Maurice Ravel

Biography

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
Bloch: Schelomo; Voice In The Wilderness; Caplet: Epiphanie; Ravel: Kaddish
Release Date: 04/08/2014   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5913   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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Ravel: Piano Works / Vlado Perlemuter
Release Date: 05/07/1996   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 7713   Number of Discs: 2
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Nojima Plays Ravel
Release Date: 04/23/1993   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 35   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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Work: Valses nobles et sentimentales

Browse 26-50 of 144 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Label: Bayer Records   Catalog: BR10034445 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Heidi Lowy
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  • 27.
    Ravel: Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte; Jeux D'eau; Rachmaninov: 11 Preludes
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0248 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Rachmaninov
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  • 28.
    The Decca Sound [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619902 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    From The Streets
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 26 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Ivana Gavric
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  • 30.
    Ives, Bartok, Debussy, Ravel / Joanna Macgregor
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 672037 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Béla Bartók,  Claude Debussy,  Charles Ives  ... 
    Performer:  Joanna MacGregor
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  • 31.
    Voyage En France / Alexandre Tharaud
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908450 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Francis Poulenc,  Arthur Honegger  ... 
    Performer:  Alexandre Tharaud,  Ronald van Spaendonck,  Philippe Bernold
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  • 32.
    Falla: Nights In The Gardens Of Spain; Madrid Recital / Joaquin Achucarro
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2058808 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Isaac Albeniz,  Claude Debussy,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Joaquín Achúcarro
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Falla: Nights In The Gardens Of Spain; Madrid Recital / Joaquin Achucarro [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2058884 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Isaac Albeniz,  Claude Debussy,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Joaquín Achúcarro
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Ravel: Orchestral Works / Haitink, Concertgebouw
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802068 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Piano Recital 1994 / Sviatoslav Richter
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93712 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  César Franck,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
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  • 36.
    Busoni, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Stravinsky / Freddy Kempf
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1810 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ferruccio Busoni,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Maurice Ravel,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Freddy Kempf
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  • 37.
    Ravel: Complete Piano Music  / Steven Osborne
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67731 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Steven Osborne
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  • 38.
    Ravel: Complete Piano Works / Michelangelo Carbonara
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94083 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Michelangelo Carbonara
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  • 39.
    Ravel: Miroirs, La Valse And Other Works For Piano Solo
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 558 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Kevin Kenner
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  • 40.
    Ravel: Piano Concertos / Samson Francois
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31803 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Samson François
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Eduardo Mata Edition Vol 4 - Ravel, Bizet, Dukas
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 30980 Release Date: 10/01/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Georges Bizet,  Paul Dukas
    Conductor:  Eduardo Mata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  National Arts Centre Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Salzburg Opening Concert 2008 / Barenboim, Boulez, Vienna
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 702508 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Béla Bartók,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Ravel: Tombeau De Couperin; Sonatine; Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte
    Label: Tutti (Label)   Catalog: 3000 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Claude Bessmann
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  • 44.
    Maurice Ravel
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 913443 Release Date: 07/06/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Walter Gieseking,  Marguerite Long,  Robert Casadesus,  Marcel Moyse  ... 
    Conductor:  Maurice Ravel,  Désiré-Emile Inghelbrecht,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Igor Markevitch  ... 
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  • 45.
    Pierre Monteux Edition Vol 10 - Ravel, Ibert
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61895 Release Date: 05/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Ibert,  Edouard Lalo,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Emil Gilels Legacy, Vol. 8
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7920 Release Date: 05/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Spoken Word,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
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  • 47.
    Geza Anda Spielt Haydn, Schumann, Ravel, Liebermann, Chopin, Brahms
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94211 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Robert Schumann,  Rolf Liebermann,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda
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  • 48.
    Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe, La Valse / Nezet-Seguin, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 66342 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Piano Masterworks - The World's Favourite Piano Classics - Bach, Debussy, Etc / Argerich, Arrau, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: B001206502 Release Date: 12/16/2009   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Andrei Gavrilov,  Friedrich Gulda,  Wilhelm Kempff  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Eliahu Inbal,  Horst Stein,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 50.
    Ravel: Ma Mere L'oye, Etc / Dutoit, Montreal So
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 410254 Release Date: 08/18/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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