Ravel, Rimski-Korsakov, Blacher... performed by Martha Argerich and the Orchestre National de France
15:44Boris Blacher: Variations on a theme by Paganini conducted by Emmanuel Krivine
32:54Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major performed by Martha Argerich
46:58Rimsky-Korsakov: Shéhérazade conducted by Emmanuel Krivine
Martha Argerich performs the Piano Concerto in G major by Maurice Ravel, alongside the Orchestre National de France, conducted by Emmanuel Krivine. Following this, Boris Blacher's Variations on a theme by Paganini, and Shéhérazade by Nikolaï Rimsky-Korsakov.
The very popular Shéhérazade by Nikolaï Rimsky-Korsakov recounts several tales from the One Thousand and One Nights. First performed in 1889 in St Petersburg, conducted by its own composer, it is "the most important 'oriental' monument in all of 19th century music", according to the musicologist André Lischke.
The subject matter seduced many other composers, including the young Maurice Ravel, who used it for his Ouverture de féerie in 1898 and three orchestral melodies in 1903. Many years later, he set upon composing two piano concertos simultaneously. Formal but no less modern, the Piano Concerto in G major echoes those by Mozart, Saint-Saëns, and Liszt, while highlighting various jazz influences.
As for Boris Blacher, he drew from Paganini's Caprice for violon n°24, composing his own variations in which rhythm occupies a large and important role.