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‘Ravel’s three works for soloists and orchestra could not be more different. With his Piano Concerto in G major, he utilizes relatively small orchestral forces and keeps almost everything on an intimate scale. In contrast, with the Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, the composer lets loose a torrent of sound, including a famous solo for the contrabassoon. And while writing for just the left hand, Ravel would have the listener believe that the pianist is actually using both.

Tzigane has been a favorite showpiece for every great violinist, displaying the gypsy side of the composer. We are fortunate to have two brilliant soloists, pianist François Dumont and violinist Jennifer Gilbert, alongside the Orchestre National de Lyon to present the marvelous works contained on this installment of Ravel’s music.’

Leonard Slatkin

Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937)
Orchestral Works, Vol. 6
Piano Concerto in G major 1
Piano Concerto for the Left Hand 1 • Tzigane 2

François Dumont, Piano 1
Jennifer Gilbert, Violin 2
Orchestre National de Lyon
Leonard Slatkin

Composed between 1929 and 1931, Ravel’s two piano concertos reflect his enthusiasm for jazz, though one that was thoroughly absorbed into his own idiom. The Concerto in G major, originally conceived as a Basque rhapsody, is lightly scored but sports a vivacious percussion section, galvanising motor rhythms and a slow movement of astonishing beauty. The Concerto for the Left Hand, commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein who had lost his right arm in the First World War, is a single movement tour de force, as is Tzigane, a gypsy violin showpiece of dazzling virtuosity.

Listen to an extract from Piano Concerto in G major:
I. Allegramente
Listen to an extract from Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
Listen to an extract from Tzigane
About the Artists
Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is music director laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and directeur musical honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL). He maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting throughout the world and is active as a composer, author and educator. Slatkin has received six GRAMMY Awards and 33 nominations. His recent Naxos recordings include works by Saint-Saëns, Ravel and Berlioz (with the ONL), and music by Copland, Rachmaninov, Borzova, McTee, and John Williams (with the DSO).
A prizewinner of the International Chopin Piano Competition and the Queen Elisabeth Competition, François Dumont has appeared as a soloist with the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, among others. Dumont’s solo recordings include the complete sonatas of Mozart, the complete piano music of Ravel, and albums featuring works by Chopin, Mussorgsky and Bach.
Jennifer Gilbert is the leader of the Orchestre National de Lyon. She also enjoys an international career as a soloist and chamber musician. Highlights include concerto performances with the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra. Chamber music festivals around the world are a regular part of her schedule.
The Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL) has a core of 104 permanent musicians. Successor to the Société des Grands Concerts de Lyon, founded in 1905 by Georges Martin Witkowski, the ONL became a permanent orchestra in 1969. Aside from its concerts in their Lyon Auditorium, the ONL also performs in concert halls across the world such as Carnegie Hall, New York, the Berlin Philharmonie, Suntory Hall, Tokyo, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Shanghai. In 1979, it was the first European symphony orchestra to perform in China.
Previous releases in Slatkin’s Ravel orchestral works cycle
L’Heure espagnole
Don Quichotte à Dulcinée

Lombardo • Druet • Antoun
Barrard • Courjal • Le Roux
Orchestre National de Lyon
‘Leonard Slatkin draws a vivid sound from the Lyon players, with a wide range of dynamics and colours…No one could do more for the early Scheherezade overture, where Ravel’s interest in orchestral timbres is paramount.’
BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★
Also available in Blu-ray Audio (NBD0030)
‘[Slatkin] shows real empathy with this magical repertoire, and he draws playing of uncommon composure and contagious application from his scrupulously prepared Lyons band … Producer/engineer Tim Handley has struck a most judicious balance and his sound is commendably truthful and wide-ranging.’
Also available in Blu-ray Audio (NBD0034)
‘The coupling of Ravel’s Mussorgsky orchestration with those of works by Schumann, Debussy and Chabrier makes this a really interesting release. Slatkin’s conducting is inventive and the orchestral playing gorgeous.’
‘Slatkin and the Lyon players capture thoroughly all the elements that make up the prismatic score to Daphnis et Chloé.’
Classical Net
‘Leonard Slatkin brings his Orchestre National de Lyon to perform with a great charismatic flair that fully engages the listener’s imagination.’
Pizzicato ★★★★★
Follow this link for Leonard Slatkin's complete Naxos discography
Follow this link for the Orchestre National de Lyon's complete Naxos discography

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