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Thread: Ravel

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Default Ravel

    If you've come here expecting to see a page wasted on Bolero, you're about to be either sorely disappointed or a new world in music is about to open up to you. Ravel himself hated Bolero anyway, why should we like it?

    Now that I've gotten that out of my system, Ravel was one of the greatest users of instrumental color in his music. He was one of the greatest mimickers of music history. He is also one of the more demanding piano-composers to play pieces by.

    My favorite music of Ravel's include The G major piano concerto and "Pavane pour une infante défunte." Tzigane is another Ravel classic, too, but I find that a little schmaltzy in comparison to his other stuff (...).

    Great composer. LISTEN TO MORE THAN THE BOLERO AND ALL YOUR DREAMS WILL COME TRUE!!!
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Bolero is good, but it would also suffice to mention his masterful orchestrations, such as Pictures at an Exhibition. To mention others, two other "must hear's" for Ravel include Daphnis et Chloe, and La Valse.

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    Senior Member ChamberNut's Avatar
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    I cannot stand Bolero. And unfortunately, that being the first work of Ravel that I have heard, has made me a bit hesistant on getting to listen to more of Ravel's work, so things are slowly happening in that regard.

    However, that being said, I enjoyed his Piano Concerto in G major earlier this year at a live performance by Louis Lortie. Pavane pour un enfant defunt for harp and cello, Introduction et Allegro for harp, string quartet, clarinet and flute, and his string quartet I all enjoy alot.

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    Senior Member BuddhaBandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rondo View Post
    Bolero is good, but it would also suffice to mention his masterful orchestrations, such as Pictures at an Exhibition. To mention others, two other "must hear's" for Ravel include Daphnis et Chloe, and La Valse.
    As much as I respect his orchestration of Pictures, I am an absolute fanatic about Mussorgsky's original piano suite (especially the Horowitz recording) and shall always remain faithful to the original. Ravel's use of the orchestra is, of course, highly impressive, but "The Great Gate at Kiev" is just more impacting in its piano form...

    As for Ravel, the Bolero is not one of my favorites. That title would go to the wonderful Miroirs, one of the greatest piano suites ever written. Also, I really like the Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, mostly due to my continued awe at the pianists who can perform it.
    Take a look at the Bandit's blog, Americana Avenue.

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    I have to disagree with your comment on the Great Gate of Kiev. I do not have Horowitz playing however, and everything I've heard played by him I've enjoyed. I have Karajan conducting the BPO for Pictures and that was my first favourite classical recording when I first got into it this summer.

    I really like the Piano Concerto in G as well as the Sonatine for solo piano.

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    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Default Ravel- Memories

    Takes me back to my earlier days on the board, when, in this thread, I made the semi-provocative statement that Ravel was my favorite French composer.

    Rather than re-iterate the sentiments there, let me add something different...
    1) The Phil Goulding book Classical Music contains the following passage: The critics protested that Maurice Ravel was too artificial. "has it occurred to them, retorted the composer, "that one may be artificial by nature?"
    2) My CD notes to Ravel's Valses Nobles et Sentimentales states that they were... "prefaced with a quotation from the Symbolist poet Henri de Régnier which refers to 'the delightful and ever renewed pleasure of doing something which is utterly useless.'"*†

    A request to our Francophone contingent... I would be interested in the original French rendering of the above-mentioned quotes. Can anyone help out?!

    *Attribution- James Harding, from the Previn/RPO disc.
    †I think many of us inveterate message-board posters can find some manner of empathetic resonance concerning this quote!
    Last edited by Chi_townPhilly; Jan-27-2008 at 13:58. Reason: correct punctuation
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

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    Senior Member BuddhaBandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricIsAPolarBear View Post
    I have to disagree with your comment on the Great Gate of Kiev. I do not have Horowitz playing however, and everything I've heard played by him I've enjoyed. I have Karajan conducting the BPO for Pictures and that was my first favourite classical recording when I first got into it this summer.
    That's perfectly valid. Ravel's orchestration is, of course, the more well-known version of the suite, and, in some cases ("Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle", for example) is clearly better than the original. And, as a pianist, I am naturally biased towards the piano version (it helps, also, that the Horowitz recording is live, so at the ends of "Great Gate" there is a fairly powerful bit of audience applause and cheering).

    Anyway, back to Ravel...
    Take a look at the Bandit's blog, Americana Avenue.

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    I also have Stokowski's.....

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    Newbies Raphaël-A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chi_town/Philly View Post
    Takes me back to my earlier days on the board, when, in this thread, I made the semi-provocative statement that Ravel was my favorite French composer.

    Rather than re-iterate the sentiments there, let me add something different...
    1) The Phil Goulding book Classical Music contains the following passage: The critics protested that Maurice Ravel was too artificial. "has it occurred to them, retorted the composer, "that one may be artificial by nature?"
    2) My CD notes to Ravel's Valses Nobles et Sentimentales states that they were... "prefaced with a quotation from the Symbolist poet Henri de Régnier which refers to 'the delightful and ever renewed pleasure of doing something which is utterly useless.'"*†

    A request to our Francophone contingent... I would be interested in the original French rendering of the above-mentioned quotes. Can anyone help out?!

    *Attribution- James Harding, from the Previn/RPO disc.
    †I think many of us inveterate message-board posters can find some manner of empathetic resonance concerning this quote!
    I'm really not sure where to find the original french version of these quotes hehe. However, if you would like I could translate them...

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by World Violist View Post
    LISTEN TO MORE THAN THE BOLERO AND ALL YOUR DREAMS WILL COME TRUE!!!
    I'm so glad someone has said this! Ravel was such a good composer, and yet all we hear of him is the tiresome and repetetive Bolero! I'm learning his sonatine and I have to say, the colours he can get out of the piano are soooo nice!
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Senior Member oisfetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddhaBandit View Post
    That's perfectly valid. Ravel's orchestration is, of course, the more well-known version of the suite, and, in some cases ("Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle", for example) is clearly better than the original. And, as a pianist, I am naturally biased towards the piano version (it helps, also, that the Horowitz recording is live, so at the ends of "Great Gate" there is a fairly powerful bit of audience applause and cheering).

    Anyway, back to Ravel...
    There were TWO Horowitz's Pictures. The best was the live one (1951), but before that
    he recorded it on studio (1947)

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    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rondo View Post
    Bolero is good, but it would also suffice to mention his masterful orchestrations, such as Pictures at an Exhibition. To mention others, two other "must hear's" for Ravel include Daphnis et Chloe, and La Valse.
    With Daphnis et Chloe, though, you have to make sure of what you're getting. I'd recommend the whole ballet, as it has wordless voices in there, as opposed to the fully orchestral suites. Besides, you get a better feel for the story if you have it right in front of you; more immersed in what's going on. Besides, there are some great moments in the original that the choir is so integral in bringing to life. I haven't heard the orchestral suites, but I can't imagine them being as good.

    I've heard the piano concerti... amazing, especially the left-hand one. I can't imagine a one-armed person doing that!

    Heh, I read a funny story about Ravel today on Wikipedia to effect of the first recording of Bolero having taken place with Ravel supervising it. The day immediately after, Ravel conducted his own recording... apparently he didn't like the other guy's performance...
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Thumbs up Ravel's chamber music

    Ravel is one of my favourite composers. The Violin Sonata and the Piano Trio are both great works. The String Quartet is so well written that for me it's one of the highlights of the repertoire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddhaBandit View Post
    I am an absolute fanatic about Mussorgsky's original piano suite (especially the Horowitz recording)
    You are confusing two different things. Horowitz didn't play the original piano version, but an arrangement of his own, which shows he knew how to use the instrument in a way Mussorgsky could have only dreamed of.

    The differences are easily audible, and if you are a pianist you will rapidly recognize Horowitz superior skills when reading the score.

    Vladimir Ashkenazy, Benno Moiseiwitsch, Sviatoslav Richter... they play the original version.

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    Hi, I am a 15 year old composer from Australia

    I've been composing for about 2 years.

    I've recently made a website on composition, so check it out!

    www.write-your-own-website.com

    Ravel is fantastic in every way

    the way he is using the piano is very astonishing

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