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

Beethoven - Für Elise

The beauty moved Beethoven and used to dedicate the music to his beloved. His work Für Elise was believed to have been written for his student Therese Malfatti.

This work belongs to the musical genre "bagatelle" - short work, light, with simple technique, usually for piano. Beethoven is the first to highlight the genre, having composed three series of such works.

Für Elise is the most popular work of the composer in this musical form. Some of Beethoven's biographers believe that the work was not dedicated to Eliza but to Therese and the change of title is due to a copycat error. If so, then Beethoven almost certainly dedicated the work to his student Therese Malfatti. Beethoven was in love with his young student at the time and wrote the play taking into account his student's limited piano skills. The work was written in 1810 but was not published until 1867.

This simple, unpretentious work is one of the composer's most sensitive. The opening theme is unusual because the melody is spread out in both hands - a blend of the resonant low part of the piano and the higher more vocal expanse of the instrument. The original music ends and follows an antithetical part with a more assertive character. The mood becomes more lively with the quick playing of the right hand. But suddenly the music reaches a sudden leap and we are again led to the serenity of the opening part.

At this point, as the music heads to a completion, Beethoven adds a final section with repetitive notes of bass. This section has its own few final meters, the glowing canvas of notes for the right hand that elevates the music to the largest extent of the piano. A descending scale then leads to a repeat of the original melody, which quietly completes the work.