Compared (2012)

Ravel

Paolo Giacometti

This recording raised the same question as all previous ones: should I use an authentic or a modern piano? At home I have a Steinway, on
which I learnt to play, and it is a wonderful instrument. When I was about twenty I was fortunate enough to get to know authentic
instruments: romantic grand pianos by Érard and Pleyel and older ones by Graf, Streicher etc.
This was a new world of timbres and expressive potential. Naturally, I took the inspiration and revelations provided by these instruments to the
modern grand piano. A stimulating crossfertilisation of expressive and interpretative possibilities was the result. In this way it became increasingly natural for me to play the same repertoire on both old and new instruments. In my desire to share this fascinating crossfertilisation with others, I found the answer to
the above question: a double CD with the same works on authentic and new instruments. This is particularly interesting in the case of Ravel, since
the two types of instrument not only existed in his lifetime, but were actually used by him. The ‘new’ instrument used for the recording is a Steinway. ‘New’ is in inverted commas because the Steinway grand has hardly changed since the late nineteenth century. The authentic instrument on this CD is an Érard – one of the most celebrated makers of the nineteenth century, and immortalised by Liszt. Ravel frequently gave his recitals on a Steinway, while at home he used an Érard when composing.
The different tonal worlds of the two instruments result primarily from the parallel stringing and largely wooden frame of the Érard, and the cross-stringing and steel frame (to accommodate the higher tension of the strings and case) of the Steinway. The sound of the Érard is thus more stringy and dies away
differently, while the various registers are more individual. The Steinway glories in the resonance of the strings and case, and the mélange of the
notes. Since relationships between the immense richness of colour and timbre in Ravel’s music are therefore different, this is naturally of
influence on the interpretative choices made by the performer. The pedalling, dynamic transitions, balance between the parts, harmonic colours, build-up of tension, tempos – all these must be approached differently depending on the instrument used. This is clearest of all in relation to tempos: none of the recorded pieces have the same length on the two CDs. For a musician and pianist this is an inevitable, inspiring, instructive, and in particular a delightful experience in the process of
developing one’s interpretation. I sincerely hope that you will enjoy precisely this aspect of the project as much as I do.
Paolo Giacometti
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Paolo Giacometti

Paolo Giacometti performs all over the world as a soloist and as a chamber musician, both on period and on modern instruments. He was born in Milan, Italy in 1970, but has been living in the Netherlands from his early childhood. He studied with Jan Wijn at the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam, where he graduated with the highest distinction. Also Gyorgy Sebök was an important source of inspiration and had a significant influence on his musical education. Paolo Giacometti has won many prizes at both national and international competitions. He has played with renowned orchestras under distinguished conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Kenneth Montgomery, Laurent Petitgirard, Michael Tilkin and Jaap van Zweden. Apart from his activities as a soloist, Paolo Giacometti’s love for chamber music has resulted in a successful co-operation with leading musicians such as Pieter Wispelwey, Gordon Nikolich, Alois Brandhofer, Janine Jansen, Bart Schneemann and Viktoria Mullova. Paolo Giacometti is a much sought-after musician at chamber music festivals in Europe, Canada and the United States. He has performed in concert halls all over the world including the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), Wigmore Hall (London), Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris) and Seoul Arts Centre (South Korea). Paolo Giacometti records exclusively for Channel Classics. His impressive discography has been widely acclaimed by the international press. His recordings include Rossini’s complete piano works, a remarkable project that started in 1998 and was completed in 2007. In Rossini’s homeland critics say: "... Rossini has finally found his pianist ...". For the third recording of this series Giacometti was distinguished with the Edison Classical Music Award 2001. His recording of Schumann’s Humoreske, Fantasiestücke and Toccata has received the BBC Music Magazine’s Benchmark and Performance of Outstanding Quality distinctions. His recording of the Dvorák and Schumann piano concertos have been acclaimed by Gramophone as "... one of the best concerto disks I have heard in a long while ...".  Among Paolo Giacometti’s chamber music recordings, a recording with works by Schubert with cellist Pieter Wispelwey has received the Choc du Monde de la Musique and Luister 10 awards, while another recording with works by Chopin, Fauré and Poulenc, also with Pieter Wispelwey, has been awarded the Diapason d’or.  Paolo Giacometti is also a dedicated piano professor at the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule Düsseldorf.

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Compared (2012)

Ravel

Paolo Giacometti

    BBC Music Magazine

(...) As for Giacometti's interpretations, the harder the pieces, the better he is. (...)

    Klassieke Zaken

Welke van de twee? Dat is het centrale vraagstuk van het fraaie Ravelalbum van pianist Paolo Giacomett. (...) Op beide instrumenten speelt Giacometti Ravel elegant, vloeiend en transparant. (...)

    Audiophile Audition

The program is an interesting one (...) This comparison effort made me want to hear the same piano music recorded in hi-res on several modern concert grands, including Bodendorfer and Fazoli. (...) I am looking forward to the second volume by Giacometti.

    Volkskrant.nl

Fascinerend hoe Giacometti Ravels Sonatine, Gaspard de la Nuit, Menuet antique en Le tombeau de Couperin aan een vergelijking onderwerpt.

    Nederlands Dagblad

een interessante dubbel-cd. (...) Welke interpretatie is het mooist? Dat is moeilijk kiezen, want Giacometti laat van deze muziek overtuigende interpretaties horen.

    Luister

Beide opnames zijn mooi, alleen al vanwege het heldere, bevlogen, haast eerbiedige en uitgebalanceerde spel van Paolo Giacometti.

    Akkoord

elk instrument vraagt om een andere benadering (...) het gaat hier om twee magistrale uitvoeringen door Paolo Giacometti (...)

    Classics Today

For my ideal Giacometti performance of La Tombeau de Couperin, I choose for the Érard for the Prélude’s more pronounced contrasts between the hands and the Toccata’s more forceful repeated notes. On the other hand, the Steinway Forlane movement seems more fluid and less sectionalized next to its Érard counterpart. In all, an absorbing and often inspired release.

    The Absolute Sound

The Steinway’s sound is crisper and burlier, the Érard’s more singing and lyrical. (...) Fascinating.

    Opusklassiek

Dat de Érard en de Steinway meer verschillen dan overeenkomsten vertonen krijgt in deze vertolkingen nog een extra dimensie dankzij het geciseleerde, fijnzinnige (sonatine!) maar menigmaal ook overdonderende (Gaspard!) spel van Giacometti. (...) Wie, zoals Giacometti, ook nog stilistisch verbeeldingsvol en met een feilloze techniek deze stukken interpreteert, creëert uitsluitend klankjuwelen die de toehoorder meeslepen in hun ongekende pracht. Dit zijn verkenningen van de hoogste muzikale orde die bovendien prachtig zijn vastgelegd.

    Rhythm Planet

The new cd is unusual and interesting, the first one of its kind.

    American Record Guide

The recording quality is superb, bringing out the sounds of these different pianos to their best advantage (...) An engaging project.

    International Record Review

Giacometti’s fingerwork and articulation are very precise (...) ‘Toccata’ of Ravel’s Le Tombeau is by far the most difficult and virtuosic of the three, and Giacometti meets its pianistic demands with secure exuberance. (...) an interesting and valuable release.

Compared (2012)

Ravel

Paolo Giacometti

Cables:Van den Hul
Digital Converters:Meitner DSD AD converter
Mastering Engineer:Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment:B&W 803 diamond series
Microphones:Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board:Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer:Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer:Jared Sacks
Recording location:Deventer, Eindhoven Holland
Recording Software:Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate:DSD64
Speakers:AudioLab Holland

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