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

Handel - Concerti Grossi No. 1-4, Op. 3

Handel was an eccentric composer, preferring the passionate cheers of a full opera room, rather than the polite applause of a palace hall. Maybe because chamber music didn't fit his temperament, he didn't compose many such works.

These four concertos (from a group of six) came from a combination of works composed in 1734 to celebrate the wedding of Princess Anne, the daughter of King George II, Handel's employer. At the time, Handel was going through a critical period in his career as an opera impresario, due to the diminishing interest of his audience and the cancellation of lucrative contracts. Probably the composer published the concertos for financial reasons.

Concerto Grosso No.1:



However, these works in no way give the impression of accidental collation for speculative reasons, but instead have grace and are real works of art, which only imperceptibly testify to their true origin - from earlier compositions.

For example, the third part of concerto No. 2 - the fugue - first appeared in the introduction of Brockes Passion, in 1716. In addition, some parts were first tested as add ons in some of Handel's operas - the Fourth was used in 1726 in Ottone. All these loans were accepted by the composers of that era, who treated the concerto as a field of experimentation, where new ideas were mixed with old, established forms.

Concerto Grosso No. 2:



The concertos include in the combination of various parts some sparkling musical diamonds. Like Largo, from No. 2, which beguiles the listener with his slow lull, which is performed by two cellos as we hear at the same time the slow and rhythmic interpretation of violins and viola as a musical background. And the ethereal notes of the chirping in Sarabande of the First, which project above the accompaniment of bassoon and strings, creating sound effects unlike the usual competition of the soloist and accompaniment htat characterized the concerto for more than a hundred years.

Concerto Grosso No. 3:



The concertos were first presented between March 1735 and February 1736 and were named "Concertos for oboe" by handel's publisher, John Welsh. This name was probably attributed to them for purely promotional reasons, because listening to the concertos one realizes that the oboe never leads!

Concerto Grosso No. 4:






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