Yakov Kreizberg, RAVEL: Bolero / DEBUSSY: Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune

James Jolly

By James Jolly

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Seducing Dudley Moore tonight? We’ve got just the piece of music for you.

Ravel once commented that his Boléro was a piece of music that contained no music. Well, since then we've had music with even less music! The hypnotic rhythm sustained throughout piece's 14-or-so-minute length has earned it its reputation (or notoriety!). Over a snare-drum beat the orchestra weaves two 18-measure themes, each repeated twice — and that, more or less, is it! The art in interpreting the piece is to keep the tempo steady and allow the gradual build-up in volume to emerge naturally from the music's flow. Yakov Kreizberg does a superb job and really succeeds in managing a thrilling climax to the work. Whatever its numerous recent uses (in the movie 10 where Bo Derek attempts to seduce Dudley Moore, or for the ice-skaters Torville and Dean), heard unadorned it weaves a very individual spell all of its own.