The Romantic Legacy

late nineteenth to early twentieth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Maurice Ravel



Renowned for its eclectic, individual style and rebellious nature, Ravel's music is the product of scrupulous craftsmanship. Ravel was born in the Pyrenees but brought up in Pans. He began piano lessons at the age of seven and entered the Pans Conservatoire in 1889. As a child he was easily distracted from his studies, and his mother resorted to offering him bribes for each hour of work completed. A tutor's nightmare, he refused to obey musical conventions in his compositions and took mischievous delight in hunting down similar examples m the works of established masters.

One of the most important events of his formative years was his attendance at the Pans World Exhibition of 1889. There he responded with great excitement to his first contact with oriental harmonies, performances on the Javanese gamelan. He also attended many concerts of Russian music. Rimsky-Korsakov was an immediate favourite, and later in life Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an exhibition established the work in the orchestral repertoire.

Ravel left the Conservatoire in 1895 but returned two years later to study with Faure, whose sympathetic and liberal-minded encouragement did much to develop his style. This is seen in the lyrical String quartet in F major (1903), whose silky and charming character emulates Faure's own style. Despite the success of this work. Ravel could not satisfy the Conservatoire authorities when it came to harmony exercises. In 1905, after he failed to pass the first stage in the coveted Prix de Rome competition, the press took up his cause and a heated debate ensued. The furore was so great that Theodore Dubois, Director of the Conservatoire, resigned his post to be replaced by Faure. The only person who appeared indifferent to these events was Ravel himself: he was happily yachting in Holland at the time.

In 1908 he completed a three-part work for piano, Gaspard de la nuit, in which the dazzling, virtuosic writing serves to remind the listener of Ravel's lifelong admiration for Liszt. The following year he began his most ambitious stage work - the ballet Daphnis ct Chloe. It contains some of his most remarkable and beautiful music and was highly successful both in the theatre and as an orchestral piece in the concert hall.

The outbreak of World War I had a profound effect on Ravel. He clearly believed that he had a duty to serve his country, and although he was classified unfit for military service, he managed to secure a job as a driver in the motor transport corps. He fell dangerously ill in 1916 and returned to Paris only to find his mother on her death bed. After her funeral he went into a deep depression: he had never married, and she was the only focus of his love. However, he was soon composing again and, in common with several French artists during this period, turned his attentions to reviving past national glories. This is most clearly demonstrated in Le tombeau de Couperin, a suite based on Baroque dance forms. Each of the work's six movements is dedicated to a victim of the war and written in a beautifully clear and pure style that has ensured lasting popularity with concert audiences.

With the death of Debussy in 1918, Ravel became generally recognized as the leading light of French music, although he continued to view the establishment with suspicion and tried to minimize his contact with it. The last 17 years of his life were dogged by gradually worsening ill health, which adversely affected the quantity, but not the quality, of his output. Despite suffering increasingly from insomnia and nervous debility, he travelled extensively to receive warm welcomes in both Europe and the United States. In 1924 he wrote his short opera L'enfant et les sortileges, followed in 1928 by his best-known work, Bolero, exciting yet more scandal in the Paris press. It was conceived as a musical joke and consists of a single theme repeated with increasing intensity and density of orchestration. His final works, the two piano concertos, both composed in 1931, mark the end of his creative career. Both pieces overflow with Ravelian drive and panache, although the Piano concerto for left hand, written for the pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who had lost his arm m the war, is considerably more serious in outlook.

The year 1932 marks the beginning of Ravel's tragic final period, during which he gradually succumbed to a progressively incapacitating illness. With his death, French music lost one of its dazzling innovators in terms both of his development of pianistic technique and his colourful orchestral writing.


Maurice Ravel



Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)



Sonata No.1 for violin and piano in G major
Duo Montefiore
Blues: Moderato

Nicholas York

Pavane pour une infante defunte

Trio in A minor for violin, cello and piano
The Waltz

Prelude (1913)
Robert Stahlbrand

Gaspard de la Nuit (1908)
Ken Sasaki

Le Gibet

Jeux d'eau
S. Kopp

Le Tombeau de Couperin
R. Stahlbrand

L. Welch
Menuet Antique

Ma Mere l'Oye
Pavane de la Belle au Bois Dormant

Les oiseaux tristes
Une Barque sur l'Ocean
Alborada del Gracioso
La vallée des cloches

Serenade Grotesque

John Robson
Mouvement de menuet


Valses Nobles et Sentimentales
T. Dussaut
Modere, Assez lent
Assez anime, Presque lent
 Moins vif, Epilogue: lent

Rapsodie espagnola
Umesh Shankar

Paganini Duo
Vocalise-etude (piece) en forme de habanera

String Quartet in F Major
Enso String Quartet
Assez vif - Tres rhytme

Don Quichotte a Dulcinee
Randall Scarlata
Chanson romanesque
Christine Petrowska Quilico (with Louis Quilico)
Chanson a boire





















Strauss Richard



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