Ravel’s G major Piano Concerto is a world in itself. Here there are echoes of jazz to be found as well as Stravinsky-like asperity and tender cantilenas. And above all this floats the composer’s very own melodic voice with its fragile charm. It is the great responsibility of any soloist performing this piece to bring out all its facets without losing sight of the piece as a whole.
Hélène Grimaud is a pianist whose repertoire has for some time included Ravel’s concerto, playing it with consummate ease and sensitivity. In this performance too, she underlined her standing as an exponent of Ravel, receiving high praise, including from the critic of the Berliner Zeitung: “Hélène Grimaud brings out the countless nuances of this music with brilliant security. Black gleaming bass notes, silvery shimmering smooth passages and, in between, heartbeats with a hint of melodic indulgence glow warmly.”
Making his first appearance with the orchestra was Ossetian-born conductor, Tugan Sokhiev, at that time musical director of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. In addition to the Ravel concerto, he also conducts two Liszt transcriptions by Heinz Holliger plus Rachmaninov’s melancholy Second Symphony.