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

Gershwin - Three Preludes for Piano

Gershwin's Three Preludes for Piano form a satisfying set: two fairly short and vivid parts on each side of a more extensive, slow center piece.

- Allegro ben ritmato e deciso

The first prelude has a playful lyrical rhythm and an appealing melody, which hints at Latin American rhythms such as the rumba and their close relationship with those of jazz.

- Andante con moto e poco rubato

The second prelude is the best known of the three. It is an other example of Gershwin's special way of editing the blues, with the slow, sluggish melody sounding over a canvas of repetitive chords for the left hand. A central part changes from minor to major and also transfers the melody to the left hand or bass line.

- Allegro ben ritmato e deciso

The rhythm of the final prelude takes us to the living world of dance, inspired from jazz.