Le Tombeau De Couperin - I. Prélude

Virtual Philharmonic Orchestra

Le Tombeau De Couperin - I. Prélude
Performed By Virtual Philharmonic Orchestra
Album UPC 885767443839
CD Baby Track ID 9240814
Label Virtual Philharmonic Orchestra
Released 2012-03-13
BPM 144
Rated 0
ISRC uscgj1221271
Year 2012
Spotify Plays 14
Writer Maurice Ravel
Pub Co Public Domain
Composer Maurice Ravel
Clearance Sync & All Media Uses
Rights Controlled Master and Publishing Grant
Rights One-Stop: Master + 100% Pub Grant
Original/Cover/Public Domain original
Country UK - England - Yorkshire


Music by Ravel - all played by myself on a computer. I play each instrument of the orchestra, with the goal to create recordings that are on par with traditional orchestra recordings.


My music is created at home, with a computer and software. In principle, the orchestra instruments have been played by professional players, who recorded each single note of their instruments. This is available in the Garritan Personal Orchestra 4 collection of samples, where each note of each orchestra instrument is available. It was then my challenge to put all these notes together and create a realistic sounding recording. To achieve this, I actually have to play each part/instrument on my keyboard. This method results in a recording which has been created by one person (me) playing all orchestra instruments.

This album "Maurice Ravel - Vol. One" has two major compositions by Maurice Ravel: "Ma Mere L'Oye" and "Le Tombeau de Couperin". Both works have in common that they first started out as (longer) compositions for piano. After these piano compositions had been successful, Ravel orchestrated several movements of them and released them as orchestral suites.

I have known both suites since more than 30 years and have enjoyed them very much. With great delight did I pursue to create recordings of them with my computing and music equipment. Ma Mere L'Oye proved to be quite difficult, even though it has a light and at a first glance simple orchestration. But this lightness and airyness needs to be translated into music, and this is not very easy to achieve with electronic instruments. I had started the Pavane from Ma Mere L'Oye back in 2005, but at that time I was not able to achieve a convincing performance. Only when I had another look at this in February 2012, I succeeded in creating a suitable recording, and I went on to record also the four remaining movements. They have quite a lot of difficult parts: there are several flagolet notes, for which I need to calculate what note actually would sound. There are many fast 1/32 and even 1/64 notes; and there are many solo instrument passages which need to be played with special care. I hope that the result is enjoyable!

Le Tombeau de Couperin was somewhat easier to record: already in 1999 I had recorded all four movements of this suite, at that time with a Yamaha MU-80 synthesizer and a set of soundfonts on a Soundblaster AWE32. So when I started again to have a look at this suite in autumn 2011, I only had to convert the existing recording, replace the samples with Garritan Personal Orchestra 4, and change some of the tempi and many of the expression curves.

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