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  Linn Records -
  CKD 290
  Ravel: The Complete Piano Works Vol. 1 - Artur Pizarro
  Ravel: Jeux d’eau, Gaspard de la nuit, Sérénade grotesque, Miroirs, La Valse

Artur Pizarro (piano)
Track listing:
  Classical - Instrumental
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 3
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Site review by Polly Nomial January 13, 2008
Performance:   Sonics:    
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Review by March 3, 2014 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
The Portuguese-born pianist Artur Pizarro is not a new artist at Linn Records, with his beautiful and lively interpretations of Bethoven's piano sonatas and Chopin`s reminisanser and sonatas. These are divided into four SACD discs, all of which are hybrid multi-channel records.

Now it is the turn of impressionist composers, and first out is this album with compositions by Ravel. It is the first in a series of two, to form the complete piano works of Maurice Ravel.

No surprise that Pizarro demonstrates passionate interpretations also of Ravel, and that he is just as much at home in a musical material that is far more modern than in the previous releases.

Already at first brief listening I attached myself especially to two pieces that are my clear favorites. The first is part 2 of Gaspard de la Nuit, called Le Gibet . In addition to imagining hearing kinship to the much younger French composer Olivier Messiaen, there are obvious lines of Claude Debussy's tones in this artful composition.

Far more radical is the last piece of the disc - La Valse. A reckless "comments" to the Viennese waltz, which in its ferocity almost expresses a kind of desperation and despair.

Neither this time buckets Linn Records, which eventually has a long tradition of coming with multi-channel releases with creative, but accurate approach to sound mix for many channels. Yet it is sonically some big surprises compared to the previous releases with Artur Pizarro. For this time recording room's acoustics had a far more dominant role than in the previous four releases. And at this point Linn Records balances on an edge, cause it is not to be denied that this is a bit on the price of the conveyance of the precision of Pizarro's feasting of keys, a precision which of course is present in full measure.

It's kind of like this option focuses more on the mood of the music than nuance and precision of the individual tones. And so one might say that this is precisely in line with Impressionism, therefore it is an impressionistic sound mix? I think it is also interesting to notice that this recording sonically works better in multi channel than in stereo.

This review is based on a review originally written and published by me at in 2007.

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Review by nickc February 23, 2008 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Tragically Polly is correct in his denunciation of the sound here. When Ondine rises she sounds like she has just come from the bottom of the Marianas Trench! It is even more of a tragedy when the playing by Pizarro is at the level of an Ashkenazy or an Argerich - though I don't know if anyone has ever attacked Scarbo as hard as the Tigress...

The bizarre thing is that the producer and engineer were the same as Pizarro's Chopin sonatas 2&3 where the sound is magnificently bold and rolls through your living room, making you think Pizarro himself were there playing in front of you. This disc unfortunately sounds more like he has taken residence in the bathtub.

Playing 5 stars, sound...a generous 2.

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Works: 5  

Maurice Ravel - Gaspard de la nuit, M. 55
Maurice Ravel - Jeux d'eau, M. 30
Maurice Ravel - La valse, M. 72
Maurice Ravel - Miroirs, M. 43
Maurice Ravel - Sérénade grotesque, M. 5