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LA VALSE was originally written for orchestra. Ravel later transcribed it for two pianos and finally for piano, two hands. I have played the two-piano version for many years and have become accustomed to its rich sound; as a result, every time I hear the two-hand version I cannot help feeling it lacks the richness found in the two piano version. Some pianists play those “simplified” passages too fast or even aggressively, which I do not approve of (except the tumultuous “Dance macabre” coda).
To solve those problems I have been playing my own version in recitals, trying to reproduce the richness of the original or the two-piano versions. In my transcription there are no additional notes beyond the original though there are a few passages where I changed the notation in the inner voices or ornaments. I indicated the hand distribution to show which hand plays which notes and put parentheses for those notes that might be difficult or impossible to play depending on the piano action or the hand size. One does not need to attempt to play all the notes, and I would be pleased if you played this version of LA VALSE, finding your own way to make it sound as orchestral and colorful as possible!
Kōtarō Fukuma Profile
Born in Tokyo, Kotaro Fukuma has received many high awards in international competitions. At the age of 20, Kotaro won both First Prize and the Chopin Prize at the 15th Cleveland International Piano Competition. Since then his concert career has developed on five continents. Kotaro has performed solo in major concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, Salle Gaveau, Victoria Hall, Forbidden City Concert Hall and Suntory Hall. His performances with orchestras include the Cleveland Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony, Dresden Philharmonic, Toulouse National Capitole Orchestra, Lille National Orchestra, Galicia Royal Philharmonic and NHK Symphony Orchestra. Kotaro Fukuma has released commercial CDs from Naxos, ARS Produktion, Éditions Hortus, Orpheus Classical, DENON and Accustika, Esprit du Piano.