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“Ravel: The Complete Works for Solo Piano Volume I”
Maurice Ravel: Miroirs, M.43 – Jeux d’eau, M.30 – Valses nobles et sentimentales, M.61 – Sonatine, M.40 – Pavane pour une infante défunte, M.19

Vincent Larderet (piano)
Recording: Alter Sendesaal, Bremen, Germany (April 25‑27, 2023) – 72’34
Avie Records AV2623 – Booklet in English, German and French

I try to make my music speak simply and directly to the ordinary man—not to be taken seriously, but to charm and entertain.” Maurice Ravel

Exquisite, charming...a dignified dandy, meticulous, introspective...those are all words which surround the aura of Maurice Ravel. Yet without realizing it, his music garners a certain level of gravity and deep-seated contemplation...that’s how Maurice Ravel rests softly upon individuals who love dwelling in his music on deeper dimension and beyond the world we live in...how can seriousness not be factored into his work? A hasty listen to the music would hand the baton over to foolhardiness, loosening a grip on the demur intensity and ineffable scoring. Vincent Larderet’s stylization originated from his mentor, Carlos Cebro, a man who keenly penetrated the understanding of Maurice Ravel’s personal scores. On this CD, the transition moves forward with a fully-integrated translation.

How to characterize Vincent Larderet’s artistic endeavors? Answer: “Unabashed patience”. Each of the passages is self-contained, neatly packaged, tightly encapsulated with genuine authenticity...the richness is deep and viscous.

We’re embraced by tangibles and intangibles of the five-sided Miroirs. Pulsating with spastic flutters aptly describes the mothy “Noctuelles”. A dissonant plane pervades “Oiseaux tristes”, opening up to the more expressive aqueous outreaches of “Une barque sur l’océan”. This artistic painting tells a complete story and pulsates with ambiguous intensity. What’s realized here is M. Larderet’s worthy souvenance and spirited emotion...the human breath stops for a moment to digest. The widely‑known “Alborado del gracioso” pulsates with superlative Andalusian charm and Ravellian might to the tightest, yet politest extent.

Jeux d’eau can rightfully hold its claim of charmed fluidity and effervescence. The dimensionless cache holds wide boundaries, and it beautifully segues into the grandeur of the intimate Valses nobles et sentimentales. So as to sew the inner thoughts [of Ravel] and listener, each of the eight œuvres holds a personal intimacy and a bespoken dimension...Vincent Larderet straddles these emotions with knife-edge potency and careful demeanor.

The most engaging and intimate extraction centers around the Sonatine: there exists a distant politeness, equivocal, while softly nudging with anxious hope. M. Larderet helps to re‑illuminate those hidden feelings deep inside Ravel’s mind. Straightforward and frank.

Though he tended to frown upon his Pavane pour une infante défunte, Maurice Ravel’s piece is significantly monumental and balanced. To this reviewer, Ravel’s composition holds dignity and emotion with distantly somber overtones. M. Larderet doesn’t overreach nor over-characterize, rather, he supports the composer’s intentions of conveying courtly elegances of Spanish customs, and in particular, to Princesse Polignac.

Vincent Larderet never sugar-coats Maurice Ravel. Ravel’s notes, by itself, speak grandeur and do not need oversimplification. To that extent, M. Larderet’s first volume of solo piano works “take the cake”.

Christie Grimstad




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