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 - Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Quasi una fantasia, Op. 27, No. 2 (Moonlight Sonata)

Painting with images of the reflection of the moonlight in calm waters
The epic melodies and rhythms of the "Moonlight" Sonata bring to the imagination vivid images of the reflection of the moonlight in calm waters, as well as clouds that portend the storm and threaten the peaceful scenery.


Beethoven's genius as a composer radiates through the familiar themes of this famous sonata. He conveys to a single instrument the full emotional power of his symphonies.

Beethoven composed this sonata in 1801, before losing his hearing. He is said to have dedicated it to his first love, Countess Julieta Guicardi, and the evolution of the feelings this sonata depicts, from serenity to agitation and tension, may reflect this relationship, which ended when she married someone else.

Beethoven himself did not name the sonata "Moonlight" - this description later came from a German poet in which, the first part of the work recalled scenes of moonlight in the calm waters of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. From here comes, after all, the universally accepted comparison of music with the wrinkled surface of water that is suddenly disturbed by a rushing storm.

Of course, this corresponds to the kind of image Beethoven could have painted with his music.

I. Adagio sostenuto

The first part begins with the familiar theme of a seamless "triplet" flow, with a normal rhythmic substrate of the bass or left hand. The result is that of the wrinkled surface of the water with a feeling of ebb and tide that endures. The familiar melody penetrates the whole place and introduces a feeling of almost ecstatic serenity.

II. Allegretto

The second part solves the spell with its lightest and fastest pace. The mood remains quiet, but the tone is more measured and bold. Almost at the end of the part, the music gets stronger and becomes more threatening as if it forees a sudden end to the serene atmosphere. Then he calms down again progressively, as if he expects the unattainable.


III. Presto agitato

There's a lightning-fast change of pace in the final part where the threat breaks the surface and musically releases hell. The fury that soars mercilessly at the keys symbolizes the storm's violence over the undisturbed water until recently.

The pace only reassures for a moment, then builds up tension for the final outburst before the abrupt conclusion. The result is that of releasing a terrible energy followed by the release.




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