Second Part

Bertrand Chamayou, Piano

MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937)

Valses nobles et sentimentales
Le Tombeau de Couperin

Recorded live on August 16 2016 at Rougemont Church

Bertrand Chamayou and Ravel

Experience France through the eyes of a Frenchmen – through the eyes of Maurice Ravel in a marvelous interpretation by Betrand Chamayou, a Toulouse native and acclaimed piano virtuoso. He displayed his unqiue talent when he recorded Liszt in 2006 and enchanted the Gstaad Menuhin Festival’s audience in 2014 with a very personal interpretation of Schubert. Chamayou, who studied with Jean-François Heisser at the Conservatoire de Paris, has since become a festival favourite : In 2019 he will not only play one concert, but five as he is this year’s «Artist in residence» at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival. After all the festival’s theme is «Paris» and who would be a better ambassador of great French music?!

«Les Jeux d’eau» as a starting point of a grand career

Hearing Chamayou play Ravel you can get the impression that the great Bask’s music is flowing naturally through his fingers as if he were speaking in his native French. This is of course no coincidence. Bertrand Chamayou likes telling the story of how he discovered «Les Jeux d’eau» when he was just a kid. He heard another boy living next door play the piece. He didn’t know it, but urged his neighbour to lend him the music. And the music was an epiphany. Chamayou didn’t know anything about the music, but could feel the water fountains transpire through the sound, such was his almost physical understanding of Ravel.
When you hear him perform masterpieces such as Le Tombeau de Couperin today, you can feel how close he has come to the ultimate interpretation of Ravel. That said, it is terribly hard to reach this level of “truth”, as Ravel leaves the musician very little space for his own, personal note. Chamayou however manages both – he is true to Ravel and to himself as an artist.

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