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Compared, Vol. 1: Erard vs. Steinway - Ravel: Sonatine; Gaspard de la Nuit; Menuet antique; Tombeau de Couperin / Paolo Giacometti

Audio Samples

>Ravel, Maurice : Sonatine for Piano
>Ravel, Maurice : Gaspard de la nuit
>Ravel, Maurice : Menuet antique
>Ravel, Maurice : Le tombeau de Couperin

Album Summary

>Ravel, Maurice : Sonatine for Piano
>Ravel, Maurice : Gaspard de la nuit
>Ravel, Maurice : Menuet antique
>Ravel, Maurice : Le tombeau de Couperin
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Pianist Paolo Giacometti presents a fascinating new recording of music by Maurice Ravel played on both modern and authentic instruments. Although trained on modern pianos, Giacometti has long been a proponent of period keyboards. Giacometti's desire to share the interpretive revelations he gained from playing these pianos was the inspiration for this unique project, which features Ravel's Sonatine, Gaspard de la Nuit, Menuet antique and Le Tombeau de Couperin. The new instrument used for the recording is a Steinway and the authentic instrument is an Érard - one of the most celebrated makers of the nineteenth century. Ravel frequently gave his recitals on a Steinway, while at home he used an Érard when composing.

Sunday Times, November 2012
Parallel discs of four Ravel works for piano played on a wooden-frame Erard "period" instrument, with its expressively clear and clattery sound, and a steel-frame Steinway, with its streamlined, decisive eloquence...In general, I incline to the Steinway effect.

ClassicsToday.com
For my ideal Giacometti performance of Le Tombeau de Couperin, I choose the Érard for the Prélude's more pronounced contrasts between the hands and the Toccata's more forceful repeated notes. On the other hand, the Steinway Forlane movement seems more fluid and less sectionalized next to its Érard counterpart. In all, an absorbing and often inspired release.

American Record Guide, March / April 2013
Giacometti's "Authentic or Modern" project poses an instructive look at interpretive differences. The interpretations themselves are decent. The Steinway lent itself to Giacometti's more graceful, nuanced sound. His tone is lovely and his interpretations could benefit from a faster tempo. Menuet Antique, expressive and finely shaped while Le Tombeau De Couperin has marked differences from Steinway to Erard. The 16th notes in the Prelude sound smoothly connected on the Steinway, while the Erard brings out a more dance-like quality. Le Tombeau De Couperin sounds livelier and more energetic on the Erard. The Erard also sounds warmer, probably owing to the wooden frame. The recording quality is superb, bringing out the sounds of these different pianos to their best advantage. An engaging project.

BBC Music Magazine, February 2013
As a document of the characteristics of Erard and Steinway pianos and their relevance to Ravel's piano works, this set has much to recommend it...As for Giacometti's interpretations, the harder the pieces, the better he is. Gaspard de la nuit is terrific throughout...But once Giacometti has, as it were, time to think, matters deteriorate.

Gramophone Magazine, February 2013
Gaspard on an Erard is interesting but simply sounds and works better on a Steinway...The Sonatine, on the other hand, sounds very convincing on the older instrument, as do some of the movements from Le Tombeau.



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Works Details

>Ravel, Maurice : Sonatine for Piano
  • Performer: Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1903-1905

>Ravel, Maurice : Gaspard de la nuit
  • Performer: Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
  • Running Time: 45 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1908

>Ravel, Maurice : Menuet antique
  • Performer: Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1895

>Ravel, Maurice : Le tombeau de Couperin
  • Performer: Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
  • Running Time: 48 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1914-1917

>Ravel, Maurice : Sonatine for Piano
  • Performer: Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
  • Running Time: 23 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1903-1905

>Ravel, Maurice : Gaspard de la nuit
  • Performer: Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
  • Running Time: 45 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1908

>Ravel, Maurice : Menuet antique
  • Performer: Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1895

>Ravel, Maurice : Le tombeau de Couperin
  • Performer: Paolo Giacometti (Piano)
  • Running Time: 48 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1914-1917