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
Ravel: Orchestral Works, Vol. 5 / Slatkin, Orchestre National de Lyon
Release Date: 04/14/2017   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573448   Number of Discs: 1
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In the Age of Ravel / Wilson, Dumont
Release Date: 06/02/2017   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 6344   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel: Rapsodie Espagnole, Pavane, Etc / Kenneth Jean
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550424   Number of Discs: 1
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Debussy, Ravel: String Quartets, Etc / Kodaly Quartet
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550249   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel: Piano Concertos;  Falla: Nights / Thiollier, Wit
Release Date: 12/13/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550753   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Pièce en forme de Habañera

Browse 76-100 of 154 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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,  Eugène Bigot
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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    Impresiones - Brouwer, Ravel / Pablo & Rodrigo Garibay
    Label: Urtext   Catalog: 139 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio José,  Leo Brouwer,  Maurice Ravel,  Ernesto Cordero  ... 
    Performer:  Pablo Garibay,  Rodrigo Garibay
    CD: $14.99
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  • 83.
    Ultimate Violin Classics - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000895302 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci,  Henryk Szeryng,  David Oistrakh,  Lev Oborin  ... 
    Conductor:  Piero Gamba,  Sir Alexander Gibson
    CD: $21.99
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  • 84.
    Cheers
    Label: Ribbet   Catalog: 5637432661 Release Date: 05/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Philip Wilby,  Antonio Bazzini,  Herman Bellstedt,  Ionel Dumitru  ... 
    Performer:  Benjamin Pierce,  Jun Okada
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  • 85.
    Showpieces- Borne, Ravel, Fauré, Debussy, Et Al / Grafenauer
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 426248 Release Date: 03/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernande Le Borne,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  George Enescu  ... 
    Performer:  Irena Grafenauer,  Michael Grandt
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  • 86.
    Label: Farao   Catalog: 108031 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Enrique Granados,  Francesco Maria Veracini,  Enrico Toselli  ... 
    Performer:  Benjamin Rawitz,  Janos Maté
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  • 87.
    Brahms, Sibelius, Ravel, Scarlatescu / Ginette Neveu, Et Al
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2064 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Jean Sibelius,  Maurice Ravel,  Ioan Scarlatescu
    Performer:  Ginette Neveu,  Jean Neveu
    Conductor:  Issay Dobrowen,  Walter Susskind
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Siesta - Ibert, Ravel, Piazzolla, Etc / Petri, Hannibal
    Label: Our Recordings   Catalog: 8226900 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Joan Albert Amargós,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Michala Petri,  Lars Hannibal
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  • 89.
    Stephen Hough's Spanish Album
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67565 Release Date: 01/16/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Federico Longas,  Antonio Soler,  Enrique Granados,  Isaac Albeniz  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Hough
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  • 90.
    Tour De France / Quintessenz
    Label: Genuin Classics   Catalog: 87108 Release Date: 01/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Georges Bizet,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quintessenz
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  • 91.
    New York Legends - Judith Leclair, Principal Bassoon
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 515 Release Date: 10/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Willson Osborne,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Judith LeClair,  Jonathan Feldman
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  • 92.
    Moods For Cello And Piano / Harro Ruijsenaars, Erik Risberg
    Label: Intim Musik   Catalog: 26 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Popper,  Tor Aulin,  Selim Palmgren,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Harro Ruijsenaars,  Erik Risberg
    CD: $17.99
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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    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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  • 96.
    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
    On sale! $13.98
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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    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
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  • 99.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 100.
    Michael Rabin 1936-1972
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64123 Release Date: 10/04/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Henri Wieniawski,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Rabin,  Leon Pommers
    Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Alceo Galliera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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