Frogtoon Music

Artist Biography For Maurice Ravel

Maurice Ravel In Full Joseph-Maurice Ravel 7th March 1875 Ciboure France–28th December 1937 Paris Was A French Composer Of Swiss-Basque Descent Noted For His Musical Craftsmanship And Perfection Of Form And Style In Such Works As Boléro 1928 Pavane Pour Une Infante Défunte 1899 Pavane For A Dead Princess Rapsodie Espagnole 1907 The Ballet Daphnis Et Chloé First Performed 1912 And The Opera L’Enfant Et Les Sortilèges 1925 The Child And The Enchantments . Ravel Was Born In A Village Near Saint-Jean-De-Luz France Of A Swiss Father And A Basque Mother. His Family Background Was An Artistic And Cultivated One And The Young Maurice Received Every Encouragement From His Father When His Talent For Music Became Apparent At An Early Age. In 1889 At 14 He Entered The Paris Conservatoire Where He Remained Until 1905. During This Period He Composed Some Of His Best Known Works Including The Pavane For A Dead Princess The Sonatine For Piano And The String Quartet. All These Works Especially The Two Latter Show The Astonishing Early Perfection Of Style And Craftsmanship That Are The Hallmarks Of Ravel’s Entire Oeuvre. He Is One Of The Rare Composers Whose Early Works Seem Scarcely Less Mature Than Those Of His Maturity. Indeed His Failure At The Conservatoire After Three Attempts To Win The Coveted Prix De Rome For Composition The Works He Submitted Were Judged Too “advanced” By Ultra-Conservative Members Of The Jury Caused Something Of A Scandal. Indignant Protests Were Published And Liberal-Minded Musicians And Writers Including The Musicologist And Novelist Romain Rolland Supported Ravel. As A Result The Director Of The Conservatoire Théodore Dubois Was Forced To Resign And His Place Was Taken By The Composer Gabriel Fauré With Whom Ravel Had Studied Composition. Ravel Was In No Sense A Revolutionary Musician. He Was For The Most Part Content To Work Within The Established Formal And Harmonic Conventions Of His Day Still Firmly Rooted In Tonality—i.E. The Organization Of Music Around Focal Tones. Yet So Very Personal And Individual Was His Adaptation And Manipulation Of The Traditional Musical Idiom That It Would Be True To Say He Forged For Himself A Language Of His Own That Bears The Stamp Of His Personality As Unmistakably As Any Work Of Bach Or Chopin. While His Melodies Are Almost Always Modal I.E. Based Not On The Conventional Western Diatonic Scale But On The Old Greek Phrygian And Dorian Modes His Harmonies Derive Their Often Somewhat Acid Flavour From His Fondness For “added” Notes And Unresolved Appoggiaturas Or Notes Extraneous To The Chord That Are Allowed To Remain Harmonically Unresolved. He Enriched The Literature Of The Piano By A Series Of Masterworks Ranging From The Early Jeux D’eau Completed 1901 And The Miroirs Of 1905 To The Formidable Gaspard De La Nuit 1908 Le Tombeau De Couperin 1917 And The Two Piano Concerti 1931 . Of His Purely Orchestral Works The Rapsodie Espagnole And Boléro Are The Best Known And Reveal His Consummate Mastery Of The Art Of Instrumentation. But Perhaps The Highlights Of His Career Were His Collaboration With The Russian Impresario Serge Diaghilev For Whose Ballets Russes He Composed The Masterpiece Daphnis Et Chloé And With The French Writer Colette Who Was The Librettist Of His Best Known Opera L’Enfant Et Les Sortilèges. The Latter Work Gave Ravel An Opportunity Of Doing Ingenious And Amusing Things With The Animals And Inanimate Objects That Come To Life In This Tale Of Bewitchment And Magic In Which A Naughty Child Is Involved. His Only Other Operatic Venture Had Been His Brilliantly Satirical L’Heure Espagnole First Performed 1911 . As A Songwriter Ravel Achieved Great Distinction With His Imaginative Histoires Naturelles Trois Poèmes De Stéphane Mallarmé And Chansons Madécasses. Ravel’s Life Was In The Main Uneventful. He Never Married And Though He Enjoyed The Society Of A Few Chosen Friends He Lived The Life Of A Semi-Recluse At His Country Retreat At Montfort-L’Amaury In The Forest Of Rambouillet Near Paris. He Served In World War I For A Short Time As A Truck Driver At The Front But The Strain Was Too Great For His Fragile Constitution And He Was Discharged From The Army In 1917. In 1928 Ravel Embarked On A Four Months’ Tour Of Canada And The United States And In The Same Year Visited England To Receive An Honorary Degree Of Doctor Of Music From Oxford. That Year Also Saw The Creation Of Boléro In Its Original Form As A Ballet With Ida Rubinstein In The Principal Role. The Last Five Years Of Ravel’s Life Were Clouded By Aphasia Which Not Only Prevented Him From Writing Another Note Of Music But Also Deprived Him Of The Power Of Speech And Made It Impossible For Him Even To Sign His Name. Perhaps The Real Tragedy Of His Condition Was That His Musical Imagination Remained As Active As Ever. An Operation To Relieve The Obstruction Of A Blood Vessel That Supplies The Brain Was Unsuccessful. Ravel Was Buried In The Cemetery Of Levallois A Paris Suburb In Which He Had Lived In The Presence Of Stravinsky And Other Distinguished Musicians And Composers. For Ravel Music Was A Kind Of Ritual Having Its Own Laws To Be Conducted Behind High Walls Sealed Off From The Outside World And Impenetrable To Unauthorized Intruders. When His Russian Contemporary Igor Stravinsky Compared Ravel To “the Most Perfect Of Swiss Watchmakers ” He Was In Fact Extolling Those Qualities Of Intricacy And Precision To Which He Himself Attached So Much Importance.

50 Top Music Tracks For Maurice Ravel - Frogtoon Music

50 Top Music Lyrics For Maurice Ravel - Frogtoon Music

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