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 sortilčges, 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 & Don Quichotte a Dulcinee / Slatkin
Release Date: 02/12/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660337   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel: L'Enfant et les sortileges; Ma Mere l'Oye - Complete Ballet
Release Date: 10/09/2015   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660336   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel: Complete Orchestral Works / Bringuier, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich
Release Date: 04/15/2016   Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002463002   Number of Discs: 4
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Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe / Nezet-Seguin
Release Date: 04/14/2015   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1850   Number of Discs: 1
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Liszt, Ravel, Saint-saens / Yevgeny Sudbin
Release Date: 11/27/2012   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1828   Number of Discs: 1
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Composition Type: Orchestral or Piano

Work: Ma mère l'oye

Browse 1-25 of 89 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Ravel: Complete Orchestral Works / Bringuier, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002463002 Release Date: 04/15/2016   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Ray Chen,  Yuja Wang
    Conductor:  Lionel Bringuier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Decca Sound – Dutoit: The Montreal Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002449102 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ernest Chausson,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Timothy Hutchins,  Beverly Hoch,  Stanford Olsen  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Montreal Symphony Chorus
    CD: $117.99
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  • 3.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   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  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 4.
    Ravel: L'Enfant et les sortileges; Ma Mere l'Oye - Complete Ballet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8660336 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Helene Hebrard
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Orchestra
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  • 5.
    The CBSO Years / Rattle
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552758 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 52
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Benjamin Britten,  Kurt Weill,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer,  Ameral Gunson,  John Mitchinson,  Malcolm King  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir Men and Boys  ... 
    CD: $124.49
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  • 6.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002364402 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 48
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Guy Touvron,  Gidon Kremer,  Alexandre Gurning  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Charles Dutoit,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Jörg Faerber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Jean Martinon - The Complete CSO Recordings
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88843062752 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Georges Bizet,  Robert Casadesus,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $32.49
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  • 8.
    Ravel: Orchestral Works / Ozawa, Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186204 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Pierre Boulez - 20th Century
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002250902 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 44
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alban Berg,  Harrison Birtwistle,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Performer:  John Tomlinson,  John Aler,  Krystian Zimerman,  Leif Ove Andsnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Martyn Brabbins
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Chorus,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $279.49
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  • 10.
    Pierre Boulez: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301333 Release Date: 11/24/2014   Number of Discs: 67
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alexander Scriabin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Dönch,  Isabel Strauss,  Walter Berry,  Fritz Uhl  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Anton Webern
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Camerata Singers,  Schola Cantorum New York  ... 
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  • 11.
    Ravel: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 / Deneve, Stuttgart Radio Symphony
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93325 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Stéphane Denčve
    CD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    Euphonia
    Label: Ameson   Catalog: 1223 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Patrick Busseuil,  Gustav Mahler,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo a Tempo
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  • 13.
    Pierre Boulez: 3 Classic Albums [limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002093202 Release Date: 07/15/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 14.
    Carlo Maria Giulini - Anniversary Edition
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 14006 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Claude Debussy,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Anna Maria Canali,  Luigi Alva,  Nicola Rossi-Lemeni  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    CD: $98.99
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  • 15.
    Ravel: Piano Works / Vanessa Wagner
    Label: Aparte   Catalog: 62 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Vanessa Wagner
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  • 16.
    Ravel: Ma Mere L'oye; Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 343 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Jos van Immerseel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anima Eterna Orchestra (Bruges)
    CD: $18.99
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  • 17.
    Ravel: Ma Mere l'Oye, Pavane & Tzigane / Rizzi, Netherlands Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: TACET977LP Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Gordan Nikolic
    Conductor:  Carlo Rizzi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $34.99
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  • 18.
    Suite & Funk
    Label: Anima Records (Classical)   Catalog: 9000012 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Guillaume Connesson,  Richard Dubugnon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quatuor Anches Hantées
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  • 19.
    Maurice Ravel: La Valse; Ma Mere L'oye; Tzigane; Bolero; Pavane
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 207 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Gordan Nikolic
    Conductor:  Carlo Rizzi
    Blu-ray Audio: $24.99
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  • 20.
    Maurice Ravel: La Valse; Ma Mere L'oye; Tzigane; Bolero; Pavane
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 207 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Gordan Nikolic
    Conductor:  Carlo Rizzi
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  • 21.
    Debussy: La mer, Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune; Ravel, Saint-Saens / Pascal & Ami Roge
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4117 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Ami Rogé,  Pascal Rogé
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  • 22.
    Ravel: Mother Goose; La Valse; Stravinsky: The Rite Of Spring
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 330 Release Date: 05/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    L'Enfance - Faure, Bizet, Debussy, Ravel / Claire Desert, Emmanuel Strosser
    Label: Mirare   Catalog: 190 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Georges Bizet,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Claire Désert,  Emmanuel Strosser
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  • 24.
    Maurice Ravel: La Valse; Ma Mere L'oye; Tzigane; Bolero; Pavane
    Label: Tacet   Catalog: 207 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Gordan Nikolic
    Conductor:  Carlo Rizzi
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  • 25.
    Ravel Complete Edition [14-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001728702 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  François-Joël Thiollier,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Ivo Pogorelich  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Charles Dutoit,  Ernest Ansermet,  John Eliot Gardiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Nash Ensemble,  Melos String Quartet Stuttgart  ... 
    CD: $85.99
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