Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ravel + Argerich = Musical heaven

It's 1:30 in the morning here, and I just thought to share this moment with you all. I do believe Ravel was inspired by the supernatural when he wrote this - it's something to listen to and just reminisce, preferably alone, with closed eyes and a contented soul. To quote Chopin in describing his own concerto:

The Adagio [sic] of my new Concerto is in E major. It is not meant to create a powerful effect; it is rather a Romance, calm and melancholy, giving the impression of someone looking gently towards a spot which calls to mind a thousand happy memories. It is a kind of reverie in the moonlight on a beautiful spring evening.

Yes, he is quoting a different concerto, but how adequate - they both are in the same key, in similar tempos, scored for similar instruments, and they both evoke the same warm feelings in me. I'm having a hard time finding the appropriate words to describe a work like this - so perhaps that is the purpose of music, to describe what cannot be described with words.

But this is only one half of the equation - who could forget the amazingly tender performance by Martha here? Undoubtedly one of the best pianists of our century, a true gem. Her remarkably prodigious use of the una corda makes it so pearly and (let's try) translucent, like the sun peeping out behind wispy cirrus clouds. Not exactly a perfectly clear day, but that is, in my opinion, the imperfection that defines true beauty.


  1. how do you post youtube videos on blogs? i haven't figured it out - i've tried, but failed miserably - my html knowledge is sadly fading - which is why i've put links instead of the actual videos on my blog.

    help please (puppy eyes).

    P.S You have not read The Playlist of BSC on Splinters. How could you? (sob. waahhh)

    P.P.S Just kidding.

  2. Go to the page on YT and copypaste the "Embed" html onto your blog post. It's toward the right side of the screen, in that little grayish infobox. That should work. :)

    And I've read it - just didn't comment. Bad Pianista, bad. ;P

  3. Pianista, I've set up a blog. If you're wondering why I've gone on Wikibreak, see my blog. It's really nice to see your cheery writing style again!

  4. I don't know much about Ravel or his work except for the pieces that every commoner knows. Now you've made me want to learn and listen to you more.

    I'm so glad we found each other's blogs. I'm so excited to learn more about the piano (the love of mine that got away) and music from you.

  5. @ TGF: Read, commented, thanks for letting me know. :)

    @ TangoB: Thanks! Me, too - I've been awfully busy so my posts have sorta died. I'll try to work up something soon, though, promise.

    @ TGF: Hey! You're a Wikipedian - look it up! :) It's Latin, referring to a deliberate typographical mistake. For example, if you quoted "sivilized" in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, you'd put "sivilized [sic]" to show that the misspelling was intentional. The "sic" in Chopin's quote is there because the movement isn't Adagio - it's Larghetto.

  6. Got it. Thanks for letting me knowe [sic]. :P

  7. Wow! you really are obssessed with music.