Ravel: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand Pianist: Siheng Song

It is fitting that Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand and his Concerto in G Major should be presented one right after the other, as Ravel composed them simultaneously between 1930 and 1931, and both are masterpieces of the first rank.  Regarding the left-hand concerto, Ravel wrote: “In a work of this kind, it is essential to give the impression of a texture no thinner than that of a part written for both hands.”

Paul Wittgenstein

Paul Wittgenstein

The Concerto for the Left Hand was commissioned by the Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm during WW I.  Wittgenstein also commisioned major works for the left hand from Richard Strauss, Sergei Prokofiev, Paul Hindemith, and Benjamin Britten, among others.

The pianist in this video is Siheng Song, and the Romanian-born conductor Ion Marin leads the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.