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

Mozart - Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra in C Major, K299

Mozart composed two flute concertos, even though he didn't particularly love this instrument.

The extraordinary art of the Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra shows Mozart's rare talent to bring out the best in every individual instrument.

Mozart composed this wonderful concerto on his third and final trip to Paris in 1778. It was his only work for flute, harp and orchestra - but not his last for flute.

He arrived in the French capital with his mother on March 23, hoping to repeat the success of his first visit, in 1763, when he was just seven years old. At the time he was treated as a child prodigy and had sat on the knees of the future Queen Marie Antoinette at the Palace of Vesailles. He had even asked her to marry him - a move that had captivated the court.

But this time in his 22 years, he did not repeat his previous triumph. He nevertheless found some students, including Adrien-Louis de Bonnièrs (duc de Guines) and his daughter Marie-Louise-Philippine. They were both enthusiastic amateur musicians. The Duke played well flute and his daughter played an excellent harp - in Mozart's words. That's why Mozart composed this concerto.

It's one of Mozart's kindest concertos. It has three parts and is characterized by the wavy melodies that only the harp is capable of producing.

Movements:

I. Allegro

In the opening movement, harp and flute exhibit together the main melody. This leads to the other small melodies, without any dramatic transaction between the flute, the harp and the orchestra. Finally, the soloists create a melancholy lyricism that is typical of Mozart's genius.

II. Andantino

The second slower movement is sober and soft, with the flute and the harp in perfect agreement, singing to each other. Here, the orchestra's horns and oboes are silenced and only the strings accompany the soloists.

III. Allegro

The last part, is cheerful and dynamic. Flute and harp create several original melodies that would meet the reuirements of two parts of an ordinary concerto. These lead the play to a grand finale, one of Mozart's most delightful.




Comments