Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Jean Francois Aldric, VI (1795)
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Hungarian violinist Jelly d’ Arányi commissioned Ravel to write Tzigane. It premiered in 1924 in London. The piece was originally written for violin and piano. It is written for a luthéal, which is a kind of prepared piano. In the violin version of the piece, the music is quite exquisite and full of unexpected changes. Although there is not an actual gypsy melody in the piece, it still possesses a very strong sense of the traditional Hungarian Csardas folk dance. Nearly 10 minutes long, the piece consists of only one movement. It splendidly shows the extraordinary expressiveness of late Romantic violinists such as Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) and Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908) . A violin made by French luthier Jean François Aldric (1765-1843) in 1795 is used in this recording. The instrument provides an honest and mature interpretation of the piece’s tragic sense of beauty in the slow parts and its resplendent figures in the fast parts. The Chi Mei collection allows contemporary musicians to communicate with their musical predecessors vis-à-vis the instruments in the Chi Mei collection.