18 February 2014


To what has become one of my favourite haunts, the BBC Maida Vale studios, for a recital by Pascal and Ami Rogé of piano music by one of my favourite composers, Maurice Ravel. One piano duet (Ma Mère l'Oye), one solo piece played by Pascal alone (Sonatine), then two pieces for two pianos - and I was surprised that they should be orchestral blockbusters La Valse and Boléro (the latter with Paul Clarvis on side-drum, a gig that demands infinite patience as well as faultless rhythm). Under an hour of music, but what music, and what playing. The applause as Boléro crashed to an end was tremendous, the performers grinning from ear to ear as if delighted at what they had just pulled off (and so they should have been).

The BBC will broadcast it on Radio 3 on Ravel Day, the composer's birthday (139, which seems like a strange anniversary to commemorate), 7 March. I recommend being near a radio at the right moment.

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