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.