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

Schubert - Piano Quintet in A Major "The Trout" (Die Forelle), D667

A contemporary of Schubert's drawing shows him ridiculously tiny in front of his best friend, the famous Austrian baritone singer and composer Johann Michael Vogl. It was during the happy holiday of 1819, at his friend's cottage in Steyr, where Schubert began writing the famous Piano Quintet of "Trout".

Franz Schubert, in the summer of 1819, went on vacation to Steyr with his opera singer fried Johann Michael Vogl. Revitalized by the rocky mountain scenery, he spent a lot of time playing music with friends. When the local music community asked him to compose music for them, cellist Sylvester Paumgartner recommended that Schubert could use a song he had written two years ago, called Die Forelle.

Schubert duly honored the music community with this wonderful Trout Quintet, adding an additional part that included various variations on the theme of "Trout". Schubert completed the project on his return to Vienna, He sent the score to Steyr's musicians, who first presented it in the winter of 1819. After Schubert's death, Vogl published the manuscript in 1829.

The Quintet, one of Schubert's most beloved chamber music works, has an unusual structure because its parts are five instead of four. The quintet consists of violin, viola, cello, contrabass and piano and was the first major chamber music project for this combination of instruments.


I. Allegro vivace

The first movement, Allegro vivace, begins with a strong chord, leading to a wide melody with dance phrases on the piano. New melodic ideas seem to be subordinated, as Schubert brilliantly portrays the flow of water by flying from one tonality to another.

II. Andante

The second movement, a calmer Andante, consists of two parts, each having three sections. The tone changes and the most energetic second part keeps the trout environment in mind.

III. Scherzo: Presto

The third movenemt, Scherzo: Presto, is strong and optimistic, with an excellent pianistic part that dynamically overlords the four strings. The lively rhythm is typical of Schubert's resourcefulness. An trio is performed by the violin and viola that answer the piano before entering the strings. The part concludes with a re-report of the opening theme.

IV. Thema con variazioni: Andantino - Allegretto

The fourth movement follows, based on the song "The Trout", written two years earlier, in 1817. The composer first exhibits the theme very simply, only in strings, then repeats it with a few trills that share the piano and strings. During the variations that follow, the piano plays lively, there is a more dramatic episode and a wonderful solo of the cello. In the meantime, the theme is constantly heard.

V. Allegro giusto

The final part, Allegro giusto, like the first part, is a quick succession of melodic ideas, leading this wondrously glamorous and cheerful work to a merry finish.