tombeau de Couperin was major event last spring.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Sophia said...

I couldn't agree more. I think Louis Lortie is one of the most amazing interpreters of French music out there, without a doubt.

11:30 AM  

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