It was one of the great privileges having had lessons with Felix Galimir at the Juilliard School of Music during my studies there. Galimir was a direct connection to Maurice Ravel, as he and his Quartet were the first one to record Ravel’s String Quartet in 1934 under the supervision of the composer.
Ravel’s very unique style, which is often mistakenly associated with impressionism had utmost clarity and rhythmically motoric pulsating at its very centre. Galimir’s teaching regarding Ravel was later to be confirmed to me by the groundbreaking book “Ravel according to Ravel” by Vlado Perlmuter, who had worked all of the solo works with the composer.
Ravel’s music, which is fiercely non sentimental and stylish has never been better served as by this radical and somewhat iconic recording of the Galimir Quartet.
And here is a recording of Ravel’s piano concerto by Michelangeli and Celibidache. As one YT commentator remarked:
“Ravel was alive here for 24 minutes “. The slow movement here ( from 10.15 min., and especially the musical miracle of a recap from 16.20 min. on ) shows in an exemplary way what Ravel is all about:
under the corset of a continuous pulse there is an expressiveness that is second to Mozart only, to whom Ravel is sometimes compared. The harmonics in Ravel are of course of the most exquisite decadence…