Yesterday, a very positive review was written in newspaper De Volkskrant about Ralph’s performance, last Thursday night, in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam. He played Dutch first performances of unknown works by Debussy, Ravel and Messiaen, plus some works by Boulez. Quoting reviewer Bela Luttmer: ‘[Messiaen’s birds] tweeted under Van Raat’s virtuosic hands…What a fascinating, rich harvest.’
The first review on Ralph’s newest release on Naxos has been posted by reviewer Jan de Kruijff for the largest Dutch online database for classical music, Musicalifeiten. The very positive article uses superlatives! ‘Ralph seems to be the first who took on [The Rite of Spring in Leyetchkiss’ solo version) with amazing success, and who fulfills the high expectations. What a virtuoso he is. […] Both transcriptions are of the original sort, and are, from a quality point of view, and surely when it comes to the interpretations, a little miracle.’
Ralph’s newest CD on Naxos, with works by Debussy and Stravinsky, is featured in a three-page interview (by Marjolijn de Cocq) in the January/February issue of CD-magazine Luister.
January 26, Carnegie Hall has presented their new concert season, 2018-19, publicizing Ralph’s upcoming October recital there. Dutch national newspaper De Volkskrant published an interview (by Pablo Cadenda) with Ralph because of this occasion, and additionally in the light of his September performance at the Philharmonie de Paris.
Ralph’s newest CD has been released: unique, seldomly performed nor recorded piano solo versions of Debussy’s famous orchestral work La Mer (arranged by his friend Lucien Garban), and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, transcribed by Vladimir Leyetchkiss! The CD is published by Naxos, with whom Ralph has a longstanding exclusive recording contract since already 15 years, and has catalogue number 8.573576. The CD is available through physical as well as through many online shops.
Ralph was invited to talk and play during one of Holland’s most popular talk shows Jinek, hosted by Eva Jinek, on January 11. Together with weather forecaster and polar researcher Dr. Peter Kuipers Munneke, he talked about their upcoming concert tour with music related to phenomena of the arctic regions, and played a few excerpts of this repertoire.
The exact performances by Ralph van Raat of Pierre Boulez’ Prélude, Toccata et Scherzo (1944) have been determined: the world première will take place at Cité de la Musique in Paris (September 8, 2018), in a solo recital together with additional piano works by Boulez. This will be Ralph’s debut recital at the Philharmonie de Paris. Subsequently, the American première will take place in Carnegie Hall (October 28, 2018) in New York during Ralph’s debut recital there (together with works by Alkan, Debussy and Andriessen); and the Dutch première will be at De Doelen, Rotterdam (November 25, 2018) again in a solo recital with additional piano works by Boulez.
Yesterday, a letter from an audience member of Ralph’s Messiaen Vingt Regards recital (last Friday in Amsterdam’s Orgelpark) was published on the opinion page of the newspaper Het Parool. The author, Marco Naarden, writes about ‘a matchless performance of Messiaen’s Vingt Regards by our own Ralph van Raat […] We may call ourselves lucky to have such a marvellous pianist and genre-specialist in The Netherlands, who plays this work since a number of years, as a tradition, during the Advent. […] Long live the Orgelpark who dares to program this, and long live Ralph van Raat.’ Ralph feels very honored and humbled by such support for this repertoire; after all, being a musician would not be possible without encouragement from the public!