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Maurice Ravel composed two piano concertos, which were composed in parallel in the last years of his life. Concert en sol pour Piano et Orchestre is one of his most famous works and has been played by many different pianists from the time it was composed until today. It is famous for its jazz elements, but the second movement is also known for its great delicacy and beauty. It is also unusual for a piano concerto in that the opening piano solo lasts almost three minutes.
I have given several concerts entitled “Piano Concerto Series” in which I perform piano concertos on a single piano. I have also played chamber music, vocal music and other pieces that involve the piano and other instruments on a single piano, however playing a piano concerto on a single piano is still a challenge. The more ensemble elements there are in the piece, the more the arranger has to be able to pick out the right notes from the orchestra. The Adagio assai is not technically difficult, but it has a relatively large number of notes. The reason for this is that I have tried to pick up as much of the orchestral sound as possible, so as not to lose the musicality of the original. As a result, in the recapitulation, where the English horn plays the theme and the piano plays all the ornaments, the amount of notes did not fit in two staves, but in three.
Following the publication last year of my transcription of Greensleeves (Arranged by Raymond Lewenthal), my arrangement of Ravel will now be published. I am delighted that this arrangement will be played by pianists who love this piece.