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Brittle colour

Heidi Lowy plays Ravel, reviewed by

Bayer    BR 100 344/45 CD

Maurice Ravel: Das Klavierwerk. Heidi Lowy. © 2003 Bayer Records

Heidi Lowy is a product of the Juillard School, the Oberlin Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music, and had gained insights into the music of both Ravel and Mozart in the masterclasses of Robert Casadesus at Fontainebleau. She has made a notable impact in the USA with her predominantly romantic repertoire, and if this double CD Ravel recital is anything to go by, she should be better known in Europe too.

Her playing is extremely neat and well controlled, balancing, as she does with great care, the sustained timbres with a more brittle colour that gives for instance Le tombeau de Couperin a fresh and unexpected bloom [listen -- CD2 track 6, 0:39-1:30].

There is sensitivity in the Sonatine, technical accomplishment in Gaspard and Miroirs, and a vigorous determination about Valses nobles et sentimentales [listen -- CD1 track 8, 0:00-0:58], all of which add up to a most satisfying recital. The early Pavane, Jeux d'eau and Menuet antique are there, as also the three pieces of 1913, a Prélude and two à la manière de ..., one each for Chabrier and Borodine, homages to two of his early musical heroes.

The only omission -- a slight one at that -- is the curious little Sérénade grotesque, the earliest piano piece known to us (1893) borrowing from Chabrier and Satie the derogatory style of a title. These two volumes of Ravel are well worth having, and Lowy is a pianist worth searching out.

Copyright © 20 March 2004 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


Maurice Ravel: Das Klavierwerk

BR 100 344/45 CD DDD Stereo (2 CDs) 54'30"/66' - TT 116'30" 2002 Rudolf Bayer

Heidi Lowy, piano

Prélude (1913); à la manière de Chabrier (1913); à la manière de Borodine (1913); Menuet sur le nom d'Haydn (1909); Valses nobles et sentimentales (1911); Gaspard de la nuit (1907-8); Sonatine (1904-5); Miroirs (1905); Le tombeau de Couperin (1914-17); Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899); Jeux d'eau (1901); Menuet antique (1895)


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