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: Gaspard de la nuit

Browse 76-100 of 146 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Jorge Luis Prats In Recital
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4414 Release Date: 10/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Moritz Moszkowski,  Ernesto Lecuona,  Ignacio Cervantes,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Jorge Luis Prats
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  • 77.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition;  Ravel: Gaspard
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 49886 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Alexander Toradze
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  • 78.
    Chopin: Piano Sonata No.2/Ravel: Gaspard De La Nuit
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463678 Release Date: 07/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Ivo Pogorelich
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  • 79.
    Chopin, Debussy, Ravel / Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000897302 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 80.
    Vladimir Ashkenazy - Personal Collection
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000897102 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Jean Sibelius,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 81.
    Ravel: L'oeuvre Pour Piano
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 575437 Release Date: 06/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Samson François
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  • 82.
    Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Vol 2
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 223500 Release Date: 04/17/2007   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Edvard Grieg,  Baldassare Galuppi  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Mario Rossi,  Jindrich Rohan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra
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  • 83.
    Ravel: Gaspard De La Nuit, Etc / Barto, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1095 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Tzimon Barto
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  • 84.
    Ravel: Complete Piano Works, Vol 1 [sacd]
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 290 Release Date: 03/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Artur Pizarro
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  • 85.
    Leonard Pennario - The Early Years 1950-1958
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1188 Release Date: 11/26/2006   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Liszt,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Pennario
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  • 86.
    Moussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition;  Ravel / Saarinen
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 71150 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Gloria Saarinen
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  • 87.
    Steinway Legends - Martha Argerich
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000721602 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Alexander Economou
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  • 88.
    The Genius Of Pogorelich
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000657502 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Domenico Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  Ivo Pogorelich
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 89.
    Mussorgsky, Chopin, Ravel / Sergio Tiempo
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 5580182 Release Date: 04/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Sergio Tiempo
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  • 90.
    Ravel: Piano Works / Ashkenazy, Cole
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4768499 Release Date: 02/20/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Naida Cole
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  • 91.
    French Piano Music / Sergio Gallo
    Label: Eroica Classical Recordings   Catalog: 3254 Release Date: 02/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Gabriel Fauré,  Maurice Ravel,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Sergio Gallo
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  • 92.
    Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition - Chen
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907406 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Maurice Ravel,  Sebastian Currier,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Sa Chen
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  • 93.
    Ravel: Le Tombeau De Couperin, Etc / David Korevar
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1125 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  David Korevaar
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  • 94.
    David Viscoli - Rachmaninov, Ravel, Bartok, Et Al
    Label: Eroica Classical Recordings   Catalog: 3221 Release Date: 09/06/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Maurice Ravel,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  David Viscoli
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  • 95.
    Schumann: Piano Concerto, Etc;  Et Al / Argerich, Et Al
    Label: Emi Great Artists Of The Century   Catalog: 76850 Release Date: 08/02/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Maurice Ravel,  Alberto Ginastera
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Alexandre Rabinovitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana
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  • 96.
    Ravel: Gaspard De La Nuit;  Carter / Aimard
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 62160 Release Date: 06/21/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Elliott Carter,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Pierre-Laurent Aimard
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  • 97.
    Gemini - Ravel: Complete Works For Solo Piano / Collard
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86061 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Jean-Philippe Collard
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  • 98.
    Ravel: Gaspard De La Nuit, Etc / Eschenbach, Barto, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1051 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Carole Bouquet,  Tzimon Barto
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris
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  • 99.
    Plainte Calme - Messiaen, Ravel, Fauré / Lonquich
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 472400 Release Date: 11/09/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Olivier Messiaen,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Alexander Lonquich
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  • 100.
    Xenakis: Complete Music For Piano;  Ravel / Marc Ponthus
    Label: Neuma   Catalog: 104 Release Date: 08/31/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Iannis Xenakis,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Marc Ponthus
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