“The Fairy Garden” from Mother Goose Suite by Maurice Ravel (1910), performed here by the Scott Brothers duo in the original piano duet arrangement:
I had not previously encountered this duo, but the Scott Brothers’ official biography on their website states:
International Piano Magazine said of ‘Duets for Piano’ “I doubt whether Debussy’s Petite Suite or Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye have ever sounded more beguiling on disc.”
I am also new to this particular arrangement of “Ma Mère L’oye”, having heard it for the first time as an encore to yesterday’s BBC Prom concert, performed by acclaimed pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the conductor Philippe Jordan taking the other hot seat.
The piece has many of the hallmarks that characterise so much of Ravel’s writing for piano – beautiful melodies; clean, sparse and somewhat melancholy chords; and a wonderful sparkling sound that always conjures in my mind an image of crystal clear water in a bubbling brook.
And above is the orchestral version, performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Charles Munch.
Yet another example of why Maurice Ravel remains the most gifted orchestrator ever to have lived.