Ravel

Ravel
Joseph Maurice Ravel (7 March 1875 – 28 December 1937) was a French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s, Ravel was regarded as France's greatest living composer, both nationally and internationally.

Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France's premier music college, the Paris Conservatoire; he was not well regarded by its conservative establishment, whose biased treatment of him caused a scandal. After leaving the Conservatoire Ravel found his own way as a composer, developing a style of great clarity, incorporating elements of baroque, neoclassicism and, in his later works, jazz. He liked to experiment with musical form, as in his best-known work, Boléro (1928), in which repetition takes the place of development. He made some orchestral arrangements of other composers' music, of which his 1922 version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition is the best known.

As a slow and painstaking worker, Ravel composed fewer pieces than many of his contemporaries. Among his works to enter the repertoire are pieces for piano, chamber music, two piano concertos, ballet music, two operas, orchestral music, and eight song cycles; he wrote no symphonies and only one religious work ("Kaddish"), which is merely an arrangement of pre-existent Hebrew liturgical melodies. Many of his piano pieces also exist in the form of orchestrations made years after their original conception. Some of his piano music, such as Gaspard de la nuit (1908), is exceptionally difficult to play, and some of his complex orchestral scores, such as the music for the ballet Daphnis et Chloé (1912), require great conducting skill to realize successfully.

Ravel was among the first composers to recognise the potential of recording to bring their music to a wider public. From the 1920s, despite limited technique as a pianist or conductor, he took part in recordings of several of his works; others were made under his supervision.
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Ravel

Ravel

Joseph Maurice Ravel (7 March 1875 – 28 December 1937) was a French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s, Ravel was regarded as France's greatest living composer, both nationally and internationally.

Born to a music-loving family, Ravel attended France's premier music college, the Pari...
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12 albums
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DEBUSSY La Mer
RAVEL La Valse
MUSSORGSKY/RAVEL Pictures at an Exhibition
Recorded in 1951 & 1953
Total duration: 67:41 

L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Paris Conservatoire Orchestra
conductor Ernest Ansermet

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BLITZSTEIN Airborne Symphony
GILLIS Motor Perpetuo
RAVEL Piano Concerto in G

Live broadcast performances, 1946
Total duration: 74:20

Charles Holland, tenor
Walter Scheff,
baritone
Marc Blitzstein,
The Monitor (narrator)
Leonard Bernstein,
piano

NBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
conducted by Leonard Bernstein

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RAVEL String Quintet in F major (1902)
DEBUSSY
String Quintet in G minor (1893)

Recorded 1940, Liederkranz Hall, New York
Total duration: 54:11

The Budapest Quartet

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STRAVINSKY Jeu de Cartes
BETTINELLI Invenzione No. 1
HINDEMITH Konzertmusik für Streichorchester und Blechbläser
RAVEL La Valse
Recorded 1949-54
Total duration: 59:45

Boston Symphony Orchestra
NBC Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Guido Cantelli

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HAYDN  Symphony No. 93
MOZART  Piano Concerto No. 21
RAVEL Pavane pour une infante défunte
FALLA  El Sombrero des Tres Picos, Suite No. 2
VIVALDI  L'Estro Armonico: Concerto Grosso No. 11
BEETHOVEN  Piano Concerto No. 3
PISTON Toccata
COPLAND El Salón México

Recorded in 1955
Total duration:  2hr 26:56 

Walter Gieseking, piano
Rudolf Firkušný,
piano
New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Guido Cantelli

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TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6
RAVEL Pavane pour une Infante Défunte
ROSSINI La Gazza Ladra - Overture
Studio recordings, London, 1952
Total duration: 58:13

Philharmonia Orchestra
conductor Guido Cantelli

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RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Coq d'Or - suite
STRAVINSKY
 Firebird Suite
RAVEL Ma Mère l'Oye - Suite
Music by Glinka, Liadov, Debussy

Acoustic HMV recordings 1921-24
Total duration: 70:19

Albert Coates, conductor

London Symphony Orchestra

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BACH (arr Elgar) - Fantasia and Fugue in C minor
BEETHOVEN - Gratulations-Menuett
BEETHOVEN The Creatures of Prometheus - Overture
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 'Choral'
TCHAIKOVSKY - Symphony No. 5
TCHAIKOVSKY - Francesca da Rimini
BORODIN - Prince Igor - Ballet
MOZART - Symphony No. 41, 'Jupiter'
MOZART - Der Schauspieldirektor - Overture
BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 7
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6, "Pathétique"
TCHAIKOVSKY March Slave
TCHAIKOVSKY
 Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
GLINKA
 Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Coq d'Or - suite
STRAVINSKY
 Firebird Suite
RAVEL Ma Mère l'Oye - Suite
Music by Glinka, Liadov, Debussy

STRAVINSKY Petrushka Ballet
BORODIN
 Prince Igor - excerpts
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV
 Czar Sultan - Suite
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV
 May Night - Overture
MUSSORGSKY
 Khovanshchina: Persian Dances

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CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2
R
AVEL Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
SAINT-SAËNS
Piano Concerto No. 4

Studio recordings, 1935 & 1939
Total duration: 71:43

Alfred Cortot, piano
Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire

Unnamed Orchestras

Charles Munch, 
conductor

John Barbirolli, conductor

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TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op.74 (Pathétique)
RAVEL
Boléro
SAINT-SAËNS Carnival of the Animals
STRAVINSKY
The Rite of Spring
ELGAR Cockaigne Overture

    Studio recordings · 1929-1933
    Total duration: 74:03

    Sir Edward Elgar - BBC Symphony Orchestra
    Serge Koussevitzky - Boston Symphony Orchestra

    Leopold Stokowski - The Philadelphia Orchestra
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    HANDEL Overture to Berenice
    SCHUBERT Symphony No. 3 in D, D200
    RAVEL Ma Mère l'Oye

    Recorded 1946
    Total duration: 45:41

    NBC Symphony Orchestra
    conducted by Erich Kleiber

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    RAVEL Piano Concerto in G
    MILHAUD Piano Concerto No. 1
    MILHAUD & DEBUSSY Short pieces

    Recorded in 1929, 1930, 1932, 1935 and 1952
    Total duration: 72:56 

    Marguerite Long, piano

    Symphony Orchestras
    conductor Pedro de Freitas Branco
    supervisor Maurice Ravel
    conductor Darius Milhaud
    conductor Georges Tzipine