Thursday, July 21, 2016

Abbey Simon Plays Maurice Ravel

Vox repackages Abbey Simon's mid-1970s Ravel cycle with spruced-up cover art and a slimmer jewel case. Hopefully this will help generate sales, for Abbey Simon is nothing less than a stunning and individual Ravel interpreter on every level. Note the uncommon clarity of dynamics, voicing, and texture he brings to Gaspard de la nuit's cruelly demanding three movements (especially in "Scarbo", where the left hand runs and rumbles emerge like a newly restored painting previously covered in grime).
Each of the Valses Nobles et Sentimentales are sharply characterized, and Simon commands the intricate fingerwork throughout Miroirs and Le Tombeau de Couperin with both gossamer delicacy and rhythmic backbone. You hear, for instance, all of Alborada del gracioso's ornaments and repeated notes with the accents properly positioned and timed to perfection. Many younger pianists tend to bang out La Valse, whereas Simon generates plenty of excitement and dramatic momentum by letting the music's rich harmonic canvas and inner lilt speak for themselves.
Simon lavishes similar care among the small pieces, from his sensitively "orchestrated" Pavane to Jeux d'eau's sprays of gold-tinted arpeggios. The superb engineering has barely aged and does ample justice to Simon's refulgent tone and wide dynamic range. This is some of the classiest Ravel playing on disc, and you'll never tire of Simon's aristocratic, seasoned artistry. At Vox's rock-bottom asking price, how can you resist ?
Jed Distler.

Source :

Abbey Simon
Maurice Ravel


Cd. 1

1 Valses nobles et sentimentales  14:54

Gaspard de la nuit
Trois poèmes pour piano
d'après Aloysius Bertrand
2 Ondine  6:39
2 Le Gibet  6:08
3 Scarbo  9:145

Cinq pièces pour piano
1 Noctuelles  4:30
2 Oiseaux tristes  3:33
3 Une barque sur l'océan  6:54
4 Alborada del gracioso  6:10
5 La Vallée des cloches  5:56


Cd. 2

1 Le Tombeau de Couperin  23:37
2 A la manière de Borodine  1:25
3 Menuet antique  5:30
4 A la manière de Chabrier  1:31
5 Menuet sur le nom de Haydn 1:36
6 Sonatine  10:33
7 Pavane our une Infante défunte  6:17
8 Jeux d'eau  5:56
9 Prélude  1:25
10 La Valse  11:15


Abbey Simon - p

Recorded middle 70s


Melanchthon said...

Anonymous said...

Watch out. Major Interpretation, even if the sense of touch is not very good.
Do not miss it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mel, I never cease admiring your taste, all your jazz posts are outta this world, and your classical piano ones are a joy, too. Thank you, for all of them, and for this one, too. Love Ravel.

zoltanzylox said...

Thanks Melanchthon! Great stuff!

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

I love Maurice Ravel' music.
Big thanks, Mel

Gil said...


Olde Edo said...

Thanks for this. I never tire of hearing different performances of Ravel.