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Ravel’s plans for a piano concerto can be traced back to 1906, but it was only in early 1929 that the composer seriously started work on one. He later stated that he wrote it “in the spirit of the concertos by Mozart and Saint-Saëns”, the music being “cheerful and brilliant” and not “aiming for profundity or dramatic effects”. The outer movements are characterised by rhythmic drive and borrowings from jazz; while the slow movement, with its subtle shifts of accented beats, is entirely dedicated to melody. Alongside manuscripts and prints, a recording made under Ravel’s supervision by the work’s dedicatee, Marguerite Long, was consulted for this Henle Urtext edition. Since its successful premiere in January 1932 the concerto has been part of the repertoire of all great pianists, including Pascal Rogé, the French music expert who has provided the fingerings for the solo part.

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