Gaspard de la nuit is a poem of great pianistic difficulty. Ravel told his disciple Maurice Delage that his ambition was to write 'pieces of trancendental virtuosity for the Piano, more difficult that Balakirev's Islamey'.
The suite was devised in three parts - slow, very slow, lively - in the manner of basic classical sonata form:
Ondine expresses the exquisite fluidity of water combined withan almost supernatural atmosphere.
Le Gibet is a hallucinatory work, with its continuous bell-tolling enhancing gloomy feeling.
Scarbo is a nightmarish vision with opposite extremes, from the imperceptibly light tough to fantastic crescendos of terifying pianistic style. Ravel imposes a disturbing turbulance in this atmosphere of feverish insomnia. This edition was edited by Gaby Casadeus, including notes and copies of the poems - in English and French - from which the movements take their inspiration.