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Watch an analysis of Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand

Stephen Johnson analyses Ravel's piano concerto for the left hand with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Pascal Rophe and French pianist Roger Muraro.

Ravel's two concertos for piano were written almost simultaneously in the late 1920s, and were among the last orchestral works that Ravel composed. They are remarkable in many ways, not least for the contrast that one provides with the other.

The Concerto for the Left Hand was commissioned for the pianist Paul Wittgenstein, brother of the famous philosopher, who had lost his right arm in the First World War. Ravel created a virtuosic single movement work which emerges from the sombre depths of the orchestral to grow into a powerful statement of triumph over adversity. Stephen Johnson unpicks the piece, examining some of Ravel's imaginative writing for the left-hand.

Release date:


26 minutes


Role Contributor
Composer Maurice Ravel

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