Maurice Ravel

Many consider Ravel as a major composer for the piano as well as a genius of orchestration. But it is always a surprise to discover how few works make up his total output for the instrument. All his compositions for piano can be performed in under two and one half hours.

What is equally remarkable is the high quality of each of these compositions. There is no single work that could be described as less than successful, even including the early pieces, which bear many traces of Chabrier, Faure and Satie. In the way he uses these influences rather than submitting to them, Ravel is immediately himself.

Art, for Ravel, was a fabulous construct which portrayed the spirit in a number of disguises. He was adept at assuming qualities he did not possess. His Spanish music - the Alborada del gracioso, the opera L'heure espagnole, the infamous Bolero - is more Spanish than that of most Spanish composers. His assumption of classical disguise - Le Tombeau de Couperin, the Sonatine - shows a fascination with eighteenth century musical forms. The tension imposed by the juxtaposition of these forms against his idiosyncratic harmonic language was a source of energy and inspiration for him. Above all, he was most at home in the fields of magic and mythology - Daphnis and Chloe, the Ma mere l'oye Suite and Gaspard de la Nuit.

He had a great love of artifice and was quite pleased when his compositional method was compared to that of a jeweller. Perhaps his sensibility was one that was unable to express itself fully except in the world of the unreal. However he was an archetypal twentieth century artist in the way he sought objective musical symbols, creating a world with its own laws and logic.

Compositions by Maurice Ravel appear on

Hymne à l’amour

Composer

Hymne à l’amour is an exquisite collection of art songs sung by soprano Siobhan Stagg and accompanied by Amir Farid. The songs illustrate the frailty of the human condition through flirtation, deep love and heartbreaking truths.

Tensile Flame

Composer

Michael Kieran Harvey, piano. The first disc traces the influence of the Liszt B minor Sonata on three early 20th Century composers: Rachmaninov, Ravel and Skryabin. The second features contemporary music by Australian composer Carl Vine.

Golden Sounds

Composer

Ian King returns to the studio once more to enthrall us with the golden sounds of his tuba. Featuring works by Falla, Corelli, Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy, Ravel, Gershwin and much more!

The Impressionists

Composer

In his debut CD for Move Records, Stephen McIntyre presents a beautiful collection of well-known impressionist piano favourites by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Erik Satie. Includes the famous "Children's Corner Suite" and "Gaspard de la Nuit".

Poème - Music for the Romantic Violin

Composer

The internationally renowned violinist Miwako Abe and the pianist David McSkimming play works by a group of French composers who were all working in Paris at the end of the nineteenth century, sometimes inspiring each other and occasionally forming rivalries.

Tuneful Percussion

Composer

One of International Record Review's "Best Discs of 2000". Nominated for Best Classical CD at the 2001 Aria Awards. This album was performed on authentic instruments including Grainger's own staff bells and steel marimba. Many previously unrecorded works are included.

Bon Voyage!

Composer

Igor and Olga Piano Duo take the listener on a first-class musical journey, with their debut CD Bon Voyage, featuring inspirational piano duo pieces from around the world.

Bolero

Composer

Douglas Lawrence and Elizabeth Anderson, organ duet. 'Bolero' features arrangements of classical favourites for four hands performed on the Melbourne Concert Hall Organ.

With Tenderness, With Fire

Composer

Ronald Farren-Price encores his hugely popular "Reflections" CD with this recital of music ranging from the sublime beauty of a Beethoven Adagio to the thundering splendour of Prokofiev's "Toccata".

Images

Composer

Prudence Davis, Jeffrey Crellin and Peter Lynch. Beautiful French trios, duets, and solo works for oboe, flute and guitar including Fauré's Pavane, Ravel's Pavane, Debussy's Reverie and Syrinx and traditional folk song arrangements.

New Norcia: A Spanish Rhapsody

Composer

Presented by Australia's renowned Team of Pianists, New Norcia: A Spanish Rhapsody reflects the blending of Spanish and Australian cultures, both in the New Norcia community and in the selection of works on the disc.