Ravel, Prokofiev Piano Concertos (2005)

Ravel, Prokofiev, Schlime

Russian National Orchestra, Francesco Tristano Schlime

Mikhail Pletnev

Piano Concerto in G Major by Ravel (1875-1937) and Piano Concerto no. 5 op. 55 by Prokofiev (1891-1953) clearly belong to two different piano worlds, were it only for the nationality of the two composers – one from France, the other from Russia – or for the formal structure adopted, Prokofiev innovating with his five movements while Ravel preferred to adopt a more traditional tripartite structure. Nevertheless, in spite of these divergent characteristics, a number of points in common, such as historical and aesthetic similarities, seem to bring these two works together.
In effect, these two piano concertos in G major share a great deal more than a same key, as both were created in 1932 – one in Paris and the other in Berlin – and since they mark the end of a genre for the two composers. Ravel was to compose only two piano concertos while Prokofiev composed five. Another interesting similarity is that the composition of these two concertos, both Ravel’s and Prokofiev’s, took place after a concerto was written for the left hand dedicated to the one-armed pianist, Wittgenstein. We all know Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand, but too often forget Prokofiev’s Fourth Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. The reason for this is simple: the work was never played by Wittgenstein, who acknowledged receipt of the order by the following note: “I thank you for the Concerto, but I don’t understand a note of it and will not play it.” Another point in common between the two works is the titre. As we know them today, the titles of these two concertos were not the first choices by the composers, since Ravel initially contemplated Divertissement, while Prokofiev was rather inclined towards Music for Piano and Orchestra.

 

 

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Russian National Orchestra

The Russian National Orchestra was founded in 1990 by pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev and is today recognized as one of the world’s top orchestras.  Maintaining an active international tour schedule, the RNO appears throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas, and is a frequent visitor to major festivals such as Edinburgh, Shanghai and the BBC Proms.  The orchestra presents its own RNO Grand Festival each September to open the Moscow season, and is founding orchestra of Festival del Sole, held every July in California’s Napa Valley.

RNO concerts are regularly aired on National Public Radio in the United States, the European Broadcasting Union, and Russia's Kultura channel.  The orchestra's critically acclaimed discography, launched with a 1991 CD cited as the best recording of Tchaikovsky’s Pathéthiquein history, now numbers more than 80 recordings, with conductors that include Founder and Music Director Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Jurowski, Kent Nagano, Vasily Petrenko and Carlo Ponti. 

Mikhail Pletnev

After his studies at the Central Special Music School, Mikhail Pletnev entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1974, where he studied with Jakob Flier and Lev Vlasenko. Aged only 21, Pletnev was the Gold Medal and First Prize winner of the 1978 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. He has since appeared as soloist with the major orchestras under conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano and Kurt Sanderling.

In 1990, following the collapse of the Soviet system, Mikhail Pletnev was able to realize his dream of forming the Russian National Orchestra. Under his artistic leadership, the RNO has become known as one of the world’s leading orchestras. Although his conducting career is primarily focused on the RNO, he also makes appearances as a guest-conductor with such prestigious orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berliner Sinfonieorchester and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In September 1999, Pletnev was appointed the RNO’s Conductor Laureate and his collaboration with the orchestra has continued in many of its recordings and concerts. In February 2003, he conducted the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra at the Berliner Konzerthaus for the official opening of the Russian Year of Culture. 

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Ravel, Prokofiev Piano Concertos (2005)

Ravel, Prokofiev, Schlime

Russian National Orchestra, Francesco Tristano Schlime

Producer: Job Maarse
Recording Engineer: Jean Marie Geijsen, Roger de Schot, Igor Slovyov
Recording location: Grand Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire

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PTC5186080: Ravel, Prokofiev Piano Concertos
01:55:43   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Allegramente - Piano Concerto in G
Ravel
00:09:42   Select quality & channels above
2.
Adagio assai - Piano Concerto in G
Ravel
00:11:21   Select quality & channels above
3.
Presto - Piano Concerto in G
Ravel
00:04:19   Select quality & channels above
4.
I - Allegro con brio - Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 55 in G
Prokofiev
00:05:15   Select quality & channels above
5.
II - Moderato ben accentuato - Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 55 in G
Prokofiev
00:04:14   Select quality & channels above
6.
III - Toccata - Allegro con fuoco (piu presto che la prima volta) - Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 55 in G
Prokofiev
00:02:03   Select quality & channels above
7.
IV - Larghetto - Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 55 in G
Prokofiev
00:07:56   Select quality & channels above
8.
V - Vivo - Piano Concerto No. 5 Op. 55 in G
Prokofiev
00:05:41   Select quality & channels above
9.
Reveal - Three Improvisations
Schlime
00:07:18   Select quality & channels above
10.
Progression - Three Improvisations
Schlime
00:02:11   Select quality & channels above
11.
Return - Three Improvisations
Schlime
00:05:12   Select quality & channels above

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