Khatia Buniatishvili plays Ravel - La Valse

Ravel – La Valse (Khatia Buniatishvili)

Georgian classical pianist Khatia Buniatishvili performs Maurice Ravel’s La valse, poème chorégraphique pour orchestre (a choreographic poem for orchestra).

The work was written between 1919 and 1920, and premiered in Paris on December 12, 1920. It s originally written for orchestra, but later, Ravel transcribed it for two pianos. This version was first performed publicly by the composer himself and the Italian composer, pianist and conductor Alfredo Casella (25 July 1883 – 5 March 1947).

Ravel also transcribed this work for one piano. The solo piano transcription is infrequently performed due to its difficulty.

Ravel described La valse with the following preface to the score:

“Through whirling clouds, waltzing couples may be faintly distinguished. The clouds gradually scatter: one sees at letter A an immense hall peopled with a whirling crowd. The scene is gradually illuminated. The light of the chandeliers bursts forth at the fortissimo letter B. Set in an imperial court, about 1855.”

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