Maurice Ravel (1875-1937):
Gaspard de la Nuit (1908)
Maurice Ravel / Eric Himy
Piano: Eric Himy
Producer: Michael Rolland Davis
Engineer: Ed Thompson
Piano Technician: Gary Shipe
Total Time: 73:50
Recorded at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Buffalo, New York May 7, 8, 9, 2002
Original 24-Bit Master Recorded direct to the Sadie Artemis 24-Bit High Resolution disk editor.
Generous assistance came from the Ivory Classics Foundation
Special thanks to: Pastor Charles Bang of the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Buffalo, NY.
Liner Notes by: Eric Himy
English translations of Gaspard de la Nuit poem by: David Korevaar
Cover under CD Photos by: Helmuth Humphrey
Eric Himy Website: www.erichimy.com
In this first recording for Ivory Classics, Juilliard trained pianist, Eric Himy performs an all solo Ravel recital. A medal winner in many piano competitions, Mr. Himy has performed critically acclaimed recitals and with Symphony Orchestras throughout five continents. He has been hailed as, "one of the finest pianistic talents of our time." Many critics around the globe have praised his interpretations of such Spanish and French masters as Albeniz, Falla, Debussy and Poulenc. He is particularly well-known for his elegant and dramatic interpretations of the French composer, Maurice Ravel, having performed numerous all Ravel concerts throughout France and at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. The Washington post has said, "Himy has an awesome technique and musicianship." The performance of Scarbo on this disc is virtually demonic. Not to be missed.
Simply Wonderful!......Watch out Argerich!
While not as well known to the world at large, Eric Himy is well known among
pianists. Precision, beauty, and surface polish characterize Eric Himy's
superb way with Ravel's piano music. Himy's elegant, highly articulated
pianism was made for the five Miroirs, where each phrase and textural strand
resonates with breathtaking clarity. Alborada del gracioso particularly
clicks its hot heels to the tune of Himy's stinging, sultry accents. The
same praise applies to Scarbo (the third and final movement of Gaspard de la
nuit), a performance that manages to be both menacing and nimble at the same
time. Himy sustains a slower-than-usual basic tempo for Le Gibet by virtue
of his meticulous dynamic control.The spookiness resulting from this
combination, heightened further by the repeated B-flat tolling like some
spectral bell, is enough to stand the hair on the back of your neck on
Then I've gone back and listened to some individual tracks still again. The music is compelling, and the performances are masterful.
Let's hope for another disc such as this from the great Eric Himy
Amazon.com, Mar. 2003
Pianist Eric Himy's name is hardly a household word among music lovers, but if he plays other composers as well as he plays Ravel, it deserves to be. His disc includes Miroirs, Gaspard de la Nuit, his own super?effective version of La Valse, based on Ravel's own piano version, and several shorter pieces (72009). His playing is distinguished by extreme technical fluency, clean voicings even in the most efferverscent moment, exciting rhythmic crimping, and in La Valse and Gaspard (especially the final movement Scarbo) a truly grand sweep. Himy takes no passage for granted; without exaggeration or preciousness, he does something with each phrase that brilliantly sets up the next one. Another disc completing the Ravel traversal would be a boon to collectors. As it is, despite the probability of a complete set in your collection, this disc is worth owning as an eye-opening supplement.
Turok's Choice, Jan. 2003
Imagine my delight to receive this sensational disc. Eric Himy and I performed together when he was a student and I was conductor of a community orchestra in Washington, DC. The piece was the Liszt Totentanz, the focal point of a concert of Halloween music. Except for an unruly inner-city audience, it was a thrilling experience and I made note to myself that Himy would go far. But I had not heard anything for years. Then came this disc, possibly the most scintillating and sensuous Ravel recital I have ever heard. There is an uncanny balance between red-hot virtuosity and lyricism, with a touch of icy aloofness when needed. All aspects of Himy's playing are well served by clear recording. If you think piano recitals are not your cup of tea, try this one. It might well change your mind.
Good Sound Music, Jan. 2003
Precision, beauty, and surface polish characterize Eric Himy's superb way with Ravel's piano music. Himy's elegant, highly articulated pianism was made for the five Miroirs, where each phrase and textural strand resonates with breathtaking clarity. Alborada del gracioso particularly clicks its hot heels to the tune of Himy's stinging, sultry accents. The same praise applies to Scarbo (the third and final movement of Gaspard de la nuit), a performance that manages to be both menacing and nimble at the same time. While Gaspard's first two movements make less individual an impression, Himy, like Angela Hewitt, sustains a slower-than-usual basic tempo for Le Gibet by virtue of his meticulous dynamic control. A few tiny inaccuracies at Ondine's climax are a small price to pay for Himy's roaring intensity here. The pianist also pedals through certain harmonic changes, creating deliberately blurry effects that might sound strange on first hearing.
By contrast, the Pavane's inner lines are assertively and steadily projected, and similarly for the Habanera and Menuet. I prefer a more rock-solid, steady tempo for La Valse's opening bass-register groans than what Himy gives us, but his fanciful rubatos and textural emendations to Ravel's simpler piano arrangement eventually won me over. Who can resist those twinkle-dust glissandos--so vulgar, so delicious! An enjoyable disc all around.
Classics Today, Nov. 2002