Maurice Ravel


Born: Mar 7, 1875; France   Died: Dec 28, 1937; France   Period: Romantic
Maurice Ravel was among the most significant and influential composers of the early twentieth century. Although he is frequently linked with Claude Debussy as an exemplar of musical impressionism, and some of their works have a surface resemblance, Ravel possessed an independent voice that grew out of his love of a broad variety of styles, including the French Baroque, Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Spanish folk traditions, and American jazz and blues. Read more His elegant and lyrically generous body of work was not large in comparison with that of some of his contemporaries, but his compositions are notable for being meticulously and exquisitely crafted. He was especially gifted as an orchestrator, an area in which he remains unsurpassed.
Ravel's mother was of Basque heritage, a fact that accounted for his lifelong fascination with Spanish music, and his father was a Swiss inventor and engineer, most likely the source of his commitment to precision and craftsmanship. At the age of 14, he entered the Paris Conservatory, where he was a student from 1889 to 1895 and from 1897 to 1903. His primary composition teacher was Gabriel Fauré. A major disappointment of his life was his failure to win the Prix de Rome in spite of numerous attempts. The difficulty was transparently the conflict between the conservative administration of the Conservatory and Ravel's independent thinking, meaning his association with the French avant-garde (Debussy), and his interest in non-French traditions (Wagner, the Russian nationalists, Balinese gamelan). He had already established himself as a composer of prominence with works such as his String Quartet, and the piano pieces Pavane pour une infante défunte, Jeux d'eau, and the Sonatine, and his loss of the Prix de Rome in 1905 was considered such a scandal that the director of the Conservatory was forced to resign.
Ravel continued to express admiration for Debussy's music throughout his life, but as his own reputation grew stronger during the first decade of the century, a mutual professional jealousy cooled their personal relationship. Around the same time, he developed a friendship with Igor Stravinsky. The two became familiar with each other's work during Stravinsky's time in Paris and worked collaboratively on arrangements for Sergey Diaghilev.
Between 1909 and 1912, Ravel composed Daphnis et Chloé for Diaghilev and Les Ballets Russes. It was the composer's largest and most ambitious work and is widely considered his masterpiece. He wrote a second ballet for Diaghilev, La Valse, which the impresario rejected, but which went on to become one of his most popular orchestral works. Following his service in the First World War as an ambulance driver, and the death of his mother in 1917, his output was temporarily diminished. In 1925, the Monte Carlo Opera presented the premiere of another large work, the "lyric fantasy" L'enfant et les sortilèges, a collaboration with writer Colette.
American jazz and blues became increasingly intriguing to the composer. In 1928 he made a hugely successful tour of North America, where he met George Gershwin and had the opportunity to broaden his exposure to jazz. Several of his most important late works, such as the Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2 and the Piano Concerto in G show the influence of that interest.
Ironically, Ravel, who in his youth was rejected by some elements of the French musical establishment for being a modernist, in his later years was scorned by Satie and the members of Les Six as being old-fashioned, a symbol of the establishment. In 1932, an injury he sustained in an automobile accident started a physical decline that resulted in memory loss and an inability to communicate. He died in 1937, following brain surgery.
In spite of leaving one of the richest and most important bodies of work of any early twentieth century composer, one that included virtually every genre except for symphony and liturgical music, Ravel is most often remembered for an arrangement of another composer's work, and for a piece he considered among his least significant. His orchestral arrangement of Mussorgsky's piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition has been wildly popular with concertgoers (and the royalties from it made Ravel a rich man). Boléro, a 15-minute Spanish dance in which a single theme is repeated in a variety of instrumental guises, has been ridiculed for its insistent repetitiveness, but it is also a popular favorite and one of the most familiar and frequently performed orchestral works of the twentieth century. Read less
Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloe / Haitink, London Philharmonic
Release Date: 03/27/2012   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 59   Number of Discs: 1
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Traveling Sonata: European Music For Flute & Guitar
Release Date: 11/13/2012   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 128   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel Orchestrations - Pictures At An Exhibition, Etc / Oue
Release Date: 09/23/1997   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 79   Number of Discs: 1
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20th Century Miniatures Vol 2 - Ravel, Et Al / Hahn, Parkin
Release Date: 01/23/2001   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 18   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel: Music For Two Pianos / Micallef-inanga Piano Duo
Release Date: 07/16/2002   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 25   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Miroirs: Alborada del gracioso

Browse 26-50 of 114 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Dances & Dreams - Gala Concert From Berlin 2011
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2058728 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák,  Edvard Grieg,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Evgeni Kissin
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Ravel, Debussy / Pierre Boulez [6-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001676802 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Franklin Cohen,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Lisa Wellbaum,  Alison Hagley  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 28.
    Rimsky-korsakov: Scheherazade; Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloe, Suite I; La Valse; Alborada Del Gracioso
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 213 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Maurice Ravel
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  • 29.
    A Las Seis De La Tarde
    Label: Indesens   Catalog: 24 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernando Penella,  Didier Benetti,  Franck Tortiller,  Chick Corea  ... 
    Performer:  Francois Garnier,  Fabrice "El Belic" Larrere,  David Defiez,  Clément Saunier  ... 
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  • 30.
    Oxana Shevchenko: Winner Of The 2010 Scottish Internationl Piano Competition
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34061 Release Date: 04/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Franz Liszt,  Maurice Ravel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Oxana Shevchenko
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  • 31.
    Ravel: Tzigane, Sheherazade, Etc / Abbado, M Price, Accardo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 427314 Release Date: 11/22/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Music For Violin & Piano By R. Strauss, Ravel, Chausson, Heifetz & Elgar
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1295 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Ernest Chausson,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Performer:  Suzanne Husson,  Vojkan Lazarevitch
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  • 33.
    Something Borrowed
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1378 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Ian Buckle,  Jonathan Aasgaard
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  • 34.
    Debussy: Iberia; Ravel: Alborada Del Gracioso, Rapsodie Espagnole / Celibidache
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453196 Release Date: 06/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Spanish Rhapsody / John Novacek
    Label: Ambassador   Catalog: 5637346913 Release Date: 06/03/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Soler,  Isaac Albeniz,  John Novacek,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  John Novacek
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  • 36.
    Pierre Monteux Edition Vol 10 - Ravel, Ibert
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61895 Release Date: 05/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Ibert,  Edouard Lalo,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Eduardo Mata Edition Vol 3 - Ravel
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 30979 Release Date: 05/05/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Tedd Joselson
    Conductor:  Eduardo Mata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Chorus
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  • 38.
    French Piano Music / Cecile Ousset
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47225 Release Date: 03/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Erik Satie,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset
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  • 39.
    Bolero - Images Of Spain / Semkow, Fiedler, Maazel, Ozawa
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 413250 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Manuel de Falla
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Jerzy Semkow,  Lorin Maazel,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 40.
    Pershing's Own
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: ALT03123 Release Date: 01/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John T. Williams,  Philip Sparke,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Traditional  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Army Band "Pershing's Own"
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  • 41.
    Ravel: Orchestral Music / Cluytens, Paris Conservatory Orch
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 69165 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 42.
    Icon - Leopold Stokowski - The Maverick Conductor
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98555 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Pietro Antonio Cesti,  Ernest Bloch,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Giovanni Palestrina  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
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  • 43.
    Ravel: Bolero, Alborada Del Gracioso, Etc / Maazel
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 37289 Release Date: 03/11/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Bach, Scarlatti, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Ravel: Piano Sonatas, Etc / Dinu Lipatti
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2081 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Dinu Lipatti
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  • 45.
    Beethoven: Piano Sonata No 7; Poulenc: Pastourelle, Etc / Emil Gilels
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4250 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alexander Scriabin,  Maurice Ravel,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
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  • 46.
    Ravel: Miroirs, Etc / Andre Laplante
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 22010 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  André Laplante
    CD: $12.99
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  • 47.
    Edition Klavier - Festival Ruhr - Portraits / Frank, Gerstein, Tokarev, Et Al
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553023 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  György Ligeti,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Tamara Stefanovich,  Kirill Gerstein,  Nikolai Tokarev,  Tim Horton  ... 
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  • 48.
    Dinu Lipatti - The Master Pianist
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 07318 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Dinu Lipatti
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  • 49.
    Ravel: Bolero, La Valse, Daphnis et Chloe / Ansermet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 468564 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Chorus
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  • 50.
    Berg, Ravel, Schumann: Piano Recital / Catalina Butcaru
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 24127 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Robert Schumann,  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Catalina Butcaru
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