“Miroirs” – Ravel dedicated each of these five piano pieces to a member of the Parisian artistic circle “Les Apaches”. Ravel also belonged to this circle of poets, painters and musicians, giving first performances of many of his works at gatherings of this illustrious group. In “Miroirs” he went a step further than in “Jeux d’eau”. The music was to sound as if it came from a sketchbook. The bold harmony irritated his contemporaries at first but pointed the way ahead for Ravel’s subsequent works. This famous cycle – it also contains the well-known “Alborada del gracioso” – is now available in Henle Urtext in a particularly clear and larger format with an extensive commentary.
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Maurice Ravel dedicated the five pieces of his piano cycle Miroirs (“Mirrors”) to five close friends who, like him, were members of the Paris artists’ circle “the Apaches.” Noctuelles (“Moths”) is dedicated to the poet Léon-Paul Fargue, Oiseaux tristes (“Sad Birds”) to the pianist Ricardo Viñes, Une barque sur l’océan (“A Ship at Sea”) to the painter … more
About the composer
Together with Satie and Debussy, Ravel numbers among the innovators who had a falling out with academic education and created their own avant-garde tonal languages – inspired, in Ravel’s case, by Russian and Spanish music, but also by exoticism – without abandoning tonality. This master of orchestration begins with piano works, which he orchestrates; songs with piano and piano compositions exist on an equal footing in orchestral versions.
|1875||Born in Ciboure on March 7; the family moves to Paris that same year.|
|1882||Lessons in piano, theory, and composition.|
|1889||Beginning of his studies at the Conservatoire de Paris, from which he will never graduate.|
|1901||“Jeux d’eau” for piano, in a new “Impressionist” tonal language, as is “Miroirs” (1904–05).|
|1903||“Shéhérazade” for voice and piano/orchestral accompaniment with orientalist tonal elements.|
|1905||Scandal surrounding Ravel’s third application for the Prix de Rome.|
|1907||Premiere of the “Histoires naturelles” after Jules Renard provokes astonishment in audiences and critics.|
|1907–08||Rhapsodie espagnole for orchestra.|
|1908/10||“Ma mère l’oye” (“Mother Goose”) for piano, four-hands, as a ballet in 1911.|
|1911||Premiere in Paris of his opera “L’Heure espagnole.”|
|1911/12||“Valses nobles et sentimentales” for piano/orchestra. Premiere of the ballet “Daphnis et Chloé” in 1912.|
|1914/19||“Le tombeau de Couperin” for piano/orchestra anticipates the coming neoclassicism.|
|from 1920||Many concert tours through Europe and the United States.|
|1925||Premiere of his opera “L’Enfant et les sortilèges.”|
|1928||Conferral of an honorary doctorate from Oxford University. “Bolero” for orchestra.|
|1929–31||Piano Concerto in G major with elements of jazz.|
|1937||Death in Paris on December 28.|
About the authors
It is fascinating to note that the sources for this intelligently presented package include not only autographs of each piece, but also Ravel’s personal copy of the first edition, as well as the first edition’s reprints and orchestral versions of the third and fourth pieces.
Ce cycle très connu -il inclut entre autres la célèbre pièce Alborada del gracioso- peut désormais s’obtenir accompagné d’un commentaire détaillé , dans un format agrandi, bien lisible, et selon la qualité Urtext Henle.