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Maurice Ravel: Tzigane – Sonata for violin and piano in G – Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Fauré - Sonata for violin and cello – Pièce en forme de Habanera - Posthumous Sonata
Sasha Rozhdestvensky (violin), Michal Kanka (cello), Josiane Marfurt (piano)
Recording: Prague Conservatory (July 23-27, 2011) – 65’48
Praga Digitals # PRD/DSD 250 286 – Booklet in English, French and German

Eclipsed by the familial works of Boléro, La Mer and Ma Mère l’Oye is Maurice Ravel’s thinly grown chamber music which amazingly spread across a span of 30 years. But this overshadowed chapter of the Basque artist may hold an interest to anyone whose focused on his more elusive works.

This Praga Digitals collection is an honest, no nonsense rendition of Ravel’s rather radical pieces, handled with straight line preciseness by Marfurt, Rozhdestvensky and Kanka. Each of three musicians wraps themselves around Ravel’s musically philosophical approaches with textured acuity. Through a myriad of tonal punctuation evolves an anthology which is highly broadened into proportioned expression by these three accomplished artists.

John Tyler Tuttle’s Pierre E. Barbier translation is incisively academic, delving into the background of Ravel’s work with lucid clarity. If downloading to an electronic device, however, none of the eleven tracks are inscribed with delineation, causing the listener to rewind and manually recapitulate the appropriate information relating to each movement. In this high tech environment, this appears a grave oversight on part of Praga Digitals.

Christie Grimstad




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