The idea of pairing up Janáček and Ravel for a whole program has been following Dablemont for many years. Albeit difficult to put into practice within the framework of a live performance, this idea was perfectly fitting a solo recording project. Ravel and Janáček have always been part of the pianist’s core repertoire and a French-Czech program is perfectly reflecting the influence of cross-cultural diversity on his education and personality.
Both Janáček and Ravel have a particular resonance with Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont and reflect his path in the music world. He therefore naturally chose to feature these two composers in his first album.
Czech composer Leoš Janáček composed all his most important works for solo piano from 1900 to 1912. Initially intended for harmonium, the first volume of On an Overgrown Path is based on Moravian folk melodies. First published in 1901, the cycle had grown to nine pieces for piano in 1908. Later, Janáček added a last piece to his cycle The Barn Owl Has Not Flown Away!, refering to the death of his daughter Olga in 1903 through a moravian legend. The definitive version of the first book was published in 1911.
In the Mists is the last of his more substantial solo works for piano. It was composed in 1912, while his operas were still being rejected by the Prague opera houses. All four parts of the cycle are anchored in “misty” keys with five or six flats and the atmosphere of the cycle can be compared to the impressionist compositions, with particular influence of Claude Debussy.
Gaspard de la nuit, Trois poèmes pour piano d’après Aloysius Bertrand by Maurice Ravel, has been written in 1908. It has three movements, each based on a poem by Aloysius Bertrand: Ondine, Le gibet, Scarbo. Very dark as was Ravel’s mind at that time (his father was seriously ill and died a few months later), the piece is famous for its incredible difficulty, partly because Ravel intended the Scarbo movement to be more difficult than Balakirev’s Islamey. Because of its technical challenges and profound musical structure, it is considered one of the most-difficult solo piano pieces in the standard repertoire.
”A refreshingly brusque approach to both of the Czech works.„
”Dablemont really impresses in the Ravel.„
Gavin Plumley, Entartete Musik
”…Dablemont does such a wonderful job of this, that [...] the instrument fades away and you are bewitched by the music alone….„
”…The future of classical music is obviously in good hands…„
Jean-Yves Duperron, Classical Music Sentinel
”…Dablemont as the the talent to hold interest and the potential to grow into an artist of real stature….„
”…both composers are served by excellent performances…„
Anthony Kershaw, Audiophilia
”…Dablemont acquits himself here with deftness, and a subtlety of touch that is delightful to encounter…„
”…The tracks sparkle with emotion, and demonstrate a sensitive, nuanced reading of the composer’s ideas…„
William Haviland, Sounds for a Sunday
Po zarostlém chodníčku
(On an overgrown path)
1. Naše večery
2. Lístek odvanutý
3. Pojďte s námi!
4. Frýdecká panna Maria
5. Štěbetaly jak laštovičky
6. Nelze domluvit!
7. Dobrou noc!
8. Tak neskonale úzko
9. V pláči
10. Sýček neodletěl!
V mlách (In the mists)
12. Molto adagio
Gaspard de la nuit
16. Le gibet