Maurice Ravel -The Swiss Watchmaker

Maurice Ravel was born on March 7, 1875, in the small fishing village of Ciboure in the Basque region, near the Franco-Spanish border.  His father, Pierre-Joseph, was a Frenchman of Swiss descent. Pierre-Joseph, a distinguished engineer, met and fell in love with his future wife, a young and beautiful Basque, Marie Delouart, at the time she worked on the Spanish railways.  A few months after Maurice's birth, the family moved from Ciboure to Paris. The parents of Maurice Ravel, Pierre-Joseph Ravel and Marie Delouart. Maurice had a happy childhood. The parents encouraged their two children - Edouard was born in 1878 - to follow their vocation. Maurice's inclination was music. He started music lessons at the age of seven.  Unlike the parents of other composers, Pierre-Joseph viewed positively the prospect of a musical career and sent Maurice to the France's most important musical college, the Conservatoire de Paris in 1889. In the same year, the Paris Exhibition brought toget

Antonín Dvořák - Introduction


Although the founder of the Czech national music school was Bedřich Smetana, it was Antonín Leopold Dvořák who tossed the inexhaustible wealth of the musical tradition of bohemian land throughout the Western world. His compositions are dominated by a happy combination of academic rules, instinctive technique and folk sound colors.

An excellent recipient of every useful influence, the composer effectively assimilated and exploited creatively all the musical stimuli he received, either as a diligent student or as a nostalgic traveler.

Following the orders of emotion rather than logic, Dvořák composed music that is sincere, spontaneous that often reflects the smile of ordinary people, without, however, disregarding the sensitivity and needs of genuine and demanding friend.

A bridgemaker between folk and scholar, skillful in the application of the teachings of classical education, he completed work miraculous in variety, quality and purity.

His peaceful life and emotionally balanced, allowed him to devote himself seamlessly to the service of the art of sounds. The musical credit given to him is neither that of innovation nor that of uniqueness. He managed to mix with absolute success the melodies and rhythms of the old and new worlds, without subjugating one to another, without acknowledging the superiority of anyone.


(George Monemvasitis)



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