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
Ravel: L'heure Espagnole, L'enfant Et Les Sortileges / Gadelia, Gay, Oustrac, Madore, Ono
Release Date: 11/12/2013   Label: Fra Musica  
Catalog: 8   Number of Discs: 1
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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: L'heure Espagnole, L'enfant Et Les Sortileges
Release Date: 02/05/2002   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1324   Number of Discs: 2
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Debussy: La Mer; Ravel: La Valse; Dutilleux: L'arbre Des Songes
Release Date: 05/13/2008   Label: Rco Live  
Catalog: 8001   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel: Gaspard, Valses Nobles Et Sentimentales, Tombeau De Couperin / Neuburger
Release Date: 03/11/2014   Label: Mirare  
Catalog: 232   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Daphnis et Chloé Suite no 2

Browse 51-75 of 112 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Dg Concerts - 2006/2007 - Ravel, Stravinsky / Maazel, Nypo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000977202 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 52.
    Bartók: Concerto For Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 712363 Release Date: 08/27/2007  
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Debussy: La Mer;  Ravel, Strauss / Leinsdorf, Los Angeles
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65425 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 39 - Ravel, Dukas, Berlioz, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60322 Release Date: 06/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  César Franck,  Paul Dukas,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Ravel: Five O'clock Foxtrot, Etc / Simon, Et Al
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 4027 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Stephanie Chase,  Han de Vries
    Conductor:  Geoffrey Simon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Ravel: Boléro, Etc / Skrowaczewski, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1206 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Debussy, Ravel, Dukas, Ibert / Previn, La Phil
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 426255 Release Date: 03/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Paul Dukas,  Jacques Ibert
    Performer:  Janet Ferguson,  Anne Diener Giles
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloé Suites No 1 & 2, Boléro, Etc
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186167 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Music From France - Dukas, Franck, Ravel / Jordania, Et Al
    Label: Angelok   Catalog: 7753 Release Date: 07/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Paul Dukas,  César Franck
    Conductor:  Vakhtang Jordania
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Federal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloe, Rapsodie Espagnole / Barenboim, Chicago So
    Label: Elatus   Catalog: 47327 Release Date: 05/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Night Of Rhythm & Dance / Nagano, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2050526 Release Date: 05/16/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Ji-Ping Jhao,  Eitetsu Hayashi,  Isao Matsushita  ... 
    Performer:  Susan Graham,  Eitetsu Hayashi,  Mari Kodama,  Momo Kodama
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Holnd Fstvl - A Dutch Miracle - Fifty Years - 1947-1997
    Label: Globe   Catalog: 6900 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Rudolf Escher,  Richard Strauss,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Renato Capecchi,  Teresa Berganza,  Giulietta Simionato,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  George Szell,  Jean Fournet,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hague Residentie Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Danzi Woodwind Quintet  ... 
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  • 63.
    The Very Best Of Ravel
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8552125 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  François-Joël Thiollier,  David Abramovitz,  Laurent Naouri,  Howard Zhang  ... 
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit,  Adrian Leaper,  Kenneth Jean,  Takuo Yuasa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Slovak Philharmonic Choir  ... 
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  • 64.
    A Tribute To Zubin Mehta
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000623402 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gottfried von Einem,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Goodwin,  Forrest Clark,  William Kraft,  Charles DeLancey
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Ravel: Bolero, La Valse, Etc / Boulez, Nypo, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 92758 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Cleveland Orchestra,  Camerata Singers
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  • 66.
    Ravel: Orchestral Works / Gelinas, Leaper, Et Al
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 433170 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grand Canary Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Weekend Classics - A Ravel Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000448702 Release Date: 06/14/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Munch - Charles Munch Conducts The Boston Symphony
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4317 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Hector Berlioz,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 69.
    Debussy: La Mer, Nocturnes; Ravel: Alborada, Daphnis & Chloe Suite 2 / Giulini
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 62759 Release Date: 04/06/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 70.
    Ravel / Paavo Järvi, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80601 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Ravel / Paavo Järvi, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 60601 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Original Masters - Leopold Stokowski
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000150902 Release Date: 11/25/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  William Byrd,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Howard Snell,  David Gray,  Alan Civil
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 73.
    Classics - Ravel: Boléro, Daphnis Et Chloé, Etc / Slatkin
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80052 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Chorus
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  • 74.
    De Falla, Ravel, Hindemith / Nachev, Bulgarian Radio So
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 260 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Maurice Ravel,  Manuel de Falla
    Conductor:  Milen Nachev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Karajan - The Collection - Ravel, Debussy, Saint-saens
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000020302 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Pierre Cochereau,  Karlheinz Zöller
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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