I was listening today to Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, in this miraculous Michelangeli’s rendering. What an extraordinarily beautiful concerto! What a harmonious combination of power, rhythmical strictness and melodic poetry!
As regards the Second Movement (Adagio Assai), I think that one would agree that rarely has music managed to express such profound and personal feelings as is the case with this movement. Michelangeli in this famous recording, achieves a musical perfection: the solo melody in the beginning of this movement is marked with such restraint emotion, an emotion, that is, which is not “outstretched” and over-the-top; the great pianist manages to control his sound and, eventually, achieves to eliminate his own presence allowing the sublime melody to speak for itself. Seldom in the recording history has such a prodigious result been achieved.
I have practiced this Concerto in the past and would love to play it at some point; I fear though that this will probably never happen. (I now remember a friend of mine who did play this work and was telling me that she was playing the Adagio Assai with tears in her eyes).