on Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
a FanFaire Interview
This video clip is an excerpt from FanFaire's interview with Jean-Yves backstage at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on April 1, 2007 following his performance of Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand with the LA Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, which he served up to an enthusiastic audience with élan vital and characteristic brilliance. Jean-Yves combined his superb fingerwork with masterful pedaling, making this powerful and occasionally dark piece, which Ravel composed by necessity for one hand, sound - even to the tutored ear - like a concerto for both hands, ending as it did in a veritable orchestral explosion that echoed the piece's wartime origins.
It was a fitting centerpiece for a superb program that opened with Salonen's enigmatic composition "Helix" which according to Salonen was inspired by the idea of a conical helix imploding in a riot of aural colors as the music traversed with accelerating speed the path of the spiral's widest diameter to its narrowest. The program fittingly closed with a panacea for jarred nerves - with selections from Prokokiev's ballet music "Romeo and Juliet," soothing and relatively devoid of jagged edges, yes, but a feast of orchestral colors nonetheless. Leave it to the ever-youthful Salonen, composer-conductor, to know how best to send a jolted concert audience home. A live recording of this concert was released by Deutsche Gramophone on August 20, 2007.
CLICK BELOW to listen to some clips (courtesy of Deutsche Gramophone):
From Salonen: Helix (Track 1 - finale)
From Ravel: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
1. Lento (Track 1) 2. Allegro (Track 3 - finale)
Following the concert, Thibaudet and Salonen held a lively Q & A session with audience members who stayed to learn more about the artists' insights into the program's unusual pieces.
In this video, Jean-Yves talks about the nuances of Ravel's Left Hand Piano Concerto and why for the longest time, it was the only piece for piano by Ravel that he shunned, only to become one of his favorite concert pieces.
Jean-Yves returns to his adopted Los Angeles in August (2007) to perform Saint-Saens' Piano Concerto with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl.
ALSO: Jean-Yves on his long-standing
love affair with Ravel's other piano concerto - in G major (for both hands,
of course!) which began when he was but a little boy of 6!
JEAN-YVES's MESSAGE to FanFaire VIEWERS
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