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

Hector Berlioz - introduction

Portrait of Hector Berlioz

Transcending the boundaries of the classical measure, Hector Berlioz was indifferent to the laws that defined in the first half of the 19th century the fine-sounding and musical beauty. It is therefore justified for his work to be challenged by his contemporaries.

The retrospective effort to approach his music, reveals reform proposals fermented with transparent persuasiveness and disarming sincerity.

The passion and the sensitivity that often defined the paths of his life spontaneously gush from his music. In his works we immediately trace the love of color and dramatic contrasts, original sounds and shadows, expressive ingredients that give imposing character and emerge miraculously through the pioneering and exciting orchestrations with wich he benefited his music. However, he so often resorted to exaggerations, which weakened the classical purity of his melodic findings.

Besides of being a fiery romantic composer, Berlioz was also an intellectual. His excellent education and ability to handle the language, exemplary helped him to put his ideas in great writing, even for today's data, musical essays such as "Evening with the Orchestra" (Paris, 1852), "The conductor: theory of his art" (Paris, 1856), "The grotesques of music" (Paris, 1859), "Memoirs" (Paris, 1870).


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