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

Chopin - Nocturnes, Op.9

Chopin's first nocturnes, Op.9, dates back to 1831. In England, in an effort to increase their sales, they were given the impressive title "Murmures de la Seine" (Whispers of the Seine).

Nocturne in B flat minor, Op.9, No.1

When Chopin composed this nocturne, he was going through an intensely emotional period. At the time, he was breaking up with Konstancja Gladkowska, a goung singer with whom he was in love. We inevitably recognize the echo of his personal feelings in a part of the music, although that does not mean that there is always a connection between a composer's work and his personal life.
This composition features all the characteristics of Chopin's nocturne: a soft, melancholic melody with a lacy texture, played with the gentle accompaniment of the open chords of the left hand.




Nocturne in E flat Major, Op.9, No.2

This nocturne expresses the mood of the private evening "lounges", where Chopin was feeling relaxed. It has a serenity full of grace and charm.




Nocturne in B Major, Op. 9, No. 3

This nocturne is an excellent example of Chopin's unique approach to this style. A richly decorated melody rises and descends over a flowing melody for the left hand. Then a touching central section leads to the repetition of the inaugural music.




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