Ruth Laredo, Ravel La Valse (solo piano) - 01/24/1308:31 PM
Easily the best performance (in my opinion) I've ever heard of the solo piano version of La Valse!! This is unbelievable playing. I need to listen to more of her playing. Anybody here a Ruth Laredo fan? What do you recommend that I listen to?
As you know, Soda, I'm a Laredo fan and have been for years. Her LaValse is THE LaValse for me. Recommendations? Her Rach (she's buried only a few feet away from him) is what brought her fame and success as well as her Scriabin (she was the first person to record the complete sonatas).
Well, I certainly remember her from her Scriabin recordings in the '70s -- and, you have to remember, Scriabin was really not well known or understood at that time. Quite frankly, he was positioned as the "Prince of Darkness" because of his creepy later music. Ruth Laredo not only introduced him, but also "explained" him to a larger group of classical music listeners. I always loved the way she could capture the melting lyricism in his early Sonatas, but also the logic in his later efforts. I never heard her subsequent efforts in behalf of Rachmaninoff (and apparently, Ravel), but I'm sure that she had similar riveting opinions. and the chops to deliver it, to new audiences.
Agree with Tim above. And the LP covers to her Scriabin sonatas were certainly geared to the post-'Summer of Love' acid crowd. (Scriabin -I might think- would be second only to Bach and Wagner on acid.)
Although I doubt Laredo ever attempted to cross swords with Horowitz in the 10th sonata...
I heard her in two concerts and a master class a few years before her death. The recitals were at Mannes and Trinity Church in lower Manhattan. At the Mannes recital she played La Valse and at Trinity she played mostly American music including the Barber Sonata and Confrey's Kitten on the Keys.
Thanks for the post. I'd recently heard a Berezovsky rendition from a rather peculiar recital in Belgrade which was utterly unrecognizable in sections, so this was a good way to rinse that out with a fresh take. Although is it just my computer or does the video seems to cut out right before the end?
Re: Ruth Laredo, Ravel La Valse (solo piano) - 01/25/1312:27 AM
My favorite performance of the solo version. So much clarity, so playful! This is an arrangement that can easily spiral out of control (in a bad way) for performers, but Laredo's take holds everything together while maintaining the "demented" feel of the piece. I don't own this recording but have heard in numerous times and loved it. Why does the video cut off before the end though?! I would argue the climax of the piece is the chord in the penultimate measure!