Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy & Jules Massenet (2010) [Repost]

Posted By: Designol
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy & Jules Massenet (2010) [Repost]

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy & Jules Massenet (2010)
with BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier

EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 240 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 181 Mb | Artwork included
Genre: Classical | Label: Chandos | # CHSA 5084 | Time: 01:17:00

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy & Jules Massenet (2010) [Repost]

This stunning and generous collection belongs right at the top of the heap in its respective repertoire. The Debussy is still a comparative rarity in concert if not on disc, a remarkable fact given that it's wholly gorgeous from first note to last. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet's excellence as a Debussy pianist already has been acknowledged by just about everyone who has heard him, and needs no further advertisement here. The performance is outstanding, sensitive to every nuance, but also very French in its clear-eyed sensibility and understanding that focused rhythm and supple tempos prevent the music from turning excessively sentimental or blandly pretty. And in Tortelier, Bavouzet has a conductor who seconds him every step of the way. A similar sensibility informs these swift, razor-sharp, and utterly thrilling accounts of the two Ravel concertos. That for the left hand seldom has sounded so exciting, or in its jazzy central march section, so sinister. Listen to the bite that both soloist and orchestra bring to that descending scale theme, and notice the way Bavouzet shapes his cadenza so as to preserve the illusion of multiple parts played by multiple hands–all without slowing down at the tough passages. It's really an amazing performance by any standard. Even the dark opening, often merely murky on other recordings, has shape and urgency, the buildup to the initial entry of the piano creating incredible tension.

The G major concerto probably has more lousy performances to its credit than any other major 20th century piano concerto (save perhaps Gershwin's). Most of the time the problems start right from the solo entry in the first movement after the initial orchestral tutti, and the reason is easy to describe. This movement is in sonata form, and it has two basic tempos: "allegramente" for the opening, and "meno vivo" for the transitional material and second subject. Now obviously, "meno vivo" isn't all that much slower, but it's often taken at close to adagio by pianists anxious to wring "expression" out of the music at all costs. This is all the more absurd when we note that in the recapitulation, "meno vivo" briefly gives way to andante for the ethereal harp cadenza and horn solo. So Ravel's intentions aren't mysterious.

The best performances, then, to make a long story short, keep the tempo going with relative steadiness however much rubato and inflection happens along the way. Bavouzet gets it absolutely right, following up with one of the most songfully flowing and elegantly shaped accounts of the Adagio on disc, and concluding with an absolutely scorching finale. The Massenet encores are both novel and delightful, bringing the playing time up to a hefty 77 minutes. The SACD sonics are terrific, featuring well-nigh perfect balances and flattering the enthusiastic playing of the BBC Symphony (the real one, not the usual Philharmonic). This release is a "must" if you care about any of this music, and a first choice if you're newly in the market.

Review by David Hurwitz,

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is one of a number of younger artists who has shown that there's perhaps unexpected life yet in the French recital and concerto traditions of the 19th century. Here he surrounds a pair of familiar Ravel standards for piano and orchestra with works that qualify as rarities by major composers. Bavouzet makes these into considerable revelations. The neglect of the Fantaisie for piano and orchestra of Debussy, composed in 1889, is a bit hard to understand inasmuch as it is Debussy's only work for this combination. It stands right at the point where Debussy's mature style emerged, seeming at first a work in Fauré's style. But soon it transpires that the piano is not forming contrasts with the orchestra but painting colors in the empty spaces it leaves, using textures and a surprising amount of whole-tone material. Bavouzet's performance is magical. Likewise the Massenet pieces, including the Valse folle (Crazy Waltz) that concludes the proceedings on a somewhat ominous note. The Ravel centerpieces are given brisk, sharp, crisp readings, which are highly effective in the case of the brilliant Piano Concerto in G major, where Bavouzet delivers what is going to be seen as a real crowd-pleaser. The Piano Concerto for the left hand is interesting not only for its unique technical concept, but as an example of the period in which Ravel was exploring the possibilities of American blues and jazz, and in the latter respect it's a bit dry. But superb orchestral support from the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Yan Pascal Tortelier, along with transparent super audio sound, make this an excellent choice for French music devotees.

Review by James Manheim,

This is a disc of pure pleasure, with some revelations thrown in for good measure. First, a quick gripe. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is truly marvellous, but it rankles to see his name in letters four times the size of those used for the composers on the front of the disc. What a disc, though.

There are glittering performances of the Ravel Concertos, the outer movements of the G major being full of joy, while the slow movement is delectably phrased. The BBC Symphony Orchestra is on top form, playing with gallic panache under Yan Pascal Tortelier. Their performance of the Left Hand Concerto is equally strong, the pacing of its many awkward corners negotiated effortlessly.

Debussy’s early Fantaisie often partners the Ravel Concertos, but can all too easily lack conviction, seeming like a filler in every sense. There is no danger of that here, with one of the most committed and convincing accounts on disc, the opening glowing with promise that is, for once, fulfilled.

Like the Ravel Concerto in G, surround sound recording provides an attractively transparent and natural acoustic. It seems odd, then, that orchestral detail becomes opaque at times in the Left Hand Concerto, with the horns sounding like they are located off-stage.

This is a minor caveat, and the disc closes with a delightful surprise in the shape of some extraordinary solo piano works by Massenet. There are clear pre-echoes of moments in Debussy and Ravel. Most striking, though, is ‘Eau dormante’, which could easily be mistaken for Satie. Charming works completing a glorious disc.

Review by Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy & Jules Massenet (2010) [Repost]

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy & Jules Massenet (2010) [Repost]

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Yan Pascal Tortelier


Achille-Claude Debussy (1862–1918)

for Piano and Orchestra
01. I. Andante ma non troppo (8:03)
02. II. Lent (tres expressif) (8:11)
03. III. Allegro molto (7:52)

Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)

Concerto in G
for Piano and Orchestra
04. I. Allegramente (8:13)
05. II. Adagio assai (8:55)
06. III. Presto (3:58)

07. Concerto for the Left Hand
for Piano and Orchestra (17:47)

Jules Massenet (1842–1912)

Deux Impromptus
08. I. Eau Dormante (2:57)
09. II. Eau Courante (1:58)

Toccata (2:05)

Deux Pièces pour piano
11. I. Papillons noirs (1:36)
12. II. Papillons blancs (2:45)

13. Valse folle (2:39)

Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 3 from 29. August 2011

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Jean-Efflam Bavouzet; BBC Symphony Orchestra, Yan-Pascal Tortelier / Debussy, Ravel - Works for Piano & Orchestra

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Analyzed: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet; BBC Symphony Orchestra, Yan-Pascal Tortelier / Debussy, Ravel - Works for Piano & Orchestra

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR16 -0.13 dB -22.46 dB 8:03 01-Debussy: Fantaisie - I. Andante ma non troppo
DR14 -9.58 dB -30.17 dB 8:11 02-Debussy: Fantaisie - II. Lent (tres expressif)
DR15 -1.66 dB -23.08 dB 7:52 03-Debussy: Fantaisie - III. Allegro molto
DR16 -0.27 dB -23.69 dB 8:13 04-Ravel: Concerto in G - I. Allegramente
DR20 -2.80 dB -30.19 dB 8:55 05-Ravel: Concerto in G - II. Adagio assai
DR19 0.00 dB -24.55 dB 3:58 06-Ravel: Concerto in G - III. Presto
DR16 -0.42 dB -22.89 dB 17:47 07-Ravel: Concerto for the Left Hand
DR13 -17.67 dB -37.69 dB 2:57 08-Massenet: Deux Impromptus - I. Eau Dormante
DR12 -11.19 dB -29.58 dB 1:58 09-Massenet: Deux Impromptus - II. Eau Courante
DR15 -7.24 dB -27.70 dB 2:05 10-Massenet: Toccata
DR11 -14.07 dB -32.03 dB 1:36 11-Massenet: Deux Pieces pour piano - I. Papillons noirs
DR14 -11.16 dB -30.66 dB 2:45 12-Massenet: Deux Pieces pour piano - II. Papillons blancs
DR13 -7.56 dB -25.72 dB 2:39 13-Massenet: Valse folle

Number of tracks: 13
Official DR value: DR15

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 428 kbps
Codec: FLAC

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy & Jules Massenet (2010) [Repost]

All thanks to original releaser - A-Z

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