19 Posts
Composers in the Court Room
Ravel’s Bolero
It has been said that a performance of Ravel’s Bolero begins every 10 minutes somewhere in the world. The Russian dancer Ida Rubinstein, a close friend and financial supporter of Ravel, commissioned the piece. Originally, it was part of a
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Gaspard De La Nuit: Ravel’s Dark Fantasy
“Gaspard has been a devil in coming, but that is only logical since it was he who is the author of the poems.” – Maurice Ravel Considered to be one of the most fearsomely difficult pieces in the pianist’s repertoire
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“The Fantastic Whirl of Destiny”
Ravel’s La Valse
What is Ravel’s La Valse about? Is it a portrait of the disintegration of decadent pre-First War Europe, the dying embers of the Belle Epoque? Or simply a rollicking dance, a sensuous hommage to the Viennese Waltz?
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Ravel: Rhapsodie Espagnole
Premiered Today in 1908
Maurice Ravel hailed from the French Pyrenees, and he was born merely a couple of miles from the Spanish border. Growing up in Madrid, he had a natural fascination with Spain and one of his earliest pieces, written after he
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Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major
Premiered Today in 1932
After months of careful planning, Maurice Ravel embarked on a 4-month tour of North America in 1928. In all, he visited 25 cities coast-to-coast, and performed and conducted the leading orchestras of Canada and the Unites States. Ravel also made
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Ravel: Ma mère l’Oye
Premiered Today in 1910
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) loved children. Although he was not married and did not have children of his own, he always seemed to spend more time with children than with adults. In fact, he never outgrew his ability to see the
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Musical Voices of WWI (1914-18)
Ravel, Berg, and Butterworth
Trench warfare, which has since been described as “futility in conflict,” gained its horrifying notoriety on the Western Front in the First World War. By the time the dust and poisonous gas clouds had settled on the “war to end
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Composers and their Poets: Ravel II
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) set a distinctive poem by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) in 1895, but it didn’t appear in print until 1953, some 16 years after his death. Un grand sommeil noir from Verlaine’s collection Sagesse, is a remarkably morbid poem
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