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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Celibidache Conducts Ravel & Debussy
Release Date: 04/29/2008   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 3077968   Number of Discs: 1
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Debussy: La Mer, Iberia; Ravel: Ma Mere L'oye / Munch, Boston Symphony
Release Date: 02/22/2011   Label: Ica Classics  
Catalog: 5014   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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Nojima Plays Ravel
Release Date: 04/23/1993   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 35   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Pièce en forme de Habañera

Browse 76-100 of 159 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Master Music For Flute & Piano / Zucker, Shapiro
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637533002 Release Date: 08/22/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Laurel Zucker,  Marc Shapiro
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  • 77.
    Beau Soir - For Double Bass And Piano / Furtok, Warykiewicz
    Label: Zuk Records   Catalog: 321 Release Date: 07/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Giovanni Bottesini,  Max Bruch,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Ewa Warykiewicz,  Boguslaw Furtok
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  • 78.
    More Than Sax
    Label: Wolford Rosenblum Duo   Catalog: 5637527143 Release Date: 05/23/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Werner Heider,  Ivan Rosenblum,  Charles Samuel Buel,  Carl Anton Wirth  ... 
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  • 79.
    French Masterpieces For Flute And Piano - Faure, Boulanger, Ravel, Poulenc / Robison, Laredo
    Label: Pergola   Catalog: 69160 Release Date: 04/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Lili Boulanger,  Maurice Ravel,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Ruth Laredo,  Paula Robison
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  • 80.
    Music Of Ravel Arranged For Winds / Windscape
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1130 Release Date: 11/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Windscape
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  • 81.
    Quartetto Gelato
    Label: eOne   Catalog: 270058 Release Date: 11/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Christian Bach,  Eduardo Di Capua,  Maurice Ravel,  Traditional  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quartetto Gelato
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  • 82.
    Hummelflug / Guido Schiefen, Olaf Dressler
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 368 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  David Popper,  Olaf Dressler,  Claude Paul Taffanel  ... 
    Performer:  Guido Schiefen,  Olaf Dressler
    CD: $12.99
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  • 83.
    Joie De Vivre - Ravel, Ibert, Etc /  Archibald, Edwards
    Label: Brass Classics   Catalog: 3001 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pierre Gabaye,  André Jolivet,  Jean-Michel Damase,  Henri Tomasi  ... 
    Performer:  Juliet Edwards,  Paul Archibald
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  • 84.
    Time Pieces / Alexey & Marina Gorokholinsky
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637201463 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Claude Debussy,  Darius Milhaud,  Béla Kovács  ... 
    Performer:  Marina Gorokholinsky,  Alexey Gorokholinsky
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  • 85.
    Sound In Motion - Pasculli, Bozza, Kalliwoda / Izotov, Brown
    Label: Boston Records   Catalog: 1068 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Pasculli,  Eugène Bozza,  Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Eugene Izotov,  Christopher Brown,  Elizaveta Kopelman
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  • 86.
    Original Masters - Reginald Kell - American Decca Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000480602 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Fritz Kreisler,  Arthur Benjamin,  Benjamin Godard  ... 
    Performer:  Joel Rosen,  Reginald Kell,  Brooks Smith,  Melvin Ritter  ... 
    Conductor:  Salvador Camarata,  Reginald Kell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camarata & His Orchestra,  Fine Arts String Quartet,  Kell Chamber Players  ... 
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  • 87.
    Legendary Treasures - Julian Olevsky Vol 4 / Rose, Et Al
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7863 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Ottokar Novácek,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Rosé,  Julian Olevsky,  Estela Kersenbaum,  A. Rodriguez de Mendoza
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  • 88.
    50 Ultimate Classical Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 5651 Release Date: 08/02/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Dubravka Tomsic,  Ernst Mühlbacher,  Susan Jolles,  Humbert Lucarelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Michalski,  Anton Nanut,  Franz Bauer-Theussl,  Karel Brazda  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Slavonica  ... 
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  • 89.
    Danses / Laurent Korcia
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 4978 Release Date: 06/21/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michel Portal,  Zino Francescatti,  Johannes Brahms,  Astor Piazzolla  ... 
    Performer:  Laurent Korcia
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  • 90.
    New Horizons - Music From France And Spain / Walton, Et Al
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 42 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaspar Cassadó,  Claude Debussy,  Manuel de Falla,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Grimwood,  Jamie Walton
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  • 91.
    Oboe & Harp - Rossini, Chopin, Etc / Siebert, Sellmann
    Label: Christophorus   Catalog: 77273 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Frédéric Chopin,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jacques Ibert  ... 
    Performer:  Gunther Siebert,  Volker Sellmann
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  • 92.
    French Recital  Bassoon And Harp
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 47906239 Release Date: 11/24/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Bernard Andrès,  Gabriel Grovlez,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Luc Loubry,  Rachel Talitman
    CD: $23.99
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  • 93.
    Tribute / Don Bailey, Donald Sulzen
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 4040 Release Date: 11/12/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Muczynski,  Lili Boulanger,  Maurice Ravel,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Performer:  Don Bailey,  Donald Sulzen
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  • 94.
    Ballades For Saxophone & Orchestra / Kerkezos, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557454 Release Date: 08/17/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Martin,  Pedro Itturalde,  Dimitris Dragatakis,  Astor Piazzolla  ... 
    Performer:  Theodore Kerkezos
    Conductor:  Roberto Minczuk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 95.
    Short Stories / David Fruhwirth, Henri Sigfridsson
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 42 Release Date: 07/20/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kurt Weill,  Jenö Hubay,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Isaac Albeniz  ... 
    Performer:  David Frühwirth,  Henri Sigfridsson
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  • 96.
    Christian Ferras In Recital
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4282 Release Date: 05/25/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Alexander Brott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Radio Canada Orchestra
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  • 97.
    Ravel: Complete Works For Violin And Piano / Meyer, Peschia
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1073 Release Date: 04/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Isabelle Meyer,  Cédric Pescia
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  • 98.
    Tchaikovskiana - Elgar, Kreisler, Et Al  / Little, Lenehan
    Label: Classics For Pleasure   Catalog: 85615 Release Date: 01/06/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Lenehan,  Fritz Kreisler,  Lionel Sainsbury,  Leos Janácek  ... 
    Performer:  Tasmin Little,  John Lenehan
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  • 99.
    Carmen Fantasy - Borne, Ravel, Ibert, Et Al / Sefika Kutluer
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1108 Release Date: 11/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Kleynjans,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy,  Eugène Bozza  ... 
    Performer:  Sefika Kutluer
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  • 100.
    Strings Attached / Alison Nicholls, Philippe Honore
    Label: Meridian Records   Catalog: 84456 Release Date: 10/07/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Maurice Ravel,  Niccolò Paganini,  Jacques Ibert  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Honoré,  Alison Nicholls
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