Ravel & Gershwin: Piano Concertos (SACD)

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Denis Kozhukhin, Orchestre de Suisse Romande, Kazuki Yamada

“Technically flawless, Kozhukhin combines wisely the brilliance and power of his playing with a masterful sense of form, maturity, and a very unique sensitivity.”

Exuberant high spirits, pulsating rhythms and breathless virtuosity jostle with urbane sophistication and deeply felt sentiment in these scintillating jazz-inspired concertos by Maurice Ravel and George Gershwin, played with élan by Denis Kozhukhin and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Kazuki Yamada in this release from PENTATONE.

A sparkling divertissement with witty orchestration and sizzling virtuosity, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major is and one of his best-loved works thanks to its impeccable style, dashing humour, and its hauntingly beautiful slow movement. In a change of mood, Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D major is a darkly hued, powerful work with a heroic grandeur realised in a fearsomely difficult piano part that traverses the keyboard to dazzling effect. And Tin Pan Alley beckons with Gershwin’s breezily confident and polished Piano Concerto in F major. With an inventive score that artfully combines jazz elements, heart on sleeve melodies and brilliant pianistics, the result is irresistible.

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Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937)
Piano Concerto in G major (1929 – 1931)
1. Allegramente
2. Adagio assai
3. Presto

George Gershwin (1898 – 1937)
Piano Concerto in F major (1925)
4. Allegro
5. Adagio – Andante con moto*
6. Allegro agitato

Maurice Ravel
7. Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D major (1929-1930)