Rare French Piano Music
van Raat, Ralph
This album of French piano rarities features seldom-heard and recently discovered works by composers who had an influence on Pierre Boulez, as well as the premiere recording of Boulez’s Prélude, Toccata et Scherzo. This large-scale early work looks back on virtuosic Romantic music, while at the same time exploring the new compositional styles that Boulez would subsequently embrace. Among the rarities is a posthumously discovered piano study by Debussy, a reconstructed birdsong work by Messiaen, and a tiny masterpiece by Ravel found in a notebook. Ralph van Raathas been fascinated by classical music of the 20th century since the age of 14. Although his repertoire ranges from Bach to Boulez, his primary focus has always been on composers dating from Debussy, Bartók and Ives to present-day masters. Van Raat helps audiences identify with modern day composers by adhering to a classical approach: he firmly believes that a strong sense of classical structure as well as a refinement of tone is essential in conveying the logic and poetry of any music. This has not gone unrecognized: he is the recipient of a substantial number of national and international awards, many composers have written solo works for him, and he has performed over 50 piano concertos with orchestras worldwide.