Maurice Ravel


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
Polychrome: Ravel, Prokofiev, Strauss / Feldmann, Kusnezow
Release Date: 01/27/2017   Label: Alpha Productions  
Catalog: 253   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel: Complete Works for Solo Piano / Chamayou
Release Date: 01/29/2016   Label: Erato  
Catalog: 553646   Number of Discs: 2
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Orff: Carmina Burana;  Ravel: Boléro / Frühbeck De Burgos
Release Date: 02/16/1993   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 64328   Number of Discs: 1
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Gemini - Ravel: Orchestral Works / Jean Martinon
Release Date: 02/21/2006   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 76960   Number of Discs: 2
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Debussy & Ravel / Monique Haas
Release Date: 08/21/2007   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 284668   Number of Discs: 6
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Work: Pièce en forme de Habañera

Browse 51-75 of 151 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Label: West Hill Radio Archives   Catalog: 160875 Release Date: 05/01/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Robert Schumann,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Jennie Tourel,  Ralph Berkowitz,  Ivor Newton  ... 
    Conductor:  Donald Voorhees,  Fritz Reiner,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Alfred Wallenstein  ... 
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  • 52.
    Label: Tonada   Catalog: 5637620636 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Erik Satie,  Claude Debussy,  Heitor Villa-Lobos  ... 
    Performer:  Vilian Ivantchev,  Thomas Piercy
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  • 53.
    The Magic Of The Violin / Grumiaux, Szeryng, Bobesco, Bernard
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420818 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Tommaso Antonio Vitali  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Claire Bernard,  Jacques Genty,  Lola Bobesco  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Manuel Rosenthal,  Clair Gibaut,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Monte Carlo National Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 54.
    Encores & More / Eichhorn, Findeisen
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 130 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Myron Poliakin,  Franz Liszt,  Franz Von Vecsey,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Peer Findeisen,  Friedemann Eichhorn
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  • 55.
    Faure And His Circle
    Label: Deux-elles   Catalog: 1125 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy,  Charles Koechlin  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Bayliss,  Lawrence Power,  Kathryn Thomas,  Richard Shaw
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  • 56.
    Spanish Dance: Werke Fur Violine Und Klavier
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 115282 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Fritz Kreisler,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Fauth,  Katrin Scholz
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  • 57.
    100 Best Violin
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 967007 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Luigi Boccherini,  Tommaso Antonio Vitali  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Cocker,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Nathan Milstein,  Leon Pommers  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lysy,  Anthony Halstead,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Salvatore Accardo  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante,  Hanover Band,  Alban Berg String Quartet
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  • 58.
    Best Violin 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 58521 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  Vittorio Monti,  Fritz Kreisler,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Tasmin Little,  John Lenehan,  Leon Pommers,  Nathan Milstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Felix Slatkin,  Alceo Galliera,  Iain Sutherland,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Europa Galante,  Virtuosi,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 59.
    Pleasure Songs For Flute / Ransom Wilson
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 69069 Release Date: 12/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Ransom Wilson,  Nancy Allen
    Conductor:  Ransom Wilson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Dance Of The Three Legged Elephants / Barley, Joseph
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 171 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Julian Joseph,  John McLaughlin,  Maurice Ravel,  Antonio Carlos Jobim  ... 
    Performer:  Matthew Barley,  Julian Joseph
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  • 61.
    Iberiana - Granados, Falla, Debussy, Ravel, Etc / Maxine Neuman, Peter Ernst
    Label: Artek   Catalog: 49 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jules Massenet,  Henri Casadesus  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Ernst,  Maxine Neuman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Claremont Duo
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  • 62.
    Bejeweled Encore Gems For Flute & Harp / Scolnik, Huhn
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637543095 Release Date: 06/22/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Frédéric Chopin,  Maurice Ravel,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Julie Scolnik,  Franziska Huhn
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  • 63.
    Suites & Sweets / Jessica Mathaes, Rodney Waters
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2993 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Igor Stravinsky,  Henry Cowell,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Rodney Waters,  Jessica Mathaes
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  • 64.
    Conversations - Music For Oboe And Piano / Rosengren, Nylander, Hirvonen
    Label: Daphne   Catalog: 1030 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pierre Sancan,  Albert Roussel,  Eugčne Bozza,  Pierre Max Dubois  ... 
    Performer:  Matti Hirvonen,  Kerstin Nylander,  Bengt Rosengren
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  • 65.
    Flute Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001280202 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Albert Roussel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jacques Ibert,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Grandt,  Irena Grafenauer,  William Bennett,  Timothy Hutchins  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Benjamin Britten,  Karl Münchinger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grumiaux Trio,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 66.
    Salut d'amour / Anne Akiko Meyers, Sandra Rivers
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 62546 Release Date: 02/11/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Flausino R. do Vale,  Manuel de Falla,  Kosaku Yamada,  Rentauro Taki  ... 
    Performer:  Sandra Rivers,  Anne Akiko Meyers
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  • 67.
    Catan: Encantamiento;  Lynch: 3 Tangos, Etc / Christiana Smith, Elisabeth Johnson
    Label: Aca Digital   Catalog: 20103 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nino Rota,  Maurice Ravel,  Graham Lynch,  Robert Xavier Rodriguez  ... 
    Performer:  Elisabeth Johnson,  Christina Smith
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  • 68.
    Homage (Cd & Dvd) / James Ehnes
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4038 Release Date: 01/13/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Félicien César David,  Arthur Benjamin,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  James Ehnes,  Eduard Laurel
    CD: $26.99
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  • 69.
    Ravel: Works For Violin And Piano / Régis Pasquier, Brigitte Engerer
    Label: Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord   Catalog: 1951364 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Régis Pasquier,  Brigitte Engerer
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  • 70.
    Pan Flute Classics - Vivaldi, Telemann, Mendelssohn, Ravel, Etc / Michel Tirabosco
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1241 Release Date: 06/17/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Felix Mendelssohn,  G. Reid  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Tirabosco,  André Luy,  Nathalie Chatelain,  Marc-Andre Thiebaud  ... 
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  • 71.
    Enchanting Ravel / Andrea Anderson
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11016 Release Date: 06/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Andrea Anderson
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  • 72.
    Catoire: Complete Works For Violin And Piano; Ravel / Zack
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2143 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georgy Catoire,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Bernd Zack,  Hervig Zack
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  • 73.
    Les Introuvables de Pierre Fournier
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 569708 Release Date: 01/13/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Babeth Léonet,  Artur Schnabel,  Jean Hubeau  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Eugčne Bigot
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  • 74.
    Postcards from Paris - Milhaud, Etc / La Porte, Saulter
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2883 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Claude Debussy,  Francis Poulenc,  Louis Moyse  ... 
    Performer:  Michelle LaPorte,  Gerard Saulter
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  • 75.
    Works For Violin & Piano / Gowers, Owen
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 64 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vittorio Monti,  Gabriel Fauré,  Maurice Ravel,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Katharine Gowers,  Charles Owen
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