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

Cremona's violins

 

Cremona is particularly proud of her glorious past and welcomes her music-friendly guests.


Violins were the exciting new instruments of Vivaldi's days. They had a much brighter sound and could be played with much greater agility and speed than the earlier violas of the Renaissance era.

The best violins were made in the small town of Cremona in northern Italy, near Milan. In this city, violin makers such as Nicola Amati, Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri and Antonio Stradivari lived and worked in the same neighborhood.

One of the special features of their art, which remained a mystery, was the varnish with which they polished the finished instrument. To this is attributed their wonderful sound.

Today, a good violin or viola Guarnerius or Stradivarius cost a fortune. Some of these instruments are kept in museums. Others, fortunately, still sound in the hands of virtuosos.


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