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
Broadway-Lafayette - Ravel, Lasser, Gershwin / Simone Dinnerstein
Release Date: 02/24/2015   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 503245   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel: Boléro, La Valse, Etc / Casadesus, Pludermacher
Release Date: 11/14/2000   Label: Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord  
Catalog: 1951434   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel: Piano Trio;  Chausson / Kobayashi, Hasegawa, Rogé
Release Date: 01/10/2006   Label: Onyx  
Catalog: 4008   Number of Discs: 1
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Gershwin, Ravel, Debussy / O'Riley, Wordsworth, Royal PO
Release Date: 08/11/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28050   Number of Discs: 1
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Reflections - Ravel, Decaux, Schonberg / Frederic Chiu
Release Date: 02/14/2012   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 1957166   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Jeux d'eau

Browse 101-121 of 121 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Piano By The Sea -
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3242 Release Date: 01/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Charles Tomlinson Griffes,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger
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  • 102.
    Piano Reflections - Earl Wild Plays Spanish And French Gems
    Label: Ivory Classics   Catalog: 70805 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Federico Mompou,  Moritz Moszkowski,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Earl Wild
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  • 103.
    Ravel: Piano Works / Anne Queffélec
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 61489 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Anne Queffélec
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  • 104.
    Timeless Kiss - The Best Romantic Piano Music
    Label: Four Winds   Catalog: 3007 Release Date: 08/25/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  John Novacek,  Joseph Paratore,  Anthony Paratore,  Daniel Pollack
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  • 105.
    Heritage  Ravel: Complete Solo Piano Music /Robert Casadesus
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 63316 Release Date: 06/16/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Robert Casadesus,  Zino Francescatti
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 106.
    Classic Romance II / John Novacek
    Label: Four Winds   Catalog: 3006 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Alexander Scriabin,  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  John Novacek
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  • 107.
    Music Of Our Time - Wergo Collection Ii
    Label: Wergo   Catalog: 6600 Release Date: 09/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Xiao-Gang Ye,  Conlon Nancarrow,  Bernd Alois Zimmermann,  György Ligeti  ... 
    Performer:  Yukiko-Lachenmann Sugawara,  Karl-Rudolf Menke,  Zsigmond Szathmáry,  Roman Trekel  ... 
    Conductor:  Heinz Rögner,  Hans-Dieter Baum,  John Carewe,  Pauls Megi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Eclipse,  Recherche Ensemble,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 108.
    Martha Argerich Collection Vol 3
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453576 Release Date: 04/22/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Edgar Guggeis,  Nelson Freire,  Martha Argerich,  Peter Sadlo  ... 
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  • 109.
    The Best Of Ravel
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556673 Release Date: 02/04/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  François-Joël Thiollier,  Marat Bisengaliev,  Pascal Devoyon,  Dong-Suk Kang
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper,  Antoni Wit,  Kenneth Jean,  Johannes Wildner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kodály String Quartet,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice  ... 
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  • 110.
    Reflections In The Water / Carol Rosenberger
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3190 Release Date: 08/22/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Charles Tomlinson Griffes,  Enrique Granados,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger
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  • 111.
    Ravel: Piano Works / Vlado Perlemuter
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7713 Release Date: 05/07/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Vlado Perlemuter
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  • 112.
    Début Recital / Martha Argerich
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 447430 Release Date: 01/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
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  • 113.
    Piano Favorites / Moura Lympany
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 69028 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Maurice Ravel,  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Moura Lympany
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  • 114.
    Ravel: Piano Works Vol 1 / François-joël Thiollier
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550683 Release Date: 11/29/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  François-Joël Thiollier
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  • 115.
    Ravel: Piano Works / Pascal Rogé
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 440836 Release Date: 11/15/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Denise-Françoise Rogé,  Pascal Rogé
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  • 116.
    Ravel: Music For Piano Solo, Piano Concerti / Haas, Galliera
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 438353 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Werner Haas
    Conductor:  Alceo Galliera
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra
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  • 117.
    Ravel: Complete Music For Solo Piano / Abbey Simon
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5012 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Abbey Simon
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  • 118.
    Vlado Perlemutter Plays Ravel
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 5507 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Vlado Perlemuter
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Colonne Concerts Orchestra
    CD: $11.49
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  • 119.
    Ravel: Complete Solo Piano Works Vol 2 / Paul Crossley
    Label: Crd Records   Catalog: 3384 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Paul Crossley
    CD: $14.99
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  • 120.
    Ravel: L'Oeuvre Pour Piano Seul / Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 433515 Release Date: 09/15/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
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  • 121.
    Water Music Of The Impressionists / Carol Rosenberger
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3006 Release Date: 05/22/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Charles Tomlinson Griffes,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger
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Maurice Ravel


WORKS
I. Prélude à la nuit
II. Malagueña
III. Habanera
IV. Feria
Ravel: Piano Concerto In G, M. 83 - 1. Allegramente
Ravel: Piano Concerto In G, M. 83 - 2. Adagio assai
Ravel: Piano Concerto In G, M. 83 - 3. Presto
1. Lever du jour [Daphnis et Chloë, Suite No.2]
2. Pantomime [Daphnis et Chloë, Suite No.2]
3. Danse générale [Daphnis et Chloë, Suite No.2]
1. Prélude
2. Fugue
3. Forlane
4. Rigaudon
5. Menuet
6. Toccata
1. Modéré; 2. Assez lent
3. Modéré; 4. Assez animé
5. Presque lent; 6. Assez vif
7. Moins vif; 8. Epilogue
Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit, M.55 - Ondine
Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit, M.55 - Le gibet
Ravel: Gaspard de la nuit, M.55 - Scarbo
1. Allegro moderato. Très doux
2. Assez vif. Très rythmé
3. Très lent
4. Vif et agité