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
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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Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition; Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloe, La Valse / Casadesus
Release Date: 05/10/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28180   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Franck: Sonata For Violin & Piano; Ravel: Piano Trio / Bieber, Dinnebier, Lang
Release Date: 11/12/2005   Label: Genuin Musikproduction  
Catalog: 85512   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Pièce en forme de Habañera

Browse 126-150 of 162 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    Whispers Of The Past / Peter Cooper, Marcia Labella
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 269 Release Date: 07/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wang Sa Xiao,  Jing Sha,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Cooper,  Marcia Labella
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  • 127.
    Après Un Rêve - Fauré, Ravel, Et Al / Geraets, Waardenburg
    Label: Ottavo   Catalog: 19972 Release Date: 06/27/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Bernard Andrès,  Andrea Padovano,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Theodora Geraets,  Erika Waardenburg
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  • 128.
    Joseph Fuchs In Recital - Mozart, Bach, Etc / Fuchs, Villa
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1190 Release Date: 06/06/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Bohuslav Martinu,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Fuchs,  Joseph Villa,  Hamao Fujiwara
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  • 129.
    Le Chant Des Oiseaux - Cello Favourites / Motard, Baril
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 23130 Release Date: 05/30/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Paul Bazelaire,  Robert Schumann,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Thérèse Motard,  Louise-Andrée Baril
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  • 130.
    Songs From The Cello
    Label: Gagliano   Catalog: 927 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  François Couperin,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Heitor Villa-Lobos  ... 
    Performer:  Hamilton Cheifetz,  Harold Gray,  Bryan Johanson
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  • 131.
    Russian And French Music For Double Bass / Hans Roelofsen
    Label: Ottavo   Catalog: 69865 Release Date: 11/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Maurice Ravel,  Gabriel Fauré,  Reinhold Gliere  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Roelofsen,  Edwin Van den Berg
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  • 132.
    Nuit Exotique / Ragin, De Rohan Silva
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2392 Release Date: 02/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Ernest Bloch,  Joseph Achron,  Mischa Elman  ... 
    Performer:  Rohan De Silva,  Ragin
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  • 133.
    Michael Rabin - Mosaics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67020 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pablo de Sarasate,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Josef Suk  ... 
    Performer:  Leon Pommers,  Michael Rabin
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  • 134.
    Balancing Act / Bill Booth
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 387 Release Date: 04/28/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Paul Creston,  Kim Scharnberg,  Anthony Plog  ... 
    Performer:  William Booth,  Bryan Pezzone,  James Kanter,  Louise Di Tullio  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Kaufman
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  • 135.
    Paganini's Violin / Salvatore Accardo, Laura Manzini
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 175 Release Date: 09/17/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Tartini,  Nathan Milstein,  Josef Suk,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Laura Manzini
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  • 136.
    The Virtuoso Romantic Double Bass / Yoan Goilav
    Label: Tuxedo Music   Catalog: 1090 Release Date: 03/26/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Bottesini,  Eduard Madensky,  Constantin Dimitrescu,  Serge Koussevitzky  ... 
    Performer:  Yoan Goïlav,  Laurenz Custer
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  • 137.
    25 Romantic Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8806 Release Date: 01/30/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Jack Wellbaum,  Dubravka Tomsic,  Ernst Mühlbacher,  Frank Morelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Carl Michalski,  Anton Nanut,  Franz Bauer-Theussl  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 138.
    Cello Favourites Vol Iii / Anders Gron, Jorgen Nielson
    Label: Danica   Catalog: 8158 Release Date: 01/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Alberto Ginastera,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Anders Gron,  Jorgen Nielson
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  • 139.
    Tambourin / Maxence Larrieu, Ichiro Suzuki
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 148 Release Date: 12/28/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Maurice Ravel,  Niccolò Paganini,  John Dowland  ... 
    Performer:  Maxence Larrieu,  Ichiro Suzuki
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  • 140.
    Paganini's Violin / Salvatore Accardo, Laura Manzini
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 137 Release Date: 11/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nathan Milstein,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Josef Suk,  Moritz Moszkowski  ... 
    Performer:  Laura Manzini,  Salvatore Accardo
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  • 141.
    Favourite Violin Encores / Arthur Grumiaux, István Hajdu
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 446560 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Zoltán Kodály,  Joseph-Hector Fiocco,  Antonín Dvorák,  Isaac Albeniz  ... 
    Performer:  István Hajdu,  Arthur Grumiaux
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  • 142.
    Franck, Debussy: Violin Sonatas;  Ravel / Dumay, Pires
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445880 Release Date: 06/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Augustin Dumay,  Maria-Joao Pires
    On sale! $36.99
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  • 143.
    Beau Soir / Pergamenschikow, Gililov
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 349951 Release Date: 05/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Pavel Gililov,  Boris Pergamenschikow
    CD: $22.49
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  • 144.
    For Flute & Guitar / Virginia Taylor, Timothy Kain
    Label: Tall Poppies   Catalog: 3 Release Date: 05/05/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Daniel Aloymias Robles,  Yvonne Desportes,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Jorge Morel  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Kain,  Virginia Taylor
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  • 145.
    Flute - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66703 Release Date: 12/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Carl Nielsen,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Edgard Varèse  ... 
    Performer:  Frantisek Posta,  Frantisek Slama,  Jean-Pierre Rampal,  Josef Hála  ... 
    Conductor:  Milan Munclinger,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Philippe Entremont,  Michel Colombier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ars Rediviva,  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Chamber Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 146.
    Roger Drinkall-dian Baker Duo
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11043 Release Date: 11/04/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gabriel Fauré,  Frédéric Chopin,  Max Bruch  ... 
    Performer:  Roger Drinkall,  Dian Baker
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Drinkall-Baker Duo
    CD: $17.99
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  • 147.
    Ravel - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64067 Release Date: 08/09/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Branford Marsalis
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Andrew Litton,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Camerata Singers,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 148.
    Popular & Serious Music For Cello & Piano / Lavotha, Aberg
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 72 Release Date: 02/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bohuslav Martinu,  Ingvar Lidholm,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ernst Toch  ... 
    Performer:  Elémér Lavotha,  Kerstin Åberg
    CD: $21.49
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  • 149.
    James Galway - The Lark In The Clear Air
    Label: Rca Victor   Catalog: 61379 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Edvard Grieg,  Claude Debussy,  Johann Paul A. Martini  ... 
    Performer:  Hiro Fujikake,  James Galway
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  • 150.
    Dvorak: Cello Concerto;  Saint-saens, Etc / Pierre Fournier
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1016 Release Date: 10/01/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Moore,  Pierre Fournier,  Ernest Lush
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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