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

Telemann - Don Quixote

Telemann's talent of composing beautiful religious cantatas coexisted with his ability to write simple, folk melodies, of which Don Quixote is an excellent example.


Telemann infuriated many people with compositions, including the Don Quixote orchestral suite. In his days it was a rule tat composers of religious music did not engage in profitable complementary works, such as the composition of "light" music. The followers of tradition believed that anyone who was able to commit such frivolity could not be serious about his religion.

But Telemann was definitely serious. His cosmic works were humorous, but Don Quixote conveys his message as convincingly as any of his religious works. Don Quixote was completed in 1761 proving that the composer's talent for creating beautiful melodies, did not dry up over the years.

Fighting the windmills

This suite has seven parts. Inspired by the Spanish writer Cervantes' famous novel Don Quixote, it recounts a day of the life of the legendary Spanish knight who was jostled with windmills.

The first part, Overture, recreates musical images of characters of the story. First we meet Don Quixote himself (Quixote's Reveille - Bugle Call), with music that seems to be looking forward to it. A change in a more lively rhythm shows the hero starting his daily work, attacking the windmills. After that, in the fourth part, we witness his prolonged love sighs about the inaccessible Princess Dulcinea.

The next two parts feature the servant Sancho Panza and the horse Rocinante. Tellemann mocks every ridiculous situation, clumsy heroics and flirtatious sighs. On the contrary, the earthly elements of Sancho Panza's donkey, which is out of control, approach but never fall into a low standard farce/

A solo violin sets milder rhythms that end up hypnotically, as Don Quixote goes to his bed exhausted by jousts and sighs.

Tellemann precedes his time composing a play that tells a story. This was basically a feature of the classical style, a hundred years later.







Comments