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

Saint-Saëns - Allegro Animato, op.167 from the Clarinet Sonata in E flat Major

The Clarinet Sonata is one of three wooden wind sonatas written by the composer in 1921, the last year of his life. The other two are for oboe and bassoon. All three sonatas show Saint-Saëns's growing preference for more delicate, kinder texture and sound. Camille Saint-Saëns intended to write a second series of wooden wind sonatas on his holiday in Algiers in 1921, but died before they began their composition.

Allegro Animato's lively opening melody is indicative of the light and playful mood of the piece. The clarinet is clearly the soloist here, while the piano provides accompaniment with melodic harmonies and occasional counterphrase.

Later, Saint-Saëns incorporates anoding and unusual leaps into the melody, but that doesn't bother the comfortable flow of music at all, where the previous themes are re-heard and the part ends with a politely up-and-coming harp of the clarinet.