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 - Nocturnes, Op. 32

Opus32 dates back to 1837, when Chopin was increasingly closely associated with the distinguished writer George Sand.  

Nocturne in C Major, Op. 32, No.1

In this nocturne the two song-style melodies flow without pause almost to the end. But here we are witnessing an unexpected change of mood. A dotted cadenza presents some new music and creates a darker and more dubious mood, as the work is completed in minor tonality.

Nocturne in A-flat Major, Op. 32, No. 2

This nocturne is one of Chopin's most popular nocturnes. It begins with a short section reminiscent of a cadenza, which may sound somewhat melodramatic for modern listeners. This introductory phrase lends its place to a warm flowing melody, which the composer then develops into a fiery romantic song. A contrasting part presents a touching note, before leading the nocturne - almost imperceptibly - to a final reprocessing of the introductory material.