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Thursday, August 27, 2009

8/29: Cleveland Orchestra w/ Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 2:32 PM

Jean-Yves Thibaudet once told an interviewer that because he has both of his hands, he learned all of Maurice Ravel’s piano works except the one in D Major, which was composed for the left hand only. He thought playing music for only half of his functional digits was “silly.” Booked to perform the piece at London’s Proms classical-music festival, he had to learn Ravel’s left-hand concerto and became captivated by its dark, stormy power (Ravel composed the work on commission by Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who was shot in the elbow during World War I and had his right arm amputated). The music takes an athletic skill to perform: A soloist must work the full length of the keyboard with one hand for up to 20 minutes. Thibaudet performs the piece tonight as part of an all-French music program that also includes Hector Berlioz’ overture “Le Corsaire,” Gabriel Faure’s suite from Pelleas and Melisande and Claude Debussy’s musical portrait of the sea, La Mer. James Gaffigan conducts. Showtime is 8 p.m. at Blossom Music Center (1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216.231.1111, clevelandorchestra.com). Tickets: $19-$82. — Michael Gill

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