Monday, January 12, 2009

Lost in translation

The other day I was driving into work and WNED was playing Ravel's arrangement of his own "Le Tombeau de Couperin." That is Ravel in the picture up above! And while I was listening to "Le Tombeau" I had this thought:

I do not know of any piece written for piano that has been improved by orchestrating it.

I am just saying.

Judge for yourself with the Prelude from "Le Tombeau de Couperin." Here is the piano version, played by Leonard Pennario, who besides being my buddy was one of the great Ravel interpreters. He was especially famous in that regard for premiering the solo piano version of "La Valse."

Here is the orchestrated version played by Charles Dutoit and the Detroit Symphony.

It is like a different piece, with a whole different mood! And I am sorry, I just like the piano version better.

It is OK to disagree.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to debate. How about the popular Ravel orchestration of Pictures At An Exhibition? I prefer the Horowitz revamping of the piano score, but that is an eccentric taste at work. Do you have an opinion about orchestral pieces arranged for piano?