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Maurice Ravel

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Composer

French composer who studied with Fauré at the Paris Conservatoire, failing to win the coveted Prix de Rome on several occasions. A gifted pianist he developed the pianistic techinque, writing his Piano Concerto for the Left Hand for a friend who lost an arm in the First World War. He was also a consummate orchestrator and the Mussorgsky Pictures at the Exhibition are best known in Ravel's orchestration. Of his chamber music, the String Quartet is very characteristic of his style. He declined to accept the Légion d'honneur from his country but did accept an honorary Doctorate of Music from Oxford University, admiring greatly the rose damask robes that went with it. He was also very fond of Gauloise cigarettes.

Further Reading: Ravel

 Recording of the Week, François-Xavier Roth and Les Siècles perform Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition

The French conductor and ensemble return to the music of Ravel, with his orchestration of Mussorgsky's piano suite alongside a dazzling performance of La Valse.

 Interview, Melvyn Tan on Miroirs

The Singapore-born British pianist discusses his new album of Ravel, Scarlatti, Weber and Liszt, released at the end of last month on Onyx.

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