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

Chopin - Waltzes, Op. 70

At Chopin's time, the composition of a "waltz concerto" was not new - composers like Mozart had helped shape this form. However, the elements, introduced by Chopin, was new. He turned the waltz into a musical genre of exceptional subtlety and kindness, dominated by the piano. The composer was still a teenager when he composed his first work in this form and continued to compose waltzes almost until the end of his life. 

Waltz in G-flat major, Op. 70, No.1

In this waltz, the melody is full of vibrancy. Then a slow dreamy musical idea is presented and the rhythm changes abruptly. But the new mood doesn't last long. The first melody returns, now like a coda, completing the work serenely.

Waltz in F minor, Op. 70, No. 2

Although this waltz is particularly lively, the prevailing mood is melancholy. The two melodies on which the work is based are the first in minor tonality and the second in major and are interpreted twice. The waltz is calmly completed in a major tonality.

Waltz in D-flat major, Op. 70, No. 3

In this work the expressive melody shows no sudden contrasts - the rhythm remains the same and the dynamics of the work are limited. Although this particular work is not clearly a waltz directly connected to the ballroom, the triple meter is permanently present, relaxed and distinctive.