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Ravel, Prelude pour Piano (Read 14874 times)

Offline rachfan

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Ravel, Prelude pour Piano
« on: June 05, 2006, 11:28:58 PM »
This enigmatic and seldom heard piece was composed by Ravel  for the Paris Conseratory's sight-reading test in 1913.  On paper it is a mere 27 measures long and appears simple enough, although actually treacherous, and poses challenges of interpretation for anyone who initially encounters the piece.  It is one of those atmospheric pieces that only Ravel could create that grows on one with every hearing.   
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

piano sheet music of Prelude


Offline le_poete_mourant

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Re: Ravel, Prelude pour Piano
«Reply #1 on: June 06, 2006, 02:39:22 AM »
That's the problem for most folks, I think.  Too short, not "interesting" enough.  It's a little gem, to be sure... but why not go for the bigger stuff?  You obviously have the feeling for Ravel's style.  The Forlane or Prelude from Le Tombeau de Couperin would be an excellent followup. 
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Offline rachfan

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Re: Ravel, Prelude pour Piano
«Reply #2 on: June 06, 2006, 03:08:13 AM »
Hi poete,

The Prelude is not the only Ravel piece I've played; in fact, I play the complete character pieces, which are split, like his other repertoire, between lyrical pieces and those from his classical side.  The only reason I posted the Prelude is because it's so unusual and so few people know it.  Earlier tonight though I tried to post "La vallee des cloche" from Miroirs, but unfortunately the file size exceeds the posting limit here.  Tomorrow, I'll to put up one of those character pieces at least, as they are smaller files.  In the meantime, you might enjoy one of the more difficult Rachmaninoff pieces I posted.  Thanks for your kind words though on my understanding of Ravel's style.  He's always been one of my favorite composers.
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline hwhat06

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Re: Ravel, Prelude pour Piano
«Reply #3 on: July 04, 2006, 09:16:24 PM »
i've played this piece and if you want to play it technically it is easy...but if you want to embrace the song...it's difficult...this is a very good recording...but the piano sounds out of tune...but you did excellent...you really held the song close good job

                                  bill e
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Offline rachfan

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Re: Ravel, Prelude pour Piano
«Reply #4 on: July 04, 2006, 10:17:32 PM »
Hi  hwhat06,

Thanks for your praise on this recording!  The piece first struck me as being unusual, even for Ravel; but as I started to practice it, the piece grew on me immediately.  It's amazing that Ravel was able to put so much music into so short a space! 

On the piano, I live in New England, and the rapidly changing weather here does a job on all pianos.  (It makes the tuners rich though.)  If you are close to the ocean, it's even worse.  When I was doing my recordings, I probably should have stepped up the tuning schedule.  Again, I'm really glad you liked my playing of this haunting prelude. 
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline teresa_b

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Re: Ravel, Prelude pour Piano
«Reply #5 on: July 06, 2006, 12:03:41 AM »
Lovely!

Teresa

Offline rachfan

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Re: Ravel, Prelude pour Piano
«Reply #6 on: July 06, 2006, 12:13:33 AM »
Thanks, Teresa,

At first, the piece seemed a bit odd to me, but the more I got into it, the more I came to love the piece, as short as it is.
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.

Offline rachfan

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Re: Ravel, Prelude pour Piano
«Reply #7 on: June 06, 2007, 02:37:00 AM »
Here is some additional historical information on the Prelude:  

Ravel composed this Prelude for a Paris Conservatoire sight-reading competition in 1913, which was, incidentally, restricted to women pianists only.  So who sight-read the piece best?  It was Jeanne Leleu (1898-1979), a pupil of Long, Cortot and Widor. When Ravel later sent the piece to the publisher, he dedicated it to Leleu, who also, with Ravel, premiered his duo-piano suite Ma Mere L'Oye. Leleu went on to concertize, next became a pedagogue at the conservatory, and later was a composer of symphonic and ballet works.  

Members seemed to enjoy this seldom heard and very unusual piece.  If you didn't catch it the first time, please have a listen.  Comments welcome.    
Interpreting music means exploring the promise of the potential of possibilities.