I have only once come
across David Korevaar's playing, on
a disc of Brahms Variations also for
this company (Brahms Opp. 9, 21 Nos.
1 and 2, D minor Variations from the
Sextet and Op. 24; Ivory Classics 74004),
which seemed rather mixed in its merits.
This Ravel disc finds Korevaar on ground
on which he obviously feels more at
Miroirs is given
a thoughtful and sensitive reading.
The bleak world of 'Oiseaux tristes'
is particularly well captured - almost
tending towards Messiaen around 4'20,
before veering to Spain. The extrovert
- and famous because of its orchestral
guise - 'Alborada del grazioso' is clearly
enjoyed by the pianist here. 'Alborada'
was written for the music critic M.
D. Calvocoressi. Korevaar, in his own
booklet notes, writes, 'The idea of
a music critic as 'court jester' to
a musician-heavy circle of artists is
certainly delicious!'. Hmmmm.
Interesting that Gaspard
is placed in the middle of the recital,
given the virtuosic leanings of its
final 'Scarbo'. The booklet even finds
space to publish translations of the
Bertrand prose poems which inspired
the work - there are no multi-lingual
translations of Korevaar's text itself,
so there is more space available, I
suppose. A nice idea. The desolation
of 'Ondine' and the concentrated atmosphere
of 'Le gibet' both prepare the way for
a spooky, buzzing 'Scarbo', with appropriate
Finally, the Tombeau
de Couperin - for those familiar
only with the orchestral version, the
piano has two further movements. Certain
movements emerge better than others.
The Prelude is nicely shaped, the Fugue
placid. But the Forlane suffers from
a touch of the plodding, and it almost
seems as if Korevaar is either bored
with this movement or he just plain
does not like it. The finale (Toccata)
buzzes nicely, but is that an edit I
hear literally just before the end -
around 3'58? The timing for the entire
movement is 4'08. There appears to be
some shift of perspective, anyway –
a shame, as there is much to admire
on this disc, not least the sensitive
if not a Ravelian front-runner.