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

Verdi - La Traviata

The premiere of this opera, based on Alexandrs Duma's play "La Dame aux Camélias", which Verdi saw in Paris, was a failure. This is mainly due to the fact that on the night of the premiere in Venice, the protagonist was so fat that when "dying" on stage of tuberculosis, the audience erupted into uncontrollable laughter. Much to Verdi's delight, it was triumplahntly played again in the same city 14 months later, after international acclaim.


In this opera, the courtesan Violetta kindly sacrifices her love for Alfredo by obeying his father's desire, and die of tuberculosis, the moment Alfredo turns to her.

- Libiamo

The curtain opens with a celebration in Violetta's house and Alfredo in a lively mood begins the famous song of the drinking, Libiamo (Let's drink), in which Violetta joins her voice with enthusiasm and then with all the guests.


- Di Provenza il mar, il suoi

However, the couple's happiness is brief. Alfredo's father, worried about his son's reputation, is calling on Violett to abandon him. She retreats and leaves for Paris, while the father comforts his som with memories of their home in Provence in Di Provenza il mar, il suol (The land and sea of Provence).


- Addio del passato

The opera ends with Violett in the bed of death, where in one of Verdi's most moving arias, Addio del passato (Goodbye Dreams of the Past), abandons every dream of happiness.


- Parigi, o cara, noi lasce remo

Then Alfredro appears and after a touching reunion, the couple sings the polite, Parigi, o cara, noi lasce remo (We will live in Paris, my love). But Violett is helpless from the disease even to dress up and dies in Alfredo's arms.



Comments