Ravel – Scarbo – Martha Argerich, Piano

Scarbo is the third and last movement from Gaspard de la Nuit, Trois poèmes pour piano d’après Aloysius Bertrand, a suite of piano pieces by Maurice Ravel, written in 1908. The work was premiered in Paris, on January 9, 1909, by Ricardo Viñes. The piece is famous for its difficulty, Ravel intended it to be more difficult than Balakirev’s Islamey. Written in G-Sharp minor, it depicts the nighttime mischief of a small fiend or goblin, making pirouettes, flitting in and out of the darkness, disappearing and suddenly reappearing. Its uneven flight, hitting and scratching against the walls, casting a growing shadow in the moonlight, creates a nightmarish scene for the observer lying in his bed. – Martha Argerich

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