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

Grieg - Sigurd Jorsalfar, Op. 56

This image of country tranquility captures the atmosphere it introduces to Borghild's Dream. The calm, however, is disturbed as the music suddenly reaps.

Grieg was passionate Norwegian. In addition to popular culture, he admired contemporary artists and playwrights, including the very famous Bjornstejerne Marinius Bjornson, whom he met in 1870. Grieg was inspired by Bjornson several lyrical works on local themes, but his most famous nationalist work is Sigurd Jorsalfar, originally written as stage music for Bjornson's eponymous work.

This composition presents the drama and emotions of the heroic Viking era and expresses the composer's love for his rich and diverse cultural heritage.

The complete play first presented in Christiania (Oslo's old name) on March 18, 1872, on Bjornson's 70th birthday. Grieg transcribed the music into three orchestral suites, published under the title Sigurd Jorsalfar Suites, twenty years later, in 1892.

- Introduction: In the King's Hall

Bjornson's work is inspired by Heimskringla Saga, a medieval Scandinavian legend who tells the story of two twelfth century kings who are mortal enemies: Eystein, a bureaucrat and legislator, does not want to leave Norway, while Sigurd is an explorer and crusader who loves to travel. The two brothers represent both sides of the Norwegian character and could be a description of Grieg himself.

The two brothers' rivalry for Borghild soon turns violent.

- Intermezzo: Borghild's Dream

Grieg told the story with a combination of orchestral and choral parts. The play begins gently and continues with Borghild's Dream as she is half asleep and becomes hectic when she wakes up abruptly, frightened by a nightmare caused by the unpleasant thoughts of the rivalry of the two brothers.

The following match is presented by a dialogue between the piano and the violin, the rants of the competition of the two rivals. As the work becomes more restless, we hear the call of the horns. This heralds the first choral work, the Scandinavians, where the shouting represents the two angry rivals who challenge each other in battle.

- Homage March

The masterful Homage March, with the magnificent introduction played by four cellos, calms terror as the sovereign intervenes and the play ends with the King's Ballad, where a soloist and a crowd of voices celebrate peace.