To my ears, Pizarro has the full measure of the composer’s delicious sensibility of meshing old and new esthetic values. He delivers the Classicism with crisp rhythms and a lucid sense for overall structure. At the same time, he finds the sensuality and gentle poetry that Ravel uses to shape his subjects. Pizarro draws out a wonderful range of color and subtle phrasing in his playing, and it is a delight to hear it on this extraordinary sounding recording.
07 July 2017
Pizarro vaguely echoes Gieseking, who is the only player who clearly conveys that this is not happy music; that the movements, for all their surface charm, are little epitaphs for friends Ravel lost during World War One. Pizarro captures this feel in places, though he’s a little too offhandedly chipper in the Rigaudon.
09 April 2009
“Dans le maniere de Chabrier” (track 16) is actually full of little hints of the arietta of the character Siebel in the third act of Gounod’s opera, “Faust”. It has a Chopinesque feeling under Pizarro’s fingers. The gentle tugging at the tempo is certainly not the same as Gounod’s original, but rather sounds like a Mazurka from time to time. Pizarro has his sights set perfectly here and achieves the right touch and pace. This is a very clever bit of pianism.
24 June 2009
Pizarro’s playing is simply exquisite from start to finish of this 75 minute outing. I’ve spent the better part of a day playing and replaying this disc and I can find absolutely nothing wrong here. I even found myself listening to some other artists play these works and I must admit to having changed some of my deeper-seated predispositions. Pizarro demonstrates admirable technique and displays some great insight into compositions that I felt I knew inside out. We are not short of Ravel discs but I would place this (and the first volume) the top of the list. A set of simply superb performances from beginning to end that gets my highest recommendation.