Maurice Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit is one of the most important piano works of the 20th century and constitutes the height of the extension of the pianistic playing techniques and tonal possibilites which was already begun by Chopin and Liszt in the 19th century. The three movements Ondine, Le Gibet and Scarbo are based on poems by Aloysius Bertrand which Ravel put in front of each of the three pieces. Thus, too, the work is in a tradition, represented by composers such as Schumann and Liszt in the 19th century, that combines instrumental music with literary models.
For the new edition published by the Wiener Urtext Edition, the editors consulted not only the first edition used almost exclusively up to now, but also Ravel's autograph as well as his personal copy of the first edition on the basis of which numerous passages in the musical text could be corrected and brought closer to Ravel's original intention. In addition, the editors included corrections from personal copies of various students of Ravel. Entries of the composer going well beyond mere text corrections and practical performance tips handed down by his students are analysed in the Notes of Interpretation.
The reader-friendly large-format Wiener Urtext edition is completed by a trilingual glossary of the French performance instructions used by Ravel as well as English and German translations of Bertrand's three poems.
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