Maurice Ravel
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/960x540/p01bqt98.jpg
1875-03-07
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/6fdd3b3e-1ea6-4da9-8d6f-8f8de01c133a
Maurice Ravel

Maurice Ravel Biography (BBC)

Could it be said that Ravel composed in the shadow of Debussy? Their names so frequently trip off the tongue together that it’s too easy to ignore their differences. While there were similarities in their musical language – both used ‘added-note’ harmonies and melodies often more like oriental arabesques than Romantic tunes – the 13 years that separated them were crucial. Debussy began composing around 1880, while Ravel didn’t really get going until the mid-1890s. How the musical climate had changed in the interim!

Piano-playing was at the centre of Ravel’s musical life during his teens. At the age of 13 he had met Ricardo Viñes, the pianist who was later to become the champion of much piano music by both Debussy and Ravel. Together, they played Chabrier’s Trois valses romantiques to the composer.

Across the turn of the century, Ravel sporadically studied with Fauré and began a spectacularly unsuccessful pursuit of the Prix de Rome, awarded by the French Académie des Beaux-Arts. Reading between the lines, his attitude to his formal teaching seemed entirely the opposite of Debussy’s: while the latter composer was a rebellious challenger, Ravel seemed more in pursuit of classical perfection.

Indebted to Chabrier, his first lasting piece was the Pavane pour une infante défunte for piano (1899, later orchestrated). More groundbreaking was his piano piece Jeux d’eau (1901), which he wrote when he was 26 and which vied with Debussy’s ‘Reflets dans l’eau’ from the first book of Images for the honour of inaugurating the new Impressionist piano style.

He began to turn his attention to a wide variety of forms: the opulent oriental orchestral songs of Shéhérazade date from 1903, the same year in which he finished his String Quartet, a work which, like the Sonatine for piano (begun the same year), shows two opposite sides of his musical personality: the one sybaritic and hedonistic, the other Classical, formal and restrained. Somewhere between the two lies the delightful sound-world of the Introduction and Allegro for harp and chamber group.

Another talent of Ravel’s was his virtuosity in pastiche, which he used to great effect, especially in his two operas: L’heure espagnole (1907–9) parodies both Spanish music and Offenbach, while the delightful L’enfant et les sortilèges (1920–25) is a self-confessed parade of pastiches of all kinds of music, including ragtime.

Association with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes resulted in the opulently orchestrated Daphnis and Chloë (1909–12), with its masterly depiction of a sunrise. Amid deteriorating health Ravel, in his fifties, produced his two piano concertos as well as his bestseller, Boléro, which he flippantly described as a ‘piece for orchestra without music’.

Profile © Richard Langham Smith

Maurice Ravel Biography (Wikipedia)

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 internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer.

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 and 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.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Maurice Ravel Performances & Interviews


Maurice Ravel Tracks

Maurice Ravel
Piano Concerto In G Major, M. 83: 2. Adagio assai
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Piano Concerto In G Major, M. 83: 2. Adagio assai

Sort by

Maurice Ravel
Lever du Jour
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Lever du Jour
Maurice Ravel
String Quartet 2nd mvt, Assez vif, très rythmé
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
String Quartet 2nd mvt, Assez vif, très rythmé
Maurice Ravel
String Quartet in F major (1st mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
String Quartet in F major (1st mvt)
Maurice Ravel
Tzigane - rapsodie de concert arr. for violin & orchestra
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Tzigane - rapsodie de concert arr. for violin & orchestra
Maurice Ravel
Le Tombeau de Couperin: Forlane
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Le Tombeau de Couperin: Forlane
Maurice Ravel
Pavane pour une infante défunte
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Pavane pour une infante défunte
Maurice Ravel
Tzigane
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Tzigane

Tzigane

Performer
Maxim Vengerov
Armenian State Symphony Orchestra
Conductor
Sergey Smbatyan
Last played on
Maurice Ravel
Ma mere l'oye - ballet
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Ma mere l'oye - ballet
Maurice Ravel
Pavane pour une infante defunte, arr. for orchestra [orig. piano]
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Pavane pour une infante defunte, arr. for orchestra [orig. piano]
Maurice Ravel
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G - 2nd movement
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Sonata for Violin and Piano in G - 2nd movement
Maurice Ravel
Ma mère l'oye
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Ma mère l'oye
Maurice Ravel
Introduction and Allegro
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Introduction and Allegro
Maurice Ravel
Trio for piano and strings in A minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Trio for piano and strings in A minor

Trio for piano and strings in A minor

Ensemble
Altenberg Trio Vienna
Olga & Matthew, Olga Jegunova & Matthew Crampton
Diana and Actaeon (extract)
https://static.bbc.co.uk/music_clips/3.0.31.1/img/track_fallback.png
link
Diana and Actaeon (extract)

Diana and Actaeon (extract)

Composer
Olga & Matthew
Performer
Olga Jegunova
Matthew Crampton
Last played on
Maurice Ravel
Piano Trio in A minor
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Piano Trio in A minor

Piano Trio in A minor

Performer
Pavle Popovic
Ljubomir Trujanovic
Antoine Pichon
Maurice Ravel
Sheherezade: ii. La Flûte enchantée (The Enchanted Flute); iii. L'Indifférent (The Indifferent One)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Sheherezade: ii. La Flûte enchantée (The Enchanted Flute); iii. L'Indifférent (The Indifferent One)
Maurice Ravel
Tzigane - rapsodie de concert for violin and piano
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Tzigane - rapsodie de concert for violin and piano
Maurice Ravel
Le Tombeau de Couperin
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Le Tombeau de Couperin
Maurice Ravel
Gaspard de la nuit
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Gaspard de la nuit
Maurice Ravel
Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2
Maurice Ravel
La Valse
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
La Valse
Claude Debussy
Tarantelle styrienne
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Tarantelle styrienne

Tarantelle styrienne

Music Arranger
Orchestra
Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Maurice Ravel
Sonatine (1st mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Sonatine (1st mvt)
Maurice Ravel
Les Entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête (Ma Mère l'Oye)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Les Entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête (Ma Mère l'Oye)
Maurice Ravel
Une barque sur l'océan (Miroirs)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Une barque sur l'océan (Miroirs)
Maurice Ravel
Piano Concerto in G major: I. Allegramente
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Piano Concerto in G major: I. Allegramente
Maurice Ravel
Piano Concerto in G major
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Piano Concerto in G major
Maurice Ravel
Daphnis and Chloe; Lever du jour (excerpt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Daphnis and Chloe; Lever du jour (excerpt)

Daphnis and Chloe; Lever du jour (excerpt)

Performer
London Symphony Orchestra, Andre Previn (conductor)
Maurice Ravel
Daphnis and Chloe Suite No 2 – 'Lever du Jour'
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Daphnis and Chloe Suite No 2 – 'Lever du Jour'
Maurice Ravel
Tzigane
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Tzigane
Maurice Ravel
Piano Concerto For The Left Hand In G Major
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Piano Concerto For The Left Hand In G Major
Maurice Ravel
String Quartet in F - Assez vif
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
String Quartet in F - Assez vif
Maurice Ravel
Miroirs: iv. Alborada del gracioso
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Miroirs: iv. Alborada del gracioso
Maurice Ravel
Violin Sonata no.2 in G major
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Violin Sonata no.2 in G major
Claude Debussy
Tarantelle Styrienne [Danse]
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p01bqk7d.jpg
link
Tarantelle Styrienne [Danse]

Tarantelle Styrienne [Danse]

Orchestrator
Orchestra
Lyon Opera Orchestra
Last played on
Maurice Ravel
Tzigane
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Tzigane
Maurice Ravel
Pavane pour une infante défunte
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Pavane pour une infante défunte
Maurice Ravel
Les entretiens de la belle et de la bête (Ma mère l'oye for piano duet)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Les entretiens de la belle et de la bête (Ma mère l'oye for piano duet)
Maurice Ravel
Introduction and Allegro
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Introduction and Allegro

Introduction and Allegro

Ensemble
Montreal Chamber Players
Maurice Ravel
Laideronnette, impératrice des Pagodes (Ma mère l'oye)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Laideronnette, impératrice des Pagodes (Ma mère l'oye)
Maurice Ravel
'Ondine' from Gaspard de la Nuit
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
'Ondine' from Gaspard de la Nuit
Maurice Ravel
Noctuelles (Miroirs)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Noctuelles (Miroirs)
Maurice Ravel
Rapsodie espagnole
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Rapsodie espagnole
Maurice Ravel
Rhapsodie Espagnole
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Rhapsodie Espagnole
Maurice Ravel
Alborada del gracioso [The Jester's Aubade] 'Miroirs' (1905)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Alborada del gracioso [The Jester's Aubade] 'Miroirs' (1905)
Maurice Ravel
Sonatine (1903-05)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Sonatine (1903-05)
Maurice Ravel
Piece en forme de habanera
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Piece en forme de habanera
Maurice Ravel
Piano Trio in A minor (1st mvt)
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Piano Trio in A minor (1st mvt)
Maurice Ravel
Miroirs: Oiseaux tristes
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/256x256/p025d3mr.jpg
link
Miroirs: Oiseaux tristes
Load more tracks

Latest Maurice Ravel News

    11 super-rare vinyl oddities that we discovered in the BBC archive
    Presented to celebrate Record Store Day 2016, here's a list of records recently dug up by the archive's vinyl experts
Back to artist