Ahead of their new BIS album, the ensemble place the composer and his Piano Trio in context
Ahead of their new album of piano trios by Ravel and Saint-Saëns (released on BIS on July 2), the Sitkovetsky Trio have published a new animation bringing the sound world of Maurice Ravel to vivid visual life. Set to the group playing Ravel’s Piano Trio in A minor, the beautiful artwork is by Pavel Hudac – while below the video, violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky explains how the project came about.
At around the turn of the year, when most of the world entered the second full lockdown, and even more concerts from an already emptying calendar continued to disappear, we started to think about what could we do to coincide with the release of our new album if we still wouldn’t be able to give any live performances.
There had already been so many concerts, interviews and other material online since the beginning of the pandemic and we thought it would be interesting to do something that we hadn’t really seen much of. We did a little investigating and we found a couple of really wonderful short animation films set to music and we were convinced that this could work really well.
Luckily, I was recommended a really great young animator called Pavel Hudec. He is actually a wonderful bass player working in Germany, but he enjoys making various kinds of animated shorts. We actually still haven’t met in person because of all of the travel restrictions between the UK and Germany but we have regularly been in touch with him through every step of the process. Our idea was to try and show in the film some of the events surrounding the creation of the Ravel Trio, the different influences that Ravel was inspired by, his Basque roots and the rush to finish the piece as World War 1 was around the corner.
We absolutely love what Pavel did with drawing Ravel and putting him into an absolutely gorgeous Paris; the light, almost impressionist design of the city which contrasts so well with the rich and deep colours of his home Basque region of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the various characters appearing throughout the film and of course the cheeky addition of our Trio at the end of the film at the Théâtre du Châtelet.
The whole experience has been so much fun and very creative, mostly thanks to Pavel’s wonderful work. We are really proud of the results and we really hope that this short film will be seen by as many people as possible.