Concerto pour piano et orchestre en sol majeur
The Piano Concerto in G major was a long time in the making. Ravel started thinking about it in 1928 (at his visit to Oxford) after his return from America. He took it up again in 1929, but then broke off to write the Concerto for the left hand, then continued with in 1930, and completed it in 1931. Ravel saw this concerto as being in the spirit of Mozart and Saint-Saëns, light and brilliant and in contrast to those heavier classical concerti which he felt were written "against" rather than "for" the piano.
The concerto observes traditional 3-movement form, albeit with great contrasts of style between movements and indeed within them: the first movement begins with a whipcrack and goes on to include jazz elements reminiscent of Gershwin (whom Ravel had met in America in 1928), as well as an imitation of a musical saw in the trilling of the piano. Of the solo part, Marguerite Long later recalled: "It is a difficult work especially in respect of the second movement where one has no respite. I told Ravel one day how anxious I was, after all the fantasy and brilliant orchestration of the first part, to be able to maintain the cantabile of the melody of the piano alone during such a long slow flowing phrase... 'That flowing phrase!' Ravel cried. 'How I worked over it bar by bar! It nearly killed me!'"
|II.||Adagio assai||9:59||Bertoglio, C.|