Valses Nobles et Sentimentales is undoubtedly one of Ravel’s most magnificent solo piano works, and after an inauspicious start it has steadily grown in popularity over the course of the last century, both in its original form and subsequent orchestration.
Though two of the easier movements have appeared in the UK Grade 7 and 8 syllabus, the complete work comprises eight short movements which present considerable challenge, both technically and musically.
Those at diploma level or beyond who are preparing to perform it will want to be diligent in sourcing an edition which combines an accurate musical text with a presentation that is equally suited to study and performance. There are several to choose from.
I have previously relied on the excellent Edition Peters urtext (edited by Roger Nichols, 2008). There’s also a more recent edition from Bärenreiter (2015). In this review however, I will be considering a superb new publication from Durand in their Musique française series.
Durand published the first edition in 1911; this new publication updates their 1921 reprint, giving that authorised musical text a spacious modern engraving, and including an introduction with performing notes by eminent French musicologist Edmond Lemaître. Read on to find out more…Continue reading Ravel • Valses Nobles et Sentimentales