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

Mendelssohn - Song Without Words

from Book 5, Op. 62


The term "Song Without Words" was introduced by Mendelssohn to describe a solo piano that employs a singing melody accompanied by bass (left hand). He published eight books with such "Songs" over a period of thirteen years. What we present here comes from the Fifth Book published in 1843.

Mendelssohn wrote a total of 48 compositions of this kind. These are familiar miniatures that were written to be played in the evenings at friendly gatherings.

Mendelssohn deliberately wrote these songmelodies without words, because he thought words would limit the emotional wealth he wanted to express. This short work, written in 1842-4, is a dark and imposing mourning march. Perfectly crafted and measured, it conveys a sense of gentle melancholy and like almost all of these pieces, it is unpretentious and sincere.




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