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

Mozart - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major), K. 525

Painting of Vienna at Mozart's time
The serenade "A Little Night Music" was written to be played at night, when darkness easedthe sufferings of the day...



This serenade, written for string quartet and double bass, was completed on August 10, 1787, the year Mozart was appointed a courtier. He composed it as an entertaining music piece and in particular as an after-dinner play, as the name "A Little Night Music" lyses. Initially there were five parts, but one, the second, is lost. Apparently Mozart himself removed it before publication.

This piece is the best example of emotional serenity and light, which characterizes many of Mozart's works. It was written as an evening entertainment project with a soothing character and therefore avoids the surprise of the loud explosions of music.

Movements:

I. Allegro

Allegro begins with a string fanfare that immediately leads to a flowing melody of the violin. A brief pause paves the way for the kinder second theme. The inaugural music repeats itself and the fanfare returns, leading the music to a different and strange tone. However, this does not last long and the inaugural music returns to the familiar tone.


II. Romanza: Andante

The title of the second part, Romanza, immediately indicates the loose structure of the piece. Strings introduce the inaugural melody and then a new idea is introduced, announced by four staccato notes of scat. After returning to the first melody, a sudden change of mood introduces a duet between the violin and the cello and there appears an agonizing melody. The inaugural music returns once again and leads the track to a quiet conclusion.


III. Menuetto: Allegretto

The imposing Menuetto e trio offers a complete contrast. The first violin guides throughout and the music flows as the cello and double bass follow the melodies.


IV. Rondo: Allegro

The violins begin the final, fast part, the Rondo allegro, with a theme similar to the fanfare of the first part. A second melody consisting of distinct notes with a comfortable second part is distinguished and a distinct feeling of unexpected appears. But quickly, recognizable melodies return and in the final meters the melodies are shared to all instruments.



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