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

Claude Debussy - Introduction

Claude Debussy's portrait by Raphael Schwartz.

Claude Debussy is a special case of musical innovator. With his lyrical drama "Pelléas and Mélisande" he was freed from the laws of tonality and created the conditions of a new musical language. First he changed the painting status of impressionism into music.

As a good "music painter" he was mainly interested in the color expression and extent of the sounds and projected through them, moods and mental impressions, which are caused by images and natural phenomena.

He listened to the rhythms, the "music" of nature and tried - and succeeded - to re-form it by proposing "music for the ear and not for the paper". He dared and of course won.

Without being dogmatic, he experimented by reordering the prevailing principles of aesthetics and art until his time and formed a new way of expressing discreetly sensual and discharged from the emotional tensions and successive explosions of mature and tired romance that ran through the end of the 19th century. He denied the established forms, repetitive sound patterns and conventional developments, screaming at every measure of his poetry, the right to difference.

The music composed by Claude Debussy has the hallmarks of a perpetual sluggish daydream. Benefited by an unparalleled orchestral technique, an exemplary balance and a harmonious boldness completely free from the shackles of academicism, she erased her own luminous path and despite all the initial doubts that emerged in a musical matrix for many of the later homotechnotic expressions of the 20th century.


(George Monemvasitis)


Comments