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Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Daphnis et Chloé (1909-1912)
Suite for Piano from Daphnis et Chloé (arr. Petrauskaitė 2005-2015) [41:08]
Menuet antique (1895) [5:43]
Menuet sur le nom d’Haydn (1909) [2:08]
Miroirs: No. 3, ‘Une Barque sur l’océan’ (1904-1905) [7:20]
À la manière de … Alexander Borodine: Valse (1913) [1:37]
À la manière de … Emmanuel Chabrier: Paraphrase sur un air de Gounod (1913) [2:11]
La Valse (1919-1920) [13:48]
Indrè Petrauskaitė (piano)
rec. 2017, Kaunas State Philharmonic Hall, Kaunas, Lithuania

There have been a number of very fine recordings of Ravel’s piano music in recent years, so to record another and place it in an already saturated market, there really has to be something special or unique about the disc, in this case it is the inclusion of a suite for solo piano derived from the ballet Daphnis et Chloé which has been arranger by the Lithuanian pianist Indrè Petrauskaitė.

The Suite is the main work on this disc, with its nine movements lasting over forty minutes and may lead many to ask why not use Ravel’s own version, after all he composed at the piano, but as Indrè Petrauskaitė’s excellent notes state, his original manuscript has so many alterations and additional lines added for instrumentation written over the score that it is nearly impossible to read, never mind play the piano part. There are the three Fragments symphoniques that his publisher, Durand, drew from the ballet, but I find them a little disjointed, leaving me with too many questions, perhaps this is why they are seldom included in a recorded survey of the composer’s complete piano music. One pianist who has recorded them is Florian Uhlig (CD 93.318), and whilst he plays them well, I must agree with Indrè Petrauskaitė that “they sit rather uncomfortably together and do not make a convincing suite.” On the other hand, this Suite has a more rounded and complete feel, and it certainly answers the questions posed by the Fragments symphoniques. It is sympathetic to the composer’s ballet and would fit well into any collection of his piano music; you feel as if it is penned by Ravel himself, with Indrè Petrauskaitė certainly making a strong argument for her arrangement, both in her performance and her booklet essay.

The other works included on this disc need little introduction, although it is interesting that Petrauskaitė has chosen four of the more unusual piano works to sit alongside ‘Une Barque sur l’océan’ from Miroirs and La Valse. She is clearly at home playing this repertoire, yes, she gives us the slowest version of La Valse that I know, but it in no way feels laboured. These are strong and well played performances, especially in the Daphnis et Chloé Suite, but also in the other original piano works. The recorded sound is very good and as already stated, the booklet essay is excellent.

Stuart Sillitoe


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