Episode 4

The Odd Couple | Debussy and Ravel on the Threshold of the 20th Century

Debussy and Ravel are often conjoined in the minds of piano students as the two French "impressionist" composers. But much is lost in such generalizations. This episode unpacks the distinct contributions of each composer, comparing and contrasting their novel uses of register, texture, harmony, narrative, and form. How did the two turn-of-the-century Parisians depart from the past, and how did they influence the future of art music? Lowry Yankwich seeks to answer these questions with the help of pianists Gwendolyn Mok, Arie Vardi, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Inna Faliks, and Noam Sivan.

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Episode 4

Featured tonebase Artists

This episode features the voices of world-class pianists and professors. All of the interviews in this episode come directly from their lessons on tonebase. Click below to view profiles and lessons.

Recordings used in this episode

Bach/Rachmaninoff: Gavotte from Violin Partita No.3 in E, BWV 1006, Andrew Tyson performing, recorded by tonebase, published October 10, 2020 on Youtube. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiEzd....

Debussy: Suite Bergamasque - “Clair de Lune,” Jean-Efflam Bavouzet performing, recorded by tonebase.

Ravel: “Jeux d’eau,” Gwendolyn Mok performing, 2002, published February 11, 2015 on Youtube. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn4LW5mASzA.

Ravel: Pavane pour une infante défunte, Gwendolyn Mok performing, recorded by tonebase.

Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit, M. 55: I. Ondine, Vlado Perlemuter performing, 1979, Nimbus Records.

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 In D Minor, Op. 15, Leon Fleisher, George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra performing, 1953, reissued by Sony Classical, 1997.

The Bill Evans Trio, “If You Could See Me Now,” first released in 1962, Riverside RLP-428, published March 6, 2016 to Youtube. Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW6znI_W3H8&t=1150s.

Debussy: Ondine, Préludes, L. 131, No. 8, Arie Vardi performing, recorded by tonebase.