On This Day – January 5

Today we look at a concerto that inspires humanity. Written for Paul Wittgenstein who lost his right arm during World War 1, it reminds us that music eats at us, and if something gets in the way of us doing it, we will find a way to do it no matter what. Ravel’s Piano Concerto in D Major for the Left Hand, premiered on this day in 1932.A tripartite concerto, performed as one movement or two connected movements. While the overall structure may reflect slow-fast-slow – the opposite of traditional concerto structure – the concerto navigates various keys and tempi before finishing with taking the themes from the slow sections and overlaying them with material from the faster sections.

At first, Wittgenstein was not fond of the jazz influenced rhythms and harmonies, but he did grow to like the piece. I hope you will also grow to like Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand.

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